Memoirs for High School Students: Do You Have a Suggestion or List?

Left to right--Tina, Shirley, Mary, Gloria

Last weekend three of my college friends and I met in the beautiful home of my friend Tina in Virginia. We first spied each other in September, 1966, when we played hookey from college orientation sessions and walked to the local pizza shop instead. We have remained in each other’s lives ever since.

Tina is a reading specialist, guidance counselor, and librarian. She always wants us to bring book suggestions when we meet. She asked for a great list of memoirs suitable for high school students. I shared the list Mary Karr suggested and picked out Black Like Me and I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings for special commendation to that age group. 

It would be great to hear from you on this subject. What memoirs did you you read when you were young? Have any of them made a life-long impression on you? If you are a teacher or parent, which memoirs have elicited great conversation with young people?


About Shirley Hershey Showalter

Author of memoir Blush: A Mennonite Girl Meets a Glittering World. Blogging about Magical Memoir Moments and Jubilación -- vocation in the second half of life.
This entry was posted in Personal Reflections, Top Ten Lists and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Memoirs for High School Students: Do You Have a Suggestion or List?

  1. shirleyhs says:

    Here's a suggestion from my Twitterfeed: @shirleyhs Memoir for high school students – Gerald Durrell, My Family and Other Animals, fabulous! From inkwellHQ, (Vanessa O' Loughlin) who writes, teaches, and blogs in Dubklin, Ireland. Just gotta love the web!Oh yes, and I wanted to relate this post to another one I wrote that reminded me of these three friends–a review of The Girls from Ames here:

  2. shirleyhs says:

    This comment was posted at another location in this blog and should be added here: 3558 5 hours ago Suggestions for High School Students:Tales of a Female Nomad: Living at Large in the World, by Rita Golden GelmanNothing to Declare: Memoirs of a Woman Traveling Alone, by Mary Morris

  3. Andrea says:

    I still love Lauren F. Winner's memoir Girl Meets God.

  4. shirleyhs says:

    This link will take you to a short, cute, video on YouTube of a high school class in Boston that is studying, and writing, memoir. They are asking Mary Karr to visit their class, which they have dubbed “The Liar's Club.”

  5. Samantha Hartkemeyer says:

    Yay for Iowa! I would recommend Annie Dillard. If you are looking for a short piece you could do her essay, “Transfiguration” (Moth Essay). I am a student at UNI and an upcoming teacher and I am glad that this exist. Thank You!

  6. shirleyhs says:

    Oh yes, Annie Dillard is great. I had my college students read many of her books. Never tried her in high school. And I’ve not read “Transfiguration,” so you gave me a gift today. Thank you so much for adding your voice to Come back often!

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