High School Summer Reading List

  • Fiction
    Classic
    Fantasy
    Historical
    Miscellaneous
    Mystery
    Realistic
    Romance
    Science Fiction
     
     
     
    Adventure Fiction
     
    Cormier, Robert, After the First Death (YAFiction).The hijacking of a bus of children by terrorists is described from the perspectives of a hostage, a terrorist, an Army general involved in the rescue operation, and the general's son who has been chosen as the go-between.

    Defoe, Daniel, Robinson Crusoe. Story of a young seaman cast ashore on an uninhabited tropical island.

    Dumas, Alexandre, The Three Musketeers. The heroic young d'Artagnan and his noble compatriots Athos, Porthos, and Aramis are pitted against the master of intrigue, Cardinal Richelieu, and the quintessential wicked woman, Lady de Winter.

    Farmer, Nancy, A Girl Named Disaster (YA Fiction).While fleeing from Mozambique to Zimbabwe to escape an unwanted marriage, Nhamo, an eleven-year-old Shona girl, struggles to escape drowning and starvation and in so doing comes close to the luminous world of the African spirits.

    Fleischman, Paul, Whirligig. (YA Fiction) While traveling to each corner of the country to build a whirligig in memory of the girl whose death he causes, sixteen-year-old Brian finds forgiveness and atonement.

    Golding, William, Lord of the Flies. After a plane crash strands them on a tropical island while the rest of the world is ravaged by war, a group of British schoolboys attempts to form a civilized society but descends into brutal anarchy.

    Gurney, James, Dinotopia: A Land Apart from Time (Adult Fiction).In 1862, after being shipwrecked in uncharted seas, Professor Arthur Denison and his twelve-year-old son Will find themselves washed up on a strange island where people and dinosaurs live together peacefully.

    Hinton, S. E., The Outsiders. The struggle of three brothers to stay together after their parents' death and their quest for identity among conflicting values of their adolescent society.

    Hobbs, Will, Downriver (YA Fiction).Jessie and the other rebellious teenage members of a wilderness survival school team abandon their adult leader and try to run the dangerous white water of the Grand Canyon.

    Hobbs, Will, Far North (YA Fiction).After the destruction of their floatplane, sixteen- year-old Gabe and his Dene friend, Raymond, struggle to survive a winter in the wilderness of the Northwest Territories.

    Laird, Elizabeth, Kiss the Dust (YA Fiction).Her father's involvement with the Kurdish resistance movement in Iraq forces thirteen-year-old Tara to flee with her family over the border into Iran, where they face an uncertain future.

    London, Jack, The Call of the Wild. Jack London's classic tale in which a dog in the Klondike reverts to wilderness life and becomes the leader of a pack of wolves.

    Marsden, John, Tomorrow, When the War Began (YA Fiction).Seven Australian teenagers return from a camping trip in the bush to discover that their country has been invaded and they must hide to stay alive. (One of many popular novels by John Marsden)

    McCaffrey, Anne, Dragonsong (YA Fiction).Forbidden by her father to indulge in music in any way, a girl on the planet Pern runs away, taking shelter with the planet's fire lizards who, along with her music, open a new life for her. (Series)

    McKinley, Robin, Blue Sword (YA Fiction).Harry, bored with her sheltered life in the remote orange-growing colony of Daria, discovers magic in herself when she is kidnapped by a native king with mysterious powers.

    Myers, Walter Dean, Fallen Angels (YA Fiction).Seventeen-year-old Richie Perry, just out of his Harlem high school, enlists in the Army in the summer of 1967 and spends a devastating year on active duty in Vietnam.

    Paolini, Christopher, Eragon. (YA Fiction) In Aagaesia, a fifteen-year-old boy of unknown lineage called Eragon finds a mysterious stone that weaves his life into an intricate tapestry of destiny, magic, and power, peopled with dragons, elves, and monsters. (Series)

    Pullman, Philip, The Golden Compass (YA Fiction).Accompanied by her daemon, Lyra Belacqua sets out to prevent her best friend and other kidnapped children from becoming the subject of gruesome experiments in the Far North.

    Stevenson, Robert Louis, Treasure Island. While going through the possessions of a deceased guest who owed them money, the mistress of the inn and her son find a treasure map that leads them to a pirate's fortune.

    Stewart, Mary, The Crystal Cave. Merlin, the son of a Welsh princess, survives a perilous childhood on his way to fulfill his destiny as mentor, advisor, and friend to King Arthur.

    White, Robb, Deathwatch (YA Fiction).Needing money for school, a college student accepts a job as a guide on a desert hunting trip and nearly loses his life.
     
     
    Classic Fiction
     
    Agee, James, A Death in the Family. The story of a family for the first few days after the accidental death of the 35-year-old husband and father.

    Anonymous, Beowulf. Tells the story of the hero Beowulf, slayer of the monster Grendel.

    Austen, Jane, Pride and Prejudice. In early nineteenth-century England, a spirited young woman copes with the courtship of a snobbish gentleman as well as the romantic entanglements of her four sisters.

    Baldwin, James, Go Tell It On the Mountain. Describes a day in the life of several members of a Harlem fundamentalist church. The saga of three generations of people is related through flashbacks.

    Bronte, Charlotte, Jane Eyre. Jane, a plain and penniless orphan in nineteenth-century England, accepts employment as a governess at Thornfield Hall and soon finds herself in love with her melancholy employer, Mr. Edward Rochester, a man with a terrible secret.

    Bronte, Emily, Wuthering Heights. Heathcliff tries desperately to win back the woman he loves, only to find out she has died.

    Camus, Albert, The Stranger. Camus asks if there is a God or just a cold indifferent universe in this story of the trial of a man who commits a pointless murder.

    Cather, Willa, Death Comes for the Archbishop. Story of a priest who sets out to win the Southwest for Catholicism.

    Chaucer, Geoffrey, The Canterbury Tales. "The Canterbury Tales," is a medieval classic, a series of stories narrated by pilgrims as they journey for five days from Southwark to Canterbury on their way to the shrine of Saint Thomas.

