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Grade Level: 9-12 Rec. Grade: 9th

  • Great Expectations *and Related Readings Total: 150 Available: 150

  • A Classic Retelling: Great Expectations (*Nextext) Total: 154 Available: 154

Teacher Resource Book: Great Expectations Curriculum Unit Available: 1

Synopsis: *A textbook reader for young adults, plus short stories, poems, and essays designed to build reading comprehension.

Great Expectations is about love, family, and rejection as Pip and Miss Havisham have both been rejected in certain ways. Pip is the main character, a boy around 13 years old, easy to fright, and goes through his life suffering lots of sadness. He is in love with a girl named Estella and wants her to find his love, but for him being shy and not showing himself to her, it makes it very hard for him.

Pip meets an escaped convict, Magwitch, and gives him food, in an encounter that is to haunt both their lives. When Pip receives riches from a mysterious benefactor he snobbishly abandons his friends for London society and his 'great expectations'. He grows through misfortune and suffering to maturity in the theme of Dickens’ best-loved novels. Dickens blends gripping drama with penetrating satire to give a compelling story rich in comedy and pathos: he has also created two of his finest, most haunting characters in Pip and Miss Havisham.

9. Title: A Tale of Two Cities Author: Charles Dickens Genre: Historical Fiction/Novel

Target Grade: 9-12

  • A Tale of Two Cities *and Related Readings Total: 88 Available: 88

  • A Classic Retelling: A Tale of Two Cities (Nextext) Total: 127 Available: 127

Teacher Resource Book: Available: None

Synopsis: *Nextext Classic Retellings are high-interest adaptations of classic literary works. Each carefully crafted volume retains the spirit of the original while making its themes, plot, and characters accessible to a wider range of today’s students. Vocabulary support is provided throughout.

A Tale of Two Cities, by Charles Dickens, deals with the major themes of duality, revolution, and resurrection. It was the best of times, it was the worst of times in London and Paris, as economic and political unrest lead to the American and French Revolutions. The main characters in Dickens' A Tale of Two Cities — Doctor Manette, Charles Darnay, and Sydney Carton — are all recalled to life, or resurrected, in different ways as turmoil erupts.

10. Title: East of Eden (1952) Author: John Steinbeck Genre: Allegorical Novel

Target Grade: 7-12 DVD: CD: Total: 67 Available: 67

Synopsis: Spanning the period between the American Civil War and the end of World War I, the novel highlights the conflicts of two generations of brothers; the first being the kind, gentle Adam Trask and his wild brother Charles. Adam eventually marries Cathy Ames, an evil, manipulative, and beautiful prostitute; she betrays him, joining Charles on the very night of their wedding. Later, after giving birth to twin boys, she shoots Adam and leaves him to return to her former profession. In the shadow of this heritage Adam raises their sons, the fair-haired, winning, yet intractable Aron, and the dark, clever Caleb. This second generation of brothers vie for their father's approval. In bitterness Caleb reveals the truth about their mother to Aron, who then joins the army and is killed in France.

11. Title: The Pearl (1947) Author: John Steinbeck Genre: Parable

Target Grade: 7-12 DVD: CD: Total: 128 Available: 0

  • Mr. Gonzalez -40

  • Ms. Offor -88

Synopsis: It is about a poor man named Kino who finds the perfect pearl, and the troubles that seem to follow him after he finds it. It is set in La Paz, in fairly recent times. The ending, while saddening, perfectly finishes the idea of the story, that jealousy, greed, and misfortune tend to follow the fortunate.

12. Title: Of Mice and Men (1937) Author: John Steinbeck Genre: Fiction/Tragedy

Target Grade: 7-12 DVD: CD: Total: 57 Available: 0

  • Ms. Offor-57

Synopsis: This is the story of a two lonely and alienated men who work as farm laborers, drifting from job to job in California. Lennie is gentle giant, physically strong but mentally retarded. George guides and protects Lennie but also depends on him for companionship. Together, they have a dream to someday buy a little farm where they can grow crops and raise rabbits and live happily ever after.

13. Title: Author: George Orwell Genre: Science Fiction/Political Satire Grade Level: 7-12

  • Animal Farm *and Related Readings (1997) by Mcdougal Littell Total: 68 Available: 68

  • Animal Farm (1945—Signet Classic) Total: 199 Available: 199

  • Animal Farm (1945—Sixth Volume) Total: 9 Available: 9


Teacher Resource Book: Literature Connections/SourceBook Available: 2

Synopsis: *A textbook reader for young adults, plus short stories, poems, and essays designed to build reading comprehension.

