Week of Compassion Reading List

Become more informed on the issues and places that Week of Compassion responds to in the world. Start a book club! Start a giving club!


The Kite Runner (2005)

Hosseini, Khaled

A Thousand Splendid Suns (2007)

Hosseini, Khaled

A Bed of Red Flowers (2005)

Pazira, Nelofer

The Bookseller of Kabul (2004)

Seierstad, Asne

The Storyteller’s Daughter (2004)

Shah, Saira

The Places in Between (2004)

Stewart, Rory


Acts of Faith (2005)

Caputo, Philip

When a Crocodile Eats the Sun: A Memoir of Africa (2006)

Godwin, Peter

The Shackled Continent (2004)

Guest, Robert

Do They Hear You When You Cry (1998)

Kassindja, Fauziya

Dead Aid (2009)

Moyo, Dambisa

A Bend in the River (1989)

Naipaul, V.S.

AIDS in Africa: How the Poor are Dying (2005)

Poku, Nana K.

Dancing in the Glory of Monsters (2011)

Stearns, Jason K.


Why Bosnia: Writings on the Balkan War (1993)

Ali, Rabia and Lawrence Lifschultz, eds.

Good People in an Evil Time (2005)

Broz, Svetlana

Fools Rush In (2005)

Carter, Bill

Sarajevo: A War Journal (1993)

Dizdarevic, Zlatko

Bosnia and Herzegovina: A Tradition Betrayed (1994)

Donia, Robert J. and John V.A. Fine, Jr.

The Bosnian Muslims: Denial of a Nation (1996)

Friedman, Francine

Love Thy Neighbor (1997)

Maass, Peter


War is a Force That Gives Us Meaning (2003)

Hedges, Chris


Balkan Ghosts (2005)

Kaplan, Robert D.


The Key to My Neighbor’s House (2002)

Neuffer, Elizabeth


Pretty Birds (2006)

Simon, Scott


Undaunted: My Struggle for Freedom and Survival in Burma (2009)

Phan, Zoya


Strength in What Remains (2009)

Kidder, Tracy


First They Killed My Father (2006)

Ung, Loung


Vultures and Butterflies: Living the Contradictions (1992)

Classen, Susan


The Balkans Express: Fragments from the Other Side of War (1993)

Drakulic, Slavenka


Blood River:  A Journey to Africa’s Broken Heart (2008)

Butcher, Tim

King Leopold’s Ghost:  A Story of Greed, Terror, and Heroism in Colonial Africa (1998)

Hochshild, Adam

The Poisonwood Bible (1998)

Kingsolver, Barbara

A Thousand Sisters: My Journey into the Worst Place on Earth to Be a Woman (2010)

Shannon, Lisa


A Cafecito Story (2004)

Alvarez, Julia


The Weight of All Things (2001)

Benitez, Sandra


The Uses of Haiti (2005)

Farmer, Paul

Mountains Beyond Mountains: Healing the World: The Quest of Dr. Paul Farmer (2003)

Kidder, Tracy


The Inheritance of Loss (2006)

Desai, Kiran

Wise and Otherwise (2006)

Murty, Sudha


Reading Lolita in Tehran (2003)

Nafisi, Azar


The Princes of the Marshes: And Other Occupational Hazards of a Year in Iraq (2006)

Stewart, Rory


Unbowed (2006)

Maathai, Wangari

It's Our Turn to Eat (2009)

Wrong, Michela


Mississippi in Africa (2005)

Huffman, Alan


Little Bee (2008)

Cleave, Chris


In the Name of Honor: a Memoir (2006)

Mai, Mukhtar


Occupied with Nonviolence: A Palestinian Woman Speaks (2008)

Zaru, Jean


Climate Refugees (2010)

Argos, Collctif

Nobodies: Modern Amercan Slave Labor and the Dark Side of the New Global Economy (2007)

