Share This Story, Choose Your Platform!

Walt Disney

“There is more treasure in books than in all the pirate’s loot on Treasure Island.”

– Walt Disney

Inspiring teens to become critical, adventurous readers plays an important role at Blue Stars. I can’t tell you what a delight it is to meet up with a student who has just read something that expanded their mind and introduced them to a new world, or consideration. These are some of our liveliest discussions! It is also important to note that a curious, engaged mind is very attractive to top schools.

An avid reader myself, I’ve always seen reading as a form of traveling; through it, you leave your home base into foreign territory, coming back your familiar environment all the richer for it. The more you read, the more worldly you’ll become.

This quiet, almost private activity can make a real difference in admissions. Demonstrating a rich, inner mind in a college application can mean the difference between acceptance or rejection at a top school, admission to an honors program, or consideration for merit scholarship.

So best to get off the phone and dig into one (or more) of these treasures. I hope these selections inspire. Bon voyage!

Recommended Non-Fiction Reading

Blue Stars College Admissions Consultants
The Yellow House: A Memoir

A book of great ambition, Sarah M. Broom’s The Yellow House tells a hundred years of her family and their relationship to home in a neglected area of one of America’s most mythologized cities. This is the story of a mother’s struggle against a house’s entropy, and that of a prodigal daughter who left home only to reckon with the pull that home exerts, even after the Yellow House was wiped off the map after Hurricane Katrina.

Learn more
Hang a Thousand Trees with Ribbons

Kidnapped from her home in Senegal and sold as a slave in 1761, a young girl is purchased by the wealthy Wheatley family in Boston. Phillis Wheatley—as she comes to be known—has an eager mind and it leads her on an unusual path for a slave—she becomes America’s first published black poet.

Learn more
Blue Stars College Admissions Consultants
Blue Stars College Admissions Consulting
Young People’s History of the United States

A Young People’s History of the United States brings to US history the viewpoints of workers, slaves, immigrants, women, Native Americans, and others whose stories, and their impact, are rarely included in books for young people.

Learn more
Be A Changemaker

Do you wish you could make a difference in your community or even the world? Are you one of the millions of high school teens with a service-learning requirement? Either way, Be a Changemaker will empower you with the confidence and knowledge you need to affect real change. You’ll find all the tools you need right here—through engaging youth profiles, step-by-step exercises, and practical tips, you can start making a difference today.

Learn more
Be A Changemaker: How to Start Something that Matters book cover
The Canon: A Whirligig Tour of the Beautiful Basics of Science book cover
The Canon: A Whirligig Tour of the Beautiful Basics of Science

The Canon is a joyride through the major scientific disciplines: physics, chemistry, biology, geology, and astronomy. Along the way, we learn what is actually happening when our ice cream melts or our coffee gets cold, what our liver cells do when we eat a caramel, why the horse is an example of evolution at work, and how we’re all really made of stardust. It’s Lewis Carroll meets Lewis Thomas — a book that will enrapture, inspire, and enlighten.

Learn more
Half the Sky

With Pulitzer Prize winners Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn as our guides, we undertake an odyssey through Africa and Asia to meet the extraordinary women struggling there, among them a Cambodian teenager sold into sex slavery and an Ethiopian woman who suffered devastating injuries in childbirth. Drawing on the breadth of their combined reporting experience, Kristof and WuDunn depict our world with anger, sadness, clarity, and, ultimately, hope.

Learn more
Half the Sky book cover
The Code Book: The Science of Secrecy from Ancient Egypt to Quantum Cryptography book cover
The Code Book: The Science of Secrecy from Ancient Egypt to Quantum Cryptography

The Code Book describes some illustrative highlights in the history of cryptography, drawn from both of its principal branches, codes and ciphers. Thus the book’s title should not be misconstrued as suggesting that the book deals only with codes, and not with ciphers; or that the book is in fact a codebook.

Learn more
I am Malala

I Am Malala is the remarkable tale of a family uprooted by global terrorism, of the fight for girls’ education, of a father who, himself a school owner, championed and encouraged his daughter to write and attend school, and of brave parents who have a fierce love for their daughter in a society that prizes sons. I Am Malala will make you believe in the power of one person’s voice to inspire change in the world.

