Extracurricular Reading List Comp/Lit 10



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Mrs. Dehorn

Extracurricular Reading List

Comp/Lit 10
The following list comprises many types of authors and styles of writing. There are classics, modern novels, plays, biographies, science fiction novels and mysteries to name just a few. Since you will be reading four of these throughout the year, I would like you to choose different types of books. I would like you to read at least one of the classics and one which represents a culture other than that of your own. I will help you choose your books to ensure a variety, but I encourage you to take the time to research the books in the library to choose ones that you will enjoy.

There will be a different assignment to accompany each of your readings. Details of these will be given as you choose each new book. The minimum number of pages to be read each semester is 650. If you choose a short book for one of your reads, realize that you have to meet the requirement with your second choice for the semester.

If you choose a novel on which a movie was made, there will be one extra response required in the report that you do.



Adams, Richard Watership Down

(a unique odyssey of a warren of rabbits & their efforts to survive when a construction company moves in)

Alcott, Louisa May Little Women

(the classic story of the lives of four very different sisters: Jo, Beth, Amy, and Meg)
Anderson, Laurie Halse Speak

(girl struggles with school pressures, friends, family to ultimately discover herself)

Angelou, Maya I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

(story of young Maya's life and struggle with adversity)
Auel, Jean Clan of the Cave Bear

(story that takes the reader back to the dawn of mankind & the saga of a remarkable woman)
Baker, Tiffany The Little Giant of Aberdeen County

(Born into a small-minded town, Truly grows larger and larger while her petite sister seems to be living the charmed life. Things change and Truly learns that love cannot be ordered to size)
Baldwin, James If Beale Street Could Talk

(a young black couple struggles to live with dignity in a society filled with hatred)
Boulle, Ray Bridge on the River Kwai

(a British officer in a Japanese prison camp builds a bridge and then exposes a team when they arrive)

Braithwaite, E.R. To Sir, With Love

(story of a dedicated teacher condemned by his color to a London slum-school)
Bradbury, Ray Dandelion Wine

(the strange & wonderful world of Douglas Spalding, the supernatural and the unknown)
Bronte, Emily Wuthering Heights

(a Yorkshire tale of a love that is stronger than death)
Buck, Pearl S. The Good Earth

(through one Chinese peasant & his children, the author traces the whole cycle of life)
Burns, Olive Ann Cold Sassy Tree

(when the preacher of this small town elopes with a woman 1/2 his age, the sleepy town comes alive)
Card, Orson Scott The Speaker for the Dead

(Years after the Bugger War, a 2nd alien race has been discovered & only Ender has courage to face it)
Carter, Forrest The Education of Little Tree

(remembrances of an Indian boyhood with his Cherokee hill grandparents)
Childress, Alice Rainbow Jordan

(story of a young African American girl on the border between childhood & adulthood)

A Hero Ain’t Nothin’ but a Sandwich

(13 year old Benji is well on his way to being hooked on heroin)
Cormier, Robert The Chocolate War

(a high school boy refuses to be intimidated by the society & people around him)

After the Chocolate War

(sequel of the protagonist’s adventures of the above novel)

I Am the Cheese

(Adam goes to meet his father & journeys into his mind to unlock a devastating past he cannot accept)

Crane, Stephen The Red Badge of Courage

(a young Civil War recruit is bewildered by the mad pattern of battle)
Craven, Margaret I Heard the Owl Call My Name

(a moving account of a young vicar, fatally ill, working among the Indians)
Christopher, John The White Mountains

(science fiction saga about the interplanetary Tripods & Masters who threaten all life on Earth)
Collins, Suzanne The Hunger Games (and sequels)

(post-apocalyptic world where games are held in which young people compete in televised battle to death)
De Rosnay, Tatiana Sarah's Key

(modern day journalist investigates roundup of Jews in German-occupied Paris in 1942 and uncovers an amazing story of young Sarah during and after the war)
Defoe, Daniel Robinson Crusoe

(the classic adventure novel of one great hero’s adventures on land & sea)
Dickens, Charles Great Expectations

(an orphan hooks up with a convict and searches for love, success, and his mysterious benefactor)
Douglass, Frederick The Life and Times of Frederick Douglas

(a biography of the struggles of a black slave and the fight for freedom)
Dumas, Alexandre The Three Musketeers

(the classic French tale of three ultimate heroes who fight for the good - complete with duels & action-packed detail)
Egan, Jennifer The Invisible Circus

(Phoebe follows her older sister’s trail from San Francisco through Europe after her death in 1970)
Eggers, Dave Zeitoun

(story of a hardworking Muslim family and their experiences in a world post 9/11 and the terror of living through Hurricane Katrina)
Erdrich, Louise Love Medicine

(saga of 2 Native American families - death of 1 woman becomes the flash point for old memories, truths & secrets)
Esquirel, Laura Like Water for Chocolate

(an original fairy tale about Tia, a young Mexican woman with magical talent for cooking & romance)
Ford, Jamie Hotel on the Corner of Bitter & Sweet

