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Recommended Reading List – Course 3

Theme 1    Theme 2    Theme 3    Theme 4    Theme 5    Theme 6    Theme 7    Theme 8

Theme 1

A Day No Pigs Would Die
by Robert Newton Peck
A boy in rural Vermont, whose father slaughters pigs, develops a new understanding of family and home.

Tree by Leaf
by Cynthia Voigt
Clothilde's family problems are multiplied when her father returns from World War I alive, but disfigured and depressed.

Walker of Time
by Helen Hughes Vick
A fifteen-year-old Hopi boy and his funny, sympathetic Anglo friend travel seven hundred years back in time. Here they help a dying civilization to begin the move to a new home.

Missing May
by Cynthia Rylant
Summer has had many homes, but when she joins her aunt and uncle, she is welcomed and shares in their deep love for one another. When Aunt May dies, Summer and Uncle Ob must come to terms with their loss.

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Theme 2

Cezanne Pinto
by Mary Stolz
In this fictional memoir, an elderly man tells his story of being born into slavery, escaping to freedom, serving in the Civil War, and becoming a cowboy in Texas. As he nears his ninetieth birthday, Cezanne Pinto remembers his lifelong struggle for freedom and the friends who helped him along the way.

Far North
by Will Hobbs
Fifteen-year-old Gabe must rely on another teenager and an elderly Native American hunter after their plane crashes in the frozen Canadian wilderness. As they struggle to survive, Gabe develops a new appreciation for the world of the Far North and its inhabitants.

Timothy of the Cay
by Theodore Taylor
This follow-up to the acclaimed novel The Cay traces the life of Timothy, who goes to sea as a boy and grows up to command a ship. It also tells of Philip, who hopes to regain his sights after being blinded in a shipwreck and rescued by Timothy.

Walk Two Moons
by Sharon Creech
What do you do when you need your mother, and your grandparents need you? In this story, thirteen-year-old Sal and her grandparents set out on a long drive to find Sal's missing mother and solve both problems. Along with a serious theme, there is humor in their search.

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Theme 3

Shabanu: Daughter of the Wind
by Suzanne Fisher Staples
Shabanu is part of a family of nomads in Pakistan. She loves her life, but when she is faced with marriage to a man chosen for her, she tries to run away. The difficult life of the herders in a barren land is depicted realistically.

The Rain Catchers
by Jean Thesman
Growing up in a house if strong, funny, creative women, fourteen-year-old Grayling discovers the power of telling stories. She also learns how to make decisions of her own.

American Dragons: Twenty-Five Asian American Voices
edited by Laurence Yep
The stories in this collection are grouped by such themes as the relationships between generations, experiences of World War II, and the need to question who we are and where we go from here.

Banner in the Sky
by James Ramsey Ullman
When Rudi's father dies in an attempt to scale a mountain in the Alps, Rudi decides that he must conquer the peak that killed his father. The author, and experienced climber, adds detailed information to a tense tale of courage and determination.

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Theme 4

When the Legends Die
by Hal Borland
Left alone in the wilderness when his parents die, Thomas Black Bull uses the survival skills his mother has taught him. He eventually learns how to make his way in the world, facing mischief as well as suffering.

A String in the Harp
by Nancy Bond
When Peter Morgan finds an ancient harp key, he enters a frightening world, moving between two historical periods and between the practical and the magical. Peter and his sisters much find the source of the mischief as they are threatened by the key, the past, and modern laws.

Nothing But the Truth: A Documentary Novel
by Avi
Philip Malloy discovers how a single act of mischief can change his life and the lives of innocent people. Told through written announcements, journal entries, and newspaper articles—the story shows how lies and mistakes can pile up until few really know the truth.

The Thirteen Clocks
by James Thurber
This funny tale of mischief combines unusual language, a fantastic plot, and an intriguing cast of characters, including a princess and an evil duke.

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Theme 5

Across Five Aprils
by Irene Hunt
Jethrow Creighton fights for freedom in his own way as he is left with the responsibility of maintaining his family's farm when the men and older boys join the army.

Out of the Dust
by Karen Hesse
Fourteen-year-old Billie Jo lost her mother in an accident for which Billie Jo blames her father and herself. In her journal, she records her life in the Oklahoma dust bowl during the Great Depression.

Laborers for Liberty: American Women 1865–1890
by Harriet Sigerman
This is the story of American women from New England to New Mexico as they meet new freedoms and challenges, new work opportunities and falling barriers.

I Thought My Soul Would Rise and Fly: The Diary of Patsy, a Freed Girl
by Joyce Hansen
In this fictional account, Patsy keeps a diary of her life during the important year of 1865, as slavery ends and the South adjusts to new circumstances.

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Theme 6

The Glory Field
by Walter Dean Myers
This is a story of the Lewis family, beginning in their African homeland and ending in contemporary America. Throughout the decades, they manage to maintain continuous ownership of a piece of land, the Glory Field. The author focuses on a strong teenage character in each generation as he tells their story.

SOS Titanic
by Eve Bunting
A the Titanic sinks, Irish immigrants trapped in cabins below deck awaken to new values and extend help to old enemies, as well as to family members.

Parrot in the Oven: mi vida
by Victor Martinez
Manny Hernandez is fourteen, and his father has him convinced that he is "just a penny"—not worth much. One way to be worth a lot is to be a part of a gang, and Manny must decide.

Lupita Mañana
by Patricia Beatty
Lupita Torres is thirteen when she and her older brother enter the United States to find work and support their widowed mother and younger siblings. The two must weigh the need to find jobs with the dangers and difficulties of crossing a border illegally.

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Theme 7

Number the Stars
by Lois Lowry
Annemarie Johansen and her best friend Ellen Rosen live in Copenhagen, Denmark, a city of shortages and Nazi soldiers. When the Germans begin to "relocate" Copenhagen's Jews in 1943, Ellen moves in with Annemarie's family. Soon Annemarie must risk her own life to save her friend.

After the War
by Carol Matas
Ruth is fifteen when she is freed from a Nazi concentration camp and fears that she is the only surviving member of her family. She joins an underground organization to make a dangerous and illegal journey to Palestine. Along the way, she rediscovers her inner strength and finds reasons for hope.

The Island on Bird Street
by Uri Orlev
A Jewish boy, left on his own for months during World War II, learns to survive in a ruined house in the Warsaw Ghetto of Poland. He learns how to find food, contact others, and live amid constant danger.

I Am Fifteen - and I Don't Want to Die
by Christine Arnothy
The autobiography of Christine Arnothy focuses on one terrifying year during World War II when the author's family hid in the cellars of Budapest as German and Russian armies battled for control of Hungary.

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Theme 8

The House of Dies Drear
by Virginia Hamilton
The house is old, huge, and guarded by a cross caretaker. In addition, there are supposed to be a buried treasure and a ghost. Thomas and his family discover the history of the house and of their own ancestors as they explore the building's connection with the Underground Railroad.

Companions of the Night
by Vivian Vande Velde
Sixteen-year-old Kerry is always sensitive to her little brother Ian's tears. As a result, she agrees to make a scary late-night trip to the laundromat to recover Ian's stuffed bear. At the laundromat, Kerry's scary adventure begins.

Redwall
by Brian Jacques
The creatures living at Redwall Abbey are a peaceful group until the king of vermin declares war against them. Matthias, an apprentice mouse, sets out to find a magic sword that can save Redwall. This is the first book in a series of more than ten tales of quests and fights between good and evil.

Foundation
by Isaac Asimov
This book is the first in a series of books that combine science and technology with human strengths and weaknesses. Characters must struggle to achieve their dreams in this classic science fiction novel.

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