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Recommended Reading for Contemporary Classics

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
This book chronicles the journeys, notions, and acquaintances of reluctant galactic traveler Arthur Dent.

Watership Down by Richard Adams
This story chronicles the adventures of a group of rabbits searching for a safe place to establish a new warren where they can live in peace.

Speak
by Laurie Halse Anderson
A traumatic event near the end of the summer has a devastating effect on Melinda’s freshman year in high school.

Go Ask Alice by Anonymous
This book is based on the diary of a fifteen-year-old drug user chronicling her struggle to escape the pull of the drug world.

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
A totalitarian regime has ordered all books to be destroyed, but one of the book burners suddenly realizes their merit.

A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
This book presents Burgess’ satire of the present inhumanity of man to man through a futuristic culture where teenagers rule with violence.

The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier
A high school freshman discovers the devastating consequences of refusing to join in the school’s annual fund raising drive and arousing the wrath of the school bullies.

The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton
This story is of the struggle of three brothers to stay together after their parent’s death and their quest for identity among the conflicting values of their adolescent society.

On the Road by Jack Kerouac
On the Road
is a cross-country bohemian odyssey that not only influenced writing in the years since its 1957 publication but penetrated into the deepest level of American thought and culture.

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Through the young eyes of Scout and Jem Finch, Harper Lee explores with rich humor and unswerving honesty the irrationality of adult attitudes toward race and class in the Deep South of the 1930s.

A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. Leguin
A boy grows to manhood while attempting to subdue the evil he unleashed on the world as an apprentice to the Master Wizard.

Snow Bound by Harry Mazer
Two teenagers caught in a snowstorm face a fight for survival in a desolate area.

Monster by Walter Dean Myers
While on trial as an accomplice to a murder, sixteen-year-old Steve Harmon records his experiences in prison and in the courtroom in the form of a film script as he tries to come to terms with the course his life has taken.

A Day No Pigs Would Die by Robert Newton Peck
To a thirteen-year-old Vermont farm boy whose father slaughters pigs for a living, maturity comes early as he learns “doing what’s got to be done,” especially regarding his pet pig who cannot produce a litter.

The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman
Accompanied by her daemon, Lyra Belacqua sets out to prevent her best friend and other kidnapped children from becoming the subject of gruesome experiments in the Far North.

The Yearling by Marjorie Rawlings
A young boy living in the Florida backwoods is forced to decide the fate of a fawn he has lovingly raised as a pet.

The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
After leaving prep school, Holden Caulfield spends three days on his own in New York City. This book tells the story of his suffering and adventures.

The Hobbit, or, There and Back Again by J.R.R. Tolkien
Bilbo Baggins, a respectable, well-to-do hobbit, lives comfortably in his hobbit-hole until the day the wandering wizard Gandalf chooses him to take part in an adventure from which he may never return.

The Pigman by Paul Zindel
Two high school sophomores from unhappy homes form a close friendship with a lonely old man with a terrible secret.