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Recommended Reading List – Course 1

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

Theme 1

Boy: Tales of Childhood
by Roald Dahl
The popular novelist tells funny and sometimes sad stories about his school years.

The Endless Steppe: Growing Up in Siberia
by Esther Hautzig
This autobiography tells of how the author and her family make a new life in difficult conditions.

Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry
by Mildred D. Taylor
This story of an African American family is set in rural Mississippi during the 1930s. Cassie and her family are determined to hang on to their land and remain where they belong.

Letters from Rifka
by Karen Hesse
Letters tell the story of a Russian girl's journey to the United States in 1919.


Theme 2

Julie of the Wolves
by Jean Craighead George
In this dramatic survival story, a girl is befriended by a pack of wolves.

The Incredible Journey
by Sheila Burnford
Two dogs and a cat set out on a 250-mile journey through the Canadian wilderness.

Every Living Thing
by Cynthia Rylant
Each of the short stories in this collection tells how a character's life was made better by an animal.

Joyful Noise: Poems for Two Voices
by Paul Fleischman
These poems about insects are intended for two readers to read aloud together.


Theme 3

by Will Hobbs
An elderly Colorado rancher helps a fourteen-year-old Ute boy to grow up.

When I Was Your Age: Original Stories About Growing Up
edited by Amy Ehrlich
This collection of stories by ten popular writers includes fiction and autobiography.

When Thunders Spoke
by Virginia Driving Hawke Sneve
A boy discovers the value of a Sioux tradition.

Harriet Tubman: Conductor on the Underground Railroad
by Ann Petry
This biography tells the exciting story of a woman who helped hundreds of enslaved people escape to freedom.


Theme 4

The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle
by Avi
The only passenger aboard an 1832 sailing ship, thirteen-year-old Charlotte must decide whether she will side with a tyrannical captain or a crew ready for mutiny.

But That's Another Story: Favorite Authors Introduce Popular Genres
edited by Sandy Asher
Authors of thirteen short stories discuss writing in such genres as science fiction, fantasy, horror, and realistic fiction.

Bridge to Terabithia
by Katherine Paterson
A boy learns the importance of friendship.

Our Stories: A Fiction Workshop for Young Authors
by Marion Dane Bauer
An award-winning author gives advice to beginning writers.


Theme 5

by Gary Paulsen
Stranded in the Canadian wilderness after a plane crash, thirteen-year-old Brian must learn how to survive on his own.

Cut from the Same Cloth: American Women of Myth, Legend, and Tall Tale
by Robert D. San Souci
The author retells stories about legendary, larger-than-life women from various American cultures.

The Wanderings of Odysseus: The Story of the Odyssey
by Rosemary Sutcliff
This prose retelling of the Greek classic is beautifully illustrated by Alan Lee. Odysseus, who struggles for ten years to reach his home, is one trickster-hero who succeeds.

Island of the Blue Dolphins
by Scott O'Dell
A Native American girl, accidentally left behind by her people, spends eighteen years on a lonely island.


Theme 6

The Clay Marble
by Minfong Ho
During the 1970s, twelve-year-old Dara and her family struggle to survive in war-torn Cambodia.

The Invisible Thread
by Yoshiko Uchida
The popular author describes growing up in Berkeley, California, as a Japanese American, and her family's internment in a Nevada concentration camp during World War II.

Hurricanes: Earth's Mightiest Storms
by Patricia Lauber
Color photographs and scientific information will help you understand the disastrous effects of hurricanes.

Escape to Freedom: A Play About Young Frederick Douglass
by Ossie Davis
Born enslaved, future orator and statesman Douglass endures cruelty and injustice before escaping to freedom.


Theme 7

I, Juan de Pareja
by Elizabeth Borton de Trevino
This novel is based on the true story of the Spanish painter of the 1500s, Diego Rodriguez de Silva y Velazquez, and his servant and friend, Juan de Pareja.

The Firebringer and Other Great Stories: Fifty-five Legends That Live Forever
by Louis Untermeyer
This anthology includes retellings of tales from many cultures.

Plays Children Love, Volume II: A Treasury of Contemporary and Classic Plays for Children
edited by Coleman A. Jennings and Aurand Harris
This anthology includes plays based on The Wizard of Oz, Charlotte's Web, and The Wind in the Willows.

East of the Sun and West of the Moon
by Nancy Willard
This poetic and amusing play tells the story of a woodcutter's daughter who travels to the ends of the earth to save her prince.


Theme 8

Tuck Everlasting
by Natalie Babbitt
The Tuck family is willing to share the secret of immortality with young Winnie Foster. Problems arise, however, when a stranger wants the secret.

The Giver
by Lois Lowry
In the seemingly perfect world of the future, a boy is chosen to receive memories of the past.

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
by C. S. Lewis
Four children find a secret passage into a magical world.

The Hobbit
by J. R. R. Tolkein
The hobbit Bilbo Baggins, a wizard, and thirteen dwarves set off to kill a dragon and find a treasure.


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