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Recommended Reading List – Course 4

Unit 1    Unit 2    Unit 3    Unit 4    Unit 5    Unit 6


Unit 1

A Separate Peace
by John Knowles
This celebrated novel is about the relationship between two boys at boarding school during World War II. One of the boys is a brilliant student, the other is a great athlete, and the tension between them leads to a tragedy that symbolizes the darkest forces of adolescence.

Great Expectations
by Charles Dickens
This popular novel is a mystery, a morality tale, and a coming-of-age story all rolled into one. The first-person narrator Pip falls into unrequited love and unexpected wealth as he makes his way from boyhood to adulthood.

Lord of the Flies
by William Golding
When a group of boys become stranded on an uninhabited island, they must struggle for their lives. Two leaders emerge, and the boys must choose sides in this frightening exploration of human nature.

A Place Where the Sea Remembers
by Sandra Benitz
Through a series of intertwined stories, this novel explores the hopes, loves, failures, and relationships of the inhabitants of a small seaside village in Mexico. Their lives and dreams are guarded by Remedios, the village curandera, or healer.

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Unit 2

The House on Mango Street
by Sandra Cisneros
Sandra Cisneros uses her childhood experience as a subject in both her fiction and her nonfiction writing. This novel tells the story of Esperanza, a Mexican American girl, who lives, as Cisneros did, in a Spanish-speaking community in Chicago. Esperanza's hopes, joys, and fears are explored in a series of short vignettes.

Sojourner Truth: Ain't I a Woman?
by Patricia C. McKissack and Fredrick L. McKissack
This page-turning biography explores the dramatic life of a woman who was born into slavery and eventually gained her freedom. After struggling to keep her family together under extremely difficult conditions, Sojourner Truth became an eloquent spokesperson for the abolitionist cause and greatly influenced the politics of her day.

Last Chance to See
by Douglas Adams and Mark Carwardine
A best-selling author and a well-known zoologist team up to travel the world looking for endangered species. Adams and Carwardine recount their adventures with humor and flair, even while describing the heart-breaking plight of the exotic animals they encounter.

The Chinese American Family Album
by Dorothy Hoobler and Thomas Hoobler
In order to tell the story of Chinese immigration to the United States, the Hooblers gather photographs, letters, journals, and other firsthand accounts from the people who made the trip from one country to the other. Life in China, the conditions of the journey, and the challenges of the new world are all explained in personal, intimate detail.

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Unit 3

Fallen Angels
by Walter Dean Myers
When seventeen-year-old Perry's college plans fall through, he enlists in the army and fights in the Vietnam War. Perry faces both racism and death, but he also manages to find friendship and virtue through his experiences.

The Same Sky: A Collection of Poems from Around the World
selected by Naomi Shihab Nye
Nearly every culture has a poetic tradition, and all over the world, poets share similar subjects: childhood, family, and the beauty of the natural world. This collection of 129 poets from 68 countries celebrates both the diversity of their origins and the similarity of their feelings and aspirations.

Earth Always Endures: Native American Poems
selected by Neil Philip
Whether in the death song of a Cheyenne warrior or in an Apache prayer for happiness, this collection of traditional Native American chants, prayers, and songs vibrates with a sense of the sacred. The historic photographs included in this volume contribute to the book's appeal, making past eras come to life.

Poems for Life: Famous People Select Their Favorite Poem and Say Why It Inspires Them
compiled by the Grade V Classes from The Nightingale-Bamford School
Determined to raise money for a good cause, a group of students in New York City mailed letters to a host of famous people. "We were wondering if you would like to send us a copy of your favorite poem with an explanation of why you chose it," they wrote. Fifty renowned writers, musicians, politicians, actors, and television personalities responded, and the result is this fascinating collection.

