Thursday, April 1, 2010

Recommended Young Adult Books

Do you remember that teacher who struck fear in your heart?  That teacher who you never made eye contact with for fear of drawing attention to yourself ?  That teacher for me was my high school English teacher, Mr. Jones.  

He looked like an average man.  He was medium height, thin and he dressed professionally (the meaning of the word casual eluded this man) every day.  Yet, he scared me to my core.  He could cut you down in a heartbeat or with the flick of his pen.  

Yet, he was the most memorable teacher I had in high school not just because of his demeanor, but because he excelled at what he did.  He is the one most responsible for teaching me how to write.  I could write an essay in college with the best of them due to this man's teaching.  

I will never forget when he had assigned us a novel to read.  And it was not one of the smut books, as he called the romance books one of the girls at the front of the room read (often blatantly in front of him).  We were discussing thesis sentences, I believe.  He asked one of my closest friends her thoughts on the book.  My friend (who sat across from me) looked him directly in the eye and told him she would love to give her opinion but unfortunately she hadn't read the book.  

Dead silence.  No one even breathed.  We were all expecting her to get screamed at (Mr. Jones didn't yell often but when he did...) or worse-kicked out of class. 

He looked at her and to our amazement he told her that he appreciated her honesty.  To this day, we still talk about that day in Mr. Jone's class.  I still admire my friend for she is one of the most honest people I have the privilege of knowing. If you want to know how it is, just ask her.

To this day I could rattle off the list of books we had to read in Mr. Jone's English class.  Several of which are on this list.

Recommended Books For High School Students (Especially Those College-Bound) :
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
Jane Eyre  by Charlotte Brontë
Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë
The Good Earth by Pearl Buck
Queen Eleanor, Independent Spirit of The Medieval World: Biography of Eleanor of Aquitaine by Polly Schoyer Brooks
My Ántonia by Willa Cather
Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes
The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer

The Cherry Orchard by Anton Chekhov
The Awakening by Kate Chopin
Last of the Mohicans by James Fenimore Cooper
The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier 
The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane
The Divine Comedy by Dante
Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe
Great Expectations, A Tale of Two Cities, & A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky
Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglas by Frederick Douglass

An American Tragedy by Theodore Dreiser
The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas
Rebecca  by Daphne Du Maurier
Silas Marner George Eliot
Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
Selected Essays by Ralph Waldo Emerson
The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner
Tom Jones by Henry Fielding
Th e Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank
The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin by Benjamin Franklin
Faust by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Lord of the Flies William Golding
I, Claudius Robert Graves
Roots by Alex Haley
Catch 22 by Joseph Heller
The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton
Tess of the D'Urbervilles and Return of the Native by Thomas Hardy

The Scarlet Letter & The House of Seven Gables by Nathaniel Hawthorne
For Whom the Bell Tolls & A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway
Short Stories by O. Henry
The Iliad & The Odyssey by Homer
Poems by Langston Hughes
Les Misérables and The Hunchback of Notre Dame by Victor .Hugo
Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
A Doll's House by Henrik Ibsen
The Portrait of a Lady by James Henry

The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka
Poems by John Keats
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey
Profiles in Courage by John F. Kennedy
Charles Kuralt's America by Charles Kurault
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Babbitt by Sinclair Lewis
The Call of the Wild by Jack London
Of Human Bondage by W. Somerset Maugham
Moby-Dick  by Herman Melville

The Crucible & Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller
Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
Beloved by Toni Morrison
1984 and Animal Farm by George Orwell
Doctor Zhivago by Boris Pasternak
Cry, the Beloved Country by Alan Paton
The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
Complete Tales and Poems by Edgar Allan Poe
Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls
All Quiet on the Western Front  by Erich Maria Remarque

Cyrano de Bergerac by Edmond Rostand
The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott
MacBeth, Hamlet, Romeo & Juliet, sonnets, and King Lear by William Shakespeare
Pygmalion by George Bernard.Shaw
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
The Jungle by Upton Sinclair
Of Mice and Men, The Pearl, The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson
Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe

Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift
The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan
Vanity Fair by William Thackeray
Walden Henry David Thoreau
The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien 
Anna Karenina and War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
The Aeneid by Virgil
Candide by Voltaire
All the King's Men by Robert Penn Warren

The Color Purple by Alice walker
The Age of Innocence and Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton
Night by Elie Wiesel
The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
Our Town by Thornton Wilder
A Streetcar Named Desire and The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams
To the Lighthouse by Virginia Wolfe
Native Son by Richard Wright

Other Books Found on Reading Lists From Schools Across the Country:
Twinkie Deconstructed: My Journey to Discover How the Ingredients Found in Processed Foods Are Grown, Mined (Yes, Mined), and Manipulated into What America Eats by Steve Ettlinger
Charles and Emma: The Darwins’ Leap of Faith by Deborah Heiligman
Twilight series by Stephanie Meyer
The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman
Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood by Marjane Satrap
Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut
Water for Elephants: A Novel  by Sara Gruen
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Piccoult
The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood  by Rebecca Wells  
Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel García Márquez
Tuesdays With Morrie by Mitch Albom
The Davinci Code by Dan Brown
Life of Pi by Yann Martel
Maximum Ride: The Angle Experiment by James Patterson
Girl with the Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier

If you missed my lists of other books, here they are:
Recommended Books for Preschoolers
Recommended Books for K-3
Recommended Books For Grades 4-6


Buckeroomama said...

Thank you for sharing the lists. I had to do book reports on quite a number of the books on these lists and I remember the very first one I had to do was on Pearl S. Buck's The Good Earth. :)

Lourie said...

I went through 2 copies of The Outsiders! Loved that book.

parenting ad absurdum said...

Oh, so many memories!!

I haven't thought about hitchhiker's guide to the galaxy in a long time, but I remember thinking it was the most hilarious book ever... I wonder if I would still think so??

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