    Chekhov, Anton, The Cherry Orchard. Should an aristocratic family in decline stick to owning their cherry orchard (representative of the grandiose trappings of Russian aristocracy), or give in to modern commercialization in order to survive? How should one live and what is the value of tradition?

    Chopin, Kate, The Awakening. The story of a married woman who pursues love outside a stuffy, middle-class marriage.

    Conrad, Joseph, Heart of Darkness. The captain of a steamship on the Congo River meets and observes Mr. Kurtz, the fabled chief of the Inner Station for the trading company on that river in 1890.
     
    Cooney, Caroline B., Flight #116 Is Down (YA Fiction).Teenager Heidi Landseth helps rescue people from a plane crash on her family's property, and the experience changes her life forever.

    Cooper, James Fenimore, The Last of the Mohicans. Hawkeye, a young frontier scout, and Uncas, a Mohican Indian, form an unlikely friendship as they battle against the Iroquois Indians and try to preserve the unspoiled wilderness

    Cormier, Robert, The Chocolate War: A Novel (YA Fiction).A young high school student refuses to join in the school's annual fund raising drive and learns about intimidation and peer pressure first hand.

    Crane, Stephen, The Red Badge of Courage. During his service in the Civil War a young Union soldier matures to manhood and finds peace of mind as he comes to grips with his conflicting emotions about war.

    Dante, Inferno. The story of a man making his way through the torment of Hell in search of Paradise, written by Renaissance poet, Dante Alighieri.

    De Cervantes, Miguel, Don Quixote. Cervantes's epic tale of an eccentric country gentleman and his companion who set out as a knight and squire of old to right wrongs and punish evil in sixteenth-century Spain.

    Defoe, Daniel, Robinson Crusoe. Story of a young seaman cast ashore on an uninhabited tropical island.

    Dickens, Charles, A Tale of Two Cities. An historical novel set in Paris and London during the French Revolution, in which a French nobleman, Charles Darnay, renounces his position and leaves his country, then returns during the Terror to save the life of a servant, putting himself in grave danger.

    Dostoyevsky, Fyodor, Crime and Punishment. A desperate young man plans the perfect crime--the murder of a despicable pawnbroker. The subsequent guilt with which he struggles results in a tragedy of tension and terror.

    Dumas, Alexandre, The Three Musketeers. The heroic young d'Artagnan and his noble compatriots Athos, Porthos, and Aramis are pitted against the master of intrigue, Cardinal Richelieu, and the quintessential wicked woman, Lady de Winter.

    Eliot, George, The Mill on the Floss. Young Maggie Tulliver's loyalty to her beloved older brother, Tom, and to the rest of her family is fatally torn when she falls in love with the son of her father's bitterest enemy.
     
    Ellison, Ralph, Invisible Man. This is the odyssey of one black man's fervent search for his own identity.
     
    Faulkner, William, As I Lay Dying. Describes a family's struggle to get their mother properly buried, while they encounter catastrophes of flood and fire, as well as the chaos of their own feelings.

    Faulkner, William, The Sound and the Fury. Depicts the gradual disintegration of the Compson family that ends in a loveless and self-centered existence.

    Fielding, Henry, Tom Jones. Describes the foundling, Tom Jones, who grows up to be charismatic and generous, but with a tendency toward dissipation.

    Fitzgerald, F. Scott, The Great Gatsby. Tells the tragic love story of Gatsby and Daisy Buchanan, a dashing, enigmatic millionaire obsessed with an elusive, spoiled young woman in the 1920s.

    Flaubert, Gustave, Madame Bovary. The desires and illusions of Emma Bovary, the bored wife of a provincial doctor in mid-nineteenth-century France, are shattered when reality catches up with her.

    Goethe, Johann Wolfgang von, Faust. Goethe's classic work in which a man bargains away his soul to regain his youth.

    Hardy, Thomas, Tess of the d’Urbervilles. A young woman who attempts to restore her family's fortunes, is seduced by a heartless aristocrat, and is punished by society's double standards when she gets a chance at real love.

    Hawthorne, Nathaniel, The Scarlet Letter. Hester Prynne, a young wife in colonial New England, is sentenced to wear a scarlet "A" on her clothing, as a public acknowledgement of her sin of adultery.

    Homer, The Iliad. Stirring story of the Trojan War and the struggle between Achilles and Hector that saves the Greeks and destroys the Trojans.

    Homer, The Odyssey. The Greek warrior-king, Odysseus encounters many adventures in his long journey home from the Trojan Wars.

    Hugo, Victor, The Hunchback of Notre Dame. Classic tale of heroism and adventure set amidst the riot, intrigue, and pageantry of medieval Paris. Quasiomdo, the hunchback who rings the Cathedral bells, and Frollo both love Esmeralda, who has already married to save the life of another.

    Huxley, Aldous, Brave New World. A satirical novel about the utopia of the future, a world in which babies are decanted from bottles and the great Ford is worshipped.

    Ibsen, Henrik, A Doll’s House. A drama set in 19th century Norway, in which an upper class housewife asserts her rights as a woman and shocks her husband and society.
     
    James, Henry, The Portrait of a Lady. Young American Isabel Archer charms European society, but falls prey to the machinations of a calculating older woman.

    James, Henry, The Turn of the Screw.  A ghost story in which a governess believes two children are haunted by the evil spirits of two former servants.

    Joyce, James, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, A young man severs all conventional ties in order to test his singular vision against the reality of an indifferent world.

    Kafka, Franz, The Metamorphosis. A young man wakes up one morning to find himself transformed into a giant beetle-like insect. He becomes an object of disgrace to his family and an alienated man.

    Lee, Harper, To Kill a Mockingbird. A girl tells about the bigotry and hatred in Alabama during the 1930s when her father, a lawyer, defended an African-American man accused of raping a white woman.

    Mann, Thomas, The Magic Mountain. The story of Hans Castorp, a young German engineer, who goes to visit a cousin in a tuberculosis sanatorium in the mountains of Davos, Switzerland.

    Melville, Herman, Bartleby the Scrivener. This is a moral allegory set in the business world of mid-nineteenth-century New York.

    Melville, Herman, Moby Dick. Captain Ahab's determination to find and kill the great white whale becomes an obsession driving him to disaster.

