Vocabulary Lists

Non-Fiction

  • 80 WordsMartin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" Speech (1963)
  • 45 Words"Letter from Birmingham Jail" by Martin Luther King, Jr. (1963)
  • 25 WordsDr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I've Been to the Mountaintop" (1968)
  • 40 WordsPresident Obama's Speech on the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington
  • 25 Words50th Anniversary of the March on Washington: "Trying to Inspire a New Generation" by Trip Gabriel
  • 45 WordsDr. Martin Luther King Jr., "Beyond Vietnam" (1967)
  • 30 WordsFigurative Language in King's "I Have a Dream" Speech (1963)
  1. Ordinary HazardsA MemoirNikki Grimes
    In this memoir, told in verse, poet Nikki Grimes explores her traumatic childhood and the development of her love of...
  2. The Beloved World of Sonia SotomayorSonia Sotomayor
    In this memoir, Sonia Sotomayor recounts her childhood in the South Bronx, her education and early work as a lawyer, and...
  3. Amelia LostThe Life and Disappearance of Amelia EarhartCandace Fleming
    This biography explores the life and mysterious disappearance of aviator Amelia Earhart.
  4. The Girl Who Drew ButterfliesHow Maria Merian's Art Changed ScienceJoyce Sidman
    This biography, which won the Robert F. Sibert Medal, recounts the life of Maria Merian, a naturalist who studied...
  5. AstronautsWomen on the Final FrontierJim Ottaviani and Maris Wicks
    Using a graphic novel format, the authors of Primates tell the stories of the first women in space, focusing on...
  6. SapiensA Brief History of HumankindYuval Noah Harari
    Drawing on both historical and scientific research, this book traces the evolution of human beings over tens of...
  7. Courage to SoarA Body in Motion, A Life in BalanceSimone Biles
    In this autobiography, cowritten with Michelle Burford, decorated gymnast Simone Biles recounts her path to becoming an...
  8. PrimatesThe Fearless Science of Jane Goodall, Dian Fossey, and Biruté GaldikasJim Ottaviani and Maris Wicks
    Using a graphic novel format, this book explores the lives and work of primatologists Jane Goodall, Dian Fossey, and...
  9. The Faithful SpyDietrich Bonhoeffer and the Plot to Kill HitlerJohn Hendrix
    Using both text and graphics, John Hendrix details the life of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a spy who attempted to bring down...
  10. They Called Us EnemyGeorge Takei
    In this graphic memoir, actor and activist George Takei recounts the internment of his Japanese-American family during...
  11. The Boys Who Challenged HitlerKnud Pedersen and the Churchill ClubPhillip Hoose
    In 1940, a group of Danish teens formed a secret resistance group called the Churchill Club in order to oppose the Nazi...
  12. Turning 15 on the Road to FreedomMy Story of the 1965 Selma Voting Rights MarchLynda Blackmon Lowery
    Lynda Blackmon Lowery was the youngest participant in the 1965 Selma to Montgomery protest marches that aimed to secure...

Non-Fiction Vocabulary Lists:

"The Origin of Species by Natural Selection" by Charles Darwin: Essential Words

Charles Darwin expounded his theories on evolution in "The Origin of Species by Natural Selection." Learn the essential terms from his enduring work, originally published in 1859.
13 Words

"Shooting an Elephant" by George Orwell

George Orwell reflects on imperialism as he recounts an incident that occurred when he was a police officer in Burma. Here are links to our lists for other works by George Orwell: 1984, Animal Farm, Politics and the English Language
30 Words

"Mother Tongue" by Amy Tan

In this essay, novelist Amy traces her development as a writer by reflecting on the ways she and her mother use English differently. Here are links to our lists for The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan.
20 Words

"Nature" by Ralph Waldo Emerson

This 19th-century transcendentalist essay argues that spending time in nature helps people resist conformity and become their truest selves. Read the full text here. Here are links to our lists for other works by Ralph Waldo Emerson: Self-Reliance, The Young American
30 Words

"Drowned City: Hurricane Katrina & New Orleans" by Don Brown

This acclaimed nonfiction book tells the story of Hurricane Katrina in graphic form. Here is a link to our list for Unwanted by Don Brown.
40 Words

"Politics and the English Language" by George Orwell

In this essay, George Orwell explores the ways language can be used to conceal truth and encourage conformity of thought. Here are links to our lists for other works by George Orwell: Animal Farm, 1984, "Shooting an Elephant"
40 Words

"We Are the Ship: The Story of Negro League Baseball" by Kadir Nelson

This engaging history of Negro League Baseball details the obstacles and prejudices African-American baseball players faced in the 1920s, 30s, and 40s.
35 Words

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