English Reading List
The list of Board Approved Materials
|1984||Orwell, George||Written in 1948, 1984 was George Orwell's chilling prophecy about the future. And while 1984 has come and gone, Orwell's narrative is more timely than ever. 1984 presents a "negative utopia," that is at once a startling and haunting vision of the world—so powerful that it is completely convincing from start to finish. No one can deny the power of this novel, its hold on the imaginations of entire generations of readers, or the resiliency of its admonitions—a legacy that seems to grow, not lessen, with the passage of time. Among the seminal texts of the 20th century, Nineteen Eighty-Four is a rare work that grows more haunting as its futuristic purgatory becomes more real. Published in 1949, the book offers political satirist George Orwell's nightmare vision of a totalitarian, bureaucratic world and one poor stiff's attempt to find individuality. The brilliance of the novel is Orwell's prescience of modern life—the ubiquity of television, the distortion of the language—and his ability to construct such a thorough version of hell. Required reading for students since it was published, it ranks among the most terrifying novels ever written. (Sexual Content)|
|A Confederacy of Dunces||Toole, John Kennedy||A Confederacy of Dunces is an American comic masterpiece. John Kennedy Toole's hero, one Ignatius J. Reilly, is "huge, obese, fractious, fastidious, a latter-day Gargantua, a Don Quixote of the French Quarter. His story bursts with wholly original characters, denizens of New Orleans' lower depths, incredibly true-to-life dialogue, and the zaniest series of high and low comic adventures" (Sexual Content, Profanity, Violence)|
|A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court||Twain, Mark||In this biting satire by Twain, a 19th c. Yankee mechanic is knocked out during a brawl, and wakes to find himself in Camelot, A.D. 528, in King Arthur's Court. When the modern mechanic tries to cure society's ills (oppressed peasantry, evil church, etc.) with 19th c. industrial inventions like electricity and gunfire - all hell breaks loose! (Profanity, Violence)|
|A Midsummer Night's Dream||Shakespeare, William||Among the most popular of all Shakespeare's comedies, this play humorously celebrates the vagaries of love. With its several pairs of lovers, on-again, off-again romances, magic spells, fairies, and a bumbling troupe of would-be actors, the play continues to enchant audiences. (Sexual Content, Profanity)|
|A Raisin in the Sun||Hansberry, Lorraine||"Never before, the entire history of the American theater, has so much of the truth of black people's lives been seen on the stage," observed James Baldwin shortly before A Raisin in the Sun opened on Broadway in 1959. Indeed Lorraine Hansberry's award-winning drama about the hopes and aspirations of a struggling, working-class family living on the South Side of Chicago connected profoundly with the psyche of black America--and changed American theater forever. The play's title comes from a line in Langston Hughes's poem "Harlem," which warns that a dream deferred might "dry up/like a raisin in the sun." "The events of every passing year add resonance to A Raisin in the Sun," said The New York Times. "It is as if history is conspiring to make the play a classic." (Profanity, Violence)|
|A Room of One's Own||Woolf, Virginia||Throughout history, some books have changed the world. They have transformed the way we see ourselves - and each other. They have inspired debate, dissent, war and revolution. They have enlightened, outraged, provoked and comforted. They have enriched lives - and destroyed them. Now Penguin brings you the works of the great thinkers, pioneers, radicals and visionaries whose ideas shook civilization, and helped make us who we are.|
|A Separate Peace||Knowles, John||
An American classic and great bestseller for over thirty years, A Separate Peace is timeless in its description of adolescence during a period when the entire country was losing its innocence to the second world war. Set at a boys’ boarding school in New England during the early years of World War II, A Separate Peace is a harrowing and luminous parable of the dark side of adolescence. Gene is a lonely, introverted intellectual. Phineas is a handsome, taunting, daredevil athlete. What happens between the two friends one summer, like the war itself, banishes the innocence of these boys and their world.
A bestseller for more than thirty years, A Separate Peace is John Knowles’s crowning achievement and an undisputed American classic. (Sexual Content, Profanity, Violence)
|A Tale of Two Cities||Dickens, Charles||Against the backdrop of the French Revolution, Dickens unfolds a masterpiece of drama, adventure, and courage featuring Charles Darnay, a man falsely accused of treason. He bears an uncanny resemblance to the dissolute, yet noble Sydney Carton. Brilliantly plotted, the novel culminates in a daring prison escape in the shadow of the guillotine. (Violence)|
|A Thousand Acres||Smiley, Jane||A successful Iowa farmer decides to divide his farm between his three daughters. When the youngest objects, she is cut out of his will. This sets off a chain of events that brings dark truths to light and explodes long-suppressed emotions. An ambitious reimagining of Shakespeare’s King Lear cast upon a typical American community in the late twentieth century, A Thousand Acres takes on themes of truth, justice, love, and pride, and reveals the beautiful yet treacherous topography of humanity. (Sexual Content, Profanity, Violence)|
|About a Boy||Hornby, Nick||Will Freeman may have discovered the key to dating success: If the simple fact that they were single mothers meant that gorgeous women—women who would not ordinarily look twice at Will—might not only be willing, but enthusiastic about dating him, then he was really onto something. Single mothers—bright, attractive, available women—thousands of them, were all over London. He just had to find them. (Sexual Content, Profanity)|
|Accidental Tourist (Rack Size)||Tyler, Anne||Macon Leary is a travel writer who hates both travel and anything out of the ordinary. He is grounded by loneliness and an unwillingness to compromise his creature comforts when he meets Muriel, a deliciously peculiar dog-obedience trainer who up-ends Macon’s insular world–and thrusts him headlong into a remarkable engagement with life. (Sexual Content, Violence)|
|Across Five Aprils||Hunt, Irene||This beautifully written novel offers valuable insights into the difficulties faced by families and communities caught up in the political, economic, and personal upheavals of war. The events of the Civil War unfold Across Five Aprils (Berkley Pub., 1986) in this moving story by Newbery Award winner, Irene Hunt. It is set in southern Illinois where Jethro Creighton, an intelligent, hardworking boy, is growing into manhood as his brothers and a beloved teacher leave to fight in the Union and Confederate armies. Hunt presents a balanced look at both sides of the conflict, and includes interesting information on lesser-known leaders and battles. Of course, Abraham Lincoln is a frequent topic of conversation, and Jethro even receives a letter from his fellow Illinoian. (Profanity, Violence)|
|Across the Wire||Urrea, Luis Alberto||Luis Alberto Urrea's Across the Wire offers a compelling and unprecedented look at what life is like for those refugees living on the Mexican side of the border—a world that is only some twenty miles from San Diego, but that few have seen. Urrea gives us a compassionate and candid account of his work as a member and "official translator" of a crew of relief workers that provided aid to the many refugees hidden just behind the flashy tourist spots of Tijuana. His account of the struggle of these people to survive amid abject poverty, unsanitary living conditions, and the legal and political chaos that reign in the Mexican borderlands explains without a doubt the reason so many are forced to make the dangerous and illegal journey "across the wire" into the United States. More than just an expose, Across the Wire is a tribute to the tenacity of a people who have learned to survive against the most impossible odds, and returns to these forgotten people their pride and their identity. (Sexual Content, Profanity, Violence)|
|Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass||Carroll, Lewis||
On one happy summer day, July 4, 1862 to be specific, Charles Dodgson took Alice Liddell and her two sisters Lorna and Edith on a fateful boat trip along the Thames. The children asked him for a story full of “nonsense.” And so Charles began a tale about a girl named Alice who follows a waistcoat-wearing white rabbit down a wondrous rabbit hole. He would eventually refine that story and publish it in book form under the name Lewis Carroll – an author whose works, nonsense or not, would soon be quoted more than any other save Shakespeare and the Bible.
So follow the White Rabbit down the rabbit-hole again or first the first time, where nearly 150 years later the wild characters of Lewis Carroll's imagination still wait for us: The grinning Cheshire Cat, the head-hunting Queen of Hearts, an obnoxious Caterpillar, Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dee. Or stop in for tea with the Mad Hatter and the March Hare, always through the eyes of the polite and ever-curious Alice always in search of more nonsense.
|All Quiet on the Western Front||Remarque, Erich Maria||
Considered by many the greatest war novel of all time, All Quiet on the Western Front is Erich Maria Remarque’s masterpiece of the German experience during World War I.
I am young, I am twenty years old; yet I know nothing of life but despair, death, fear, and fatuous superficiality cast over an abyss of sorrow. . . .
This is the testament of Paul Bäumer, who enlists with his classmates in the German army during World War I. They become soldiers with youthful enthusiasm. But the world of duty, culture, and progress they had been taught breaks in pieces under the first bombardment in the trenches.
Through years of vivid horror, Paul holds fast to a single vow: to fight against the principle of hate that meaninglessly pits young men of the same generation but different uniforms against one another . . . if only he can come out of the war alive. (Violence)
|Always Running : La Vida Loca, Gang Days in L.A.||Rodriguez, Luis J||Luis J. Rodríguez’s stunning memoir—a brave, unflinching account of life in a Los Angeles street gang Luis J. Rodríguez joined his first gang at age eleven. As a teenager, he witnessed the rise of some of the most notorious cliques and sets in Southern California and knew only a life of violence—one that revolved around drugs, gang wars, and police brutality. But unlike most of those around him, Rodríguez found a way out when art, writing, and political activism rescued him from the brink of self-destruction. Always Running spares no detail in its vivid, brutally honest portrayal of street life and violence, and it stands as a powerful and unforgettable testimonial of gang life, by one of the most acclaimed Chicano writers of his generation. (Sexual Content, Profanity, Violence)|
|Animal Farm||Orwell, George||As ferociously fresh as it was more than a half century ago, this remarkable allegory of a downtrodden society of overworked, mistreated animals and their quest to create a paradise of progress, justice, and equality is one of the most scathing satires ever published. As readers witness the rise and bloody fall of the revolutionary animals, they begin to recognize the seeds of totalitarianism in the most idealistic organization—and in the most charismatic leaders, the souls of the cruelest oppressors. (Violence)|
|Anthem||Rand, Ayn||Anthem is a dystopian science fiction novella by Ayn Rand. Mankind has entered a new dark age as a result of the evils of irrationality and collectivism and the weaknesses of socialistic thinking and economics. Individuality and ambition have become sins. Technological advancement is now carefully planned (when it is allowed to occur at all). Here is the story of one man willing to risk everything to rebel against a society that refuses to believe in the power or rights of the individual. (Sexual Content, Profanity, Violence)|
|Antigone||Sophocles||The curse placed on Oedipus lingers and haunts a younger generation in this new and brilliant translation of Sophocles' classic drama. The daughter of Oedipus and Jocasta, Antigone is an unconventional heroine who pits her beliefs against the King of Thebes in a bloody test of wills that leaves few unharmed. Emotions fly as she challenges the king for the right to bury her own brother. Determined but doomed, Antigone shows her inner strength throughout the play. Antigone raises issues of law and morality that are just as relevant today as they were more than two thousand years ago. Whether this is your first reading or your twentieth, Antigone will move you as few pieces of literature can. (Violence)|
|Arcadia||Stoppard, Tom||Arcadia takes us back and forth between the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, ranging over the nature of truth and time, the difference between the Classical and the Romantic temperament, and the disruptive influence of sex on our orbits in life. Focusing on the mysteries—romantic, scientific, literary—that engage the minds and hearts of characters whose passions and lives intersect across scientific planes and centuries, it is “Stoppard’s richest, most ravishing comedy to date, a play of wit, intellect, language, brio and . . . emotion. It’s like a dream of levitation: you’re instantaneously aloft, soaring, banking, doing loop-the-loops and then, when you think you’re about to plummet to earth, swooping to a gentle touchdown of not easily described sweetness and sorrow . . . Exhilarating." (Sexual Content)|
|Athletic Shorts: 6 Short Stories||Crutcher, Chris||These six powerful short stories chronicle bits of the lives of characters, major and minor, who have walked the rugged terrain of Chris Crutcher's earlier works. They also introduce some new and unforgettable personalities who may well be heard from again in future books. As with all Crutcher's work, these are stories about athletes, and yet they are not sport stories. They are tales of love and death, bigotry and heroism, of real people doing their best even when that best isn't very good. Crutcher's straightforward style and total honesty have earned him an admiring audience and made readers of many nonreaders. (Profanity)|
|Atlas Shrugged (Trade Ed)||Rand, Ayn||This is the story of a man who said that he would stop the motor of the world—and did. Was he a destroyer or the greatest of liberators? Why did he have to fight his battle, not against his enemies, but against those who needed him most, and his hardest battle against the woman he loved? What is the world’s motor—and the motive power of every man? You will know the answer to these questions when you discover the reason behind the baffling events that play havoc with the lives of the characters in this story.Tremendous in its scope, this novel presents an astounding panorama of human life—from the productive genius who becomes a worthless playboy—to the great steel industrialist who does not know that he is working for his own destruction—to the philosopher who becomes a pirate—to the composer who gives up his career on the night of his triumph—to the woman who runs a transcontinental railroad—to the lowest track worker in her Terminal tunnels. (Sexual Content, Profanity, Violence)|
