Autobiographical Memoirs (Teen)

Abagnale, Frank.  Catch Me if You Can: The Amazing True Story of the Youngest and Most Daring Con Man in the History of Fun and Profit.  PB NF A
A former confidence man and master impostor recounts his crimes, capture, imprisonment, and current career as a highly paid crime consultant, in a new edition of his best-selling, firsthand account of his international exploits

Abeel, Samantha.  My Thirteenth Winter: A Memior YB Abeel
In seventh grade, the author suffered anxiety attacks as she struggled to keep up in her classes, to remember two locker combinations, and to deal with new teachers, both before and after she was diagnosed with dyscalculia, a math-related learning disability.

Albom, Mitch. Tuesdays With Morrie.  YB Schwartz A // [BIOGRPHY] B Schwartz A // PB NF S 
The author, an alumnus of Brandeis University, tells of his meetings with a former professor suffering from Lou Gehrig’s disease and of the lessons he learned about life and death from his college mentor.

Alifirenka, Caitlin.  I Will Always Write Back: How One Letter Changed Two Lives.  Y B Alifirenka
Chronicles the friendship between an American girl and her pen pal from Zimbabwe, discussing how a class assignment was the beginning of a correspondence that spanned six years and changed two lives.

Angelou, Maya. Gather Together In My Name.  Y PB A //  [BIOGRPHY] B Angelou
Continues Angelou’s autobiography, “I know why the caged bird sings.” As this book begins she is in her teens and has given birth to a son.

Angelou, Maya. I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings.  [BIOGRPHY] B Angelou
An autobiography covering the childhood of a woman who has been a dancer, actress, poet, journalist, and television producer.

Bauby Jean-Dominique. The Diving Bell And The Butterfly.  [BIOGRPHY] B Bauby B
The author, who died two days after the French publication of his book, tells of his life and feelings after suffering a brain stem stroke that left him unable to move his body or communicate in any way except through the blinking of his left eye.

Bolnick, Tina S.. Living At The Edge Of The World.  362.74 S
A teenager’s survival in the tunnels of Grand Central Station.

Brave Bird, Mary. Lakota Woman.  [BIOGRPHY] B Mary Crow Dog
Story of Mary Crow Dog, nee Mary Brave Bird, who rebelled against the life of the South Dakota Indian reservation and participated in the beginning of the tribal movements of the sixties and seventies.

Bryson, Bill. A Walk In The Woods.  917.4044 B  //  LARGE TYPE 917.4044 B
Bryson share his experiences hiking the Appalachian Trail with a childhood friend. The two encounter eccentric characters, a blizzard, getting lost, and rude yuppies along the way.

Chambers, Veronica. Mama’s Girl.  [BIOGRPHY] B Chambers
Memoir of the author’s life growing up as an overachiever in an underpriviledged family, chronicling the blessed relationship she forged with her mother after her father deserted the family.

Chandler, Kurt.  Shaving Lessons: A Memoir of Father and Son.  [BIOGRAPHY] B Chandler
The award-winning author of Passages of Pride shares an intimate memoir of his son Ben’s freshman year of high school, documenting a time of transition for both father and son as the two share Ben’s life adventures, including a first shave, first date, sports tryouts, a road trip, and a rock concert.

Clercq Zubli, Rita la Fontaine de.  Disguised: A Wartime Memior.  [BIOGRAPHY] YB Clercq Zubi
In this gripping memoir of war, courage, and honor, the author details her experiences in a Japanese POW camp where she, disguised as a boy and outraged at the conditions, injustice, and torture, dared to speak up for her fellow prisoners of war.

Conway, Jill K.  The Road From Coorain.  [BIOGRPHY] B Conway
The memoirs of Jill Conway and her journey into adulthood from a 30,000 acre sheep ranch in Coorain, Australia, to America where she became the first woman president of Smith College.

Eighner, Lars.  Travels With Lizbeth.  [BIOGRPHY] B Eighner
Author’s account of his experience with homelessness, the companionship of his dog Lizbeth, and their struggle to survive.

Ellroy, James. My Dark Places.  [BIOGRPHY] B Ellroy
James Ellroy was ten when his mother died, and he spend the next thirty-six years running from her ghost and attempting to exorcize her memory through writing. In 1994, Ellroy quit running and returned to L.A. to find out the truth about his mother and her murder.

Filipovic, Zlata. Zlata’s Diary: a child’s life in Sarajevo Y PB F
A chronicle of the war in Sarajevo from a child’s perspective details Zlata’s struggle for survival and a normal life in a chaotic nation.

Franta, Connor.  A Work In Progress.  B Franta
The YouTube personality shares the lessons he has learned on his journey from small-town boy to Internet sensation.

Galli, Richard.  Rescuing Jeffrey.  362.1974 G
When his seventeen-year-old son is paralyzed from the neck down in a swimming accident, the author, Richard Galli, is convinced that his son would rather be dead than live without any physical mobility, but after his son awakes from a coma and is able to communicate his wishes, Galli realizes that a happy life is not necessarily determined by what the body is able to do.

