14 Back-to-School Books That Will Inspire Readers of All Ages

These stories of overcoming challenges and prejudices will make any reader think fondly of their school days—past, present or future.

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  • Photo Credit: Washington University Libraries, Henry Hampton Collection
back to school books

Educated

By Tara Westover

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A Special Education

By Dana Buchman

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Liberating Minds

By Ellen Condliffe Lagemann

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The Water Is Wide

By Pat Conroy

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Yale Needs Women

By Anne Gardiner Perkins

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The Past That Would Not Die

By Walter Lord

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A School of Our Own

By Samuel Levin and Susan Engel

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The Lucky Ones

By Mae Ngai

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The Game Changers

By Jeff Miller

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Sugarcane Academy

By Michael Tisserand

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I am Malala

By Malala Yousafazi with Christina Lamb

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A Girl Stands at the Door

By Rachel Devlin

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Reading Lolita in Tehran

By Azar Nafasi

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Behind the Beautiful Forevers

By Katherine Boo