(the love and friendship of a Chinese boy & a Japanese girl during the Japanese internment in World War II.)
Frank, Anne The Diary of a Young Girl

(the diary entries of a young Jewish girl in hiding during the holocaust)
Gaines, E. The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman

(the life of a black woman born into slavery)
Greene, Bette The Summer of my German Soldier

(story of a dangerous friendship between a 12 year old Jewish girl and a German POW during WWII)
Griffen, John Black Like Me

(this white man’s odyssey through the Deep South is a revelation of the black man’s world)
Guest, Judith Ordinary People

(the story of a youth’s breakdown & recovery and the effect it has on his family)
Gunther, John Death Be Not Proud

(a father’s memoir of a brave 17 year old boy in his fight with a brain tumor that took his life)
Hamilton, Virginia Sweet Whispers, Brother Rush

(a 14 yr old, resentful of her mother, encounters the ghost of her dead uncle & understands her

family better)

Helfer, Ralph Modoc

(based on a true story, a boy and an elephant form a bond that would last their entire lives though tested again & again)
Hemingway, Ernest A Farewell to Arms

(a tale of love and war set on the Italian front in World War I)

The Old Man and the Sea

(a Cuban fisherman loses a giant marlin to the sharks)

Herbert, Frank Dune

(a planet of harsh deserts, a forbidding world where water was more precious than rare jewels)

Soul Catcher

(conflict between the culture of Northwestern Indians and modern civilization)

Hilton, James The Lost Horizon

(4 people are trapped in a hidden valley where no one grows old & no one thinks of death)
Hosseini, Khaled The Kite Runner

(story of 2 young boys in Kabul during tumultuous times and how years later, one of them tries to atone himself for his wrongdoings to the other. Story of friendship and redemption)
A Thousand Splendid Suns

(story of 2 Afghan women; one suffering from abusive husband and the other a young privileged woman until the two lives intersect)
Hudson, Ian Sweetgrass

(a 15 year old Blackfoot Indian girl proves herself during a year of challenge & devastation for her tribe)
Johnson, Spencer The Story of Jackie Robinson

(true story of this inspiring baseball legend)
Keith, Harold Rifles for Watie

(16 year old Jeff, a Union scout behind Confederate lines, realizes he must escape or join the enemy)
Keller, Helen The Story of My Life

(autobiography of a woman who overcame twin handicaps of blindness & deafness)
Kesey, Ken One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest

(story of a boisterous rebel in a mental hospital)
Keyes, Daniel Flowers for Algernon

(tale of a retarded man who becomes a genius through a bold experiment)
Kidd, Sue Monk The Secret Life of Bees

(Lily Owns escapes an abusive father to a new town and life with 3 beekeeping sisters to learn about the world of bees, honey, and divine female power.)

Kincaid, Jamaica Annie John

(Annie grows from a 10 year old living in paradise to a young woman who must leave to escape her mother’s shadow)
Kingsolver, Barbara Animal Dreams

(a suspenseful love story & a moving exploration of life’s largest commitments blended with Native American legend)

The Bean Trees

(a recent HS grade attempts to flee her small town when a baby is abandoned in her car; life takes a very different turn for her)

Pigs in Heaven

(Sequel to Bean Trees: Taylor wants to keep her adopted daughter, but the Cherokee want her back)
Knowles, John A Separate Peace

(story of a lonely introvert & his rival, a daredevil athlete, and what happens at school)
L’Engle, Madeline Camilla

(a girl’s 1st romance, her devastation over her parents’ marital problems, and her own sense of self)

The Moon by Night

(Vicky, uncertain about being 14, sets out to enjoy her family’s summer cross-country trip)
Lamb, Wally She’s Come Undone

(follows the life of Dolores Price to an adulthood burdened by weight problems, low self-esteem)
Levenkron, Steven The Best Little Girl in the World

(Kessa is building her own obsession, an obsession that kills - anorexia nervosa)
Malamud, Bernard The Natural

(portrait of a man adored and corrupted by the madcap world of major league baseball)
McCarthy, Cormack The Road

(man & son trek across a destroyed country in search of signs of life & visit their haunting relationship)
McDaniel, Lurlene Too Young to Die

(devastated by news of her leukemia, 16 year old Melissa becomes determined to make the most of her life)
McMillan, Terry Mama

(a single mother of five struggles with poverty, prejudice, and alcohol yet finds that she is an irrepressible survivor)

Disappearing Acts

(a funny love story-Franklin and Zora deal with the mystery of desire, burdens of the past and much more)

Milton, Muryama All I Asking Is My Body

(the Japanese-American experience in Hawaii)
Mitchell, Margaret Gone With The Wind

(flaming epic of Civil War times - the famous story of Rhet Butler and Scarlett O’Hara)
Momoday, Scott House Made of Dawn

(fictional story based on the lives of the author’s Indian ancestors)
Morrison, Toni The Bluest Eye

(a haunting story of a young black girl who prays every night for blue eyes - will it make her life better?)

