It is wonderful to have someone seeking to have worthwhile material. I, too, have taught both levels, so I have many suggestions to add to the repetoire of both students.
For both students, these books should be read:
- To Kill a Mockingbird
- A Northern Light by Jennifer Donnelly
- Any book by Jennifer Donnelly [She is a remarkable writer, particularly for girls and women. Her books have intriguing women as main characters. Start with a Northern Light first.]
All of the Harry Potter books--Their creativity, fascinating characters, and great plots are fabulous for any age. I was sixty when I read them and loved them.
A major theme concerns destiny and choice. After Harry begs the Sorting Hat to avoid Slytherin, it places him in Gryffindor. Harry is told by Dumbledore, “It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.” Harry’s decision in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban to spare the life of Peter Pettigrew is one such choice. Another is Voldemort’s assumption that the prophecy in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix concerns Harry, not Neville Longbottom.
This quotation explains one of the themes that runs throughout the series.
- Jane Eyre-These are two of the great books in literature written by two different Bronte sisters.
- Wuthering Heights
- Frank Yerby Books--These are Civil War Romances, and they are delicious reading.
- The Pearl by John Steinbeck
- The Red Pony by John Steinbeck
- My Antonia by Willa Cather-Wonderful story and characters
- All of the Little Women series--Little Women, Little Men, Jo's Boys, Eight Little Cousins. They are great reading with fun characters.
- A book of Emily Dickinson poetry--The best of all the American women poets
- Lord of the Flies--Good, interesting, reading
- Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe--Great reading about African tribe
- The Longman Anthology of Short Fiction--This is a great book with short, short stories that are considered to be the best from various countries. If all of the stories were read, you would be way ahead of the game.
- Animal Farm
- Pride and Prejudice
- Sinclair Lewis books
- The Good Earth
- Ernest Hemingway-A Farewell to Arms, For Whom the Bell Tolls
- John Steinbeck-The Grapes of Wrath, East of Eden, The Winter of our Discontent
- Tennessee Williams-He wrote the fabulous plays: A Streetcar Named Desire, The Glass Menagerie
If a person has read the literature mentioned above, she would find that she has covered many of the books that are considered to be classic literature.
Of course, this is just a drop in the bucket in great literature. As a teacher who has taught from fifth grade through college sophomores, these are books that I know would make a difference in your learning.