    Miller, Arthur, The Crucible. Presents Arthur Miller's drama about the hysteria that gripped Salem, Massachusetts in 1692 after a vengeful teenager leveled an accusation of witchcraft against her employer.
     
    Pasternak, Boris, Doctor Zhivago. Presents the classic story of Dr. Zhivago and Lara who fall in love in the midst of the turmoil of the Russian Revolution.

    Plath, Sylvia, The Bell Jar. The author presents a first-person narrative that chronicles the mental break-down of Esther Greenwood from the doctor's office to the asylum.

    Poe, Edgar Allan, Selected Tales. An anthology of several of his classics such as "The Tell-Tale Heart," "The Pit and the Pendulum," "The Murders in the Rue Morgue," and other tales.

    Rostand, Edmond, Cyrano de Bergerac. This French drama, set in seventeenth-century France during Louis XIII's reign, tells about Cyrano de Bergerac, a French soldier, poet, and swordsman who longs for the love of the beautiful Roxanne. He fears she will reject him because of his prodigious nose so he lends his words to the beautiful Christian who wins her heart in his place.
     
    Shakespeare, William, Hamlet. Shakespeare's tragedy in which a Danish prince seeks vengeance for his father's murder after being visited by his ghost.

    Shakespeare, William, Macbeth. Presents Shakespeare's play about a Scottish nobleman and his power hungry wife who brutally overtake their kingdom's throne, and whose arrogant misinterpretation of prophecy leads to their downfall.

    Shakespeare, William, A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Shakespeare’s comedy in which two sets of lovers become caught up in a dispute between the fairy king and queen.

    Shakespeare, William, Romeo and Juliet. Shakespeare's classic drama in which two teens from feuding families fall in love and secretly marry, setting tragic events into motion.

    Shaw, George Bernard, Pygmalion. A professor of phonetics takes on the challenge of turning a London flower girl into a sophisticated lady.

    Shelley, Mary, Frankenstein. A monster assembled by a scientist from parts of dead bodies develops a mind of his own as he learns to loathe himself and hate his creator.

    Sophocles, Antigone. Antigone defies her uncle, the king, by attempting to bury her dead brother.
     
    Sophocles, Oedipus Rex. Tells the story of Oedipus' realization of his primal crime, killing his father and marrying his mother.

    Stevenson, Robert Louis, Treasure Island. While going through the possessions of a deceased guest who owed them money, the mistress of the inn and her son find a treasure map that leads them to a pirate's fortune.

    Stowe, Harriet Beecher, Uncle Tom’s Cabin. Presents the controversial novel, published in 1852, in which author Harriet Beecher Stowe offers an indictment of the pre-Civil War South through the story of Uncle Tom, an elderly slave who maintains his human dignity in the face of cruelty, suffering, and death.

    Swift, Jonathan, Gulliver’s Travels. Presents Jonathan Swift's satire in which a shipwrecked Englishman encounters bizarre populations in unheard-of lands, including an enlightened race of horses that makes him see his fellow humans in a different light.

    Thackaeray, William, Vanity Fair. The English classic about a social climber in Victorian London.

    Tolstoy, Leo, War and Peace. The story of a handful of individuals' coming-of-age during the invasion of Russia by Napoleon.
     
    Twain, Mark, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Huck Finn, the son of the town drunk, and Jim, an escaped slave, make a break for freedom down the vast Mississippi River on a raft.

    Voltaire, Candide. The story of a simple, optimistic man whose travels take him from one disaster to another.

    Wharton, Edith, The House of Mirth. Lily Bart was comfortable in turn-of-the-century New York's society circles, until
    she broke the rules which denied her nothing but honor.

    Wilde, Oscar, The Picture of Dorian Gray. A youth of exceptional beauty gets his wish to remain untouched by the passage of time when it is arranged that his portrait will age in his place.

    Wright, Richard, Native Son. Trapped in the poverty-stricken ghetto of Chicago's South Side, a young African-American man finds release only in acts of violence.
     
     
    Fantasy Fiction
     
    Adams, Richard, Watership Down. Chronicles the adventures of a group of rabbits searching for a safe place to establish a new warren where they can live in peace.

    Atwood, Margaret, Handmaid's Tale. Set in the near future, America has become a puritanical theocracy and Offred tells her story as a Handmaid under the new social order.

    Brooks, Terry, Magic Kingdom for Sale--Sold! (YA Fiction). Landover was a genuine magic kingdom, but once Ben Holiday purchases it, he learns the details that the ad failed to mention.

    Dickinson, Peter, Eva (YA Fiction).After a terrible accident, a young girl wakes up to discover that she has been given the body of a chimpanzee.

    Kindl, Patrice, Owl in Love (YA Fiction).A fourteen-year-old girl, who can transform into an owl, has a crush on her science teacher which leads her into interesting new relationships with both humans and owls.

    McCaffrey, Anne, Dragonsong (YA Fiction).Forbidden by her father to indulge in music in any way, a girl on the planet Pern runs away, taking shelter with the planet's fire lizards who, along with her music, open a new life for her. (Series)

    McKinley, Robin, Beauty: A Retelling of the Story of Beauty and the Beast (YA Fiction).Beauty grows to love the Beast at whose castle she is compelled to stay and through her love releases him from the spell which had turned him from a handsome prince into an ugly beast.

    McKinley, Robin, Blue Sword (YA Fiction).Harry, bored with her sheltered life in the remote orange-growing colony of Daria, discovers magic in herself when she is kidnapped by a native king with mysterious powers.

    Nix, Garth, Sabriel (YA Fiction).Sabriel, daughter of the necromancer Abhorsen, must journey into the mysterious and magical Old Kingdom to rescue her father from the Land of the Dead. (Series)

    Orwell, George, Animal Farm. A political satire in which the animals take over running the farm but find their utopian state turning into a dictatorship.

    Paolini, Christopher, Eragon. (YA Fiction) In Aagaesia, a fifteen-year-old boy of unknown lineage called Eragon finds a mysterious stone that weaves his life into an intricate tapestry of destiny, magic, and power, peopled with dragons, elves, and monsters. (Series)

    Pullman, Philip, The Golden Compass (YA Fiction).Accompanied by her daemon, Lyra Belacqua sets out to prevent her best friend and other kidnapped children from becoming the subject of gruesome experiments in the Far North.
     
