Annotated Book List for High School Students
Austen, Jane ---- EmmaNON-FICTION
(romance) Set in nineteenth century England; a young girl plays matchmaker, with surprising results. (not much action, but good if you like old-fashioned romance).
- Bolt, Robert ---- A Man for All Seasons : A Play in Two...
(historical drama) Set in seventeenth century England; the true account of Sir Thomas More's standing up to King Henry VIII, for what he believed to be the right thing to do.
- Bradbury, Ray ---- Dandelion Wine
(character study) Set in the rural midwest; a boy discovers life and death through the experiences of one summer. (not much action, but good if you enjoy people and their thoughts and feelings).
- Bronte, Charlotte ---- Jane Eyre
(mystery/romance) Set in 19th century England; a woman of virtuous integrity, keen intellect, and tireless perseverance breaks through class barriers to win equal stature with the man she loves. (very long, but good if you like old-fashioned romance).
Buck, Pearl S. ---- The Good Earth
(historical/character study) Set in nineteenth century China; a father struggles to gain land for his family, to maintain his traditions, and to instill his values in his sons.
- Cather, Willa ---- O Pioneers! (Vintage Classics)
(romance/character) Set in nineteenth century American midwest; a pioneer girl, who inherits a farm, raises her brothers alone and is torn by love.
Cisneros, Sandra ---- House on Mango Street
(vignettes) Set in twentieth century U.S.; a young latino girl reflects on daily life as she experiences it.
DuMaurier, Daphne ---- Rebecca
(mystery/romance) Set in England, early twentieth century; a romantic mystery as one woman discovers the past of another. (an intriguing "twist" ending).
Ellis, Peter ---- St. Peter's Fair
(mystery) Set in medieval times; a young girl's father is murdered at St. Peter's fair. A local monk tracks down the culprit.
- Ferber, Edna ---- So Big
(family/character) Set in nineteenth century U.S.; a strong woman proves she can survive when her husband dies, while trying to share her values with her son. "Cabbages is beautiful!" (slow, but easy to read).
- Godden, Rumor ---- China Court
(romance) Set in England, twentieth century; a young girl returns to the home of her deceased relative to discover a bitter family fued, a new home, and past and present loves.
- Hardy, Thomas ---- The Life and Death of the Mayor of...
(romance/character) Set in nineteenth century England; a man makes a mistake while drunk and spends the rest of his life unsuccessfully trying to make up for what he has done.
Kipling, Rudyard ---- Kim
(adventure) Set in nineteenth century India; a young boy's adventures in this exotic setting, as he embarks on a secret mission for the British. (fairly difficult to read).
Lewis, C.S. ---- The Great Divorce
(biblical allegory) Intriguing, thought-provoking glimpse of heaven and hell.
Lewis, C.S. ---- Screwtape Letters
(biblical allegory) Lewis masterfully portrays Satan "teaching" one of his servants--revealing to the reader the ways in which he may work.
McCaffrey, Anne ---- Any book in the Dragon Trilogy
(fantasy) Set in the fictional land of Pern; the adventures of dragon riders who struggle to battle the evil that threatens their lives. (very easy to read).
- Marshall, Catherine ---- Christy
(romance/character) Set in the early twentieth century in the Appalachians; a young girl from the city chooses to teach the backward, poor in the Appalachians, and discovers God, herself, and love. (easy to read but moves slowly).
McCullers, Carson ---- A Member of the Wedding
(character study) Set in the early twentieth century rural U.S.; a lonely girl struggles for identity.
Michener, James ---- Sayonara
(historical) Set in Japan during W.W. II; an American soldier struggles with his and other's feelings of prejudice against the Japanese, while falling in love. (very easy to read).
Neihardt, John ---- Black Elk Speaks
(historical) Set in nineteenth century America; a native American recounts his family's struggle to survive the "Long Walk" and to live as "The People" in the midst of white western movement.
- Orwell, George ---- Animal Farm
(allegorical) Set in a fictional totalitarian state; a satire illuminating man's hunger for power. (difficult: the characters are animals, but are to be thought of as humans, not animals, or you'll miss the point of this book).
Remarque, Erich M. ---- All Quiet On the Western Front
(adventure/war) Set in Europe during W.W. I; a young German soldier's life-changing experiences and realizations in battle. (easy to read).
- Roberts, Kenneth ---- Northwest Passage
(adventure/war) Set in eighteenth century U.S. and England; an historical novel about a young artist struggling to fulfill his own ambitions while surviving the French and Indian War.
Shelley, Mary ---- Frankenstein
(adventure/drama) Set in eighteenth century Europe; a frightening story of one man's desire to "play God" and the horror that results.
- Sinclair, Upton ---- The Jungle
(historical) Set in nineteenth century U.S.; an immigrant and his family seeks the American dream, but instead discovers backbreaking labor, the injustices of "wage-slavery", the bewildering chaos of urban life. (this book exposed the meat-packing industry and led to the passage of the Pure Food and Drug Act the year it was published).