Halberstadt, Michele.  La Petite: A Memoir.  B Halberstadt
A vivid account of the painful loss of a beloved grandparent describes the author’s childhood relationship with her grandfather, which was shaped by her mother’s limited love, her father’s emotional detachment and her early adolescent struggles with suicidal thoughts

Hickman, Homer H. . Rocket Boys.  [BIOGRPHY] B Hickam
An entertaining and extraordinary memoir of Homer Hickam’s life in Coalwood, West Virginia-a town where the only things that mattered were coal mining and high-school football. After watching the Soviets launch Sputnik in 1957, Homer and his friends took the future into their own hands, changing their lives and their town forever by turning scraps into rockets and launching their futures as NASA scientists.

Hillman, Laura.  I will Plant you a Lilac Tree: A Memoir of a Schindler’s List Survivor.  YB Hillman
Presents the true story of a young girl from a Polish ghetto who was sent to a series of concentration camps and survived the war after being placed on Schindler’s List, finally marrying a fellow survivor.

Houston, Jeanne Wakatsuki. Farewell To Manzanar.  Y PB H  //  940.5472 H
A true story of Japanese American experience during and after the World War II internment.

Jackson, Livia Bitton.  I Have Lived A Thousand Years.  [BIOGRPHY] YB Jackson
The memoir of Elli Friedmann who was one of the few teenage Auschwitz inmates.

Jackson, Livia Bitton.  My Bridges of Hope: Searching for Life and Love after Auschwitz.  YB Jackson
In 1945, after surviving a harrowing year in Auschwitz, fourteen-year-old Elli returns, along with her mother and brother, to the family home, now part of Slovakia, where they try to find a way to rebuild their shattered lives.

James, Kelle.  Smile for the Camera: A Memoir.  YB James
The author relates her experiences after she left an abusive home at sixteen and traveled to New York City to pursue a career as a model.

Karr, Mary. The Liar’s Club.  [BIOGRPHY] B Karr
An account of the author’s childhood in a Texas oil town and of her family’s struggles with cancer, madness, and alcoholism.

Kaysen, Susanna.  Girl, Interrupted.  B Kaysen
Hospitalized for a vaguely defined personality disorder, Kaysen describes her two-year stay at a psychiatric hospital renowned for its famous clientele and for its progressive methods of treatment.

Kuusisto, Stephen. Planet Of The Blind.  [BIOGRPHY] B Kuusisto
Describes how a post-natal medical procedure rendered the author legally blind, forcing him to endure a difficult childhood with bottle-lens glasses, depression, obesity, anorexia, and an inability to trust and ask for help, until he met Corky, a seeing-eye dog who changed his life

Krakauer, Jon.  Into Thin Air.  PB NF K // LT 796.522 K // 796.522 K
The author relates his experience of climbing Mount Everest during its deadliest season and examines what it is about the mountain that makes people willingly subject themselves to such risk, hardship, and expense.

Lugovskaya, Nina. I want to live : the diary of a young girl in Stalin’s Russia. YB Lugovskaya
Presents excerpts from a diary, written by thirteen-year-old Nina Lugovskaya, that was confiscated by the NKVD–Stalin’s secret police–in 1937, and that reveals a time of political upheaval, betrayal, and repression through the eyes of an innocent.

Mah, Adeline Yen. Chinese Cinderella. [BIOGRPHY] YB Mah
After her mother dies giving birth to her, Adeline’s affluent, powerful family considers her bad luck. Life does not get any easier when her father remarries. She and her siblings are subjected to their stepmother’s disdain, while her half brother and half sister are thoroughly spoiled. Although winning prizes at school, all she yearns for is the love and understanding of her family.

McBride, James. The Color Of Water.  [BIOGRPHY] PB NF M
An African-American male tells of his mother, a white woman, who refused to admit her true identity.

Molnar, Haya Leah.  Under a Red Sky: Memoir of a Childhood in Communist Romania.  YB Molnar
Haya Leah Molnar, née Eva Zimmermann, recalls growing up in Bucharest, Romania, during the 1950s. Though she heard Yiddish and kept Kosher at home, Eva remained unaware of her Jewish heritage. This ignorance protected Eva at her Communist-run school.

Moss, Thylias.  Tale Of A Sky-Blue Dress.  [BIOGRPHY] B Moss
A memoir in which the author recalls her years at the mercy of a sadistic babysitter and discusses the impact that experience had on the rest of her life.

Myers, Walter Dean.  Bad Boy: A Memoir.  YB Myers
A Coretta Scott King Award winning author tells young readers what it was like being raised in Harlem, the town of Sugar Ray Robinson and Langston Hughes, in the 1940s and 1950s.

Nir, Yehuda.  The Lost Childhood: A World War II Memoir.  YB Nir
Describes six years in the life of a daring and resourceful Polish Jewish boy and his family, who survived the Holocaust by using false papers and posing as Catholics.

Paul, Caroline.  Fighting Fire.  [BIOGRPHY] B Paul
The author shares her experiences as one of the first women to join the San Francisco Fire Department, discussing the factors that led her to attempt to qualify for the traditionally male profession, and revealing why she has decided to remain on the force.