|Atonement||McEwen, Ian||The novel opens on a sweltering summer day in 1935 at the Tallis family’s mansion in the Surrey countryside. Thirteen-year-old Briony has written a play in honor of the visit of her adored older brother Leon; other guests include her three young cousins -- refugees from their parent’s marital breakup -- Leon’s friend Paul Marshall, the manufacturer of a chocolate bar called “Amo” that soldiers will be able to carry into war, and Robbie Turner, the son of the family charlady whose brilliantly successful college career has been funded by Mr. Tallis. Jack Tallis is absent from the gathering; he spends most of his time in London at the War Ministry and with his mistress. His wife Emily is a semi-invalid, nursing chronic migraine headaches. Their elder daughter Cecilia is also present; she has just graduated from Cambridge and is at home for the summer, restless and yearning for her life to really begin. Rehearsals for Briony’s play aren’t going well; her cousin Lola has stolen the starring role, the twin boys can’t speak the lines properly, and Briony suddenly realizes that her destiny is to be a novelist, not a dramatist. (Sexual Content, Profanity, Violence)|
|Babbitt||Lewis, Sinclair||Prosperous and socially prominent, George Babbitt appears to have everything a man could wish: good health, a fine family, and a profitable business in a booming Midwestern city. But the middle-aged real estate agent is shaken from his self-satisfaction by a growing restlessness with the limitations of his life. When a personal crisis forces a reexamination of his values, Babbitt mounts a rebellion against social expectations — jeopardizing his reputation and business standing as well as his marriage. Widely considered Sinclair Lewis' greatest novel, this satire of the American social landscape created a sensation upon its 1922 publication. Babbitt's name became an instant and enduring synonym for middle-class complacency, and the strictures of his existence revealed the emptiness of the mainstream vision of success. His story reflects the nature of a conformist society, in which the pressures of maintaining propriety can ultimately cause individuals to lose their place in the world.Babbitt ranks among the important 20th-century works addressing the struggles of people caught in the machinery of modern life, and it remains ever-relevant as a cautionary tale against clinging to conventional values. (Sexual Content, Profanity)|
|Being There||Kosinski, Jerzy||A modern classic, Being There is one of the most popular and significant works from a writer of international stature. It is the story of Chauncey Gardiner - Chance, an enigmatic but distinguished man who emerges from nowhere to become an heir to the throne of a Wall Street tycoon, a presidential policy adviser, and a media icon. Truly "a man without qualities," Chance's straightforward responses to popular concerns are heralded as visionary. But though everyone is quoting him, no one is sure what he's really saying. And filling in the blanks in his background proves impossible. Being There is a brilliantly satiric look at the unreality of American media culture that is, if anything, more trenchant now than ever.|
|Beneath the Wheel||Hesse, Hermann||Hans Giebernath lives among the dull and respectable townsfolk of a sleepy Black Forest village. When he is discovered to be an exceptionally gifted student, the entire community presses him onto a path of serious scholarship. Hans dutifully follows the regimen of study and endless examinations, his success rewarded only with more crushing assignments. When Hans befriends a rebellious young poet, he begins to imagine other possibilities outside the narrowly circumscribed world of the academy. Finally sent home after a nervous breakdown, Hans is revived by nature and romance, and vows never to return to the gray conformity of the academic system. (Sexual Content)|
|Big Fish: A Novel of Mythic Proportions||Wallace, Daniel||In his prime, Edward Bloom was an extraordinary man. There wasn't anything he couldn't do -- and do well. He could outrun anybody. He never missed a day of school, even in the worst blizzard. He saved lives. Animals loved him, people loved him, women loved him. He was an inspired salesman -- a visionary, in fact. And he knew more jokes than any man alive. Or at least that's what he's told his son, William. William doesn't really know his father because, actually, Edward wasn't home all that much. What William knows about his father he's had to piece together from the little bits of stories he's gathered over the years. Now, watching his father die, William grows increasingly desperate to know him before it's too late. And in a wonderful sleight of hand, William recreates his elusive father's life in a series of legends and myths inspired by the few facts he knows. Through these tales, William begins to understand Edward Bloom's great feats -- and his great failings. He manages, somehow, to reckon with the father he's about to lose. And he finds a way to say good-bye. (Sexual Content, Violence)|
|Big Mouth & Ugly Girl||Oates, Joyce Carol||Grade 8 Up-While horsing around in the high school cafeteria, Matt Donaghy makes some remarks that land him in a world of trouble. Yanked out of fifth-period study hall by plainclothes policemen, he learns that he's suspected of plotting to bomb the school. In this day and age that's no joking matter. His friends are advised by their parents not to get involved, lest they fall under suspicion themselves. Only the resolutely individualistic, somewhat frightening Ursula Riggs, a girl he barely knows, is willing to speak up on Matt's behalf. With a combination of clear-sightedness and bravado she gets the principal to rethink Matt's suspension-and that's just the beginning of Oates's novel. The next three-quarters of the book become even more interesting, as the author explores the subsequent social pressures placed on the teenagers and adults in a fictitious, affluent suburb of New York City. Oates has a good ear for the speech, the family relations, the e-mail messaging, the rumor mills, and the easy cruelties waiting just beneath the veneer of civility. Matt's character and especially the heroic Ursula's are depicted with a raw honesty. Readers will be propelled through these pages by an intense curiosity to learn how events will play out. Oates has written a fast-moving, timely, compelling story. (Sexual Content, Profanity, Violence)|
|Billy Budd and Other Tales||Melville, Herman||A handsome young sailor is unjustly accused of plotting mutiny in this timeless tale of the sea.|
|Bless Me, Ultima||Anaya, Rudolfo A.||Stories filled with wonder and the haunting beauty of his culture have helped make Rudolfo Anaya the father of Chicano literature in English, and his tales fairly shimmer with the lyric richness of his prose. Acclaimed in both Spanish and English, Anaya is perhaps best loved for his classic bestseller ... Antonio Marez is six years old when Ultima comes to stay with his family in New Mexico. She is a curandera, one who cures with herbs and magic. Under her wise wing, Tony will test the bonds that tie him to his people, and discover himself in the pagan past, in his father's wisdom, and in his mother's Catholicism. And at each life turn there is Ultima, who delivered Tony into the world-and will nurture the birth of his soul. (Sexual Content, Profanity, Violence)|
|Blessed are the Piecemakers||Hansen, J. Vincent||In simple, yet incredibly powerful language, Hansen writes of the impact of the Vietnam war on his mind and soul. (Profanity, Violence)|
|Brave New World||Huxley, Aldous||Aldous Huxley is rightly considered a prophetic genius and one of the most important literary and philosophical voices of the 20th Century, and Brave New World is his masterpiece. From the author of The Doors of Perception, Island, and countless other works of fiction, non-fiction, philosophy, and poetry, comes this powerful work of speculative fiction that has enthralled and terrified readers for generations. Brave New World remains absolutely relevant to this day as both a cautionary dystopian tale in the vein of the George Orwell classic 1984, and as thought-provoking, thoroughly satisfying entertainment. (Sexual Content, Profanity, Violence)|
|Briar Rose||Yolen, Jane||
A powerful retelling of Sleeping Beauty that is "heartbreaking and heartwarming."
An American Library Association "100 Best Books for Teens" An American Library Association "Best Books for Young Adults"
Ever since she was a child, Rebecca has been enchanted by her grandmother Gemma's stories about Briar Rose. But a promise Rebecca makes to her dying grandmother will lead her on a remarkable journey to uncover the truth of Gemma's astonishing claim: I am Briar Rose. A journey that will lead her to unspeakable brutality and horror. But also to redemption and hope. (Sexual Content, Violence)
|Bronx Masquerade||Grimes, Nikki||A Coretta Scott King Award winner--Using the structure of a poetry slam, Nikki Grimes' award-winning novel is a powerful exploration of self, an homage to spoken-word poetry, and an intriguing look into the life of eighteen urban teens. (Sexual Content, Violence)|
|Buried Onions||Soto, Gary||Eddie's father, two uncles, and best friend are all dead, and it's a struggle for him not to end up the same way. Violence makes Fresno wallow in tears, as if a huge onion were buried beneath the city. Making an effort to walk a straight line despite constant temptations and frustrations, Eddie searches for answers--and discovers that his closest friends may actually be his worst enemies. (Profanity, Violence)|
|Can't Get There From Here||Strasser, Todd||Her street name is Maybe. She lives with a tribe of homeless teens -- runaways and throwaways, kids who have no place to go other than the cold city streets, and no family except for one another. Abused, abandoned, and forgotten, they struggle against the cold, hunger, and constant danger. With the frigid winds of January comes a new girl: Tears, a twelve-year-old whose mother doesn't believe Tears' stepfather abuses her. As the other kids start to disappear -- victims of violence, addiction, and exposure -- Maybe tries to help Tears get off the streets...if it's not already too late. (Sexual Content, Profanity, Violence)|
|Cat on a Hot Tin Roof||Williams, Tennessee||Cat on a Hot Tin Roof first heated up Broadway in 1955 with its gothic American story of brothers vying for their dying father's inheritance amid a whirlwind of sexuality, untethered in the person of Maggie the Cat. The play also daringly showcased the burden of sexuality repressed in the agony of her husband, Brick Pollitt. In spite of the public controversy Cat stirred up, it was awarded the Pulitzer Prize and the Drama Critics Circle Award for that year. Williams, as he so often did with his plays, rewrote Cat on a Hot Tin Roof for many years.... One of America's greatest living playwrights, as well as a friend and colleague of Williams, Edward Albee has written a concise introduction to the play from a playwright's perspective, examining the candor, sensuality, power, and impact of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof then and now. (Sexual Content, Profanity, Violence)|
|Catch-22||Heller, Joseph||Fifty years after its original publication, Catch-22 remains a cornerstone of American literature and one of the funniest—and most celebrated—books of all time. In recent years it has been named to “best novels” lists by Time, Newsweek, the Modern Library, and the London Observer. Set in Italy during World War II, this is the story of the incomparable, malingering bombardier, Yossarian, a hero who is furious because thousands of people he has never met are trying to kill him. But his real problem is not the enemy—it is his own army, which keeps increasing the number of missions the men must fly to complete their service. Yet if Yossarian makes any attempt to excuse himself from the perilous missions he’s assigned, he’ll be in violation of Catch-22, a hilariously sinister bureaucratic rule: a man is considered insane if he willingly continues to fly dangerous combat missions, but if he makes a formal request to be removed from duty, he is proven sane and therefore ineligible to be relieved. Sexual Content, Profanity, Violence)|
|Ceremony||Silko, Leslie Marmon||Thirty years since its original publication, Ceremony remains one of the most profound and moving works of Native American literature, a novel that is itself a ceremony of healing. Tayo, a World War II veteran of mixed ancestry, returns to the Laguna Pueblo Reservation. He is deeply scarred by his experience as a prisoner of the Japanese and further wounded by the rejection he encounters from his people. Only by immersing himself in the Indian past can he begin to regain the peace that was taken from him. Masterfully written, filled with the somber majesty of Pueblo myth, Ceremony is a work of enduring power. (Sexual. Content, Profanity, Violence)|
|Crime and Punishment||Dostoyevsky, Fyodor||Crime and Punishment focuses on the mental anguish and moral dilemmas of Rodion Romanovich Raskolnikov, an impoverished ex-student from St. Petersburg who formulates and executes a plan to kill an unscrupulous pawnbroker for her money. Raskolnikov argues that with the pawnbroker's money he can perform good deeds to counterbalance the crime, while ridding the world of a worthless parasite. This murder he also commits to test Raskolnikov's hypothesis that some people are naturally able to and also have the right to murder. Several times throughout the novel, Raskolnikov also justifies his actions by connecting himself mentally with Napoleon Bonaparte, believing that murder is permissible in pursuit of a higher purpose, only to find out he "... is not a Napoleon." (Violence)|
|Cry, The Beloved Country||Paton, Alan||
Cry, the Beloved Country, the most famous and important novel in South Africa’s history, was an immediate worldwide bestseller in 1948. Alan Paton’s impassioned novel about a black man’s country under white man’s law is a work of searing beauty.
Cry, the beloved country, for the unborn child that is the inheritor of our fear. Let him not love the earth too deeply. Let him not laugh too gladly when the water runs through his fingers, nor stand too silent when the setting sun makes red the veld with fire. Let him not be too moved when the birds of his land are singing, nor give too much of his heart to a mountain or valley. For fear will rob him of all if he gives too much.
The eminent literary critic Lewis Gannett wrote, “We have had many novels from statesmen and reformers, almost all bad; many novels from poets, almost all thin. In Alan Paton’s Cry, the Beloved Country the statesman, the poet and the novelist meet in a unique harmony.”