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Unit 4

To Kill a Mockingbird
by Harper Lee
One of the most beloved characters in modern American literature, Scout Finch is a bold, smart, and funny little girl growing up in a small Alabama town in the 1930s. When her father, a brilliant lawyer, agrees to defend an African American in court, many people react with anger. In the controversy that follows, Scout learns about justice as her father and his defendant embark on a life-or-death struggle against racial prejudice.

Our Town: A Play in Three Acts
by Thornton Wilder
In Grover's Corners, New Hampshire, at the turn of the twentieth century, two neighbor children fall in love and grow into adulthood. Each of the play's acts takes place at a different point in the characters' lives, providing snapshots of life and death in a small town. Generations of readers have been moved by this Pulitzer Prize–winning play, which includes one of the most famous last acts in American theater.

Plays of America from American Folklore for Young Actors
by L. E. McCullough
The ten plays in this collection draw on subjects ranging from Native American myths to traditional European, African, and Asian stories and include pioneer-era heroes as well as recent cultural figures such as Elvis Presley. Each play includes historical notes and tips on staging.

Life in the Elizabethan Theater
by Diane Yancey
Actors have not always been glamorous stars and respected professionals. In fact, in the past they were considered little more than vagabonds. It wasn't until Shakespeare's time that their lowly status began to change, and they gained admittance to Queen Elizabeth's court. This book provides fascinating details of what life was like for those involved with the English theater during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.

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Unit 5

Picture Bride
by Yoshiko Uchida
In 1917, Hana Omiya leaves her native Japan and sails to San Francisco to marry a man she has never met. Living with a stranger in a new country isn't easy, and when Japanese citizens are interned during World War II, Hana's troubles increase.

Mythology
by Edith Hamilton
Zeus and Odysseus, Cupid and Psyche, Hercules and the Titans – these and other Greek gods and heroes have inspired, frightened, enlightened, and entertained generations of readers around the world. This classic book presents many of the Greek myths that are an important part of Western culture.

Aleta and the Queen
by Priscilla Galloway
What was happening in Ithaca while Odysseus was away? This novel tells the story of Queen Penelope, who must defend the kingdom from takeover in her husband's absence. Among Penelope's few allies are Kleea, a faithful servant, and Aleta, Kleea's granddaughter. Despite many obstacles, Aleta summons courage and resourcefulness to help Penelope fend off greedy suitors.

Anpao: An American Indian Odyssey
by Jamake Highwater
This book incorporates the folklore of Plains and Southwest Indians to tell the story of Anpao, a poor but brave young man who falls in love with the daughter of a chief. She agrees to marry him, but only after he attains the permission of the sun. Anpao undertakes a dramatic journey across mountains, deserts, and prairies to achieve his goal.

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Unit 6

A Midsummer Night's Dream
by William Shakespeare
One of the most light-hearted of Shakespeare's plays, this fantasy follows young lovers into a magical forest, where the meddling of a mischievous elf causes comedy and chaos to ensue. Meanwhile, the king and queen of the fairies are having their own problems, and another group of humans is making humorous attempts to put on a play.

The Ear, the Eye, and the Arm: A Novel
by Nancy Farmer
The place is Zimbabwe. The year is 2194. After sneaking in to the city, three children are kidnapped by a monkey and forced into a life of hard labor. When the children's parents hire a trio of mutant detectives to retrieve them, trouble and adventure begin. This Newberry Award – winning novel combines elements of both science fiction and traditional African culture.

Nightfall
by Isaac Asimov and Robert Silverberg
Two great science fiction writers collaborated on this suspenseful tale, which explores what happens when darkness slowly falls in a world that has seen nothing but sunlight for the last two thousand years. As a terrified society verges on chaos, only a few citizens are prepared to face a truth that reveals some of the most fundamental aspects of human experience.

The Winds of Mars
by H. M. Hoover
Annalyn Court's father is President of Mars. Or is he? Annalyn must decide whether or not her dad has been secretly replaced by an android, and in the meantime, a rebellion is threatening to tear the planet apart. The suspense mounts as battles rage in this exciting science fiction novel.

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