Paulsen, Gary.  My Life In Dog Years.  JB Paulsen  //  LARGE TYPE J FIC Paulsen // JPB P
The author describes some of the dogs that have had special places in his life, including his first dog, Snowball, in the Philippines; Dirk, who protected him from bullies; and Cookie, who saved his life.

Rice, Condoleezza.  Condoleezza Rice: A Memoir of My Extraordinary, Ordinary Family and Me.  YB Rice
A poignant, inspirational look at one of America’s most outstanding women, from her remarkable childhood in Birmingham, Alabama, in the 1950s through her rise to the highest echelons of power in the U.S. government.

Rawl, Paige.  Positive: Surviving My Bullies, Finding Hope, And Living to Change the World.  Y B Rawl
A teenager’s memoir of the experinces of bullying, being HIV positive and surviving the experiences to become a force for positive change in this world.

Ripken, Cal. The Only Way I Know.  796.3576 Ripken
Ripken tells the story of his journey to the moment when he logged his record-breaking 2,131st consecutive time on the baseball field, and beyond.

Roberts, Monty.  The Man Who Listens To Horses.  [BIOGRPHY] B Roberts
Biography of Monty Roberts, focusing on the unique methods he has developed for training horses through gentleness and an understanding of nonverbal communication, and telling how he has applied his techniques to human relationships.

Rose, Daniel, Asa.  Hiding Places: A Father and His Sons Retrace Their Family’s Escape from the Holocaust.  [BIOGRAPHY] B Rose
Recounts how the author took his sons on a trip during which they retraced their ancestors’ escape from Antwerp during World War II, a journey that instilled in them a reinforced sense of family, spirituality, and Jewish identity.

Santiago, Esmeralda.  When I was Puerto Rican.  YPB Santiago
Magic, sexual tension, high comedy, and intense drama move through an enchanted yet harsh autobiography, in the story of a young girl who leaves Puerto Rico for New York’s tenements and a chance for success

Scholinski, Daphne.  The Last Time I Wore A Dress.  [BIOGRPHY] B Scholinski
Daphne Scholinski lived in mental institutions from the time she was fifteen until her 18th birthday, committed because she was ruled an “inappropriate female,” a teenage tomboy whose lack of interest in make-up and other “feminine” things was ruled a mental problem.

Schroff, Laura.  An Invisible Thread : The True Story of an 11 Year Old Panhandler, a Busy Sales Executive and an Unlikely Meeting With Destiny.  974.71 S
This inspirational true story of a friendship that has spanned three decades recounts how the author, a harried sales executive, befriended an 11-year-old panhandler, changing both of their lives forever

Shivack, Nadia.  Inside Out: A Memoir in Pictures.  YB Shivack
In this book the author gives readers a harrowing look inside her battle with anorexia and bulimia through pictures and captions.

Sundquist, Josh.  We Should Hang Out Sometime: Embarrassingly, a True Story.  Y B Sundquist
The Paralympic ski racer, YouTube star and motivational speaker documents his coming of age as an amputee cancer survivor and his efforts to investigate past dates gone wrong to discover why he was still single.

Tarbox, Katherine.  [BIOGRPHY] B Tarbox
As a lonely junior high school student, Katie Tarbox became attached to meeting people via the Internet. She met and fell in love with a man she thought was only slightly older than her. When they arranged a meeting in person, she discovered that he was old enough to be her father, and a convicted sex offender. She and her family successfully prosecuted him for his inappropriate behavior.

Wagenen, Maya Van.  Popular: A Memoir: Vintage Wisdom for a Modern Geek.  Y B Wagenen
Documents a high school student’s year-long attempt to change her social status from that of a misfit to a member of the “in” crowd by following advice in a 1950s popularity guide, an experiment that triggered embarrassment, humor and unexpected surprises.

Walls, Jeannette.  The Glass Castle. [BIOGRAPHY] B Walls // PB NF W
The child of an alcoholic father and an eccentric artist mother discusses her family’s nomadic upbringing, during which she and her siblings fended for themselves while their parents outmaneuvered bill collectors and the authorities.

Wiesel, Elie.  Night.  PB NF W
A young Jewish boy witnesses the death of his family in a Nazi death camp.

Wilensky, Amy S. Passing For Normal.  [BIOGRPHY] B Wilensky
Passing for Normal is Amy’s emotionally charged account of her lifelong struggle with the often misunderstood disorders of obsessive-compulsive disorder and Tourette’s Syndrome. A powerful witness to her own dysfunction, she describes the strain it bore on her relationships with the people she thought she knew best.

Zenatti, Valerie.  When I was a Soldier.  YB Zenatti
Like all young Israelis, Valérie Zenatti enlisted in the national defense service on her 18th birthday, where for the next two years she endured rigorous training and harsh living conditions, ultimately participating in top-secret missions with the secret service.

Zindel, Paul.  The Pigman & Me. Y PB Z // Y B Zindel
An account of Paul Zindel’s teenage years on Staten Island, when his life was enriched by finding his own personal pigman, or mentor.

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