Animal Farm is George Orwell's satire on equality, where all barnyard animals live free from their human masters' tyranny. Inspired to rebel by Major, an old boar, animals on Mr. Jones' Manor Farm embrace Animalism and stage a revolution to achieve an idealistic state of justice and progress. A power-hungry pig, Napoleon, becomes a totalitarian dictator who leads the Animal Farm into "All Animals Are Equal / But Some Are More Equal Than Others" oppression.

14. Title: Author: George Orwell Genre: Science Fiction/ Political Satire Target Grade: 8-12

  • 1984 *and Related Readings (2006) by Mcdougal Littell Total: 33 Available: 33

  • 1984 (1949—Signet Classic) Total: 68 Available: 68


Synopsis: Nineteen Eighty-Four is a classic dystopian novel set in the eponymous year and focuses on a repressive, totalitarian regime. The story follows the life of one seemingly insignificant man, Winston Smith, a civil servant assigned the task of falsifying records and political literature, thus effectively perpetuating propaganda, in which he grows disillusioned with his meager existence and so begins a rebellion against the system.

The novel has become famous for its portrayal of surveillance and society's increasing encroachment on the rights of the individual.

15. Title: Author: Aldous Huxley Genre: Science Fiction/Dystopian Society Target Grade: 8-12

  • Brave New World (1932) Total: 311 Available: 311

  • Brave New World (1932—Perma Bound) Total: 29 Available: 29


Synopsis: In Brave New World, Huxley contrives to exploit the anxieties of his bourgeois audience about both Soviet Communism and Fordist American capitalism. He taps into, and then feeds, our revulsion at Pavlovian-style behavioral conditioning and eugenics. "Community, Identity, Stability" is the motto of Aldous Huxley's utopian World State. Here everyone consumes daily grams of soma, to fight depression, babies are born in laboratories, and the most popular form of entertainment is a "Feelie," a movie that stimulates the senses of sight, hearing, and touch. Though there is no violence and everyone is provided for, Bernard Marx feels something is missing and senses his relationship with a young women has the potential to be much more than the confines of their existence allow. Huxley foreshadowed many of the practices and gadgets we take for granted today.

16. Title: The Hobbit (1937) Author: J.R.R. Tolkien Genre: Fantasy

Target Grade: 6-12 DVD: CD: Total: 66 Available: 66

Synopsis: Bilbo Baggins lives his calm and peaceful life in a comfortable hole near the bustling hobbit village of Hobbiton, smoking a pipe, drinking good bear and looking for a meal. His life style and interests are typical for hobbits - small and chubby people about half the size of humans who usually dress in bright colors and wear no shoes, because their large feet grow thick brown hair, and feel great love to good food and drink. In the beginning of the story Bilbo has a very weak character; his main features are shyness and fear susceptibility. Like most of his kind, he is fond of gardening and doesn't wish any excitement or adventure.

17. Title: The Member of the Wedding (1952) Author: Carson McCullers Genre: Drama

Target Grade: 6-12 DVD: CD: Total: 64 Available: 64

Synopsis: Twelve-year-old Frankie Addams is utterly, hopelessly bored with life until she hears about her older brother's wedding. Bolstered by lively conversations with the family's servant, Bernice, and her six-year-old cousin John Henry — not to mention her own unbridled imagination — Frankie takes an overly active role in the wedding, even hoping to go on the honeymoon, so deep is her desire to be a member of something larger, more accepting than herself.
18. Title: Working: People Talk About What They Do All Day and How They Feel About What They Do (1974) Author: Studs Terkel Genre: Oral History Target Grade: 9-12

DVD: CD: Total: 14 Available: 14

Synopsis: Studs Terkel records the voices of America. Men and women from every walk of life talk to him, telling him of their likes and dislikes, fears, problems, and happiness on the job. Once again, Terkel has created a rich and unique document that is as simple as conversation, but as subtle and heartfelt as the meaning of our lives.
19. Title: Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America (2001) Author: Barbara Ehrenreich Genre: Non-Fiction Target Grade: 9-12 DVD: CD:

Total: 21 Available: 21

Synopsis: Millions of Americans work for poverty-level wages, and one day Barbara Ehrenreich decided to join them. She was inspired in part by the rhetoric surrounding welfare reform, which promised that any job equals a better life. But how can anyone survive, let alone prosper, on $6 to $7 an hour? To find out, Ehrenreich moved from Florida to Maine to Minnesota, taking the cheapest lodgings available and accepting work as a waitress, hotel maid, house cleaner, nursing-home aide, and Wal-Mart salesperson. She soon discovered that even the "lowliest" occupations require exhausting mental and physical efforts. And one job is not enough; you need at least two if you intend to live indoors.