Cry, the Beloved Country is the deeply moving story of the Zulu pastor Stephen Kumalo and his son, Absalom, set against the background of a land and a people riven by racial injustice. Remarkable for its lyricism, unforgettable for character and incident, Cry, the Beloved Country is a classic work of love and hope, courage and endurance, born of the dignity of man.(Sexual Content, Profanity, Violence)
|Dandelion Wine||Bradbury, Ray||Ray Bradbury's moving recollection of a vanished golden era remains one of his most enchanting novels. Dandelion Wine stands out in the Bradbury literary canon as the author's most deeply personal work, a semi-autobiographical recollection of a magical small-town summer in 1928. Twelve-year-old Douglas Spaulding knows Green Town, Illinois, is as vast and deep as the whole wide world that lies beyond the city limits. It is a pair of brand-new tennis shoes, the first harvest of dandelions for Grandfather's renowned intoxicant, the distant clang of the trolley's bell on a hazy afternoon. It is yesteryear and tomorrow blended into an unforgettable always. But as young Douglas is about to discover, summer can be more than the repetition of established rituals whose mystical power holds time at bay. It can be a best friend moving away, a human time machine who can transport you back to the Civil War, or a sideshow automaton able to glimpse the bittersweet future.Come and savor Ray Bradbury's priceless distillation of all that is eternal about boyhood and summer.|
|Death Be not Proud||Gunther, John||Johnny Gunther was only seventeen years old when he died of a brain tumor. During the months of his illness, everyone near him was unforgettably impressed by his level-headed courage, his wit and quiet friendliness, and, above all, his unfaltering patience through times of despair. This deeply moving book is a father's memoir of a brave, intelligent, and spirited boy.|
|Death of a Salesman||Miller, Arthur||Death of a Salesman is a 1949 play written by American playwright Arthur Miller. It was the recipient of the 1949 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and Tony Award for Best Play. The play premiered on Broadway in February 1949, running for 742 performances, and has been revived on Broadway four times, winning three Tony Awards for Best Revival. (Sexual Content, Profanity, Violence)|
|Death of Ivan Ilyich||Tolstoy, Leo||The Death of Ivan Ilyich was first published in 1886. It is a novella by Leo Tolstoy. It is one of Tolstoy's most celebrated pieces of late fiction. This work stems in part from Tolstoy's anguished intellectual and spiritual struggles which led to his conversion to Christianity. Central to the story is an examination on the nature of both life and death, and how man can come to terms with death's very inevitability. The novella was acclaimed by Vladimir Nabokov and Mahatma Gandhi as the greatest in the world.(Violence)|
|Dragonsong||Mccaffrey, Anne||Anne McCaffrey's best-selling Harper Hall Trilogy is a wonder-filled classic of the imagination. Dragonsong, the first volume in the series, is the enchanting tale of how Menolly of Half Circle Hold became Pern's first female Harper, and rediscovered the legendary fire lizards who helped to save her world.|
|Early Autumn||Parker, Robert B.||A bitter divorce is only the beginning. First the father hires thugs to kidnap his son. Then the mother hires Spenser to get the boy back. But as soon as Spenser senses the lay of the land, he decides to do some kidnapping of his own. With a contract out on his life, he heads for the Maine woods, determined to give a puny 15 year old a crash course in survival and to beat his dangerous opponents at their own brutal game. (Profanity, Violence)|
|Ender's Game||Card, Orson Scott||In order to develop a secure defense against a hostile alien race's next attack, government agencies breed child geniuses and train them as soldiers. A brilliant young boy, Andrew "Ender" Wiggin lives with his kind but distant parents, his sadistic brother Peter, and the person he loves more than anyone else, his sister Valentine. Peter and Valentine were candidates for the soldier-training program but didn't make the cut--young Ender is the Wiggin drafted to the orbiting Battle School for rigorous military training. Ender's skills make him a leader in school and respected in the Battle Room, where children play at mock battles in zero gravity. Yet growing up in an artificial community of young soldiers, Ender suffers greatly from isolation, rivalry from his peers, pressure from the adult teachers, and an unsettling fear of the alien invaders. His psychological battles include loneliness, fear that he is becoming like the cruel brother he remembers, and fanning the flames of devotion to his beloved sister. Is Ender the general Earth needs? But Ender is not the only result of the genetic experiments. The war with the Buggers has been raging for a hundred years, and the quest for the perfect general has been underway for almost as long. Ender's two older siblings are every bit as unusual as he is, but in very different ways. Between the three of them lie the abilities to remake a world. If the world survives, that is. (Profanity, Violence)|
|Exodus||Uris, Leon||The epic saga of Israel’s earliest days and the people who fought to make it their home The Exodus was just one ship among many that carried survivors of the Holocaust to Palestine to establish a new nation. But the path that Jewish immigrants took to enter British-controlled Palestine was a difficult one, fraught with danger and political intrigue. The boat was intercepted by British forces and the refugees were placed in concentration camps. Uris’s blockbuster novel traces the lives of the men and women who brave British naval blockades to help Israel come into being, from Ari Ben Canaan, who works tirelessly to smuggle in settlers, to Kitty Fremont, an American nurse drawn into a vast, tragic history. Weaving together fact and fiction, history and dramatic storylines, Exodus stands today as one of the most influential narratives of the founding of the State of Israel.(Profanity, Violence)|
|Fahrenheit 451||Bradbury, Ray||Guy Montag is a fireman. In his world, where television rules and literature is on the brink of extinction, firemen start fires rather than put them out. His job is to destroy the most illegal of commodities, the printed book, along with the houses in which they are hidden. Montag never questions the destruction and ruin his actions produce, returning each day to his bland life and wife, Mildred, who spends all day with her television “family.” But then he meets an eccentric young neighbor, Clarisse, who introduces him to a past where people didn’t live in fear and to a present where one sees the world through the ideas in books instead of the mindless chatter of television. When Mildred attempts suicide and Clarisse suddenly disappears, Montag begins to question everything he has ever known. He starts hiding books in his home, and when his pilfering is discovered, the fireman has to run for his life. (Profanity, Violence)|
|Falling Leaves: The Memoir of an Unwanted Chinese Daughter||Mah, Adeline Yen||
Born in 1937 in a port city a thousand miles north of Shanghai, Adeline Yen Mah was the youngest child of an affluent Chinese family who enjoyed rare privileges during a time of political and cultural upheaval. But wealth and position could not shield Adeline from a childhood of appalling emotional abuse at the hands of a cruel and manipulative Eurasian stepmother. Determined to survive through her enduring faith in family unity, Adeline struggled for independence as she moved from Hong Kong to England and eventually to the United States to become a physician and writer.
A compelling, painful, and ultimately triumphant story of a girl's journey into adulthood, Adeline's story is a testament to the most basic of human needs: acceptance, love, and understanding. With a powerful voice that speaks of the harsh realities of growing up female in a family and society that kept girls in emotional chains, Falling Leaves is a work of heartfelt intimacy and a rare authentic portrait of twentieth-century China. (Sexual Content, Profanity, Violence)
|Farewell to Manzanar||Houston, Jeanne Wakatsuki||
During World War II a community called Manzanar was hastily created in the high mountain desert country of California, east of the Sierras. Its purpose was to house thousands of Japanese American internees. One of the first families to arrive was the Wakatsukis, who were ordered to leave their fishing business in Long Beach and take with them only the belongings they could carry. For Jeanne Wakatsuki, a seven-year-old child, Manzanar became a way of life in which she struggled and adapted, observed and grew. For her father it was essentially the end of his life.
At age thirty-seven, Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston recalls life at Manzanar through the eyes of the child she was. She tells of her fear, confusion, and bewilderment as well as the dignity and great resourcefulness of people in oppressive and demeaning circumstances. Written with her husband, Jeanne delivers a powerful first-person account that reveals her search for the meaning of Manzanar.
Farewell to Manzanar has become a staple of curriculum in schools and on campuses across the country. Last year the San Francisco Chronicle named it one of the twentieth century’s 100 best nonfiction books from west of the Rockies. (Sexual Content, Profanity, Violence)
|Fences||Wilson, August||The 1987 Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for DramaFrom August Wilson, author of The Piano Lesson and the 1984-85 Broadway season's best play, Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, is another powerful, stunning dramatic work that has won him numerous critical acclaim including the 1987 Tony Award for Best Play and the Pulitzer Prize. The protagonist of Fences (part of Wilson’s ten-part “Pittsburgh Cycle” plays), Troy Maxson, is a strong man, a hard man. He has had to be to survive. Troy Maxson has gone through life in an America where to be proud and black is to face pressures that could crush a man, body and soul. But the1950s are yielding to the new spirit of liberation in the 1960s... a spirit that is changing the world Troy Maxson has learned to deal with the only way he can...a spirit that is making him a stranger, angry and afraid, in a world he never knew and to a wife and son he understands less and less.... (Sexual Content, Profanity, Violence)|
|Flowers for Algernon||Keyes, Daniel||Flowers for Algernon is the beloved, classic story of a mentally disabled man whose experimental quest for intelligence mirrors that of Algernon, an extraordinary lab mouse. In poignant diary entries, Charlie tells how a brain operation increases his IQ and changes his life. As the experimental procedure takes effect, Charlie's intelligence expands until it surpasses that of the doctors who engineered his metamorphosis. The experiment seems to be a scientific breakthrough of paramount importance--until Algernon begins his sudden, unexpected deterioration. Will the same happen to Charlie? (Sexual Content, Profanity, Violence)|
|For Whom the Bell Tolls||Hemingway, Ernest||In 1937 Ernest Hemingway traveled to Spain to cover the civil war there for the North American Newspaper Alliance. Three years later he completed the greatest novel to emerge from "the good fight," For Whom the Bell Tolls. The story of Robert Jordan, a young American in the International Brigades attached to an antifascist guerilla unit in the mountains of Spain, it tells of loyalty and courage, love and defeat, and the tragic death of an ideal. In his portrayal of Jordan's love for the beautiful Maria and his superb account of El Sordo's last stand, in his brilliant travesty of La Pasionaria and his unwillingness to believe in blind faith, Hemingway surpasses his achievement in The Sun Also Rises and A Farewell to Arms. (Sexual Content, Profanity, Violence)|
|Forgotten Fire||Bagdasarian, Adam||In 1915 Vahan Kenderian is living a life of privilege as the youngest son of a wealthy Armenian family in Turkey. This secure world is shattered when some family members are whisked away while others are murdered before his eyes. Vahan loses his home and family, and is forced to live a life he would never have dreamed of in order to survive. Somehow Vahan’s incredible strength and spirit help him endure, even knowing that each day could be his last. (Sexual Content, Profanity, Violence)|
|Frankenstein||Shelley, Mary||The novel tells the story of the life and work of Victor Frankenstein, who was able to penetrate the mystery of the origin of life and learn to animate lifeless matter. However, after seeing that his creation turned ugly and monstrous scientist disowns him and leaves the city in which he lived and worked. Nameless being hated by people for his appearance, soon begins to haunt its creator. (Profanity, Violence)|
|Gentlehands||Kerr, M. E||Sixteen-year-old Buddy Boyle makes a shattering discovery about his family in this powerful and poignant novel by award-winning author M. E. Kerr Buddy Boyle lives with his parents and younger brother in a small house on a half-acre of land in undesirable Seaville, New York. Skye Pennington spends her summers on the opposite end of town on five acres with a view of the ocean. Buddy’s dad is a police sergeant; Skye’s is the head of a multi-million-dollar industry. But none of that stops Buddy and Skye from falling in love. To impress her, Buddy takes Skye to visit his aristocratic grandfather in Montauk. Frank Trenker is Buddy’s mother’s father, a man she never talks about. Just as Buddy feels he’s getting to know his estranged grandfather, reporter Nicholas De Lucca shows up. For three years, he’s been searching for a notorious Nazi war criminal known as Gentlehands. When De Lucca uncovers a shocking connection to Buddy’s grandfather, Buddy refuses to believe the accusations. One of M. E. Kerr’s very best novels, Gentlehands tells a spellbinding story of love, loyalty, and the family you thought you knew. (Sexual Content, Profanity, Violence)|
|Great Expectations||Dickens, Charles||Pope John Paul II described Dickens’ books as "filled with love for the poor and a sense of social regeneration . . . warm with imagination and humanity". Such true charity permeates Dickens’ novels and ultimately drives the characters either to choose regeneration or risk disintegration. In Great Expectations, Pip—symbolic of the pilgrim convert—gains both improved fortunes and a growth in wisdom, but as he acquires the latter, he must relinquish the former—ending with a wealth of profound goodness, not of worldly goods. That the Dickensian message was a Christian one is unmistakable. Reminiscent of an Augustinian model, one of reflection, conversion, and moral improvement, Pip undergoes an internal change that manifests itself in his profound contrition for his earlier deeds and his equally profound resolution to make amends. As we travel with Pip, we find that Dickens leads us to an acceptance of worldly limitations and an anticipation of final salvation. (Profanity, Violence)|
|Gulliver's Travels||Swift, Jonathan||
Gulliver's Travels purports to be a travel book, and describes the shipwrecked Gulliver's encounters with the inhabitants of four extraordinary places: Lilliput, Brobdingnag, Laputa, and the country of the Houyhnhnms. A consumately skilful blend of fantasy and realism makes Gulliver's Travels by turns hilarious, frightening, and profound. This new edition includes the changing frontispiece portraits of Gulliver that appeared in successive early editions. - ;'Thus, gentle Reader, I have given thee a faithful History of my Travels for Sixteen Years, and above Seven Months; wherein I have not been so studious of Ornament as of Truth.'
In these words Gulliver represents himself as a reliable reporter of the fantastic adventures he has just set down; but how far can we rely on a narrator whose identity is elusive and whoses inventiveness is self-evident? Gulliver's Travels purports to be a travel book, and describes Gulliver's encounters with the inhabitants of four extraordinary places: Lilliput, Brobdingnag, Laputa, and the country of the Houyhnhnms. A consummately skilful blend of fantasy and realism makesGulliver's Travels by turns hilarious, frightening, and profound. Swift plays tricks on us, and delivers one of the world's most disturbing satires of the human condition. (Sexual Content, Profanity, Violence)
|Hamlet||Shakespeare, William||One of the greatest plays of all time, the compelling tragedy of the tormented young prince of Denmark continues to capture the imaginations of modern audiences worldwide. Confronted with evidence that his uncle murdered his father, and with his mother’s infidelity, Hamlet must find a means of reconciling his longing for oblivion with his duty as avenger. The ghost, Hamlet’s feigned madness, Ophelia’s death and burial, the play within a play, the “closet scene” in which Hamlet accuses his mother of complicity in murder, and breathtaking swordplay are just some of the elements that make Hamlet an enduring masterpiece of the theater. (Sexual Content, Profanity, Violence)|
|Hamlet, England in Literature:||One of the greatest plays of all time, the compelling tragedy of the tormented young prince of Denmark continues to capture the imaginations of modern audiences worldwide. Confronted with evidence that his uncle murdered his father, and with his mother’s infidelity, Hamlet must find a means of reconciling his longing for oblivion with his duty as avenger. The ghost, Hamlet’s feigned madness, Ophelia’s death and burial, the play within a play, the “closet scene” in which Hamlet accuses his mother of complicity in murder, and breathtaking swordplay are just some of the elements that make Hamlet an enduring masterpiece of the theater. (Sexual Content, Profanity, Violence)|
This award-winning contemporary classic is the survival story with which all others are compared—and a page-turning, heart-stopping adventure.
