By GreatSchools Staff
Take a respite from the rush and chatter of modern life and spend time with a masterpiece. Even better: entice your teen to join you. Choose a book together and take turns reading it aloud, or track down the audio version and listen to it during your next road trip. This book list, compiled by the CollegeBoard, includes classics your student should read before (or during) college. But don't use the "s" word! Instead, let your child know that these aren't just classics, they are tales of romance, war, adventure, and courage, and that — while they won't love every story — a few are sure to become beloved lifelong companions. As author Italo Calvino wrote: “A classic is a book that has never finished saying what it has to say.”
Middle school books
|Achebe, Chinua||Things Fall Apart|
|Crane, Stephen||The Red Badge of Courage|
|Dumas, Alexandre||The Three Musketeers|
|Golding, William||Lord of the Flies|
|Hurston, Zora Neale||Their Eyes Were Watching God|
|Huxley, Aldous||Brave New World|
|Lee, Harper||To Kill a Mockingbird|
|London, Jack||The Call of the Wild|
|Miller, Arthur||The Crucible|
|O'Neill, Eugene||Long Day's Journey into Night|
|Orwell, George||Animal Farm|
|Poe, Edgar Allen||Selected Tales|
|Remarque, Erich Maria||All Quiet on the Western Front|
|Rostand, Edmond||Cyrano de Bergerac|
|Stevenson, Robert Louis||Treasure Island|
|Swift, Jonathan||Gulliver's Travels|
|Twain, Mark||The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn|
|Welty, Eudora||Collected Stories|
|Wright, Richard||Native Son|
High school books
|Agee, James||A Death in the Family|
|Austin, Jane||Pride and Prejudice|
|Baldwin, James||Go Tell It on the Mountain|
|Beckett, Samuel||Waiting for Godot|
|Bellow, Saul||The Adventures of Augie March|
|Bronte, Charlotte||Jane Eyre|
|Bronte, Emily||Wuthering Heights|
|Camus, Albert||The Stranger|
|Cather, Willa||Death Comes for the Archbishop|
|Chaucer, Geoffrey||The Canterbury Tales|
|Chekhov, Anton||The Cherry Orchard|
|Chopin, Kate||The Awakening|
|Conrad, Joseph||Heart of Darkness|
|Cooper, James Fenimore||The Last of the Mohicans|
|Defoe, Daniel||Robinson Crusoe|
|Dickens, Charles||A Tale of Two Cities|
|Dostoyevsky, Fyodor||Crime and Punishment|
|Douglass, Frederick||Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass|
|Dreiser, Theodore||An American Tragedy|
|Eliot, George||The Mill on the Floss|
|Ellison, Ralph||Invisible Man|
|Emerson, Ralph Waldo||Selected Essays|
|Faulkner, William||As I Lay Dying|
|Faulkner, William||The Sound and the Fury|
|Fielding, Henry||Tom Jones|
|Fitzgerald, F. Scott||The Great Gatsby|
|Flaubert, Gustave||Madame Bovary|
|Ford, Ford Madox||The Good Soldier|
|Goethe, Johann Wolfgang von||Faust|
|Hardy, Thomas||Tess of the d'Urbervilles|
|Hawthorne, Nathaniel||The Scarlet Letter|
|Heller, Joseph||Catch 22|
|Hemingway, Ernest||A Farewell to Arms|
|Hugo, Victor||The Hunchback of Notre Dame|
|Ibsen, Henrik||A Doll's House|
|James, Henry||The Portrait of a Lady|
|James, Henry||The Turn of the Screw|
|Joyce, James||A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man|
|Kafka, Franz||The Metamorphosis|
|Kingston, Maxine Hong||The Woman Warrior|
|Mann, Thomas||The Magic Mountain|
|Marquez, Gabriel Garcia||One Hundred Years of Solitude|
|Melville, Herman||Bartleby the Scrivener|
|Melville, Herman||Moby Dick|
|O'Connor, Flannery||A Good Man is Hard to Find|
|Pasternak, Boris||Doctor Zhivago|
|Plath, Sylvia||The Bell Jar|
|Proust, Marcel||Swann's Way|
|Pynchon, Thomas||The Crying of Lot 49|
|Roth, Henry||Call It Sleep|
|Salinger, J.D.||The Catcher in the Rye|
|Shakespeare, William||A Midsummer Night's Dream|
|Shakespeare, William||Romeo and Juliet|
|Shaw, George Bernard||Pygmalion|
|Silko, Leslie Marmon||Ceremony|
|Solzhenitsyn, Alexander||One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich|
|Steinbeck, John||The Grapes of Wrath|
|Stowe, Harriet Beecher||Uncle Tom's Cabin|
|Thackeray, William||Vanity Fair|
|Thoreau, Henry David||Walden|
|Tolstoy, Leo||War and Peace|
|Turgenev, Ivan||Fathers and Sons|
|Vonnegut, Kurt Jr.||Slaughterhouse-Five|
|Walker, Alice||The Color Purple|
|Wharton, Edith||The House of Mirth|
|Whitman, Walt||Leaves of Grass|
|Wilde, Oscar||The Picture of Dorian Gray|
|Williams, Tennessee||The Glass Menagerie|
|Woolf, Virginia||To the Lighthouse|
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