Bowe, John

"They Take Our Jobs!": and 20 Other Myths about Immigration (2007)

Chomsky, Aviva

Neighbor: Christian Encounters with "Illegal" Immigration (2010)

Daniel, Ben

Deporting Our Souls: Values, Morality, and Immigration Policy (2006)

Hing, Bill Ong

Deportation Nation: Outsiders in American History (2010)

Kanstroom, Daniel

Human Cargo: A Journey Among Refugees (2005)

Moorehead, Caroline

Enrique's Journey (2006)

Nazario, Sonia

The Middle of Everywhere: Helping Refugees Enter the American Community (2002)

Pipher, Mary


We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed with Our Families (1998)

Gourevitch, Peter


With Their Backs to the World: Portraits from Serbia (2004)

Seierstad, Asne


A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier (2007)

Beah, Ishmael


Born in the Big Rains: A Memoir of Somalia and Survival (2004)

Korn, Fadumo


Letting Them Die (2003)

Campbell, Catherine

Life and Times of Michael K (1983)

Coetzee, J.M.

Country of My Skull (1999)

Krog, Antjie


Where Mercy Fails: Darfur’s Struggle to Survive (2009)

Herlinger, Chris and Paul Jeffrey

God Grew Tired of Us: a Memoir (2005)

Dau, John Bul

They Poured Fire on Us from the Sky: the True Story of Three Lost Boys from Sudan (2005)

Deng A., Deng B., Ajak, and Bernstein

What is the What (2006)

Eggers, Dave

Throwing the Stick Forward: The Impact of War on Southern Sudanese Women (2003)

Fitzgerald, Mary Anne

Why Haven’t You Left? (2006)

Nikkel, Marc

Emma’s War (2002)

Scroggins, Deborah


Free People: A Christian Response to Global Economics (2005)

Brown, Tricia Gates

Two Ears of Corn : A Guide to People-Centered Agricultural Improvement (1995)

Bunch, Roland

World Hunger: Twelve Myths (1998)

Collins, Lappe and Rosset

When Helping Hurts: Alleviating Poverty without Hurting the Poor...and Ourselves (2010)

Corbett, Steve and Fikkert, Brian

For the Common Good: Redirecting the Economy toward Community, the Environment, and a Sustainable Future (1989)

Daly, Herman and John Cobb, Jr.

Earth-Wise: A Biblical Response to Environmental Issues (2007)

DeWitt, Calvin B.

Guns, Germs and Steel: the Fates of Human Societies (1997)

Diamond, Jared

Pedagogy of the Oppressed (2000)

Freire, Paulo

Pedagogy of Hope (2004)

Freire, Paulo

Cities: Missions’ New Frontier (2000)

Greenway, Roger S. and Timothy M. Monsma

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle (2007)

Kingsolver, Barbara

The Journey Toward Reconciliation (1999)

Lederach, John Paul

Walking with the Poor (1999)

Myers, Bryant

In Defense of Food: an Eater’s Manifesto (2008)

Pollan, Michael

When Charity Destroys Dignity: Overcoming Unhealthy Dependency in the Christian Movement (2007)

Schwartz, Glenn

Development as Freedom (2000)

Sen, Amartya

Rich Christians in an Age of Hunger (2005)

Sider, Ronald J.

Harvest in the Balance: Food, Justice and Biotechnology (2002)

Siemens, Mark

Mustard Seed Versus McWorld: Reinventing Life and Faith for the Future (1999)


Communities First (series) – www.urbansermons.org/f/jay-van-groningen

Van Groningen, Jay


Rising Tide (1998)

Barry, John

The Long Loneliness (1952)

Day, Dorothy

Zeitoun (2009)

Eggers, Dave

Split Ticket: Independent Faith in a Time of Partisan Politics (2010)

Gopp, Amy, Christian Piatt and Brandon Gilvin, eds.