- Stewart, Mary ---- The Hollow Hills (Stewart, Mary,...
(adventure) Set in Arthurian England; the suspenseful story of how Merlin helped Arthur become king of all Britain.
Wells, H.G. ---- The Invisible Man
(adventure/science fiction) Set in early twentieth century England; a science-fiction suspense novel about a maniacal invisible man and the terror he evokes. (may be difficult due to vocabulary).
- White, T.H. ---- The Once and Future King
(fantasy/adventure) Set in Arthurian England; four tales of Merlin, King Arthur, and the romance and adventure of Camelot.
Angelou, Maya ---- I Know Why the Caged Bird SingsAP ENGLISH - L List
(autobiography) Set in the 40's in the U.S.; Angelou's account of growing up black in the midst of racial battles. (some of the dialect may be difficult to understand, but worth the effort).
- Angelou, Maya ---- Wouldn't Take Nothing for My Journey Now
(autobiographical--journal) Angelou's musings and observations about people and life. (very easy to read).
Houston, Jeanne W. ---- Farewell to Manzanar
(autobiography) Set in the U.S. during W.W. II; a young Japanese girl's account of growing up in a detention camp. (very easy to read).
- Huxley, Elspeth ---- The Flame Trees of Thika : Memories of...
(autobiography) Set in early twentieth century Kenya; the account of a European girl's childhood on a small farm in Kenya, as she discovered the Masai, the beauties of the jungle, and the wonders of the Kikuyu people with whom she lived. (very easy to read).
- Sire, James W. ---- How to Read Slowly : Reading for...
(academic/Christian world view) Shows how to read intelligently--helps readers detect not only what writers say but what lies behind what they say, not only when reading fiction, but also when reading non-fiction. All college-bound students should read this book.
- Tobin/Wooden ---- They Call Me Coach
(autobiography) Wooden's account of his years at U.C.L.A. and more importantly, his words of wisdom as a coach and as a Christian.
RECOMMENDED READING FOR THE EXAMS
- R. Anaya ----
- John Steinbeck ---- The Grapes of Wrath (20th Century...
- Margaret Atwood ----
- Amy Tan ----
- Zora Neale Hurston ----
- Barbara Tuckman ----
- Wendell Berry ----
- Nadine Gordimer ---- July's People
- Wallace Stegner ---- Angle of Repose (Contemporary American...
- Barbara Kingsolver ----
- Charles Johnson ---- - Middle Passage
- Stephanie Cowell ---- - The Myth of Sisyphus
- Louise Erdrich ---- - Tracks / The Beet Queen
- Franz Kafka ---- - The Trial
- Anita Byatt ---- - Possession
- Maguib Mafouz ---- - Palace Walk
- Vikram Seth ---- - A Suitable Boy
- Barry Unsward ---- - Sacred Hunger
- Herman Hesse ---- - Magister Ludi
- Kingsley Amis ---- - Lucky Jim
- Marion Zimmer Bradley ---- - Mists of Avalon
- Donna Tartt ---- - The Secret History
- Maya Angelou ---- - I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
- Vincent Bugliosi ---- - Helter Skelter
- Margaret Mitchell ---- - Gone With the Wind
- Nathaniel Hawthorne ---- - Scarlet Letter
- John Milton ---- - Paradise Lost
- Tom Wolfe ---- - The Right Stuff
- EM Forster ---- - Howard's End / A Room With a View / A Passage to India
- George Eliot ---- - Middlemarch
- John Knowles ---- - A Separate Peace
- William Golding ---- - Lord of the Flies
- Jane Austen ---- - Pride and Prejudice
- TH White ---- - The Once and Future King
- Virginia Woolf ---- - To The Lighthouse / Mrs. Dalloway
- Ralph Ellison -- - Invisible Man
- Pearl Buck -- - The Good Earth
- Frederick Douglass -- - Narrative of the Life of A Slave
- TS Eliot ---- - The Four Quarters / The Wasteland / Love Song of J Alfred Prufrouk
- William Faulkner ---- - Spotted Horses / The Sound and the Fury / Absalom, Absalom
- Charles Dickens ---- - Great Expectations / Hard Times / David Copperfield
- Charlotte Bronte -- - Jane Eyre (we'll read this in class)*
- Kate Chopin ---- - The Awakening
- Ibsen ---- - An Enemy of the People
- Tennyson ---- - Idylls of the King
- Sophocles -- - Oedipus Trilogy
- Boccaccio ---- - Decameron
- Dante ---- - Divine Comedy
- Scott ---- - Ivanhoe
- Shakespeare ---- - Hamlet / Macbeth / Merchant of Venice / King Lear / Henry IV, Part One
*"Mrs. H's Lions' Den" Home - http://www.hslionsden.com*
Last updated: Spring 2008