Nickel and Dimed reveals low-wage America in all its tenacity, anxiety, and surprising generosity— a land of Big Boxes, fast food, and a thousand desperate strategies for survival. Instantly acclaimed for its insight, humor, and passion, this book is changing the way America perceives its working poor.

20. Title: Black Elk Speaks: Being the Life Story of a Holy Man of the Oglala Sioux (1979)

Author: John C. Neihardt Genre: Biography Target Grade: 9-12

DVD: CD: Total: 53 Available: 53

Synopsis: Beautifully told through the celebrated poet and writer John G. Neihardt, Black Elk Speaks offers much more than a life story. Black Elk’s profound and arresting religious visions of the unity of humanity and the world around him have transformed his account into a venerated spiritual classic. Whether appreciated as a collaborative autobiography, a history of a Native American nation, or an enduring spiritual testament for all humankind, Black Elk Speaks is unforgettable.

21. Title: The Outsiders (1967) Author: S.E. Hinton Genre: Historical Fiction

Target Grade: 8-12 DVD: CD: Total: 67 Available: 67

Synopsis: S. E. Hinton irrevocably altered the course of juvenile literature in America with her first novel. The Outsiders was published when she was seventeen and was her stark answer to the fluffy high school stories about proms and dates typical of the 1960s. "Where is reality?" she asked in an essay explaining her motivation in the New York Times Book Review. In other narratives for teens, she could not find "the drive-in social jungle ... the behind-the-scenes politicking that goes on in big schools, the cruel social system," or the teenagers who lived in those settings. In contrast, her story was real, graphic, emotional, and true to the challenges of being a teenager in twentieth-century America. In addition, it was an exciting narrative that captured teenagers' attention. It drew a wide audience, particularly boys who were reluctant readers.

22. Title: Homeless Bird (2001) Author: Gloria Whelan Genre: Realistic Fiction

Target Grade: 6-12 DVD: CD: Total: 268 Available: 268

Synopsis: Like many girls her age in India, thirteen-year-old-Koly is getting married. Full of hope and courage, she leaves home—forever. But in a grim turn of events Koly finds herself cast out into a current of cruel tradition. Her future, it would seem, is lost. Yet this rare young woman, bewildered and brave, sets out to forge her own exceptional future.

23. Title: The Mistress of Spices (1998) Author: Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni Genre: Fiction

Target Grade: 7-12 DVD: CD: Total: 41 Available: 41

Synopsis: Magical, tantalizing, and sensual, The Mistress of Spices is the story of Tilo, a young woman born in another time, in a faraway place, who is trained in the ancient art of spices and ordained as a mistress charged with special powers.  Once fully initiated in a rite of fire, the now immortal Tilo—in the gnarled and arthritic body of an old woman—travels through time to Oakland, California, where she opens a shop from which she administers spices as curatives to her customers.  An unexpected romance with a handsome stranger eventually forces her to choose between the supernatural life of an immortal and the vicissitudes of modern life.  

24. Title: The Power of One (1989) Author: Bryce Courtenay Genre: Historical Fiction

Target Grade: 8-12 DVD: CD: Total: 11 Available: 11

Synopsis: An intriguing story of a young English boy named Peekay and his passion for changing the world. Growing up he suffered as the only English boy in an Afrikaans school. Soon orphaned, he was placed in the care of a German national named Professor von Vollensteen (a.k.a. "Doc"), a friend of his grandfather. Doc develops Peekay's piano talent and Peekay becomes "assistant gardener" in Doc's cactus garden. It is not long after WWII begins that Doc is placed in prison for failure to register with the English government as a foreigner. Peekay makes frequent visits and meets Geel Piet, an inmate, who teaches him to box. Geel Piet spreads the myth of the Rainmaker, the one who brings peace to all of the tribes. Peekay is cast in the light of this myth.

25. Title: The Sound and the Fury (1959) Author: William Faulkner Genre: Narrative Style

Target Grade: 10-12 DVD: CD: Total: 37 Available: 37

Synopsis: The ostensible subject of The Sound and the Fury is the dissolution of the Compsons, one of those august old Mississippi families that fell on hard times and wild eccentricity after the Civil War. But in fact what William Faulkner is really after in his legendary novel is the kaleidoscope of consciousness--the overwrought mind caught in the act of thought. His rich, dark, scandal-ridden story of squandered fortune, incest (in thought if not in deed), madness, congenital brain damage, theft, illegitimacy, and stoic endurance is told in the interior voices of three Compson brothers: first Benjy, the "idiot" man-child who blurs together three decades of inchoate sensations as he stalks the fringes of the family's former pasture; next Quentin, torturing himself brilliantly, obsessively over Caddy's lost virginity and his own failure to recover the family's honor as he wanders around the seedy fringes of Boston; and finally Jason, heartless, shrewd, sneaking, nursing a perpetual sense of injury and outrage against his outrageous family.