    Rowling, J.K., Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (YA Fiction).Rescued from his neglectful aunt and uncle, a young boy proves his worth while attending Hogwarts School for Wizards and Witches. (Series)

    Schreiber, Ellen, Vampire Kisses, (YA Fiction). Sixteen-year-old Raven, an outcast who always wears black and hopes to become a vampire some day, falls in love with the mysterious new boy in town, eager to find out if he can make her dreams come true. (Series)

    Stewart, Mary, The Crystal Cave. Merlin, the son of a Welsh princess, survives a perilous childhood on his way to fulfill his destiny as mentor, advisor, and friend to King Arthur.

    Wrede, Patricia C, Dealing with Dragons (YA Fiction).Bored with traditional palace life, a princess goes off to live with a group of dragons and soon becomes involved with fighting against some disreputable wizards who want to steal the dragons' kingdom.

    Yolen, Jane, Briar Rose. In this retelling of "Sleeping Beauty," a young woman learns that her grandmother had a secret past tied to the Holocaust.
     
     
    Historical Fiction
     
    Achebe, Chinua, Things Fall Apart. A story of a strong man who is motivated by fear and rage.

    Cather, Willa, Death Comes for the Archbishop. Story of a priest who sets out to win the Southwest for Catholicism.

    Cushman, Karen, Catherine, Called Birdy (YA Fiction).The daughter of an English country knight keeps a journal in which she records the events of her life, particularly her longing for adventures beyond the usual role of women and her efforts to avoid being married off.

    Cushman, Karen, The Midwife's Apprentice (YA Fiction).In medieval England, a nameless, homeless girl is taken in by a sharp-tempered midwife, and in spite of obstacles and hardship, eventually gains the three things she most wants: a full belly, a contented heart, and a place in this world.

    Fitzgerald, F. Scott, The Great Gatsby. Tells the tragic love story of Gatsby and Daisy Buchanan, a dashing, enigmatic millionaire obsessed with an elusive, spoiled young woman in the 1920s.

    Fleischman, Paul, Bull Run (YA Fiction).Northerners, Southerners, generals, couriers, dreaming boys, and worried sisters describe the glory, the horror, the thrill, and the disillusionment of the first battle of the Civil War.
     
    Heller, Joseph, Catch 22. A bombardier, based in Italy during World War II, repeatedly tries to avoid flying bombing missions while his colonel tries to get him killed by demanding that he fly more and more missions.

    Hemingway, Ernest, A Farewell to Arms. A story of love and war on the Italian front during World War I.

    Magorian, Michelle, Good Night, Mr. Tom (YA Fiction).A battered child learns to embrace life when he is adopted by an old man in the English countryside during World War II.

    Morrison, Toni, Beloved. In post-Civil War Ohio, the past continues to haunt the ex-slave Sethe and the surviving members of her family.

    Myers, Walter Dean, Fallen Angels (YA Fiction).Seventeen-year-old Richie Perry, just out of his Harlem high school, enlists in the Army in the summer of 1967 and spends a devastating year on active duty in Vietnam.

    O'Brien, Tim, Things They Carried (Adult Fiction).A series of connected stories based on the author's experiences in Vietnam.
     
    Paterson, Katherine, Jacob Have I Loved (YA Fiction).Feeling deprived all her life of schooling, friends, mother, and even her name by her twin sister, Louise finally begins to find her identity.

    Paterson, Katherine, Lyddie (YA Fiction).Impoverished Vermont farm girl Lyddie Worthen is determined to gain her independence by becoming a factory worker in Lowell, Massachusetts, in the 1840s.

    Paulsen, Gary, Soldier's Heart (YA Fiction).Eager to enlist, fifteen-year-old Charley has a change of heart after experiencing both the physical horrors and mental anguish of Civil War combat. (One of many popular novels by Gary Paulsen)

    Pullman, Philip, The Ruby in the Smoke (YA Fiction).In nineteenth-century London, sixteen-year-old Sally, a recent orphan, becomes involved in a deadly search for a mysterious ruby.

    Remarque, Erich Maria, All Quiet on the Western Front. During the last days of World War I, a group of German soldiers suffer physically and mentally as their idealistic dreams of glory turn into a desperate struggle to stay alive.

    Silko, Leslie Marmon, Ceremony. Follows Tayo, a young Native American, after his release from a veteran's hospital following World War II as he searches for meaning and sanity in his life.

    Solzhenitsyn, Alexander, One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich. The story of one man's struggle to survive in a Soviet workcamp during the Stalin era.

    Steinbeck, John, The Grapes of Wrath. The Joads abandon their dust-bowl family farm in Oklahoma during the Depression and migrate to the Promised Land of California, only to discover that the promises are empty.

    Thackaeray, William, Vanity Fair. The English classic about a social climber in Victorian London.
     
    Tolstoy, Leo, War and Peace. The story of a handful of individuals' coming-of-age during the invasion of Russia by Napoleon.

    Zusak, Marcus The Book Thief This novel about life in Nazi Germany is narrated by Death, who has a surprising sense of humor under the circumstances.
     
     
    Micellaneous
     
    Cooney, Caroline B., Flight #116 Is Down (YA Fiction).Teenager Heidi Landseth helps rescue people from a plane crash on her family's property, and the experience changes her life forever.

    Cormier, Robert, The Chocolate War: A Novel (YA Fiction).A young high school student refuses to join in the school's annual fund raising drive and learns about intimidation and peer pressure first hand.

    Crutcher, Chris, Athletic Shorts: 6 Short Stories (YA Fiction).A collection of short stories featuring athletes who take on such weighty issues as racism, homophobia, sexism and the teenager's essential task of coming to terms with his parents

    Dreiser, Theodore, An American Tragedy. The story of an impoverished young man whose dreams of self-betterment lead him to commit a horrible murder.

