Jump Start your Class Library




I often hear teachers ask what books they should borrow, buy or just recommend to their students. After many years following along with my students' tastes and trying to put the right book in every hand, I have built a list of superstars. These are wonderful books to have in your classroom. I loaned them out as part of my outside reading program, but you could also just make them available to interested readers if you aren't doing outside reading (I'll be trying to convince you to start though, in another blog post before long!). 

You may have money from your school available for classroom expenses, in which case you can order some of these books each year and slowly build your library. I usually just spent my own money (rrgh, but I couldn't help myself) and picked them up at Goodwill or used from Powell's. You can look for stray books on old classroom shelves, invite students to bring in their old favorites to share, shop rummage sales, eBay or library sales. It's always the right time to start building an amazing bookshelf for your amazing readers! 

I'm just going to put the list here, and assure you that these have been vetted by my students. But if you'd like to see their actual reviews, check out some of their reading blogs from past years here and here

The List.
Go Ask Alice, Anonymous
The Chronicles of Narnia, C.S. Lewis
The Da Vinci Code, Dan Brown
The Outsiders, by S.E. Hinton
The Perks of Being a Wallflower, by Steven Chbosky
The Alchemist, Paulo Coelho
The Count of Monte Cristo, Alexandre Dumas
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Lewis Carroll
The Hound of the Baskervilles, Arthur Conan Doyle
Animal Farm, George Orwell
Into the Wild, Jon Krakauer
Slam, Nick Hornby
The Kite Runner, Khaled Hosseini
The Shining, Stephen King
Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Truman Capote
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night TimeMark Haddon
Chocolat, Joanne Harris
Nine Stories, J.D. Salinger
Tuesdays with Morrie,  Mitch Albom
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Betty Smith
The Devil Wears Prada, Lauren Weisberger
Speak, by Laurie Halse Anderson
Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief, Rick Riordan
The Book Thief, Markus Zucak
The Time Traveler’s Wife, Audrey Niffenegger
Born to Run, Christopher McDougall
The History of Love, Nicole Krauss
Perks of Being a Wallflower, Stephen Chbosky
Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, Ann Brashares
Foundation Series, Isaac Asimov
Ender’s Game Series, Orson Scott Card
Golden Compass Series, Phillip Pullman
Harry Potter Series, J.K. Rowling
The Hobbit Series, J.R.R. Tolkien
Eragon Series, Christopher Paolini
Memoirs of a Geisha, Arthur Golden
Anne of Green Gables, L.M. Montgomery
Little Women, Louisa May Alcott
The Secret Garden, Frances Hodges Burnett
Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams
Maus, Art Spiegelman
Persepolis, Marjane Sartropi
The Fountainhead, Ayn Rand
My Life in France, Julia Child
Divergent, Veronica Roth

Uglies, by Scott Westerfield

I hope you start collecting soon! Get your next recommendations from our amazing community in the Creative High School English Facebook group. Can't wait to see you there. 

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