Books for Older Teens and Adults
How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents, by Julia Alvarez
It's a long way from Santo Domingo to the Bronx, but if anyone can go the distance, it's the Garcia girls. Four lively latinas plunged from a pampered life of privilege on an island compound into the big-city chaos of New York, they rebel against Mami and Papi's old-world discipline and embrace all that America has to offer.
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, by Maya Angelou
Superbly told, with the poet's gift for language and observation, Angelou's autobiography of her childhood in Arkansas.
Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Bronte
In early nineteenth-century England, an orphaned young woman accepts employment as a governess at Thornfield Hall, a country estate owned by the mysteriously remote Mr. Rochester.
The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald
The timeless story of Jay Gatsby and his love for Daisy Buchanan is widely acknowledged to be the closest thing to the "Great American Novel" ever written.
The Sun Also Rises, by Ernest Hemingway
This is the story of a group of 'Lost Generation' Americans and Brits in the 1920s on a sojourn from Paris to Pamploma, Spain. The novel poignantly details their life as expatriates on Paris' Left Bank, and conveys the brutality of bullfighting in Spain.
A Separate Peace, by John Knowles
This is the classic story of two friends at boarding school during World War II.
To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee
A striking novel about life in a quiet southern town rocked by a crisis of conscience.
Beloved, by Toni Morrison
At the center of this novel, is an almost unspeakable act of horror and heroism: a woman brutally kills her infant daughter rather than allow her to be enslaved. The woman is Sethe, and the novel traces her journey from slavery to freedom during and immediately following the Civil War.
Animal Farm, by George Orwell
The famous satire on Soviet communism depicted as a revolutionized barnyard in which "some animals are more equal than others."
Frankenstein, by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley
Dr. Frankenstein creates a creature from old bones and gives it life. Endowed with supernatural strength and size, the revolting-looking Creature commits murder, and the doctor resolves to destroy his creation.
The Joy Luck Club, by Amy Tan
In 1949, four Chinese women begin meeting in San Francisco for fun. Nearly 40 years later, their daughters continue to meet as the Joy Luck Club. Their stories ultimately display the double happiness that can be found in being both Chinese and American.
The Hobbit, by J. R. R. Tolkien
Bilbo Baggins, a respectable, well-to-do hobbit, lives comfortably in his hobbit-hole until the day the wandering wizard Gandalf chooses him to share in an adventure from which he may never return.
Anna Karenina, by Leo Tolstoy
Anna Karenina is the story of an aristocratic woman who brings ruin on herself. Anna's tragedy is interwoven with the courtship and marriage of Kitty and Levin as well as the lives of many other characters.
Slaughterhouse-Five, by Kurt Vonnegut
Billy Pilgrim is the son of an American barber. He serves as a chaplain's assistant in World War II, is captured by the Germans, and he survives the largest massacre in European history the fire bombing of Dresden. After the war Billy makes a great deal of money as an optometrist, and on his wedding night he is kidnapped by a flying saucer from the planet Tralfamadore. So begins a modern classic by a master storyteller.
I, Robot (The Robot Series), by Isaac Asimov.
This collection of stories lays down the Three Laws of Robotics. These laws have served not only Isaac Asimov but many other writers of science fiction as well. An excellent introduction to science fiction.
A collection of 18 short stories woven together by the story of the illustrated (tattooed) man. While none of the violence in the stories is graphic, one of them does imply that the children have killed their parents. Crystal Cave, by Mary Stewart.
This is the first in a trilogy about King Arthur. Told from Merlin's point of view, it begins with the events leading to Arthur's birth. QB VII, by Leon Uris.
A beloved doctor, who has devoted years to working with the poorest elements of society, is accused of having experimented on inmates in the Nazi concentration camps. He sues for libel and the case goes to court.
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