The best poor vs. rich books

Melanie S. Wolfe Author Of Land of Tornadoes
By Melanie S. Wolfe

The Books I Picked & Why

The Hunger Games

By Suzanne Collins

Book cover of The Hunger Games

Why this book?

Sometimes we think of a rebel as an out-of-control, crazy hooligan when most of the time it is a normal, humble person who has been pushed to their limits due to unfair circumstances. Katniss, the main character, was very relatable to me. I’m protective of my little sisters, and I know what it’s like to live in harsh conditions. What I loved about Katness though is that she went from protecting her sister to fighting for all the districts, later in the series. She was selfless and had a true service to humanity mentality which is rare. 

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The Grapes of Wrath

By John Steinbeck

Book cover of The Grapes of Wrath

Why this book?

Coming from poverty, I mean, we were so poor I watched my mother shoplift a package of meat and a can of green beans one time so that we could eat that night, I really appreciated the struggles. I am a sucker for ‘big family’ dramas too and add that I lived in Oklahoma and most of my books were set in Oklahoma, this story had a huge impact on me and my novel. What I didn’t like though was the family’s inability to fight the system. I love a good David and Goliath story!

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The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

By Stieg Larsson

Book cover of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Why this book?

No, this story wasn’t so much about poor vs. rich, other than Lisbeth Salander being poor and the bad guy being an elitist prick. I love a good hacker story and what better rebel to throw into the hacking world than Lisbeth Salander? Closed off, tough, and wickedly smart. I love that the author gave her skills to hold her own. Lisbeth, is the kind of rebel who we all desperately hope will 1. find the bad guy and 2. get some serious therapy. 

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The Outsiders

By S.E. Hinton

Book cover of The Outsiders

Why this book?

If you grow up in Oklahoma The Outsiders is required reading in school. It was one of the few required novels I didn’t hate reading. I could relate to their struggles and feeling like second-class citizens compared to the Socs. It’s still one of my top ten favorite books to this day. I wish that the author gave them some ammo to fight the system and rise above their circumstances. 

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Little Fires Everywhere

By Celeste Ng

Book cover of Little Fires Everywhere

Why this book?

I loved the dynamics of the two families and how the mothers are kind of thrown together and forced into a relationship neither wants. Both families have their secrets, dysfunctions, and hurdles to overcome. And that’s the exact dynamic I had in mind when I wrote my book; the Wilsons, being broke, surviving off the land, and dealing with their goodhearted, kind father who pushes them all to take up his fight and hack his former employer (Colossal Oil) and the Carters, the rich family that owns the oil company and yet are deeply tied to the Wilsons. Give me a good messy relationship and then make them from two different social classes, like in Little Fires Everywhere, and it's reading time! Pop some popcorn, give me a blanket and lock me in a room.

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