    Duncan, Lois, I Know What You Did Last Summer. (YA Fiction) Four teen-agers who have desperately tried to conceal their responsibility for a hit-and-run accident are pursued by a mystery figure seeking revenge. (One of many popular titles by Lois Duncan)

    Marquez, Gabriel Garcia, One Hundred Years of Solitude. Tells the story of the rich and lusty story of the rise and fall of the Buendia family.

    O’Connor, Flannery, A Good Man is Hard to Find. O'Connor's apocalyptic vision of life is expressed through grotesque, often comic, situations in which the principal character faces a problem of salvations.

    O’Neill, Eugene, Long Day’s Journey into Night. This is an autobiographical play about the "Tyrones"--a fictional name for the O'Neills. The youngest son (Edmond) is sent to a sanitarium to recover from tuberculosis and he despises his father for sending him. His mother is wrecked by narcotics and his older brother by alcohol.

    Welty, Eudora, Collected Stories. A collection of thirty-nine previously published and two unpublished stories by twentieth-century American author Eudora Welty.
     
     
    Mystery Fiction
     
    Cormier, Robert, I Am the Cheese (YA Fiction).A young boy desperately tries to unlock his past yet knows he must hide those memories if he is to remain alive.

    Meyer, Stephenie, Twilight. (YA Fiction) When seventeen-year-old Bella leaves Phoenix to live with her father in Forks, Washington, she meets an exquisitely handsome boy at school for whom she feels an overwhelming attraction and who she comes to realize is not wholly human. (Series)

    Pullman, Philip, The Ruby in the Smoke (YA Fiction).In nineteenth-century London, sixteen-year-old Sally, a recent orphan, becomes involved in a deadly search for a mysterious ruby.
     
    Sachar, Louis, Holes (YA Fiction).As further evidence of his family's bad fortune which they attribute to a curse on a distant relative, Stanley Yelnats is sent to a correctional camp in the Texas desert where he finds his first real friend, a treasure, and a new sense of himself.

    Schreiber, Ellen, Vampire Kisses, (YA Fiction). Sixteen-year-old Raven, an outcast who always wears black and hopes to become a vampire some day, falls in love with the mysterious new boy in town, eager to find out if he can make her dreams come true. (Series)
     
     
    Realistic Fiction
     
    Agee, James, A Death in the Family. The story of a family for the first few days after the accidental death of the 35-year-old husband and father.

    Anonymous, Go Ask Alice. Based on the diary of a fifteen-year-old drug user chronicling her daily struggle to escape the pull of the drug world.

    Asher, Jay, 13 Reasons Why A high school student receives a mysterious collection of audiotapes from a girl who committed suicide and, as he listens to them, he finds out what—and who—led to her death.

    Avi, Blue Heron (YA Fiction). While spending the month of August on the Massachusetts shore with her father, stepmother, and their new baby, almost thirteen-year-old Maggie finds beauty in and draws strength from a great blue heron, even as the family around her unravels.

    Avi, Nothing but the Truth (YA Fiction). A ninth-grader's suspension for singing "The Star-Spangled Banner" during homeroom becomes a national news story.

    Baldwin, James, Go Tell It On the Mountain. Describes a day in the life of several members of a Harlem fundamentalist church. The saga of three generations of people is related through flashbacks.

    Bauer, Joan, Rules of the Road (YA Fiction). Sixteen-year-old Jenna gets a job driving the elderly owner of a chain of successful shoe stores from Chicago to Texas to confront the son who is trying to force her to retire, and along the way
    Jenna hones her talents as a saleswoman and finds the strength to face her alcoholic father.

    Bellow, Saul, The Adventures of Augie March. Describes the life of Augie March, a poor Chicago boy growing up during the Depression, and his search for a career.

    Brooks, Bruce, The Moves Make the Man (YA Fiction). A black basketball player and an emotionally troubled white shortstop in North Carolina form a precarious friendship.

    Childress, Alice, Hero Ain't Nothin but a Sandwich (YA Fiction). The life of a thirteen-year-old Harlem black boy on his way to becoming a confirmed heroin addict is seen from his viewpoint and from that of several people around him.

    Cooney, Caroline B., Flight #116 Is Down (YA Fiction).Teenager Heidi Landseth helps rescue people from a plane crash on her family's property, and the experience changes her life forever.

    Cormier, Robert, The Chocolate War: A Novel (YA Fiction).A young high school student refuses to join in the school's annual fund raising drive and learns about intimidation and peer pressure first hand.

    Crutcher, Chris, Athletic Shorts: 6 Short Stories (YA Fiction).A collection of short stories featuring athletes who take on such weighty issues as racism, homophobia, sexism and the teenager's essential task of coming to terms with his parents.

    Crutcher, Chris, Chinese Handcuffs (YA Fiction).Still troubled by his older brother's violent suicide, eighteen-year-old Dillon becomes deeply involved in the terrible secret of his friend Jennifer, who feels she can tell no one what her stepfather is doing to her.

    Crutcher, Chris, Ironman (YA Fiction).While training for a triathlon, seventeen-year-old Bo attends an anger management group at school which leads him to examine his relationship with his father.

    Crutcher, Chris, Running Loose (YA Fiction).Louie, a high school senior in a small Idaho town, learns about sportsmanship, love, and death as he matures into manhood.

    Crutcher, Chris, Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes (YA Fiction).The daily class discussions about the nature of man, the existence of God, abortion, organized religion, suicide and other contemporary issues serve as a backdrop for a high-school senior's attempt to answer a friend's dramatic cry for help.

    Dessen, Sarah, Someone Like You (YA Fiction). Halley's junior year of high school includes the death of her best friend Scarlett's boyfriend, the discovery that Scarlett is pregnant, and Halley's own first serious relationship.

    Draper, Sharon M., Tears of a Tiger (YA Fiction).The death of high school basketball star Rob Washington in an automobile accident affects the lives of his close friend Andy, who was driving the car, and many others in the school.

    Dreiser, Theodore, An American Tragedy. The story of an impoverished young man whose dreams of self-betterment lead him to commit a horrible murder.

    Ford, Ford Madox, The Good Soldier. The fragile society in which a British couple and an American couple live in pre-World War I Europe is ruptured, revealing deceit, hatred, infidelity, and betrayal.