Thirteen-year-old Brian Robeson is on his way to visit his father when the single-engine plane in which he is flying crashes. Suddenly, Brian finds himself alone in the Canadian wilderness with nothing but a tattered Windbreaker and the hatchet his mother gave him as a present—and the dreadful secret that has been tearing him apart since his parent’s divorce. But now Brian has no time for anger, self pity, or despair—it will take all his know-how and determination, and more courage than he knew he possessed, to survive. (Sexual Content, Profanity, Violence)
|Heart Of Darkness and The Secret Sharer||Conrad, Joseph||
In this pair of literary voyages into the inner self, Joseph Conrad has
written two of the most chilling, disturbing, and noteworthy pieces of
fiction of the twentieth century. (Profanity, Violence)
|Henry IV, Part I||Shakespeare, William||A play alive with escapades and action, comedy and history, Henry IV, Part One begins the transformation of the madcap Prince Hal into the splendid ruler King Henry. In it a rebellion against King and State is juxtaposed with another rebellion–the riotous misbehavior of Hal and his companions, principally Falstaff. A superbly funny liar, coward, lecher, and cheat, the larger-than-life character Falstaff turns this great historical drama into a masterpiece of counterpoint and design. (Sexual Content, Profanity, Violence)|
|Henry V||Shakespeare, William||Shakespeare's history play tells the story of England's King Henry V and the Battle of Agincourt during the Hundred Years' War. (Sexual Content, Profanity, Violence)|
|His Enemy His Friend||Tunis, John R.||When a German war-criminal-turned-soccer-star comes to play a match in post-war France, old wounds are reopened. Convicted in 1944 of war crimes committed in the occupied village of Nogent-Plage, former German Sergeant Hans von Kleinschrodt is sentenced to ten years’ hard labor. By 1964, he has become the captain and goalie of the German champion soccer team—but he remains infamous throughout France, despite his insistence that he alone defied orders to slaughter the villagers when the Allied Forces arrived. When the German team must face the French champions in Rouen, the very city where Hans was sentenced twenty years earlier, the stage is set for a grudge match—and revenge. (Profanity, Violence)|
|Holes||Sachar, Louis||This winner of the Newbery Medal and the National Book Award features Stanley Yelnats, a kid who is under a curse. A curse that began with his no-good-dirty-rotten-pig-stealing-great-great-grandfather and has since followed generations of Yelnats. Now Stanley has been unjustly sent to a boys' detention center, Camp Green Lake, where the warden makes the boys "build character" by spending all day, every day, digging holes five feet wide and five feet deep. It doesn't take long for Stanley to realize there's more than character improvement going on at Camp Green Lake: the warden is looking for something. Stanley tries to dig up the truth in this inventive and darkly humorous tale of crime and punishment—and redemption. (Sexual Content, Profanity, Violence)|
|Honorable Prison||Dejenkins||Because of the moral stand taken by her father, a newspaper editor who has persistently attacked the military dictator ruling their Latin American country, Marta and her family find themselves prisoners of the government. (Profanity, Violence)|
|House-keeping||Robinson, Marilynne||Winner of the Pen/Hemingway Award--A modern classic, Housekeeping is the story of Ruth and her younger sister, Lucille, who grow up haphazardly, first under the care of their competent grandmother, then of two comically bumbling great-aunts, and finally of Sylvie, the eccentric and remote sister of their dead mother. The family house is in the small town of Fingerbone on a glacial lake in the Far West, the same lake where their grandfather died in a spectacular train wreck and their mother drove off a cliff to her death. It is a town "chastened by an outsized landscape and extravagant weather, and chastened again by an awareness that the whole of human history had occurred elsewhere." Ruth and Lucille's struggle toward adulthood beautifully illuminates the price of loss and survival, and the dangerous and deep undertow of transcience. (Sexual Content, Profanity, Violence)|
|Hunger of Memory : The Education of Richard Rodriguez||Rodriguez, Richard||Hunger of Memory is the story of Mexican-American Richard Rodriguez, who begins his schooling in Sacramento, California, knowing just 50 words of English, and concludes his university studies in the stately quiet of the reading room of the British Museum. Here is the poignant journey of a “minority student” who pays the cost of his social assimilation and academic success with a painful alienation — from his past, his parents, his culture — and so describes the high price of “making it” in middle-class America. Provocative in its positions on affirmative action and bilingual education, Hunger of Memory is a powerful political statement, a profound study of the importance of language ... and the moving, intimate portrait of a boy struggling to become a man.|
|I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings||Angelou, Maya||Superbly told, with the poet's gift for language and observation, Angelou's autobiography of her childhood in Arkansas - a world of which most Americans are ignorant. (Sexual Content, Profanity, Violence)|
|Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah||Bach, Richard||In the cloud-washed airspace between the cornfields of Illinois and blue infinity, a man puts his faith in the propeller of his biplane. For disillusioned writer and itinerant barnstormer Richard Bach, belief is as real as a full tank of gas and sparks firing in the cylinders ...until he meets Donald Shimoda - former mechanic and self-described messiah who can make wrenches fly and Richard's imagination soar...In Illusions, the unforgettable follow-up to his phenomenal New York Times bestseller Jonathan Livingston Seagull, Richard Bach takes to the air to discover the ageless truths that give our souls wings: that people don't need airplanes to soar ...that even the darkest clouds have meaning once we lift ourselves above them ...and that messiahs can be found in the unlikeliest places - like hay fields, one-traffic-light Midwestern towns, and most of all, deep within ourselves.|
|Jane Eyre||Bronte, Charlotte||Jane Eyre, the story of a young girl and her passage into adulthood, was an immediate commercial success at the time of its original publication in 1847. Its representation of the underside of domestic life and the hypocrisy behind religious enthusiasm drew both praise and bitter criticism, while Charlotte Brontë’s striking expose of poor living conditions for children in charity schools as well as her poignant portrayal of the limitations faced by women who worked as governesses sparked great controversy and social debate. (Violence)|
|Johnny Got His Gun||Trumbo, Dalton||The Searing Portrayal Of War That Has Stunned And Galvanized Generations Of Readers--It was the war to end all wars, the global struggle that would finally make the world safe for democracy--at any cost. But one American soldier has paid a price beyond measure. And within the disfigured flesh that was once a vision of youth lives a spirit that cannot accept what the world has become.An immediate bestseller upon its original publication in 1939, Dalton Trumbo's stark, profoundly troubling masterpiece about the horrors of World War I brilliantly crystallized the uncompromising brutality of war and became the most influential protest novel of the Vietnam era. With a poignant new foreword by Cindy Sheehan, Johnny Got His Gun--an undisputed classic of antiwar literatureis as timely as ever. (Sexual Content, Profanity, Violence)|
|Jude the Obscure||Hardy, Thomas||In Thomas Hardy's final novel, Jude the Obscure, Jude Fawley longs to change his life as a stonemason and become a scholar. He desperately wants to study at Christminster, a respected university which Hardy modelled on Oxford. Instead he finds himself in a bad marriage, judged by his peers and in love with another woman. Incredibly controversial upon its publication, the novel questions social institutions, particularly marriage and the Church. Hardy was judged harshly for the book's contentious themes, and never wrote fiction again after it was published. (Sexual Content, Profanity, Violence)|
|King Lear||Shakespeare, William||A king foolishly divides his kingdom between his scheming two oldest daughters and estranges himself from the daughter who loves him. So begins this profoundly moving and disturbing tragedy that, perhaps more than any other work in literature, challenges the notion of a coherent and just universe. The king and others pay dearly for their shortcomings–as madness, murder, and the anguish of insight and forgiveness that arrive too late combine to make this an all-embracing tragedy of evil and suffering. (Profanity, Violence)|
|Kite Runner||Hosseini, Khaled||
The New York Times bestseller and international classic loved by millions of readers. The unforgettable, heartbreaking story of the unlikely friendship between a wealthy boy and the son of his father's servant, The Kite Runner is a beautifully crafted novel set in a country that is in the process of being destroyed. It is about the power of reading, the price of betrayal, and the possibility of redemption; and an exploration of the power of fathers over sons—their love, their sacrifices, their lies.
A sweeping story of family, love, and friendship told against the devastating backdrop of the history of Afghanistan over the last thirty years, The Kite Runner is an unusual and powerful novel that has become a beloved, one-of-a-kind classic. (Sexual Content, Profanity, Violence)
|Light in August||Faulkner, William||Light in August, a novel about hopeful perseverance in the face of mortality, features some of Faulkner’s most memorable characters: guileless, dauntless Lena Grove, in search of the father of her unborn child; Reverend Gail Hightower, who is plagued by visions of Confederate horsemen; and Joe Christmas, a desperate, enigmatic drifter consumed by his mixed ancestry. (Sexual Content, Profanity, Violence)|
|Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner (Trade Ed)||Sillitoe, Alan||Perhaps one of the most revered works of fiction in the twentieth-century, The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner is a modern classic about integrity, courage, and bucking the system. Its title story recounts the story of a reform school cross-country runner who seizes the perfect opportunity to defy the authority that governs his life. It is a pure masterpiece. From there the collection expands even further from the touching “On Saturday Afternoon” to the rollicking “The Decline and Fall and Frankie Buller.” Beloved for its lean prose, unforgettable protagonists, and real-life wisdom, The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner captured the voice of a generation, and its poignant and empowering life lessons will continue to captivate and entertain readers for generations to come. ???|
|Looking Backward||Bellamy, Edward||LOOKING BACKWARD is a utopian science fiction novel by Edward Bellamy, a lawyer and writer from Chicopee Falls, Massachusetts; it was first published in 1887. According to Erich Fromm, Looking Backward is one of the most remarkable books ever published in America. It influenced a large number of intellectuals, and appears by title in many of the major Marxist writings of the day. It is one of the few books ever published that created almost immediately on its appearance a political mass movement . In the United States alone, over 162 Bellamy Clubs sprang up to discuss and propagate the book's ideas. The novel also inspired several utopian communities. (Sexual Content, Profanity, Violence)|
|Lord of the Flies||Golding, William||
Lord of the Flies remains as provocative today as when it was first published in 1954, igniting passionate debate with its startling, brutal portrait of human nature. Though critically acclaimed, it was largely ignored upon its initial publication. Yet soon it became a cult favorite among both students and literary critics who compared it to J.D. Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye in its influence on modern thought and literature.
Labeled a parable, an allegory, a myth, a morality tale, a parody, a political treatise, even a vision of the apocalypse, Lord of the Flies has established itself as a true classic. (Sexual Content, Profanity, Violence)
|Lost Horizon||Hilton, James||Hilton’s bestselling classic about a man who stumbles on the world’s last great hope for peace: Shangri-La --Hugh Conway saw humanity at its worst while fighting in the trenches of the First World War. Now, more than a decade later, Conway is a British diplomat serving in Afghanistan and facing war yet again—this time, a civil conflict forces him to flee the country by plane. When his plane crashes high in the Himalaya mountains, Conway and the other survivors are found by a mysterious guide and led to a breathtaking discovery: the hidden valley of Shangri-La. Kept secret from the world for more than two hundred years, Shangri-La is like paradise—a place whose inhabitants live for centuries amid the peace and harmony of the fertile valley. But when the leader of the Shangri-La monastery falls ill, Conway and the others must face the daunting prospect of returning home to a world about to be torn open by war. Thrilling and passionate, Lost Horizon is a masterpiece of modern fiction, and one of the most enduring books of the twentieth century. (Profanity, Violence)|
|Macbeth||Shakespeare, William||No dramatist has ever seen with more frightening clarity into the heart and mind of a murderer than has Shakespeare in this compelling tragedy of evil. Taunted into asserting his “masculinity” by his ambitious wife, Macbeth chooses to embrace the Weird Sisters’ prophecy and kill his king–and thus, seals his own doom. Fast-moving and bloody, this drama has the extraordinary energy that derives from a brilliant plot replete with treachery and murder, and from Shakespeare’s compelling portrait of the ultimate battle between a mind and its own guilt. (Profanity, Violence)|
|Maggie: Girl of the Streets & Other Short Fiction||Crane, Stephen||Stephen Crane's first novel is the tale of a pretty young slum girl driven to brutal excesses by poverty and loneliness. It was considered so sexually frank and realistic, that the book had to be privately printed at first. It and GEORGE'S MOTHER, the shorter novel that follows in this edition, were eventually hailed as the first genuine expressions of Naturalism in American letters and established their creator as the American apostle of an artistic revolution which was to alter the shape and destiny of civilization itself. (Sexual Content, Profanity, Violence)|
|Maus I: My Father Bleeds History||Spiegelman, Art||A story of a Jewish survivor of Hitler's Europe and his son, a cartoonist who tries to come to terms with his father's story and history itself. (Profanity, Violence)|
|Maus II: A Survivor's Tale: And Here My Troubles Began||Spiegelman, Art||Acclaimed as a quiet triumph and a brutally moving work of art, the first volume of Art Spieglman's Maus introduced readers to Vladek Spiegleman, a Jewish survivor of Hitler's Europe, and his son, a cartoonist trying to come to terms with his father, his father's terrifying story, and History itself. Its form, the cartoon (the Nazis are cats, the Jews mice), succeeds perfectly in shocking us out of any lingering sense of familiararity with the events described, approaching, as it does, the unspeakable through the diminutive.This second volume, subtitled And Here My Troubles Began, moves us from the barracks of Auschwitz to the bungalows of the Catskills. Genuinely tragic and comic by turns, it attains a complexity of theme and a precision of thought new to comics and rare in any medium. Maus ties together two powerful stories: Vladek's harrowing tale of survival against all odds, delineating the paradox of daily life in the death camps, and the author's account of his tortured relationship with his aging father. At every level this is the ultimate survivor's tale - and that too of the children who somehow survive even the survivors. (Profanity, Violence)|
|Merchant of Venice||Shakespeare, William||The Merchant of Venice is a tragic comedy by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written between 1596 and 1598. Though classified as a tragic comedy in the First Folio and sharing certain aspects with Shakespeare's other romantic comedies, the play is perhaps most remembered for its dramatic scenes, and is best known for Shylock and the famous 'pound of flesh' speech.The title character is the merchant Antonio, not the Jewish moneylender Shylock, who is the play's most prominent and most famous character. (Sexual Content, Profanity, Violence)|
|Mexican Whiteboy||Peña, Matt de la||Danny is tall and skinny. Even though he’s not built, his arms are long enough to give his pitch a power so fierce any college scout would sign him on the spot. A 95 mph fastball, but the boy’s not even on a team. Every time he gets up on the mound he loses it. But at his private school, they don’t expect much else from him. Danny’s brown. Half-Mexican brown. And growing up in San Diego that close to the border means everyone else knows exactly who he is before he even opens his mouth. Before they find out he can’t speak Spanish, and before they realize his mom has blond hair and blue eyes, they’ve got him pegged. Danny’s convinced it’s his whiteness that sent his father back to Mexico. And that’s why he’s spending the summer with his dad’s family. Only, to find himself, he might just have to face the demons he refuses to see right in front of his face. (Sexual Content, Profanity, Violence)|
|Moby Dick||Melville, Herman||A masterpiece of storytelling and symbolic realism, this thrilling maritime adventure and epic saga pits Ahab, a brooding and vengeful sea captain, against the great white whale that crippled him and came to dominate his life. But more than just the tale of a hair-raising voyage, Melville's riveting story passionately probes the human soul. A literary classic first published in 1851, Moby-Dick remains among the most highly acclaimed novels of the sea and a powerful account of the ultimate human struggle. (Profanity, Violence)|
|Monster||Myers, Walter Dean||This New York Times bestselling novel and National Book Award nominee from acclaimed author Walter Dean Myers tells the story of Steve Harmon, a teenage boy in juvenile detention and on trial. Presented as a screenplay of Steve's own imagination, and peppered with journal entries, the book shows how one single decision can change our whole lives.Fade In: Interior: Early Morning In Cell Block D, Manhattan Detention Center.Steve (Voice-Over)Sometimes I feel like I have walked into the middle of a movie. Maybe I can make my own movie. The film will be the story of my life. No, not my life, but of this experience. I'll call it what the lady prosecutor called me ... Monster. Supports the Common Core State Standards (Sexual Content, Profanity, Violence)|
|Motorcycle Ride on Sea of Tranquility||Santana, Patricia||It's April 1969, and fourteen-year-old Yolanda Sahagún can hardly wait to see her favorite brother, Chuy, newly returned from Vietnam. But when he arrives at the Welcome Home party the family has prepared in his honor it's clear that the war has changed him. The transformation of Chuy is only one of the challenges that Yolanda and the rest of her family face. This powerful coming-of-age novel, winner of the 1999 Chicano/Latino Literary Contest, is a touching and funny account of a summer that is still remembered as a crossroads in American life. Yolanda and her brothers and sisters learn how to be men and women and how to be Americans as well as Mexican Americans. (Sexual Content, Profanity, Violence)|
|Much Ado About Nothing||Shakespeare, William||"Much Ado About Nothing" is the story of Leonato, an Italian nobleman, his daughter, Hero, and his niece, Beatrice. Following a war Leonato welcomes into his house Don Pedro, his good friend; fellow soldiers of Don Pedro, Claudio and Benedick; as well as Don Pedro's illegitimate brother, Don John. Quickly amorous relations develop between Claudio and Hero and later between Benedick and Beatrice. As wedding plans are being made for Claudio and Hero, Don John tricks Claudio into believing that Hero has been unfaithful. The wedding bliss is briefly interrupted until the truth is finally discovered and the play ends in a joyful double wedding. (Sexual Content, Profanity)|
|Murder on the Orient Express||Christie, Agatha||Just after midnight, the famous Orient Express is stopped in its tracks by a snowdrift. By morning, the millionaire Samuel Ratchett lays dead in his compartment, stabbed a dozen times, his door locked from the inside. One of his fellow passengers must be the murderer. Isolated by the storm and with a killer in their midst, detective Hercule Poirot must find the killer amongst a dozen of the dead man's enemies, before the murderer decides to strike again... (Profanity, Violence)|
|My Antonia||Cather, Willa||My Antonia is undoubtedly the most popular novel ever written by author Willa Cather. A book about several immigrant families who are recent arrivals to rural Nebraska. Narrator Jim Burden, develops a crush for Antonia. (Sexual Content, Profanity, Violence)|
|Necessary Roughness||Lee, Marie G.||Chan Kim has never felt like an outsider in his life. That is, not until his family moves from L.A. to a tiny town in Minnesota -- Land of 10,000 Lakes -- and probably 10,000 hicks, too. The Kims are the only Asian family in town, and when Chan and his twin sister, Young, attend high school, it's a blond-haired, blue-eyed whiteout. Chan throws himself into the only game in town -- football -- and the necessary roughness required to make a player. On the field it means "justifiable violence, " but as Chan is about to discover, off the field it's a whole different ballgame...(Sexual Content, Profanity, Violence)|
|Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America||Ehrenreich, Barbara||
Millions of Americans work full time, year round, for poverty-level wages. In 1998, Barbara Ehrenreich decided to join them. She was inspired in part by the rhetoric surrounding welfare reform, which promised that a job -- any job -- can be the ticket to a better life. But how does anyone survive, let alone prosper, on $6 an hour? To find out, Ehrenreich left her home, took the cheapest lodgings she could find, and accepted whatever jobs she was offered. Moving from Florida to Maine to Minnesota, she worked as a waitress, a hotel maid, a cleaning woman, a nursing-home aide, and a Wal-Mart sales clerk.