Learn more
I am Malala book cover
The Girl From the Tar Paper School book cover
The Girl From the Tar Paper School

Before the Little Rock Nine, before Rosa Parks, before Martin Luther King Jr. and his March on Washington, there was Barbara Rose Johns, a teenager who used nonviolent civil disobedience to draw attention to her cause. In 1951, witnessing the unfair conditions in her racially segregated high school, Barbara Johns led a walkout–the first public protest of its kind demanding racial equality in the U.S.–jumpstarting the American civil rights movement.

Learn more
Behind the Beautiful Forevers

In this breathtaking book by Pulitzer Prize winner Katherine Boo, a bewildering age of global change and inequality is made human through the dramatic story of families striving toward a better life in Annawadi, a makeshift settlement in the shadow of luxury hotels near the Mumbai airport.

Learn more
Behind the Beautiful Forevers book cover
Wide Awake: A Buddhist Guide for Teen book cover
Wide Awake: A Buddhist Guide for Teens

Many of today’s teenagers are tired of the pressure to compete and consume-and are looking for a different way to live their lives. This book offers an alternative: the 2,500-year old practice of Buddhism.

Written in a style that will have immediate appeal to young “seekers” and those wanting to understand the ancient teachings, this book addresses such relevant topics as peer pressure, emotional difficulties, stress, fostering peace, and even protecting the environment.

Learn more
Rebel Girls

We know the world will be better, stronger, and more just when girls have the same level of confidence as boys. So we use storytelling to show girls a universe of possibilities and inspire them to dream without limits. Because when she sees it, she can be it.

Learn more
Rebel Girls book cover
My Favorite Thing is Monsters book cover
My Favorite Thing is Monsters

Set against the tumultuous political backdrop of late ’60s Chicago, My Favorite Thing Is Monsters is the fictional graphic diary of 10-year-old Karen Reyes, filled with B-movie horror and pulp monster magazines iconography. Karen Reyes tries to solve the murder of her enigmatic upstairs neighbor, Anka Silverberg, a holocaust survivor, while the interconnected stories of those around her unfold. When Karen’s investigation takes us back to Anka’s life in Nazi Germany, the reader discovers how the personal, the political, the past, and the present converge.

Learn more
Rolling Blackouts

Cartoonist Sarah Glidden accompanies her two friends―reporters and founders of a journalism non-profit―as they research potential stories on the effects of the Iraq War on the Middle East and, specifically, the war’s refugees. Joining the trio is a childhood friend and former Marine whose past service in Iraq adds an unexpected and sometimes unwelcome viewpoint, both to the people they come across and perhaps even themselves.

Learn more
Rolling Blackouts book cover
Lab Girl book cover
Lab Girl

Lab Girl is a book about work, love, and the mountains that can be moved when those two things come together. It is told through Jahren’s remarkable stories: about her childhood in rural Minnesota with an uncompromising mother and a father who encouraged hours of play in his classroom s labs; about how she found a sanctuary in science, and learned to perform lab work done with both the heart and the hands; and about the inevitable disappointments, but also the triumphs and exhilarating discoveries, of scientific work.

Learn more
21 Lesson for the 21st century

How do computers and robots change the meaning of being human? How do we deal with the epidemic of fake news? Are nations and religions still relevant? What should we teach our children? Yuval Noah Harari’s 21 Lessons for the 21st Century is a probing and visionary investigation into today’s most urgent issues as we move into the uncharted territory of the future.

Learn more
21 Lessons for the 21st Century book cover
Mountains Beyond Mountains book cover
Mountains Beyond Mountains: The Quest of Dr. Paul Farmer, a Man Who Would Cure the World

In medical school, Paul Farmer found his life’s calling: to cure infectious diseases and to bring the lifesaving tools of modern medicine to those who need them most. Tracy Kidder’s magnificent account shows how one person can make a difference in solving global health problems through a clear-eyed understanding of the interaction of politics, wealth, social systems, and disease. Profound and powerful, Mountains Beyond Mountains takes us from Harvard to Haiti, Peru, Cuba, and Russia as Farmer changes people’s minds through his dedication to the philosophy that “the only real nation is humanity”.

Learn more

Want personalized, one-on-one help with college planning? Contact Blue Stars today!

Book A Free Meeting Today!
Published On: December 17th, 2020 / By / Categories: College Planning, Tools /
student studyingAdmissions Survival Toolkit #9: Leap Ahead with these Insider Profiles
podcastsPodcasts for College Planning

Subscribe To Our Newsletter to Get The Latest News

Have questions about the future of college admissions? We have answers.