    Ellison, Ralph, Invisible Man. This is the odyssey of one black man's fervent search for his own identity.

    Grimes, Nikki, Bronx Masquerade. (YA Fiction) While studying the Harlem Renaissance, students at a Bronx high school read aloud poems they've written, revealing their innermost thoughts and fears to their formerly clueless classmates.

    Hesser, Terry Spencer, Kissing Doorknobs (YA Fiction).Fourteen-year-old Tara describes how her increasingly strange compulsions begin to take over her life and affect her relationships with her family and friends.
     
    Hinton, S. E., The Outsiders. The struggle of three brothers to stay together after their parents' death and their quest for identity among conflicting values of their adolescent society.

    Hosseini, Khaled The Kite Runner Amir, haunted by his betrayal of Hassan, the son of his father's servant and a childhood friend, returns to Kabul as an adult after he learns Hassan has been killed, in an attempt to redeem himself by rescuing Hassan's son from a life of slavery to a Taliban official.

    Hurwin, Davida Wills, A Time for Dancing (YA Fiction).Seventeen-year-old best friends Samantha and Juliana tell their stories in alternating chapters after Juliana is diagnosed with cancer.

    Laird, Elizabeth, Kiss the Dust (YA Fiction).Her father's involvement with the Kurdish resistance movement in Iraq forces thirteen-year-old Tara to flee with her family over the border into Iran, where they face an uncertain future.

    Lee, Harper, To Kill a Mockingbird. A girl tells about the bigotry and hatred in Alabama during the 1930s when her father, a lawyer, defended an African-American man accused of raping a white woman.
    Lewis, Sinclair, Babbitt. Depicts middle class life in America through the character of George Babbitt, a middle-aged businessman in an average Midwestern city.

    Mann, Thomas, The Magic Mountain. The story of Hans Castorp, a young German engineer, who goes to visit a cousin in a tuberculosis sanatorium in the mountains of Davos, Switzerland.

    McDonald, Joyce, Swallowing Stones (YA Fiction).Dual perspectives reveal the aftermath of seventeen-year-old Michael MacKenzie's birthday celebration during which he discharges an antique Winchester rifle and unknowingly kills the father of high school classmate Jenna Ward.

    Myers, Walter Dean, Fallen Angels (YA Fiction).Seventeen-year-old Richie Perry, just out of his Harlem high school, enlists in the Army in the summer of 1967 and spends a devastating year on active duty in Vietnam.

    Myers, Walter Dean, Hoops (YA Fiction).A teenage basketball player from Harlem is befriended by a former professional player who, after being forced to quit because of a point shaving scandal, hopes to prevent other young athletes from repeating his mistake.

    Myers, Walter Dean, Slam (YA Fiction).Sixteen-year-old "Slam" Harris is counting on his noteworthy basketball talents to get him out of the inner city and give him a chance to succeed in life, but his coach sees things differently.

    Myers, Walter Dean, Somewhere in the Darkness (YA Fiction).A teenage boy accompanies his father, who has recently escaped from prison, on a trip that turns out to be a time of, often painful, discovery for them both.

    O’Neill, Eugene, Long Day’s Journey into Night. This is an autobiographical play about the "Tyrones"--a fictional name for the O'Neills. The youngest son (Edmond) is sent to a sanitarium to recover from tuberculosis and he despises his father for sending him. His mother is wrecked by narcotics and his older brother by alcohol.

    Orr, Wendy, Peeling the Onion (YA Fiction).Following an automobile accident in which her neck is broken, a teenage karate champion begins a long and painful recovery with the help of her family.

    Plath, Sylvia, The Bell Jar. The author presents a first-person narrative that chronicles the mental break-down of Esther Greenwood from the doctor's office to the asylum.

    Potok, Chaim, The Chosen. Recounts the story of Reuven Malter and Danny Saunders--one an orthodox Jew, the other the son of a Hasidic rabbi--and the course of their friendship as they grow up in Brooklyn.

    Salinger, J.D., The Catcher in the Rye. An adolescent boy, knowing he is about to be dropped by his school, spends three days and nights in New York City.

    Sherman, Alexie, Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian Budding cartoonist Junior leaves his troubled school on the Spokane Indian Reservation to attend an all-white farm town school where the only other Native American is the school mascot.

    Spinelli, Jerry, Stargirl. (YA Fiction) In this story about the perils of popularity, the courage of nonconformity, and the thrill of first love, an eccentric student named Stargirl changes Mica High School forever.

    Staples, Suzanne Fisher, Shabanu: Daughter of the Wind (YA Fiction).When eleven-year old Shabanu, the daughter of a nomad in Pakistan, is pledged in marriage to an older man whose money will bring prestige to the family, she must either accept the decision, as is the custom, or risk the consequences of defying her father's wishes.

    Stork, Francisco, Marcelo in the Real World Marcelo Sandoval, a seventeen-year-old boy on the high-functioning end of the autistic spectrum, faces new challenges, including romance and injustice, when he goes to work for his father in the mailroom of a corporate law firm.

    Tan, Amy, The Joy Luck Club. Chronicles the lives of four Chinese women, their 40 year friendship and how the death of one brings her daughter into the fold and a new understanding for each.
    Voigt, Cynthia, Runner (YA Fiction).As a dedicated runner, a teenage boy has always managed to distance himself from other people until the experience of coaching one of his teammates on the track team gradually helps him see the value of giving and receiving.

    Walker, Alice, The Color Purple. Tells the story of two sisters: Nettie, a missionary in Africa, and Celie, a child-wife living in the South, in the medium of their letters to each other and in Celie's case, the desperate letters she begins, "Dear God."

    Woolf, Virginia, To the Lighthouse. Novel of the daily life of an English family in the Hebrides, by the English modernist whose work has been compared to Joyce and Proust.
    Wolff, Virginia Euwer, Make Lemonade (YA Fiction).In order to earn money for college, fourteen-year-old LaVaughn babysits for a teenage mother.

    Woodson, Jacqueline, If You Come Softly (YA Fiction).After meeting at their private school in New York, fifteen-year-old Jeremiah, who is black and whose parents are separated, and Ellie, who is white and whose mother has twice abandoned her, fall in love and then try to cope with people's reactions.
     
