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Recommended Reading List – Course 5

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


Unit 1

Fahrenheit 451
by Ray Bradbury
Can you envision a future in which all books are not only banned, but burned? Firefighter Guy Montag goes about his job of burning books until he encounters a young woman who introduces him to the adventure that books can offer. Guy makes a decision that sets him on the adventure of his life.

Of Mice and Men
by John Steinbeck
Their dreams of someday owning a small farm are all that sustain ranch hands George and Lennie as they go from one difficult job and disheartening experience to the next. When Lennie inadvertently causes a tragedy, George must make a painful decision about how best to help his friend.

My Ántonia
by Willa Cather
The courage, joys, and suffering of immigrant farmers who settled the Nebraska frontier are realistically portrayed in this classic novel. Narrator Jim Burden remembers his innocent childhood on the prairie and recounts the triumphs of his strong and capable lifelong friend Ántonia.

Shabanu, Daughter of the Wind
by Suzanne Fisher-Staples
Shabanu is a Pakistani girl with a fierce sense of self. She loves her family and their life as camel herders in the desert, but her world is shattered when her parents arrange for her to marry a wealthy older man. Shabanu is torn between accepting the marriage or suffering the consequences of going against tradition.

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Unit 2

Night
by Elie Wiesel
During World War II, the Nazis sent sixteen-year-old Elie Wiesel and his family to concentration camps. This memoir presents an account of young Wiesel's experiences of the horrors of the death camp. Wiesel's memories of that nightmare would force him to confront harsh realities about human nature.

Baseball: An Illustrated History
by Geoffrey C. Ward and Ken Burns
The authors use photographs and narrative to document baseball's evolution since the mid-nineteenth century and bring to life baseball's most memorable players, such as Ty Cobb, Satchel Paige, Babe Ruth, Jackie Robinson, and Joe DiMaggio. This book also shows baseball's connection to American history and its influence on our national life.

The Edge of the Sea
by Rachel Carson
How do small sea creatures hold on to rocks while strong waves wash over them? How does the arctic jellyfish survive "being solidly frozen for hours"? Carson reveals the dramatic and varied communities of plant and animal life along the rocky shores, sandy beaches, and coral reefs of the Atlantic Ocean. Delicate drawings depict the rich variety of life forms.

A Separate Battle: Women and the Civil War
by Ina Chang
In both the North and South, women during the Civil War served vital roles. Some were doctors, nurses, and spies; others donned trousers and fought on the battlefront. This enlightening book reveals the wartime heroics of famous women like Louisa May Alcott and Harriet Beecher Stowe and of women such as Loreta Velazquez and Sarah Edmonds.

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Unit 3

The Joy Luck Club
by Amy Tan
For forty years, four Chinese mothers gather in San Francisco to socialize, talking about their lives and their Chinese American daughters. The daughters are establishing their own identities in a different culture from that of their mothers. A fierce love carries both generations to an understanding of each others' needs.

A Poetry Handbook
by Mary Oliver
In this highly readable handbook, Oliver empowers the student of poetry and demonstrates that "out of writing, and the rewriting, beauty is born." Citing works from other poets, such as Elizabeth Bishop, T. S. Eliot, William Carlos Williams, and Lucille Clifton, Oliver demonstrates that writing good poetry is a craft.

The Space Between Our Footsteps: Poems and Paintings from the Middle East
selected by Naomi Shihab Nye
This collection of works of more than 100 poets and artists from 19 Middle Eastern countries explores themes that include exile, family, childhood, journeys, and joy. Award-winning poet and anthologist Naomi Shihab Nye pairs poems with full-color art from the countries represented.

A Haiku Menagerie: Living Creatures in Poems and Prints
by Stephen Addiss with Fumiko and Akira Yamamoto
Showing how fascinating the smallest animal or insect can be, this collection of Japanese haiku features master poets' insights into the natural world. More than 48 woodblock prints illustrate the creatures described in the poems. The poems are presented both in English translation and the original Japanese.