Nickel and Dimed reveals low-rent America in all its tenacity, anxiety, and surprising generosity -- a land of Big Boxes, fast food, and a thousand desperate stratagems for survival. (Sexual Content, Profanity)
Night is Elie Wiesel’s masterpiece, a candid, horrific, and deeply poignant autobiographical account of his survival as a teenager in the Nazi death camps. This new translation by Marion Wiesel, Elie’s wife and frequent translator, presents this seminal memoir in the language and spirit truest to the author’s original intent. And in a substantive new preface, Elie reflects on the enduring importance of Night and his lifelong, passionate dedication to ensuring that the world never forgets man’s capacity for inhumanity to man.
Night offers much more than a litany of the daily terrors, everyday perversions, and rampant sadism at Auschwitz and Buchenwald; it also eloquently addresses many of the philosophical as well as personal questions implicit in any serious consideration of what the Holocaust was, what it meant, and what its legacy is and will be. (Violence)
|Nine Tomorrows ( Tales of the near Future)||Asimov, Isaac||Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow... and every one brings us awesome new wonders, heart-stopping new adventures. Dr. Asimov shows us the Olympics, 21st-century style... a suicidal computer... a child who found a mother -- 40,000 years too late... and other incredible visions, waiting to come true, just a few tomorrows up the road. (Profanity, Violence)|
|Number the Stars||Lowry, Lois||As the German troops begin their campaign to "relocate" all the Jews of Denmark, Annemarie Johansen’s family takes in Annemarie’s best friend, Ellen Rosen, and conceals her as part of the family. Through the eyes of ten-year-old Annemarie, we watch as the Danish Resistance smuggles almost the entire Jewish population of Denmark, nearly seven thousand people, across the sea to Sweden. The heroism of an entire nation reminds us that there was pride and human decency in the world even during a time of terror and war. Winner of the 1990 Newbery Medal. (Violence)|
|Of Mice and Men||Steinbeck, John||
Over seventy-five years since its first publication, Steinbeck’s tale of commitment, loneliness, hope, and loss remains one of America’s most widely read and taught novels. An unlikely pair, George and Lennie, two migrant workers in California during the Great Depression, grasp for their American Dream. They hustle work when they can, living a hand-to-mouth existence. For George and Lennie have a plan: to own an acre of land and a shack they can call their own. When they land jobs on a ranch in the Salinas Valley, the fulfillment of their dream seems to be within their grasp. But even George cannot guard Lennie from the provocations, nor predict the consequences of Lennie's unswerving obedience to the things George taught him.
Of Mice and Men represents an experiment in form, which Steinbeck described as “a kind of playable novel, written in a novel form but so scened and set that it can be played as it stands.” A rarity in American letters, it achieved remarkable success as a novel, a Broadway play, and three acclaimed films. (Sexual Content, Profanity, Violence)
|Oliver Twist||Dickens, Charles||Oliver Twist's famous cry of the heart — "Please, sir, I want some more" — has resounded with generations of readers of all ages. The author poured his own youthful experience of Victorian London's unspeakable squalor into this realistic depiction of a spirited young innocent's unwilling but inevitable recruitment into a scabrous gang of thieves. Masterminded by the loathsome Fagin, the underworld crew features some of Dickens's most memorable characters, including the vicious Bill Sikes, gentle Nancy, and the juvenile pickpocket known as the Artful Dodger. (Violence)|
|One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich||Solzhenitsyn, Aleksandr Isaevich||First published in the Soviet journal Novy Mir in 1962, One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich stands as a classic of contemporary literature. The story of labor-camp inmate Ivan Denisovich Shukhov, it graphically describes his struggle to maintain his dignity in the face of communist oppression. An unforgettable portrait of the entire world of Stalin's forced work camps, One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich is one of the most extraordinary literary documents to have emerged from the Soviet Union and confirms Solzhenitsyn's stature as "a literary genius whose talent matches that of Dosotevsky, Turgenev, Tolstoy"--Harrison Salisbury (Violence)|
|One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest||Kesey, Ken||
An international bestseller and the basis for a hugely successful film, Ken Kesey's One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest was one of the defining works of the 1960s. A mordant, wickedly subversive parable set in a mental ward, the novel chronicles the head-on collision between its hell-raising, life-affirming hero Randle Patrick McMurphy and the totalitarian rule of Big Nurse. McMurphy swaggers into the mental ward like a blast of fresh air and turns the place upside down, starting a gambling operation, smuggling in wine and women, and egging on the other patients to join him in open rebellion. But McMurphy's revolution against Big Nurse and everything she stands for quickly turns from sport to a fierce power struggle with shattering results.
With One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Kesey created a work without precedent in American literature, a novel at once comic and tragic that probes the nature of madness and sanity, authority and vitality. Greeted by unanimous acclaim when it was first published, the book has become and enduring favorite of readers. (Sexual Content, Profanity, Violence)
|Out of the Dust||Hesse, Karen||This gripping story, written in sparse first-person, free-verse poems, is the compelling tale of Billie Jo's struggle to survive during the dust bowl years of the Depression. With stoic courage, she learns to cope with the loss of her mother and her grieving father's slow deterioration. There is hope at the end when Billie Jo's badly burned hands are healed, and she is able to play her beloved piano again. The 1998 Newbery Medal winner.(Profanity, Violence)|
|Patch of Blue||Kata, Elizabeth||This is a romance story about a young woman who must make decisions in life, including whether or not she should she give up her unborn child or give up on her marriage. It includes womanizing, true respect and even a receipe for a great cheese cake. (Sexual Content, Violence)|
|Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood||Satrapi, Marjane||
Wise, funny, and heartbreaking, Persepolis is Marjane Satrapi’s memoir of growing up in Iran during the Islamic Revolution. In powerful black-and-white comic strip images, Satrapi tells the story of her life in Tehran from ages six to fourteen, years that saw the overthrow of the Shah’s regime, the triumph of the Islamic Revolution, and the devastating effects of war with Iraq. The intelligent and outspoken only child of committed Marxists and the great-granddaughter of one of Iran’s last emperors, Marjane bears witness to a childhood uniquely entwined with the history of her country.
Persepolis paints an unforgettable portrait of daily life in Iran and of the bewildering contradictions between home life and public life. Marjane’s child’s-eye view of dethroned emperors, state-sanctioned whippings, and heroes of the revolution allows us to learn as she does the history of this fascinating country and of her own extraordinary family. Intensely personal, profoundly political, and wholly original, Persepolis is at once a story of growing up and a reminder of the human cost of war and political repression. It shows how we carry on, with laughter and tears, in the face of absurdity. And, finally, it introduces us to an irresistible little girl with whom we cannot help but fall in love. (Sexual Content, Profanity, Violence)
|Pride and Prejudice||Austen, Jane||"It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife." Next to the exhortation at the beginning of Moby-Dick, "Call me Ishmael," the first sentence of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice must be among the most quoted in literature. And certainly what Melville did for whaling Austen does for marriage--tracing the intricacies (not to mention the economics) of 19th-century British mating rituals with a sure hand and an unblinking eye. As usual, Austen trains her sights on a country village and a few families--in this case, the Bennets, the Philips, and the Lucases. Into their midst comes Mr. Bingley, a single man of good fortune, and his friend, Mr. Darcy, who is even richer.|
|Pudd'nhead Wilson||Twain, Mark||A searching critique of racism in America, Mark Twain's novel remain as relevant today as it did more than 100 years ago. A masterpiece of American literature. (Profanity, Violence)|
|Rabbit, Run||Updike, John||Rabbit, Run is the book that established John Updike as one of the major American novelists of his—or any other—generation. Its hero is Harry “Rabbit” Angstrom, a onetime high-school basketball star who on an impulse deserts his wife and son. He is twenty-six years old, a man-child caught in a struggle between instinct and thought, self and society, sexual gratification and family duty—even, in a sense, human hard-heartedness and divine Grace. Though his flight from home traces a zigzag of evasion, he holds to the faith that he is on the right path, an invisible line toward his own salvation as straight as a ruler’s edge. (Sexual Content, Profanity, Violence)|
|Reinventing My Normal||Donahue, Mike||Reinventing My Normal is the book every young person should read. It is about developing your identity instead of allowing the circumstances of your life to do it for you. Within it's pages Mike Donahue shares his personal life stories in a way that challenges you to grow and think outside the box. (Violence)|
|Richard II||Shakespeare, William||Richard II was a king by virtue of the divine right of kings and thus God's elected deputy. He is intelligent but weak. John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster is the king's uncle and father of the king's rival, Henry Bolingbroke. The King banishes courtiers Mowbray for life and Bolingbroke for or ten years which, showing outward mercy, he reduces to six after a vicious quarrel. The King is happy to banish Bolingbroke as he fears that the young man's popularity is a threat to his crown. (Profanity, Violence)|
|Richard III||Shakespeare, William||A biography of Richard II. It offers a radical reinterpretation of a complex king whose reign was characterized by a mixture of high principle and despotic legislation. (Profanity, Violence)|
|Romeo and Juliet||Shakespeare, William||Romeo and Juliet is a tragic play written early in the career of William Shakespeare about two teenage "star-cross'd lovers" whose untimely deaths ultimately unite their feuding households. It was among Shakespeare's most popular plays during his lifetime and, along with Hamlet, is one of his most frequently performed plays. Today, the title characters are regarded as archetypal "young lovers." (Sexual Content, Profanity, Violence)|
|Romiette and Julio||Draper, Sharon M.||
When Romiette Cappelle and her best friend, Destiny, decide to order The Scientific Soul Mate System from the back of Heavy Hunks magazine, they're not sure what they're getting into. But Destiny, a self-proclaimed psychic, assures Romi that for $44.99 plus shipping and handling, it's the only way they're ever going to find out who their soul mates really are. If nothing else, maybe Romi will get some insight into that recurring dream she's been having about fire and water.
But they never expect that the scented candle and tube of dream ointment will live up to their promises and merge Romiette's destiny with that of Julio Montague, a boy she's just met in the "cosmos" of an Internet chat room. It turns out they go to the same high school, not to mention having almost the same names as Shakespeare's famous lovers! Sweet-scented dreams of Julio have almost overtaken Romi's nightmares...