     
    Romance Fiction
     
    Austen, Jane, Pride and Prejudice. In early nineteenth-century England, a spirited young woman copes with the courtship of a snobbish gentleman as well as the romantic entanglements of her four sisters.

    Bronte, Charlotte, Jane Eyre. Jane, a plain and penniless orphan in nineteenth-century England, accepts employment as a governess at Thornfield Hall and soon finds herself in love with her melancholy employer, Mr. Edward Rochester, a man with a terrible secret.

    Bronte, Emily, Wuthering Heights. Heathcliff tries desperately to win back the woman he loves, only to find out she has died.

    Fitzgerald, F. Scott, The Great Gatsby. Tells the tragic love story of Gatsby and Daisy Buchanan, a dashing, enigmatic millionaire obsessed with an elusive, spoiled young woman in the 1920s.

    Hemingway, Ernest, A Farewell to Arms. A story of love and war on the Italian front during World War I.

    Hurston, Zora Neale, Their Eyes Were Watching God. A story about a young black woman and her coming to an understanding about love and happiness.

    McKinley, Robin, Beauty: A Retelling of the Story of Beauty and the Beast (YA Fiction).Beauty grows to love the Beast at whose castle she is compelled to stay and through her love releases him from the spell which had turned him from a handsome prince into an ugly beast.

    Meyer, Stephenie, Twilight. (YA Fiction) When seventeen-year-old Bella leaves Phoenix to live with her father in Forks, Washington, she meets an exquisitely handsome boy at school for whom she feels an overwhelming attraction and who she comes to realize is not wholly human. (Series)

    Sparks, Nicholas, A Walk to Remember, (Adult Fiction).When a twist of fate makes Jamie Sullivan his date at the homecoming dance, Landon Carter never dreamed they would fall in love, but as he comes to realize his true feelings for Jamie, he learns of a terrible secret that will take his love away from him forever. (One of many popular novels by Nicholas Sparks)

    Woodson, Jacqueline, If You Come Softly (YA Fiction).After meeting at their private school in New York, fifteen-year-old Jeremiah, who is black and whose parents are separated, and Ellie, who is white and whose mother has twice abandoned her, fall in love and then try to cope with people's reactions.
       
     
    Science Fiction
     
    Adams, Douglas, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Seconds before Earth is demolished to make room for a galactic freeway, an earthman is saved by his friend. Together they journey through the galaxy.

    Card, Orson Scott, Ender's Game (Adult Fiction).After the Earth is twice attacked by aliens, the world government begins breeding military geniuses, one of whom is Ender Wiggin. (Series)

    Dickinson, Peter, Eva (YA Fiction).After a terrible accident, a young girl wakes up to discover that she has been given the body of a chimpanzee.

    Farmer, Nancy, The Ear, the Eye, and the Arm (YA Fiction).In 2194 in Zimbabwe, General Matsika's three children are kidnapped and put to work in a plastic mine, while three mutant detectives use their special powers to search for them.

    Gurney, James, Dinotopia: A Land Apart from Time (Adult Fiction).In 1862, after being shipwrecked in uncharted seas, Professor Arthur Denison and his twelve-year-old son Will find themselves washed up on a strange island where people and dinosaurs live together peacefully.

    Huxley, Aldous, Brave New World. A satirical novel about the utopia of the future, a world in which babies are decanted from bottles and the great Ford is worshipped.

    Lowry, Lois, The Giver (YA Fiction).Given his lifetime assignment at the Ceremony of Twelve, Jonas becomes the receiver of memories shared by only one other in his community and discovers the terrible truth about the society in which he lives.

    Meyer, Stephenie, The Host Parasitic aliens are attempting to take over the earth by implanting themselves in the brains of humans. When Wanderer, a parasite, becomes implanted in Melanie Stryder, she finds herself caught up in a splinter group of humans trying to fight the alien menace, and strangely attracted to Melanie’s former boyfriend.

    O'Brien, Robert C., Z for Zachariah (YA Fiction).Seemingly the only person left alive after a nuclear war, a sixteen-year-old girl is relieved to see a man arrive into her valley until she realizes he is a tyrant and she must somehow escape.

    Sleator, William, House of Stairs (YA Fiction).Five sixteen-year-old orphans of widely varying personality characteristics are involuntarily placed in a house of endless stairs as subjects for a psychological experiment on conditioned human response.

    Vonnegut, Kurt Jr., Slaughterhouse-Five. From the World War II firebombing of Dresden to the distant planet called Tralfamadore, follow Billy Pilgrim in his pilgrimage toward hope.
     
     
    Supernatural/Horror Fiction
     
    Clare, Cassandra, City of Bones (First book in the mortal instruments series). After her mother disappears and she herself is nearly killed, Clary suddenly begins to see creatures called Darkhunters, who are attempting to return demons to their own dimension. [Teens who liked Twilight may like this series, which is similar in intensity.]

    Deuker, Carl, On the Devil's Court (YA Fiction). Struggling with his feelings of inadequacy and his failure to make the basketball team at his new school, seventeen-year-old Joe Faust finds himself willing to trade his soul for one perfect season of basketball.

    Duncan, Lois, I Know What You Did Last Summer. (YA Fiction) Four teen-agers who have desperately tried to conceal their responsibility for a hit-and-run accident are pursued by a mystery figure seeking revenge. (One of many popular titles by Lois Duncan)

    Farmer, Nancy, A Girl Named Disaster (YA Fiction).While fleeing from Mozambique to Zimbabwe to escape an unwanted marriage, Nhamo, an eleven-year-old Shona girl, struggles to escape drowning and starvation and in so doing comes close to the luminous world of the African spirits.

    Gaiman, Neil, The Graveyard Book This book begins with one of the best opening lines ever: There was a hand in the darkness, and it held a knife. In London, a toddler crawls out of his house while his family is being murdered and wanders into a graveyard, where he is raised by ghosts. As a teen, his family’s killer returns and he must use all his powers to resist him.

    Kindl, Patrice, Owl in Love (YA Fiction).A fourteen-year-old girl, who can transform into an owl, has a crush on her science teacher which leads her into interesting new relationships with both humans and owls.