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Unit 4

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
by Mark Twain
The adults in Huck Finn's life fail to appreciate his mischievous and fun-loving attitude. Hungry for comradeship, he befriends the runaway slave, Jim, and together they escape the constrictions of the small town to raft down the Mississippi River. Jim helps Huck learn the nature of friendship and the meaning of freedom.

The Post Office
by Rabindranath Tagore
An illustrated edition of Tagore's play about an adopted child named Amal. Confined to his home as the result of an illness, Amal's only entertainment is watching the neighborhood as he sits at his open window. As Amal engages in conversations with the townspeople who stroll by, he expresses amazing insight into life.

Seven Against Thebes
by Aeschylus
Prehistoric Thebes is under siege by an Argive army led by Polyneices, son of Oedipus and brother of Eteocles. Eteocles pledges to save Thebes and fiercely defends its seven gates against the Argive army's seven armored chiefs and their warriors. Trying to avoid disaster, the Theban women warn Eteocles to stay away from the seventh gate.

Shakespeare
by F. E. Halliday
This illustrated biography of Shakespeare gives details about the playwright's life and plays and presents fascinating information about the history of the theater. Reproductions of documents, maps, and illustrations enliven the text. Included are contemporary photographs of Shakespeare's grave in Stratford and other historic sites.

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Unit 5

The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman
by Ernest J. Gaines
Having lived 110 years, Jane Pittman is a woman with many stories to tell. Born into slavery, she lives through the Civil War, Reconstruction, life on a Southern plantation, and the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s. Her strength and courage serve as models to those around her.

The Light Beyond the Forest
by Rosemary Sutcliff
The Knights of the Round Table set out in search of the a holy relic known as the Holy Grail. This is a tale of heroism and adventure, in which Sir Lancelot, Sir Galahad, and the other knights struggle against great dangers to reach their goal. Only the most perfect knight succeeds.

Out of the Same Cloth: American Women of Myth, Legend, and Tall Tale
by Robert D. San Souci
Discover America's unheralded heroines who are as strong-willed and clever as their male counterparts. San Souci retells 15 folktales, ballads, and stories about legendary women, representing such cultures as African American, Anglo American, Inuit, Hawaiian, Mexican American, and Native American.

The Talking Earth
by Jean Craighead George
Do cultural traditions belong in our modern, technological world? Billie Wind finds the answer to this question when she ventures off alone into the Florida Everglades as punishment for doubting her Seminole tribe's legends. Her adventure teaches her that her tribe's legends are important –especially in today's world.

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Unit 6

Bless Me, Ultima
by Rudolfo Anaya
Antonio Marez struggles for meaning in his young life. Should he fulfill his mother's dreams or pursue a more adventurous life as his father did? Can he survive the cultural conflicts both within and beyond his small town? With the help of Ultima, a curandera who cures with herbs and magic, Antonio finds the meaning of life.

Novio Boy: A Play
by Gary Soto
Rudy, a ninth grader, finally has a date with Patricia, an eleventh grader, and takes her to a restaurant in their Mexican American community. When Rudy's best friend, his "crazy" guitar-playing uncle, and his mother show up, Rudy worries that they might embarrass him, and he pretends not to know them.

Under Water with Ogden Nash
by Ogden Nash
In this collection of 26 delightful, humorous poems, Ogden Nash writes about sea creatures such as the turtle, the jellyfish, the squid, and the shark. Detailed color drawings by award-winning zoological illustrator Katie Lee are paired with the poems.

Rules of the Road
by Joan Bauer
In this poignant yet funny novel, Jenna Boller, a sophomore with an after-school job selling shoes, agrees to take on the additional task of driving the store president, Mrs. Gladstone, on a business trip. As they journey all summer long from Chicago to Dallas, Jenna offers her own amusing rules for the "highway of life."

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