...when suddenly they return, but this time in real life. It seems the Devildogs, a local gang, violently oppose the relationship of Romiette and Julio. Soon they find themselves haunted by the purple-clad shadows of the gang, and the fire and water of Romiette's dream merge in ways more terrifying -- and ultimately more affirming -- than even Destiny could have foreseen. (Sexual Content, Profanity, Violence)
|Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes||Coerr, Eleanor||The star of her school’s running team, Sadako is lively and athletic…until the dizzy spells start. Then she must face the hardest race of her life—the race against time. Based on a true story, Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes celebrates the courage that makes one young woman a heroine in Japan. (Violence)|
|Schindler's List||Keneally, Thomas||A stunning novel based on the true story of how German war profiteer and factory director Oskar Schindler came to save more Jews from the gas chambers than any other single person during World War II. In this milestone of Holocaust literature, Thomas Keneally, author of Daughter of Mars, uses the actual testimony of the Schindlerjuden—Schindler’s Jews—to brilliantly portray the courage and cunning of a good man in the midst of unspeakable evil.(Sexual Content, Profanity, Violence)|
|Sea Wolf||London, Jack||An excerpt: "And where am I?" I asked Johnson, whom I took, and rightly, to be one of the sailors. "What vessel is this, and where is she bound?" "Off the Farallones, heading about sou-west," he answered, slowly and methodically, as though groping for his best English, and rigidly observing the order of my queries. "The schooner Ghost, bound seal-hunting to Japan." "And who is the captain? I must see him as soon as I am dressed." Johnson looked puzzled and embarrassed. He hesitated while he groped in his vocabulary and framed a complete answer. "The cap'n is Wolf Larsen, or so men call him. I never heard his other name. But you better speak soft with him. He is mad this morning. The mate--" But he did not finish. The cook had glided in. "Better sling yer 'ook out of 'ere, Yonson," he said. "The old man'll be wantin' yer on deck, an' this ayn't no d'y to fall foul of 'im." Johnson turned obediently to the door, at the same time, over the cook's shoulder, favouring me with an amazingly solemn and portentous wink as though to emphasize his interrupted remark and the need for me to be soft-spoken with the captain.(Violence)|
|Sheltering Sky||Bowles, Paul||The Sheltering Sky is a landmark of twentieth-century literature. In this intensely fascinating story, Paul Bowles examines the ways in which Americans' incomprehension of alien cultures leads to the ultimate destruction of those cultures.A story about three American travelers adrift in the cities and deserts of North Africa after World War II, The Sheltering Sky explores the limits of humanity when it touches the unfathomable emptiness and impassive cruelty of the desert. (Violence)|
|Siddhartha||Hesse, Hermann||In the novel, Siddhartha, a young man, leaves his family for a contemplative life, then, restless, discards it for one of the flesh. He conceives a son, but bored and sickened by lust and greed, moves on again. Near despair, Siddhartha comes to a river where he hears a unique sound. This sound signals the true beginning of his life -- the beginning of suffering, rejection, peace, and, finally, wisdom. (Sexual Content)|
|Slaughterhouse Five||Vonnegut, Kurt||
Selected by the Modern Library as one of the 100 best novels of all time
Slaughterhouse-Five, an American classic, is one of the world’s great antiwar books. Centering on the infamous firebombing of Dresden, Billy Pilgrim’s odyssey through time reflects the mythic journey of our own fractured lives as we search for meaning in what we fear most. (Sexual Content, Violence, Profanity)
|Soldier's Heart||Paulsen, Gary||Gary Paulsen introduces readers to Charley Goddard in his latest novel, Soldier's Heart. Charley goes to war a boy, and returns a changed man, crippled by what he has seen. In this captivating tale Paulsen vividly shows readers the turmoil of war through one boy's eyes and one boy's heart, and gives a voice to all the anonymous young men who fought in the Civil War. (Violence)|
|Sophie's world||Gaarder, Jostein||One day Sophie comes home from school to find two questions in her mail: "Who are you?" and "Where does the world come from?" Before she knows it she is enrolled in a correspondence course with a mysterious philosopher. Thus begins Jostein Gaarder's unique novel, which is not only a mystery, but also a complete and entertaining history of philosophy. (Sexual Content, Profanity, Violence)|
|Speak||Anderson, Laurie Halse||"Speak up for yourself--we want to know what you have to say." From the first moment of her freshman year at Merryweather High, Melinda knows this is a big fat lie, part of the nonsense of high school. She is friendless, outcast, because she busted an end-of-summer party by calling the cops, so now nobody will talk to her, let alone listen to her. As time passes, she becomes increasingly isolated and practically stops talking altogether. Only her art class offers any solace, and it is through her work on an art project that she is finally able to face what really happened at that terrible party: she was raped by an upperclassman, a guy who still attends Merryweather and is still a threat to her. Her healing process has just begun when she has another violent encounter with him. But this time Melinda fights back, refuses to be silent, and thereby achieves a measure of vindication. In Laurie Halse Anderson's powerful novel, an utterly believable heroine with a bitterly ironic voice delivers a blow to the hypocritical world of high school. She speaks for many a disenfranchised teenager while demonstrating the importance of speaking up for oneself. Speak was a 1999 National Book Award Finalist for Young People's Literature. (Sexual Content, Profanity, Violence)|
|Sula||Morrison, Toni||Two girls who grow up to become women. Two friends who become something worse than enemies. In this brilliantly imagined novel, Toni Morrison tells the story of Nel Wright and Sula Peace, who meet as children in the small town of Medallion, Ohio. Their devotion is fierce enough to withstand bullies and the burden of a dreadful secret. It endures even after Nel has grown up to be a pillar of the black community and Sula has become a pariah. But their friendship ends in an unforgivable betrayal—or does it end? Terrifying, comic, ribald and tragic, Sula is a work that overflows with life. (Sexual Content, Profanity, Violence)|
|Taming of the Shrew||Shakespeare, William||A robust and bawdy battle of the sexes, this ever popular comedy captivates audiences with outrageous humor as Katharina, the shrew, engages in a contest of wills–and love–with her bridegroom, Petruchio. Their boisterous conflict is set off against a more conventional romantic plot involving the wooing of Katharina’s lovely and compliant sister, Bianca. Rich with the psychological themes of identity and transformation, the play is quintessentially lighthearted, filled with visual gags, witty repartee, and unmatched theatrical brilliance from Petruchio’s demand, “Kiss me, Kate!” to the final spectacle of the wedding feast. (Sexual Content, Violence)|
|The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian||Alexie, Sherman||
Bestselling author Sherman Alexie tells the story of Junior, a budding cartoonist growing up on the Spokane Indian Reservation. Determined to take his future into his own hands, Junior leaves his troubled school on the rez to attend an all-white farm town high school where the only other Indian is the school mascot.
Heartbreaking, funny, and beautifully written, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, which is based on the author's own experiences, coupled with poignant drawings by Ellen Forney that reflect the character's art, chronicles the contemporary adolescence of one Native American boy as he attempts to break away from the life he was destined to live. (Sexual Content, Violence, Profanity)
|The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn||Twain, Mark||THE ADVENTURES OF HUCKLEBERRY FINN is a novel by Mark Twain, first published in England in December 1884 and in the United States in February 1885. Commonly named among the Great American Novels, the work is among the first in major American literature to be written throughout in vernacular English, characterized by local color regionalism. It is told in the first person by Huckleberry Huck Finn, a friend of Tom Sawyer and narrator of two other Twain novels (Tom Sawyer Abroad and Tom Sawyer, Detective). It is a direct sequel to The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. The book is noted for its colorful description of people and places along the Mississippi River. Satirizing a Southern antebellum society that had ceased to exist about twenty years before the work was published, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is an often scathing look at entrenched attitudes, particularly racism. (Profanity, Violence)|
|The Bean Trees||Kingsolver, Barbara||The Bean Trees is bestselling author Barbara Kingsolver’s first novel, now widely regarded as a modern classic. It is the charming, engrossing tale of rural Kentucky native Taylor Greer, who only wants to get away from her roots and avoid getting pregnant. She succeeds, but inherits a 3-year-old native-American little girl named Turtle along the way, and together, from Oklahoma to Tucson, Arizona, half-Cherokee Taylor and her charge search for a new life in the West.Written with humor and pathos, this highly praised novel focuses on love and friendship, abandonment and belonging as Taylor, out of money and seemingly out of options, settles in dusty Tucson and begins working at Jesus Is Lord Used Tires while trying to make a life for herself and Turtle. The author of such bestsellers as The Lacuna, The Poinsonwood Bible, and Flight Behavior, Barbara Kingsolver has been hailed for her striking imagery and clear dialogue, and this is the novel that kicked off her remarkable literary career. (Sexual Content, Profanity, Violence)|
|The Bell Jar||Plath, Sylvia||Esther Greenwood is brilliant, beautiful, enormously talented, and successful, but slowly going under--maybe for the last time. In her acclaimed and enduring masterwork, Sylvia Plath brilliantly draws the reader into Esther's breakdown with such intensity that her insanity becomes palpably real, even rational--as accessible an experience as going to the movies. A deep penetration into the darkest and most harrowing corners of the human psyche, The Bell Jar is an extraordinary accomplishment and a haunting American classic. (Sexual Content, Violence)|
|The Bluest Eye||Morrison, Toni||Pecola Breedlove, a young black girl, prays every day for beauty. Mocked by other children for the dark skin, curly hair, and brown eyes that set her apart, she yearns for normalcy, for the blond hair and blue eyes that she believes will allow her to finally fit in. Yet as her dream grows more fervent, her life slowly starts to disintegrate in the face of adversity and strife. A powerful examination of our obsession with beauty and conformity, Toni Morrison’s virtuosic first novel asks powerful questions about race, class, and gender with the subtlety and grace that have always characterized her writing. (Sexual Content, Violence, Profanity)|
|The Bull from the Sea||Renault, Mary||In The Bull from the Sea, the story of Theseus resumes with the hero’s return from Knossos. In the wake of his father’s suicide, Athens is now Theseus’s to rule. With his close friend Pirithoos, Theseus sets out for the land of the Amazons, falling in love with their beautiful leader, Hippolyta. Her boldness and sense of honor match his own, but though they’re happy and bear a son, tragedy lies ahead. The Athenians mistrust the foreign Hippolyta, and Theseus is forced to marry Phaedra, his betrothed. War wracks the land, and brings with it death that will change the Athenian king forever. As the darkness gathers, a valiant hero’s life draws poignantly to a close. (Sexual Content, Violence)|
|The Canterbury Tales||Chaucer, Geoffrey||One spring day, the Narrator of The Canterbury Tales rents a room at the Tabard Inn before he recommences his journey to Canterbury. That evening, a group of people arrive at the inn, all of whom are also going to Canterbury to receive the blessings of "the holy blissful martyr," St. Thomas à Becket. Calling themselves "pilgrims" because of their destination, they accept the Narrator into their company. The Narrator describes his newfound traveling companions.The Host at the inn, Harry Bailey, suggests that, to make the trip to Canterbury pass more pleasantly, each member of the party tell two tales on the journey to Canterbury and two more tales on the journey back. The person who tells the best story will be rewarded with a sumptuous dinner paid for by the other members of the party. The Host decides to accompany the pilgrims to Canterbury and serve as the judge of the tales. (Sexual Content, Profanity, Violence)|
|The Canterbury Tales (Selected Sections)||Chaucer, Geoffrey||One spring day, the Narrator of The Canterbury Tales rents a room at the Tabard Inn before he recommences his journey to Canterbury. That evening, a group of people arrive at the inn, all of whom are also going to Canterbury to receive the blessings of "the holy blissful martyr," St. Thomas à Becket. Calling themselves "pilgrims" because of their destination, they accept the Narrator into their company. The Narrator describes his newfound traveling companions.The Host at the inn, Harry Bailey, suggests that, to make the trip to Canterbury pass more pleasantly, each member of the party tell two tales on the journey to Canterbury and two more tales on the journey back. The person who tells the best story will be rewarded with a sumptuous dinner paid for by the other members of the party. The Host decides to accompany the pilgrims to Canterbury and serve as the judge of the tales. (Sexual Content, Profanity, Violence)|
|The Catcher in the Rye||Salinger, J.D.||The hero-narrator of THE CATCHER IN THE RYE is an ancient child of sixteen, a native New Yorker named Holden Caulfield. Through circumstances that tend to preclude adult, secondhand description, he leaves his prep school in Pennsylvania and goes underground in New York City for three days. The boy himself is at once too simple and too complex for us to make any final comment about him or his story. Perhaps the safest thing we can say about Holden is that he was born in the world not just strongly attracted to beauty but, almost, hopelessly impaled on it. There are many voices in this novel: children's voices, adult voices, underground voices-but Holden's voice is the most eloquent of all. Transcending his own vernacular, yet remaining marvelously faithful to it, he issues a perfectly articulated cry of mixed pain and pleasure. However, like most lovers and clowns and poets of the higher orders, he keeps most of the pain to, and for, himself. The pleasure he gives away, or sets aside, with all his heart. It is there for the reader who can handle it to keep. (Sexual Content, Profanity, Violence)|
|The Circuit: Stories from the Life of a Migrant Child||Jimenez, Francisco||"'La frontera'...I heard it for the first time back in the late 1940s when Papa and Mama told me and Roberto, my older brother, that someday we would take a long trip north, cross la frontera, enter California, and leave our poverty behind." So begins this honest and powerful account of a family's journey to the fields of California -- to a life of constant moving, from strawberry fields to cotton fields, from tent cities to one-room shacks, from picking grapes to topping carrots and thinning lettuce. Seen through the eyes of a boy who longs for an education and the right to call one palce home, this is a story of survival, faith, and hope. It is a journey that will open readers' hearts and minds. (Profanity, Violence)|
|The Color Purple||Walker, Alice||
Alice Walker’s masterpiece, a powerful novel of courage in the face of oppression
Celie has grown up in rural Georgia, navigating a childhood of ceaseless abuse. Not only is she poor and despised by the society around her, she’s badly treated by her family. As a teenager she begins writing letters directly to God in an attempt to transcend a life that often seems too much to bear. Her letters span twenty years and record a journey of self-discovery and empowerment through the guiding light of a few strong women and her own implacable will to find harmony with herself and her home. The Color Purple’s deeply inspirational narrative, coupled with Walker’s prodigious talent as a stylist and storyteller, have made the novel a contemporary classic of American letters. (Sexual Content, Profanity, Violence)
|The Crazy Horse Electric Game||Crutcher, Chris||Willie Weaver used to be a hero. Now he's nothing. Willie is a top athlete, the star of the legendary game against Crazy Horse Electric. Then a freak accident robs him of his once-amazing physical talents. Betrayed by his family, his girlfriend, and his own body, Willie's on the run, penniless and terrified on the streets, where he must fight to rebuild both his body and his life. (Sexual Content, Profanity, Violence)|
|The Crucible||Miller, Arthur||From Arthur Miller, America’s most celebrated playwright, a searing portrait of a community engulfed by hysteria, inspired by Senator Joseph McCarthy’s anti-communist “witch-hunts” in the 1950s. Written in 1953, just after Miller received a Pulitzer Prize for Death of a Salesman, The Crucible mirrors the anti-communist hysteria inspired by Senator Joseph McCarthy’s “witch-hunts” in the United States. Within the text itself, Miller contemplates the parallels, writing “Political opposition...is given an inhumane overlay, which then justifies the abrogation of all normally applied customs of civilized behavior. A political policy is equated with moral right, and opposition to it with diabolical malevolence.” (Sexual Content, Profanity, Violence)|
|The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time||Haddon, Mark||Christopher John Francis Boone knows all the countries of the world and their capitals and every prime number up to 7,057. He relates well to animals but has no understanding of human emotions. He cannot stand to be touched. And he detests the color yellow. This improbable story of Christopher's quest to investigate the suspicious death of a neighborhood dog makes for one of the most captivating, unusual, and widely heralded novels in recent years. (Profanity, Violence)|
|The Giver||Lowry, Lois||The Giver, the 1994 Newbery Medal winner, has become one of the most influential novels of our time. The haunting story centers on twelve-year-old Jonas, who lives in a seemingly ideal, if colorless, world of conformity and contentment. Not until he is given his life assignment as the Receiver of Memory does he begin to understand the dark, complex secrets behind his fragile community. (Sexual Content)|
|The Glass Castle: A Memoir||Walls, Jeannette||Jeannette Walls grew up with parents whose ideals and stubborn nonconformity were both their curse and their salvation. Rex and Rose Mary Walls had four children. In the beginning, they lived like nomads, moving among Southwest desert towns, camping in the mountains. Rex was a charismatic, brilliant man who, when sober, captured his children's imagination, teaching them physics, geology, and above all, how to embrace life fearlessly. Rose Mary, who painted and wrote and couldn't stand the responsibility of providing for her family, called herself an "excitement addict." Cooking a meal that would be consumed in fifteen minutes had no appeal when she could make a painting that might last forever. Later, when the money ran out, or the romance of the wandering life faded, the Walls retreated to the dismal West Virginia mining town -- and the family -- Rex Walls had done everything he could to escape. He drank. He stole the grocery money and disappeared for days. As the dysfunction of the family escalated, Jeannette and her brother and sisters had to fend for themselves, supporting one another as they weathered their parents' betrayals and, finally, found the resources and will to leave home. What is so astonishing about Jeannette Walls is not just that she had the guts and tenacity and intelligence to get out, but that she describes her parents with such deep affection and generosity. Hers is a story of triumph against all odds, but also a tender, moving tale of unconditional love in a family that despite its profound flaws gave her the fiery determination to carve out a successful life on her own terms. For two decades, Jeannette Walls hid her roots. Now she tells her own story. A regular contributor to MSNBC.com, she lives in New York and Long Island and is married to the writer John Taylor. (Sexual Content, Profanity, Violence)|
|The Good Earth||Buck, Pearl S||
Pearl S. Buck’s timeless masterpiece, the Pulitzer Prize–winning story of a farmer’s journey through China in the 1920s --The Good Earth is Buck’s classic story of Wang Lung, a Chinese peasant farmer, and his wife, O-lan, a former slave. With luck and hard work, the couple’s fortunes improve over the years: They are blessed with sons, and save
steadily until one day they can afford to buy property in the House of Wang—the very house in which O-lan used to work. But success brings with it a new set of problems. Wang soon finds himself the target of jealousy, and as good harvests come and go, so does the social order. Will Wang’s family cherish the estate after he’s gone? And can his material success, the bedrock of his life, guarantee anything about his soul? Winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the William Dean Howells Award, The Good Earth was an Oprah’s Book Club choice in 2004. A readers’ favorite for generations, this powerful and beautifully written fable resonates with universal themes of hope and family unity. (Sexual Content, Violence)
|The Grapes of Wrath||Steinbeck, John||
The Pulitzer Prize-winning epic of the Great Depression, a book that galvanized—and sometimes outraged—millions of readers.