    Klause, Annette Curtis, The Silver Kiss (YA Fiction).A mysterious teenage boy harboring a dark secret helps Zoe come to terms with her mother's terminal illness.

    Meyer, Stephenie, Twilight. (YA Fiction) When seventeen-year-old Bella leaves Phoenix to live with her father in Forks, Washington, she meets an exquisitely handsome boy at school for whom she feels an overwhelming attraction and who she comes to realize is not wholly human. (Series)

    Morrison, Toni, Beloved. In post-Civil War Ohio, the past continues to haunt the ex-slave Sethe and the surviving members of her family.

    Schwartz, Alvin, Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, (YA Fiction).Stories of ghosts and witches, "jump" stories, scary songs, and modern-day scary stories. (Series)
     
     
     
    Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul,(YA Fiction).A collection of essays that offer inspiration to teens, providing lessons on relationships, friendship, family, love and kindness, death, success, courage, and determination. (Series)
     
     
    McCall, Nathan, Makes Me Wanna Holler: A Young Black Man in America. McCall remembers his journey from a working-class African American neighborhood toprison to a prestigious position on the WASHINGTON POST.

    McKissack, Patricia C. and McKissack, Fredrick L., Rebels against Slavery: American Slave Revolts. Exciting profiles of heroic men and women tell accounts of those who rebelled againstslavery in North America.

    Stoll, Cliff, The Cuckoo's Egg: Tracking a Spy through the Maze of Computer Espionage. A young astrophysicist turns detective as he embarks on the trail of an elusive computerhacker who has managed to break into top-secret government and military data banks.
     
    Bodanis, David, Secret House: 24 Hours in the Strange and Unexpected World in Which We Spend Our Nights and Days. The microbiological drama found within a house is explored from early-morning to late-evening.

    Hoose, Phillip, Race to Save the Lord God Bird by Tells the story of the ivory-billed woodpecker's extinction in the United States, describing the encounters between this species and humans, and discussing what these encounters have taught us about preserving endangered creatures.
     
     
    Beckett, Samuel, Waiting for Godot (play).Two old tramps wait on a bare stretch of road near a tree for Godot.

    Foster, Thomas, How to Read Literature Like a Professor Presents a discussion on how to understand symbolism in literature.....and how to see patterns the way literature professors do.

    Janeczko, Paul B, Place My Words Are Looking For: What Poets Say About and Through Their Work. Writers share their poems and give insights into their craft and life.

    Nafisi, Azar, Reading Lolita in Tehran The author presents a memoir of her life in post-revolutionary Iran, focusing on her organization of a group of young women in 1997 who met secretly once a week to read and discuss forbidden works of Western literature.

    Whitman, Walt, Leaves of Grass. Contains 383 of Whitman's poems first published in 1892.

    Williams, Tennessee, The Glass Menagerie (Play). This is a tender, despairing portrait of two women, one lost in the past, the other in herself.
     
     
    Angelou, Maya, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. This remarkable, poetic and frank autobiography of a black girl who grew up inArkansas, St. Louis and San Francisco is for mature readers.

    Ashabranner, Brent, Always to Remember: The Vietnam Veterans Memorial. The story of Vietnam veteran Jan C. Scruggs's struggle to build a national monument honoring Americans who died or are missing in the Vietnam War.

    Boas, Jacob, We Are Witnesses: The Diaries of Five Teenagers Who Died in the Holocaust. The compelling and poignant diaries of five teenagers who died during the Holocaust tell their tragic, courageous stories.

    Brooks, Polly Schoyer, Beyond the Myth: The Story of Joan of Arc. Condemned as a witch but later canonized as a saint, young Joan, inspired by her love of France, leads her countrymen in their battle against the English.

    Cleary, Beverly, Girl from Yamhill: A Memoir. An honest and humorous account of the Depression-era childhood and adolescence of Beverly Cleary in Oregon, where she encountered many of the same situations that teens do today.

    Douglass, Frederick, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass. An autobiographical account by the runaway slave, Frederick Douglass, that chronicles his experiences with his owners and overseers, and discusses how slavery affected both slaves and slaveholders.

    Edelman, Bernard, Dear America: Letters Home from Vietnam. In their personal letters, soldiers and civilians reveal the pain, frustration, confusion, and danger that were part of their daily lives in Vietnam.

    Frank, Anne, The Diary of a Young Girl. A thirteen-year-old Dutch-Jewish girl records her impressions of the two years she and seven others spent hiding from the Nazis before they were discovered and taken to concentration camps.

    Freedman, Russell, Eleanor Roosevelt: A Life of Discovery. A compelling photo-biography of Eleanor Roosevelt relates the remarkable story of ashy, lonely girl who grows up to be a powerful force in the fight for world peace andequality and an inspiration to millions of people.

    Freedman, Russell, Lincoln: A Photobiography. This skillfully written, appealing overview of Lincoln's life from boyhood to death, is accompanied by carefully chosen photographs and prints.

    Freedman, Russell, Wright Brothers: How They Invented the Airplane. Freedman tells the fascinating story of how two self-taught bicycle mechanics solve theproblems that had baffled generations of scientists and engineers.

    Paulsen, Gary, Woodsong. Through his dogsledding adventures in the Minnesota wilderness where there arewolves, deep snow, and minus-30-degree temperatures, the author comes tounderstand nature's ways and harrowing surprises.
    Pelzer, Dave, A Child Called It. David Pelzer, victim of one of the worst child abuse cases in the history of California, tells the story of how he survived his mother's brutality and triumphed over his past. (Series)

    Spiegelman, Art, Maus: A Survivor's Tale and Maus: A Survivor's Tale II: And Here My Troubles Began. The author relates, in cartoon form, his father's experiences as an inmate at Auschwitz during World War II. Illustrations portray Jews as mice and Nazis as cats.

    Wiesel, Elie, Night. A true account of the author's experiences as a Jewish boy with his family in a Nazi concentration camp.

    Zindel, Paul, Pigman and Me. Zindel recounts his bizarre adventures growing up on Staten Island, when his neighbor's father becomes his personal "pigman" and teaches him to cope with his rootless family.