A Brother's Journey: Surviving a Childhood of Abuse
by Richard Pelzer
In this gripping, deeply troubling memoir, a follow-up to his brother David's bestselling "A Child Called It," Pelzer reveals the unyielding suffering he says he experienced at the hands of his depraved mother growing up in the 1970s. By looking back at — and then releasing — the image of the skinny, red-haired boy who wanted nothing more than his mother's love, Pelzer discovers his true spirit, which he shares courageously and selflessly here in the hope of healing himself, as well as raising awareness of and preventing child abuse.
A Girl Named Zippy: Growing Up Small in Mooreland, Indiana
by Haven Kimmel
In this first book, Kimmel has written a love letter to her hometown of Mooreland, Ind., a town with an unchanging population of 300 in America's heartland. Nicknamed "Zippy" for her energetic interpretation of a circus monkey, she could not be bothered to speak until she was three years old, and her first words involved bargaining with her father about whether or not a baby bottle was still appropriate. Born in 1965, Zippy lived in a world filled with a loving family, peculiar neighbors, and multitudes of animals, including a chicken she loved and treated like a baby. Her story is filled with good humor, fine storytelling, and acute observations of small town life.
An Hour Before Daylight: Memories of My Rural Boyhood
by Jimmy Carter
In an American story of enduring importance, Jimmy Carter re-creates his Depression-era boyhood on a Georgia farm, before the civil rights movement that changed it and the country. Carter describes the people who shaped his early life, only two of them white: his eccentric relatives who sometimes caused the boy to examine his heritage with dismay; the boyhood friends with whom he hunted and worked the farm, but who could not attend the same school; and the eminent black bishop who refused to come to the Carters' back door but who would stand in the front yard discussing crops and politics with Jimmy's father. In his singular voice and with a novelist's gift for detail, Jimmy Carter creates a sensitive portrait of an era that shaped the nation.
Running with Scissors: A Memoir
by Augusten Burroughs
It's hard to imagine a childhood more disturbing and relentlessly surreal than the one the author describes in this memoir. When his violent, nearly homicidal parents divorce, young Augusten lives in Northampton, Massachusetts, with his mother, a confessional poet battling a mental illness. Deciding she needs more space for personal exploration and art, Augusten's mother packs her 12-year-old son off to the home of psychiatrist Dr. Finch, a wildly eccentric egomaniac. Most of this memoir centers on Augusten's teenage years spent in this uncontrolled, profoundly bizarre household.
The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid: A Memoir
by Bill Bryson
Bill Bryson was born in the middle of the American century (1951) in the middle of the United States (Des Moines, Iowa) in the middle of the largest generation in American history (the baby boomers.) As one of the best and funniest writers alive, he is perfectly positioned to mine his memories of a totally all-American childhood for 24-carat memoir gold.