Interpreter of Maladies (1999)

Lahiri, Jhumpa

Bridges Out of Poverty (2006)

Payne, Ruby K., Philip E. DeVol and Terie Dreussi Smith

Bayou Farewell (2004)

Tidwell, Mike

Blood Done Sign My Name (2005)

Tyson, Timothy


Do No Harm: How Aid Can Support Peace – or War (1999)

Anderson, Mary B.

Violence Unveiled: Humanity at the Crossroads (1996)

Bailie, Gil

Dear Church: Intimate Letters from Women in Ministry (2010)

France, Dorothy D., Ed. 

Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide (2009)

Kristof, Nicholas

A Mile in My Shoes: Cultivating Compassion (2005)

Hudson, Trevor

A Billion Bootstraps (2007)

Smith, Phil and Eric Thurman

Enough: Why the World’s Poorest Starve in an Age of Plenty (2009)

Thurow, Roger and Scott Kilman


The Sorrow of War (1996)

Ninh, Bao


The Impossible Country: A Journey through the Last Days of Yugoslavia (1994)

Hall, Brian

The Serbs: History, Myth, and the Destruction of Yugoslavia (1997)

Judah, Tim


The Fear: Robert Mugabe and the Martyrdom of Zimbabwe (2010)

Godwin, Peter

Love in the Driest Season (2005)

Tucker, Neely

Week of Compassion Recommended Movies

Osama (2003)

The story of a young Afghan girl who is forced to pose as a boy in order to get an education.

Hotel Rwanda (2004)

The true story of Paul Rusesabagina, a hotel manager who housed over 1,000 Tutsi refugees during their struggle against the Hutu militia in Rwanda.

Last King of Scotland (2006)

Based on events of the brutal Ugandan dictator Idi Amin’s regime as seen by his personal physician.

Lumumba (2000)

The true story of the rise to power and brutal assassination of the formerly vilified and later redeemed leader of the independent Congo, Patrice Lumumba.

Return to El Salvador (2010)

17 years ago, U.N. peace accords marked the end of a brutal civil war in El Salvador. This film is the compelling story of vibrant Salvadoran individuals and communities and the intricate geopolitical systems that have so profoundly impacted their lives, making this distant war relevant to a current American audience.

Romero (1989)

The life and work of Archbishop Oscar Romero who opposed, at great personal risk, the tyrannical repression in El Salvador.

Food, Inc. (2008)

An unflattering look inside America's corporate controlled food industry.

Human Cargo (2004)

A riveting thriller shot on location in Vancouver and South Africa, HUMAN CARGO is an unflinching look at the world of refugees in the post 9/11 world and of the people who sacrifice their lives to help or hinder them.

Blood Diamond (2006)

Set during the Sierra Leone Civil War in 1999, the film shows a country torn apart by the struggle between government soldiers and rebel forces.

No Man’s Land (2001)

Bosnia and Herzegovina during 1993 at the time of the heaviest fighting between the two warring sides. Two soldiers from opposing sides in the conflict, Nino and Ciki, become trapped in no man's land, while a third soldier becomes a living booby trap.

The Perfect Circle (1997)

A Bosnian poet befriends two orphaned brothers, who have escaped a massacre in their own village, and together, they try to survive the horror of the siege of Sarajevo.

Before the rain (1994)

The circularity of violence seen in a story that circles on itself. In Macedonia, during war in Bosnia, Christians hunt an ethnic Albanian girl who may have murdered one of their own. Told in three parts, and linked by characters and events, "Before the Rain" explores the uncompromising nature of war as it ravages the lives of unsuspecting, and forces the innocent to take sides.

Waltz with Bashir (2008)

An Israeli film director interviews fellow veterans of the 1982 invasion of Lebanon to reconstruct his own memories of his term of service in that conflict.

God Grew Tired of Us (2006)

Four boys from Sudan embark on a journey to America after years of wandering Sub-Saharan Africa in search of safety.

Plot summaries courtesy imdb.com