Human rights reading
Explore our reading list of Amnesty-recommended fiction books on human rights themes.
Why not order copies for your school library? And if you've read all these, search our book shop for more Amnesty-endorsed books for younger readers.
To commemorate the 60th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Walker Books and Amnesty International have joined together to create a short-story collection for young adults, celebrating what it means to be free.
Suffering terrible hardship and separation from her mother, Masha's world is a mix of horror and imaginary creations of hope. Icarus, the disused trolleybus she lives in, takes her on a thrilling adventure through an enchanted world. This captivating modern fairytale is the first novel of the British freelance writer and journalist, Lily Hyde. Ages 9+
Sold is the powerful narrative of Lakshmi, a thirteen-year-old Nepalese girl, whose life turns from bad to worse when her step-father sends her to work as a maid to support her family. Lakshmi embarks on a horrific and heart-breaking journey. Will her rare experiences of friendship and kindness give her enough hope to risk everything and reclaim her life? Ages 14+
Suzanne Fisher Staples
A moving tale of a young Pakistani woman and her dilemma between family duties and dangerous love. This book is a breath-taking journey in a world of strict tradition, where remarkable people have to make difficult decisions. From the author of Daughter of the Wind and Under The Persimmon Tree. For ages 12+
Voices of silence is the gripping and exciting story of a young girl's transforming world in the Romanian revolution. This 2007 re-edition of Bel Mooney's widely acclaimed book is a chance to discover anew her thought-provoking story of family, friendship, and the strength of a child's mind when everything falls apart. Ages 9+
A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of Boy Solider
An Incredible personal account of Ishmael Beah's life as a child soldier in Sierra Leone in the early nineties. Coming soon: new Amnesty film resource based on Ishmael's recent visit to the Human Rights Action Centre in London to talk to an audience of young people about his experiences.
Farrar, Straus and Giroux (2007) | ISBN 0374105235 | Order on Amazon
The Other Side of Truth
When the corrupt military government in Nigeria kills their mother, Sade and her brother Femi are smuggled by their father into London to keep them safe. But they find themselves lost and alone in the large city. This book tells of their story of adventure, courage, family, and the power of truth.
Harper Collins 2003 | ISBN 0064410021 | Order on Amazon
After being left for dead when his family are killed in an ethnic war in Lesai, Africa, Kaninda is saved by an NGO and brought to the UK where he his adopted by a family against his will. But his new life in England may not protect him from the violence he has already experienced.
Scholastic (2002) | ISBN 0439224241 | Order on Amazon
Kiss the Dust
Tara and her family must flee their home in Iraq and move to a brutal refugee camp, as the Iraqi secret police are looking for her father.
Puffin Books (1994) | ISBN 0140368558 | Order on Amazon
A Little Piece of Ground
Set in the West Bank, Palestine, this book explores the human cost of the occupation of Palestinian lands through the eyes of a twelve year old boy.
Haymarket Books (2006) | ISBN 1931859388 | Order on Amazon
Parvana's father is arrested and taken away by Taliban Soldiers in Afghanistan and her family are forced to stay inside. In order to find food for her family to survive, Parvana must pretend to be a boy and leave the house. This journey outside is dangerous, but the book shows that even in despair, lies hope.
Oxford University Press (2004) | ISBN 0192752847 | Order on Amazon
Sequel to 'The Breadwinner'. Parvana is a refugee in a land full of dangers and must travel across Afghanistan to find her mother and sisters. This book tells of her incredible journey.
Oxford University Press (2004) | ISBN 0192753487 | Order on Amazon
Shauzia is Parvana's friend from 'The Breadwinner'. Now Shauzia has fled from Afghanistan to a refugee camp in Pakistan. This book tells of Shauzia's attempt to find a new future for herself.
Oxford University Press (2004) | ISBN 0192753762 | Order on Amazon
Set in the UK and Punjab region of India, (Un)Arranged Marriage looks at a young man's fight to free himself from family expectations and an arranged marriage he doesn't want.
Corgi (2001) | ISBN 0552547344 | Order on Amazon
Fight to Belong
Explores the issue of deportation from the perspective of a child. A Nigerian family living in the UK are forced to start a campaign to prevent their deportation back to Nigeria.
Save the Children (1999) | ISBN 9781899120819 | Order on Amazon
Story of a courageous African boy sent to England to escape the violent civil war in Ethiopia.
Bloomsbury USA (2004) | ISBN 1582349088 | Order on Amazon
Based on a true story, this is an account of one of history's most dramatic rescues in occupied Denmark during World War Two.
Double Day (2005) | ISBN 0385608896 | Order on Amazon
The Boy in Striped Pyjamas
Set in Berlin in 1942. Bruno returns home from school to find that he and his family must move far away to a desolate new place. Bruno meets another boy in his new home whose life differs hugely from his own. Their meeting results in a friendship that has devastating consequences.
Published 2006, David Fickling Books (2006) | ISBN 0385751060 | Order on Amazon
Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry
Mildred D. Taylor
The story of a family's experience of racism in Mississippi.
Published 1999 | ISBN 0590389270 | Order on Amazon
'The Trial' tells the terrifying tale of Joseph K., a respectable functionary in a bank who is suddenly arrested and must defend his innocence against a charge about which he can get no information.
Schocken Books (1995) | ISBN 0805210407 | Order on Amazon
George Orwell's 1945 satirical novel focusing on the obliteration of totalitarian regimes.
First Published 1945 | Order on Amazon
To Kill a Mockingbird
A Pulitzer Prize-winning masterwork of honour and injustice in the deep South of the USA, and the heroism of one man in the face of blind and violent hatred.
First Published 1960 | Order on Amazon
Age group: 11-16
Cost: Amazon or all good book shops
Roddy Doyle and David Almond are among ten award-winning authors who collaborated to create this unique new novel for teenagers. Could it inspire your class to set off on a collaborative creative human righting adventure?