Sula

(traces the lives of 2 black women from their small town in Georgia, through womanhood to their ultimate reconciliation)
Neal Hurston, Zora Their Eyes Were Watching God

(story of Janie Crawford’s evolving selfhood through 3 marriages)
O’Brien, Robert Z for Zacharia

(a novel about the aftermath of nuclear devastation)
O’Dell, Scott Sing Down The Moon

(the forced migration of the Navajo from their homeland is told from the Indian point of view)
Pelzer, David A Child Called It

(a true story of horrific abuse suffered by a child at the hands of an alcoholic mother)
Potok, Chaim The Chosen

(story of a tiny Jewish American section of Brooklyn and one boy’s learnings)
Remarque, Eric All Quiet on the Western Front

(anti-war novel searches human rubble produced on the battlefield)
Richter, Conrad The Light in the Forest

(story of a white boy raised by Indians and returned to white society)
Rostand, Edmont Cyrano de Bergerac

(a shy and unconfident man tries to win a beautiful woman by going to great and often funny efforts)

Rubio, Gwyn Hyman Icy Sparks

(an orphan who lives with the humiliation of a troubling affliction that goes undiagnosed until her adulthood)
Sarton, May The Small Room

(embarking on her 1st teaching job at a women’s college, Lucy Winter finds herself in the thick of a big scandal)

Serrallier, Ian Escape from Warsaw

(In 1942, WWII is raging, and 3 kids have to fend for themselves when both parents are taken by the Nazis)
Saroyan, William The Human Comedy

(during WWI in California, a 14 year old is determined to become the fastest telegraph messenger in the West)

Shange, Ntozake Betsey Brown

(a 13 year old black girl lives through the school integration of 1959 and the racism and conflicts it causes)

Smith, Betty A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

(Francie comes of age in poverty in the Brooklyn slums - story of childhood & relationships)

Soto, Gary

Taking Sides

(When Tasha hears one of her fellow students make an off-color joke, she challenges him to a debate about racism)
Sprockett, Kathryn The Help

( a 22 year old college grad and a couple of black maids from her childhood come together for a secret, risky project that will attempt to voice the suffocation that many suffer within the lines that define their town and times.)
Steinbeck, John The Pearl

(a poor Mexican fisherman finds a pearl beyond price and tragedy follows)

Travels with Charley

(Steinbeck sets out to rediscover his native land accompanied by his poodle)

Cannery Row

(the tales of ordinary lives of the migrant workers from Monterey’s Cannery Row)
Stevenson, Robert Treasure Island

(pirates, mutiny and a search for buried treasure make up this classic adventure novel)
Stowe, Harriet Beecher Uncle Tom’s Cabin

(the classic novel of the struggle of the blacks during the times of slavery and fight for their independence)
Tan, Amy The Kitchen God’s Wife

(explores the dynamics of a Chinese American family thru suppressed secrets a mother & daughter have to reveal)

The Joy Luck Club

(stories of 4 Chinese-American immigrants in San Francisco who share their life stories during games of Mahjong)

Taylor, Mildred Roll of Thunder Hear My Cry

(a Southern black family is determined to maintain their pride & independence against hard times & racial inequalities)

The Road to Memphis

(Cassie is not prepared for the trouble when her black friend lashed out at his white tormentor in 1942)

Tolkien, J.R. The Hobbit

(The world of fantasy and its number 1 hobbit, Bilbo Baggins set off on adventure)
Twain, Mark Tom Sawyer

(the adventures of the adolescent best friend of Huck Finn)

A Yankee in King Arthur’s Court

(a modern day man is dropped into the times of King Arthur and his knights)
Wallace, Daniel Big Fish

(as he lies dying, Edward Bloom can’t stop telling jokes & tall tales that make him an extraordinary man)
Walker, Alice The Color Purple

(through the troubled life of Celie, the novel reveals truths about men & women, blacks & whites, and God & love)
Walls, Jeanette Glass Castle

(memoir of life for the Walls children, shows resilience in face of dysfunctional yet vibrant family)
Welry, Eudora One Writer’s Beginnings

(autobiographical lectures from 1983 of a Harvard professor’s lessons about life)
Williams, Tennessee The Glass Menagerie

(story of a mother, son & daughter and a long -hoped for gentleman caller who is sought as a solution to their problem)
Wong, Jade Snow Fifth Chinese Daughter

(self-portrait of a 27 yr old Chinese girl who is brought up in S.F.’s Chinatown & her adjustment between 2 cultures)
Villareal, Jose Pocho

(a young Mexican-American boy struggles to achieve adulthood in a conflicting world - set in the South Bay area)

Yen Mah, Adeline Falling Leaves

(memoir of the youngest daughter of an affluent Chines family who suffers at hands of abusive stepmother)
Yep, Laurence Dragonwing

(this story portrays the rich traditions of the Chinese community as it made its way into a hostile new world)

Rainbow People

(a collection of 20 folk tales told by Chinese-American immigrants as part of a 1930s WPA project)
In addition to this list, you may propose a choice of your own. I encourage you to talk to your family, teachers and peers to get good recommendations for your readings. If there is a book that you'd like to read, bring it in for approval from me.


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