Classics for Teens



Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie.

Budding Cartoonist Junior leaves his troubled school on the Spokane Indian Reservation to attend an all white farm town school where the only other Indian is the school mascot.

High School Alexie, S. 


Bastard Out of Carolina by Dorothy Allison.

Greenville County, South Carolina, a wild, lush place, is home to the Boatwright family-rough-hewn men who drink hard and shoot up each other’s trucks, and indomitable women who marry young and age all too quickly. The protagonist of this novel is Ruth Anne Boatwright, aka Bone, a South Carolina bastard with an annotated birth certificate to document this.

F Allison, D.


Brokeback Mountain by Annie Proulx.

This is a haunting tale about a difficult affair between two cowboys that survives everything but the world's violent intolerance.

F Proulx, A.



Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger.

Salinger has written a legendary coming of age novel about the unforgettable Holden Caulfield. Believing he will be expelled from prep school, he leaves the school early to go to New York. The novel tells what happens during those three days.

F Salinger, J. D.  &  LT F Salinger, J. D.


Chronicle of a Death Foretold by Gabriel Garcia Marquez..

Garcia Marquez wrote this classic of magical realism. The narrator of this story studies a murder which takes place shortly after a wedding and explores the mass community complicity that allowed it to happen.

 F Garcia Marquez, G.


The Color Purple by Alice Walker.

Winner of both a Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award. It is about Celie and her relationships as she grows up poor in rural Georgia.

F Walker, A.



Giovanni's Room by James Baldwin.

Set in the 1950s Paris of American expatriates, liaisons, and violence, a young man finds himself caught between desire and conventional morality. With a sharp, probing imagination, James Baldwin's now- classic narrative delves into the mystery of loving and creates a moving, highly controversial story of death and passion that reveals the unspoken complexities of the human heart.

F Baldwin, J.

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The Hound of the Baskervilles by Arthur Conan Doyle.

This is one of Doyle's early novels about the legendary detective Sherlock Holmes. He is asked to investigate a murder and he encounters a twist of horror.

M Doyle, A. pb


How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents by Julia Alvarez.

Alvarez has written an award winning novel about a family that flees the Dominican Republic to move to New York in the 1960's. The parents choose to try to maintain their traditions. The four sisters struggle to adapt to their new home including overcoming cultural and language barriers and prejudice. F Alvarez, J. pb



The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan

This is a bestseller about relationships between mothers and daughters. The title refers to a social group of immigrants from China. The book has been described as heart warming and bittersweet..

F Tan, A.



Lord of the Flies by William Golding.

Dark psychological fiction about boys marooned on a tropical island. Their world of homework and cricket becomes primitive and savage as they cope with survival.

F Golding, W.

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Native Son by  Richard Wright.

Wright’s novel is about an African-American man who is going to jail for murder. Set in Chicago in the 1930s, Richard Wright's novel is just as powerful today as when it was written -- in its reflection of poverty and hopelessness, and what it means to be black in America.

F Wright, R.

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Once and Future King by T. H. White.

This is a fantasy about the saga of King Arthur. It is a tale about knights and knighthood and also falls under the category of historical fiction.

High School White, T. pb



Siddhartha by Herman Hesse

Siddhartha, a wealthy Indian Brahmin casts off a life of privilege and comfort to seek spiritual fulfillment and wisdom. On his journey, Siddhartha encounters wandering ascetics, Buddhist monks, and successful merchants, as well as a courtesan named Kamala and a simple ferryman who has attained enlightenment. He experiences love, work, friendship and fatherhood.

F Hesse, H.



Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston

The protagonist is an African-American woman. This classic novel was written with humor and sadness. The story takes place in the South in the 1930's.

F Hurston, Z.

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Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe

Things Fall apart is composed of two overlapping stories that take place in an Ibo village in Nigeria. It is categorized as historical fiction and is about race relations.

F Achebe, C.



The Turn of the Screw by Henry James

A horror novella and psychological thriller, this is about two children and their governess. It was written in 1898.

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