First published in 1939, Steinbeck’s Pulitzer Prize-winning epic of the Great Depression chronicles the Dust Bowl migration of the 1930s and tells the story of one Oklahoma farm family, the Joads-driven from their homestead and forced to travel west to the promised land of California. Out of their trials and their repeated collisions against the hard realities of an America divided into Haves and Have-Nots evolves a drama that is intensely human yet majestic in its scale and moral vision, elemental yet plainspoken, tragic but ultimately stirring in its human dignity.
A portrait of the conflict between the powerful and the powerless, of one man’s fierce reaction to injustice, and of one woman’s stoical strength, the novel captures the horrors of the Great Depression and probes into the very nature of equality and justice in America.
The Grapes of Wrath summed up its era in the way that Uncle Tom’s Cabin summed up the years of slavery before the Civil War. Sensitive to fascist and communist criticism, Steinbeck insisted that “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” be printed in its entirety in the first edition of the book—which takes its title from the first verse: “He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored.” At once a naturalistic epic, captivity narrative, road novel, and transcendental gospel, Steinbeck’s powerful landmark novel is perhaps the most American of American Classics. (Sexual Content, Profanity, Violence)
|The Great Gatsby||Fitzgerald, F. Scott||The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald’s third book, stands as the supreme achievement of his career. This exemplary novel of the Jazz Age has been acclaimed by generations of readers. The story of the fabulously wealthy Jay Gatsby and his love for the beautiful Daisy Buchanan, of lavish parties on Long Island at a time when The New York Times noted “gin was the national drink and sex the national obsession,” it is an exquisitely crafted tale of America in the 1920s. The Great Gatsby is one of the great classics of twentieth-century literature. (Sexual Content, Profanity, Violence)|
|The Handmaid's Tale||Atwood, Margaret||The Handmaid's Tale is not only a radical and brilliant departure for Margaret Atwood, it is a novel of such power that the reader will be unable to forget its images and its forecast. Set in the near future, it describes life in what was once the United States, now called the Republic of Gilead, a monotheocracy that has reacted to social unrest and a sharply declining birthrate by reverting to, and going beyond, the repressive intolerance of the original Puritans. The regime takes the Book of Genesis absolutely at its word, with bizarre consequences for the women and men of its population. The story is told through the eyes of Offred, one of the unfortunate Handmaids under the new social order. In condensed but eloquent prose, by turns cool-eyed, tender, despairing, passionate, and wry, she reveals to us the dark corners behind the establishment's calm facade, as certain tendencies now in existence are carried to their logical conclusions. The Handmaid's Tale is funny, unexpected, horrifying, and altogether convincing. It is at once scathing satire, dire warning, and tour de force. It is Margaret Atwood at her best. (Sexual Content, Profanity, Violence)|
|The House on Mango Street||Cisneros, Sandra||Acclaimed by critics, beloved by readers of all ages, taught everywhere from inner-city grade schools to universities across the country, and translated all over the world, The House on Mango Street is the remarkable story of Esperanza Cordero. Told in a series of vignettes – sometimes heartbreaking, sometimes deeply joyous – it is the story of a young Latina girl growing up in Chicago, inventing for herself who and what she will become. Few other books in our time have touched so many readers. (Sexual Content, Profanity)|
|The Joy Luck Club||Tan, Amy||Four mothers, four daughters, four families whose histories shift with the four winds depending on who's "saying" the stories. In 1949 four Chinese women, recent immigrants to San Francisco, begin meeting to eat dim sum, play mahjong, and talk. United in shared unspeakable loss and hope, they call themselves the Joy Luck Club. Rather than sink into tragedy, they choose to gather to raise their spirits and money. "To despair was to wish back for something already lost. Or to prolong what was already unbearable." Forty years later the stories and history continue. (Sexual Content, Profanity, Violence)|
|The Jungle||Sinclair, Upton||Upton Sinclair's The Jungle, is a work of fiction describing the lives of immigrants working in Chicago's meatpacking industry. (Profanity, Violence)|
|The King Must Die||Renault, Mary||The story of the mythical hero Theseus, slayer of monsters, abductor of princesses and king of Athens. He emerges from these pages as a clearly defined personality; brave, aggressive and quick. The core of the story is Theseus' Cretan adventure. (Sexual Content, Violence)|
|The Life of King Henry the Fifth [Paperback]||Deighton, Ken||This popular, much-studied drama focuses on the young warrior king — from Henry's decision to continue the military exploits of his royal ancestors and press England's claim to the French throne, to his nervous watch before the Battle of Agincourt and his role in one of the greatest military triumphs in English history. (Profanity, Violence)|
|The Little Prince||Saint-Exupery, Antoine de||Few stories are as widely read and as universally cherished by children and adults alike as The Little Prince. Richard Howard's new translation of the beloved classic--published to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry's birth--beautifully reflects Saint-Exupéry's unique and gifted style. Howard has excelled in bringing the English text as close as possible to the French, in language, style, and most important, spirit. The artwork in this new edition has been restored to match in detail and in color Saint-Exupéry's original artwork. Harcourt is proud to introduce the definitive English-language edition of The Little Prince. It will capture the hearts of readers of all ages.|
|The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, Part 1||Tolkien, J. R. R.||The Lord of the Rings tells of the great quest undertaken by Frodo and the Fellowship of the Ring: Gandalf the Wizard; the hobbits Merry, Pippin, and Sam; Gimli the Dwarf; Legolas the Elf; Boromir of Gondor; and a tall, mysterious stranger called Strider. (Violence)|
|The Martian Chronicles||Bradbury, Ray||Bradbury's Mars is a place of hope, dreams and metaphor-of crystal pillars and fossil seas-where a fine dust settles on the great, empty cities of a silently destroyed civilization. It is here the invaders have come to despoil and commercialize, to grow and to learn -first a trickle, then a torrent, rushing from a world with no future toward a promise of tomorrow. The Earthman conquers Mars ... and then is conquered by it, lulled by dangerous lies of comfort and amiliarity, and enchanted by the lingering glamour of an ancient, mysterious native race.Ray Bradbury's The Martian Chronicles is a classic work of twentieth-century literature whose extraordinary power and imagination remain undimmed by time's passage. In connected, chronological stories, a true grandmaster once again enthralls, delights and challenges us with his vision and his heart-starkly and stunningly exposing in brilliant spacelight our strength, our weakness, our folly, and our poignant humanity on a strange and breathtaking world where humanity does not belong.|
|The Merchant of Venice||Shakespeare, William||The Merchant of Venice is one of Shakespeare’s most beautiful plays and, conversely, his ugliest. Juxtaposed within the same conceptual frame are heavenly and musical harmonies, romantic love, materialism, and racism. (Sexual Content, Profanity, Violence)|
|The Odyssey||Homer||If the Iliad is the world's greatest war epic, the Odyssey is literature's grandest evocation of everyman's journey through life. Odysseus' reliance on his wit and wiliness for survival in his encounters with divine and natural forces, during his ten-year voyage home to Ithaca after the Trojan War, is at once the timeless human story and an individual test of moral endurance. (Sexual Content, Violence)|
|The Old Man and the Sea||Hemingway, Ernest||The last novel Ernest Hemingway saw published, The Old Man and the Sea has proved itself to be one of the enduring works of American fiction. It is the story of an old Cuban fisherman and his supreme ordeal: a relentless, agonizing battle with a giant marlin far out in the Gulf Stream. Using the simple, powerful language of a fable, Hemingway takes the timeless themes of courage in the face of defeat and personal triumph won from loss and transforms them into a magnificent twentieth-century classic.|
|The Ox-Bow incident||Clark, Walter Van Tilburg||Set in 1885, The Ox-Bow Incident is a searing and realistic portrait of frontier life and mob violence in the American West. First published in 1940, it focuses on the lynching of three innocent men and the tragedy that ensues when law and order are abandoned. The result is an emotionally powerful, vivid, and unforgettable re-creation of the Western novel, which Clark transmuted into a universal story about good and evil, individual and community, justice and human nature. As Wallace Stegner writes, [Clark's] theme was civilization, and he recorded, indelibly, its first steps in a new country. (Violence)|
|The Pearl||Steinbeck, John||One of Steinbeck’s most taught works, The Pearl is the story of the Mexican diver Kino, whose discovery of a magnificent pearl from the Gulf beds means the promise of a better life for his impoverished family. His dream blinds him to the greed and suspicions the pearl arouses in him and his neighbors, and even his loving wife Juana cannot temper his obsession or stem the events leading to tragedy. This classic novella from Nobel Prize-winner John Steinbeck examines the fallacy of the American dream, and illustrates the fall from innocence experienced by people who believe that wealth erases all problems.(Violence)|
|The Picture of Dorian Gray||Wilde, Oscar||Celebrated novel traces the moral degeneration of a handsome young Londoner from an innocent fop into a cruel and reckless pursuer of pleasure and, ultimately, a murderer. As Dorian Gray sinks into depravity, his body retains perfect youth and vigor while his recently painted portrait reflects the ravages of crime and sensuality. (Sexual Content, Profanity, Violence)|
|The Picture of Dorian Gray and Selected Stories||Wilde, Oscar||
The Picture of Dorian Gray scandalized readers when it was first published in 1890. Written in Wilde’s signature style, the story has gone on to become an enduring tale of man’s hubris and narcissism.
The well-known artist Basil Hallward meets the young Dorian Gray in the stately London home of his aunt, Lady Brandon. Basil becomes immediately infatuated with Dorian, who is cultured, wealthy, and remarkably beautiful. Such beauty, Basil believes, is responsible for a new mode of art, and he decides to paint a portrait of the young man. While finishing the painting, Basil reluctantly introduces Dorian to his friend Lord Henry Wotton, a man known for scandal and exuberance. Wotton inspires Dorian to live life through the senses, to feel beauty in everyday experience. Dorian becomes enthralled by Wotton’s ideas, and more so becomes obsessed with remaining young and beautiful. He expresses a desire to sell his soul and have the portrait of him age, while he, the man, stays eternally young. A tragic story of hedonism and desire, The Picture of Dorian Gray is Oscar Wilde’s only published novel. (Sexual Content, Profanity, Violence)
|The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie||Spark, Muriel||The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie is Spark’s masterpiece, a novel that offers one of twentieth-century English literature’s most iconic and complex characters—a woman at once admirable and sinister, benevolent and conniving. (Sexual Content, Profanity)|
|The Red and the Black (Paperback)||Stendhal||Handsome and ambitious, Julien Sorel is determined to rise above his humble peasant origins and make something of his life-by adopting the code of hypocrisy by which his society operates. Julien ultimately commits a crime-out of passion, principle, or insanity-that will bring about his downfall. The Red and the Black is a lively, satirical picture of French Restoration society after Waterloo, riddled with corruption, greed, and ennui. The complex, sympathetic portrayal of Julien, the cold exploiter whose Machiavellian campaign is undercut by his own emotions, makes him Stendhal's most brilliant and human creation-and one of the greatest characters in European literature. (Sexual Content, Violence)|
|The Red Badge of Courage||Crane, Stephen||Written by Stephen Crane at the age of twenty-one, The Red Badge of Courage is one of the greatest war novels of all time -- so groundbreaking that critics consider it to be the first work of modern American fiction. Although Crane never witnessed warfare, The Red Badge of Courage is a realistic and terrifying account of the Civil War and the fear that a young soldier must face on the battlefield as well as within himself. (Violence)|
|The Remains of the Day||Ishiguro, Kazuo||The Remains of the Day is a profoundly compelling portrait of the perfect English butler and of his fading, insular world postwar England. At the end of his three decades of service at Darlington Hall, Stevens embarks on a country drive, during which he looks back over his career to reassure himself that he has served humanity by serving “a great gentleman.” But lurking in his memory are doubts about the true nature of Lord Darlington’s “greatness” and graver doubts about his own faith in the man he served. A tragic, spiritual portrait of a perfect English butler and his reaction to his fading insular world in post-war England. A wonderful, wonderful book.|
|The Return of the Native||Hardy, Thomas||
Eustacia Vye criss-crosses the wild Egdon Heath, eager to experience life to the full in her quest for 'music, poetry, passion, war'. She marries Clym Yeobright, native of the heath, but his idealism frustrates her romantic ambitions and her discontent draws others into a tangled web of deceit and unhappiness.