26. Title: The Old Man and the Sea (1952) Author: Ernest Hemingway Genre: Tragedy/Fiction

Target Grade: 6-12 DVD: CD: Total: 68 Available: 68

Synopsis: The Old Man and the Sea, is a story of friendship between a young boy and an aging fisherman tormented by hunger and weeks of ill luck. Santiago, a once strong, proud man is coming to terms with his failing abilities and age.

After many weeks of returning home to his small village, day after day with nothing in his boat, Santiago is forced to accept the other villager's small charities. He resolves to sail far out to sea in search of a catch that will redeem his self-confidence. Early the next morning, he descends to his fishing skiff, and rows out, into the dark sea, saying good-bye to his friend, the small boy, and the safety of the beach, perhaps for the last time.

27. Title: The Sun Also Rises (1926) Author: Ernest Hemingway Genre: Fiction

Target Grade: 7-9 DVD: CD: Total: 15 Available: 15

Synopsis: The Sun Also Rises first appeared in 1926, and yet it's as fresh and clean and fine as it ever was, maybe finer. Hemingway's famously plain declarative sentences linger in the mind like poetry: "Brett was damned good-looking. She wore a slipover jersey sweater and a tweed skirt, and her hair was brushed back like a boy's. She started all that." His cast of thirty-something dissolute expatriates—Brett and her drunken fiancé, Mike Campbell, the unhappy Princeton Jewish boxer Robert Cohn, the sardonic novelist Bill Gorton—are as familiar as the "cool crowd" we all once knew. No wonder this quintessential lost-generation novel has inspired several generations of imitators, in style as well as lifestyle.

28. Title: A Moveable Feast (1964) Author: Ernest Hemingway Genre: Non-fiction/Memoir

Target Grade: 7-12 DVD: CD: Total: 27 Available: 27

Synopsis: In the preface to A Moveable Feast, Hemingway remarks casually that "if the reader prefers, this book may be regarded as fiction"—and, indeed, fact or fiction, it doesn't matter, for his slim memoir of Paris in the 1920s is as enchanting as anything made up and has become the stuff of legend. Paris in the '20s! Hemingway and his first wife, Hadley, lived happily on $5 a day and still had money for drinks at the Closerie des Lilas, skiing in the Alps, and fishing trips to Spain. On every corner and at every café table, there were the most extraordinary people living wonderful lives and telling fantastic stories.

29. Title: The Great Gatsby (1925) Author: Ernest Hemingway Genre: Literary Fiction

Target Grade: 8-12 DVD: Audio: The Great Gatsby (6 CDs)

Total: 85 Available: 85

Synopsis: F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby follows Jay Gatsby, a man who orders his life around one desire: to be reunited with Daisy Buchannan, the love he lost five years earlier. Gatsby's quest leads him from poverty to wealth, into the arms of his beloved, and eventually to death. Published in 1925, The Great Gatsby is a classic piece of American fiction. It is a novel of triumph and tragedy, noted for the remarkable way Fitzgerald captured a cross-section of American society.
30. Title: The Catcher in the Rye (1951) Author: J.D. Salinger Genre: Fiction

Target Grade: 7-12 DVD: CD: Total: 180 Available: 180

Synopsis: In J.D. Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye, Holden Caulfield recounts the days following his expulsion from Pencey Prep, a private school. After a fight with his roommate, Stradlater, Holden leaves school two days early to explore New York before returning home, interacting with teachers, prostitutes, nuns, an old girlfriend, and his sister along the way. J.D. Salinger's classic The Catcher in the Rye illustrates a teenager's dramatic struggle against death and growing up.
31. Title: Siddhartha (1974—Perma Bound) Author: Hermann Hesse Genre: Fiction/Buddhism

Target Grade: 9-12 DVD: Siddhartha CD: Total: 23 Available: 23

Synopsis: With parallels to the enlightenment of the Buddha, Hesse's Siddhartha is the story of a young Brahmin's quest for the ultimate reality. Steeped in the tenets of both psychoanalysis and Eastern mysticism, Siddhartha presents an original view of man and culture, and the arduous process of self-discovery that leads to reconciliation, harmony, and peace.

32. Title: Siddhartha (1971—Bantam) Author: Hermann Hesse Genre: Fiction/Buddhism

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