Early readers responded to Hardy's 'insatiably observant' descriptions of the heath, a setting that for D. H. Lawrence provided the 'real stuff of tragedy'. For modern readers, the tension between the mythic setting of the heath and the modernity of the characters challenges our freedom to shape the world as we wish; like Eustacia, we may not always be able to live our dreams. (Sexual Content, Profanity, Violence)
|The River||Paulsen, Gary||"We want you to do it again." These words, spoken to Brian Robeson, will change his life. Two years earlier, Brian was stranded alone in the wilderness for fifty-four days with nothing but a small hatchet. Yet he survived. Now the government wants him to do it again to go back into the wilderness so that astronauts and the military can learn the survival techniques that kept Brian alive. This time he won't be alone: Derek Holtzer, a government psychologist, will accompany him to observe and take notes. But during a freak storm, Derek is hit by lightning and falls into a coma. Their radio transmitter is dead. Brian is afraid that Derek will die of dehydration unless he can get him to a doctor. His only hope is to build a raft and try to transport Derek a hundred miles down the river to a trading post if the map he has is accurate. (Profanity, Violence)|
|The Scarlet Letter||Hawthorne, Nathaniel||For nearly a century and a half, Hawthorne's masterpiece has mesmerized readers and critics alike. One of the greatest American novels, its themes of sin, guilt, and redemption, woven through a story of adultery in the early days of the Massachusetts Colony, are revealed with remarkable psychological penetration and understanding of the human heart. A selection of the Common Core State Standards Initiative. (Sexual Content, Violent)|
|The Secret Life of Bees||Kidd, Sue M.||A coming of age tale set in South Carolina in 1964, The Secret Life of Bees will appeal to fans of Kathryn Stockett’s The Help and Beth Hoffman’s Saving CeeCee Honeycutt, and tells the story of Lily Owens, whose life has been shaped around the blurred memory of the afternoon her mother was killed. (Profanity, Violence)|
|The Sound and the Fury||Faulkner, William||The Sound and the Fury is the tragedy of the Compson family, featuring some of the most memorable characters in literature: beautiful, rebellious Caddy; the manchild Benjy; haunted, neurotic Quentin; Jason, the brutal cynic; and Dilsey, their black servant. Their lives fragmented and harrowed by history and legacy, the character’s voices and actions mesh to create what is arguably Faulkner’s masterpiece and one of the greatest novels of the twentieth century. (Sexual Content, Profanity, Violence)|
|The Stranger||Camus, Albert||
Through the story of an ordinary man unwittingly drawn into a senseless
murder on an Algerian beach, Camus explored what he termed "the
nakedness of man faced with the absurd." (Sexual Content, Profanity, Violence)
|The Sun Also Rises||Hemingway, Ernest||The quintessential novel of the Lost Generation, The Sun Also Rises is one of Ernest Hemingway's masterpieces and a classic example of his spare but powerful writing style. A poignant look at the disillusionment and angst of the post-World War I generation, the novel introduces two of Hemingway's most unforgettable characters: Jake Barnes and Lady Brett Ashley. The story follows the flamboyant Brett and the hapless Jake as they journey from the wild nightlife of 1920s Paris to the brutal bullfighting rings of Spain with a motley group of expatriates. It is an age of moral bankruptcy, spiritual dissolution, unrealized love, and vanishing illusions. First published in 1926, The Sun Also Rises helped to establish Hemingway as one of the greatest writers of the twentieth century. (Sexual Content, Profanity, Violence)|
|The Taming of the Shrew||Shakespeare, William||A robust and bawdy battle of the sexes, this ever popular comedy captivates audiences with outrageous humor as Katharina, the shrew, engages in a contest of wills–and love–with her bridegroom, Petruchio. Their boisterous conflict is set off against a more conventional romantic plot involving the wooing of Katharina’s lovely and compliant sister, Bianca. Rich with the psychological themes of identity and transformation, the play is quintessentially lighthearted, filled with visual gags, witty repartee, and unmatched theatrical brilliance from Petruchio’s demand, “Kiss me, Kate!” to the final spectacle of the wedding feast. (Profanity, Sexual Content)|
|The Tempest||Shakespeare, William||The Tempest is a play by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written in 1610–11, and thought by many critics to be the last play that Shakespeare wrote alone. It is set on a remote island, where Prospero, the exiled Duke of Milan, plots to restore his daughter Miranda to her rightful place, using illusion and skillful manipulation. He conjures up a storm, the eponymous tempest, to lure to the island his usurping brother Antonio and the complicit Alonso, King of Naples. There, his machinations bring about the revelation of Antonio's low nature, the redemption of Alonso, and the marriage of Miranda to Alonso's son, Ferdinand.There is no obvious single source for the plot of The Tempest, but researchers have seen parallels in Erasmus's Naufragium, Peter Martyr's De orbo novo, and an eyewitness report by William Strachey of the real-life shipwreck of the Sea Venture on the islands of Bermuda. In addition, one of Gonzalo's speeches is derived from Montaigne's essay Of the Canibales; and much of Prospero's renunciative speech is taken word for word from a speech by Medea in Ovid's poem Metamorphoses. The masque in Act 4 may have been a later addition, possibly in honour of the wedding of Princess Elizabeth of Bohemia and Frederick V, Elector Palatine, in 1613.|
|The Things They Carried||O'Brien, Tim||
A classic work of American literature that has not stopped changing minds and lives since it burst onto the literary scene, The Things They Carried is a ground-breaking meditation on war, memory, imagination, and the redemptive power of storytelling.
The Things They Carried depicts the men of Alpha Company: Jimmy Cross, Henry Dobbins, Rat Kiley, Mitchell Sanders, Norman Bowker, Kiowa, and the character Tim O’Brien, who has survived his tour in Vietnam to become a father and writer at the age of forty-three.
Taught everywhere—from high school classrooms to graduate seminars in creative writing—it has become required reading for any American and continues to challenge readers in their perceptions of fact and fiction, war and peace, courage and fear and longing. The Things They Carried won France's prestigious Prix du Meilleur Livre Etranger and the Chicago Tribune Heartland Prize; it was also a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award. (Sexual Content, Profanity, Violence)
|The Time Machine||Wells, H. G. (Herbert George)||The classic time travel novella that remains one of the cornerstones of science fiction literature--A Victorian scientist develops a time machine and travels to the year 802,171 AD. There he finds the meek, child-like Eloi who live in fear of the underground-dwelling Morlocks. When his time machine goes missing, the Traveler faces a fight to enter the Morlocks' domain and return to his own time. The first novel by the father of modern science fiction, this classic story has proved hugely influential.|
|The Tortilla Curtain||Boyle, T.C.||
Winner of the Prix Medicis Etranger
Topanga Canyon is home to two couples on a collision course. Los Angeles liberals Delaney and Kyra Mossbacher lead an ordered sushi-and-recycling existence in a newly gated hilltop community: he a sensitive nature writer, she an obsessive realtor. Mexican illegals Candido and America Rincon desperately cling to their vision of the American Dream as they fight off starvation in a makeshift camp deep in the ravine. And from the moment a freak accident brings Candido and Delaney into intimate contact, these four and their opposing worlds gradually intersect in what becomes a tragicomedy of error and misunderstanding. (Sexual Content, Violence, Profanity)
|The Unvanquished||Faulkner, William||Set in Mississippi during the Civil War and Reconstruction, The Unvanquished focuses on the Sartoris family, who, with their code of personal responsibility and courage, stand for the best of the Old South's traditions. (Sexual Content, Profanity, Violence)|
|Their Eyes Were Watching God||Hurston, Zora Neale||One of the most important and enduring books of the twentieth century, Their Eyes Were Watching God brings to life a Southern love story with the wit and pathos found only in the writing of Zora Neale Hurston. Out of print for almost thirty years—due largely to initial audiences’ rejection of its strong black female protagonist—Hurston’s classic has since its 1978 reissue become perhaps the most widely read and highly acclaimed novel in the canon of African-American literature. (Sexual Content, Profanity, Violence)|
|Things Fall Apart||Achebe, Chinua||Things Fall Apart tells two intertwining stories, both centering on Okonkwo, a "strong man" of an Ibo village in Nigeria. The first, a powerful fable of the immemorial conflict between the individual and society, traces Okonkwo's fall from grace with the tribal world. The second, as modern as the first is ancient, concerns the clash of cultures and the destruction of Okonkwo's world with the arrival of aggressive European missionaries. These perfectly harmonized twin dramas are informed by an awareness capable of encompassing at once the life of nature, human history, and the mysterious compulsions of the soul. (Sexual Content, Profanity, Violence)|
|Tiger Eyes||Blume, Judy||Davey has never felt so alone in her life. Her father is dead—shot in a holdup—and now her mother is moving the family to New Mexico to try to recover. Climbing in Los Alamos Canyons, Davey meets mysterous Wolf, who seems to understand the rage and fear she feels. Slowly, with Wolf’s help, Davey realizes that she must get on with her life. But when will she be ready to leave the past behind? Will she ever stop hurting? (Sexual Content, Violence)|
|To Kill a Mockingbird||Lee, Harper||Harper Lee's Pulitzer prize-winning masterwork of honor and injustice in the deep south—and the heroism of one man in the face of blind and violent hatred, available now for the first time as an e-book.One of the best-loved stories of all time, To Kill a Mockingbird has been translated into more than forty languages, sold more than thirty million copies worldwide, served as the basis for an enormously popular motion picture, and was voted one of the best novels of the twentieth century by librarians across the country. A gripping, heart-wrenching, and wholly remarkable tale of coming-of-age in a South poisoned by virulent prejudice, it views a world of great beauty and savage inequities through the eyes of a young girl, as her father-a crusading local lawyer-risks everything to defend a black man unjustly accused of a terrible crime. (Sexual Content, Profanity, Violence)|
|To the Lighthouse||Woolf, Virginia||The serene and maternal Mrs. Ramsay, the tragic yet absurd Mr. Ramsay, and their children and assorted guests are on holiday on the Isle of Skye. From the seemingly trivial postponement of a visit to a nearby lighthouse, Woolf constructs a remarkable, moving examination of the complex tensions and allegiances of family life and the conflict between men and women. (Violence)|
|Uncle Tom's Cabin||Stowe, Harriet Beecher||
This novel had a profound effect on attitudes toward African Americans and slavery in the United States, so much in the latter case that the novel intensified the sectional conflict leading to the American Civil War.
Uncle Tom's Cabin was the best-selling novel of the 19th century, and the second best-selling book of that century, following the Bible. It is credited with helping fuel the abolitionist cause in the 1850s. In the first year after it was published, 300,000 copies of the book were sold in the United States alone. The book's impact was so great that when Abraham Lincoln met Stowe at the start of the Civil War, Lincoln is often quoted as having declared, "So this is the little lady who made this big war." (Sexual Content, Profanity, Violence)
|Utopia||More, Thomas||In Utopia, Thomas More gives us a traveller's account of a newly-discovered island where the inhabitants enjoy a social order based on natural reason and justice, and human fulfilment is open to all. As the traveller, Raphael, describes the island to More, a bitter contrast is drawn between this rational society and the custom-driven practices of Europe. So how can the philosopher try to reform his society? In his fictional discussion, More takes up a question first raised by Plato and which is still a challenge in the contemporary world. In the history of political thought few works have been more influential than Utopia, and few more misunderstood.|
|Whale Talk||Crutcher, Chris||A varsity letter jacket: it's exclusive, nearly unattainable, revered . . . and everything that's screwed up about Cutter High, as far as T. J. Jones is concerned. That's why T. J. is determined to have the Cutter All Night Mermen—the unlikeliest swim team a high school has ever seen—earn letter jackets of their own. It won't be easy. For one thing, they don't even have a pool. They will fight for their dignity, they will fight with each other, and sometimes they will just fight. And then they will realize that a single moment can bring lifelong heartache or lifelong friendship. For T. J. and his crew of misfits, the quest may be far more valuable than the reward. (Sexual Content, Profanity, Violence)|
|When the Legends Die||Borland, Hal||A young Native American walks between the lonesome forest where he was raised and the complicated modern world he must navigate to survive Thomas Black Bull’s parents forsook the life of a modern reservation and took to ancient paths in the woods, teaching their young son the stories and customs of his ancestors. But Tom’s life changes forever when he loses his father in a tragic accident and his mother dies shortly afterward. When Tom is discovered alone in the forest with only a bear cub as a companion, life becomes difficult. Soon, well-meaning teachers endeavor to reform him, a rodeo attempts to turn him into an act, and nearly everyone he meets tries to take control of his life. Powerful and timeless, When the Legends Die is a captivating story of one boy learning to live in harmony with both civilization and wilderness.|
|Woman Hollering Creek||Cisneros, Sandra||A collection of stories, whose characters give voice to the vibrant and varied life on both sides of the Mexican border. The women in these stories offer tales of pure discovery, filled with moments of infinite and intimate wisdom. (Sexual Content, Profanity, Violence)|
|Wuthering Heights||Bronte, Emily||Wuthering Heights is the eponymous farmhouse on the Yorkshire moors where the story unfolds. The book's core theme is the destructive effect that jealousy and vengefulness have, both on the jealous or vengeful individuals and on their communities.Although Wuthering Heights is now widely regarded as a classic of English literature, it received mixed reviews when first published, and was considered controversial because its depiction of mental and physical cruelty was so unusually stark.|