Literature for 9th-12th

For 9th through 12 grades, I am using books recommended by Classical Conversations (CC).  To learn more about CC, visit

Most of these books are available at our local library in book and audiobook form.   We prefer audiobook format so we are free to move around during story time.  We also play audiobooks during long car trips, while doing household chores and as a family bedtime story.   If this doesn’t work for you, don’t do it. Our goal is to consume a classic a week.  This helps us meet our goal.  My point is to let you know there are many opportunities to consume quality literature.  I highly recommend that you look for opportunities to consume a classic a week because there are so many great works.

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The following literature is recommended for students in grades 9th and up:

  • Billy Budd by Herman Melville, 1819-1891.  An eighteenth century British naval warship impresses, or involuntarily recruits, young sailor Billy Budd.
  • Johnny Tremain by Esther Forbes.  Johnny Tremain is the gifted 14-year old apprentice of a silversmith in Revolutionary-era (1764-1789)  Boston.
  • Narrative of Frederick Douglass.  Born into slavery c1817, Douglass is separated from his mother soon after his birth. His father is most likely their white master.
  • Self-Reliance & Other Essays by Ralph Waldo Emerson, 1803-1882
  • Starship Troopers by Robert Anson Heinlein, 1907-1988.  Is set in the midst of an interstellar war between the Earth and the Arachnids of Klendathu.
  • The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain, 1835-1910
  • The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson in 1971. It tells the story of six delinquent children surnamed Herdman. They go to church for the first time after being told that the church offers snacks. They are given roles in the Sunday school’s Christmas play, in which they tell the Christmas story in a non-conventional fashion.
  • The Call of the Wild by Jack London, 1876-1916.  The story is set in the Yukon during the 19th-century Klondike Gold Rush—a period when sled dogs were in high demand.
  • The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams, 1911-1983
  • The Gold-Bug & Other Tales by Edgar Allan Poe.  Nine gripping tales of psychological terror and the supernatural, by the undisputed master of the American Gothic horror.
  • The Old Man & the Sea by Ernest Hemingway, 1899-1961
  • The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane, 1871-1900
  • The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne, 1804-1864
  • The Sign of the Beaver by Elizabeth George Speare
  • Through Gates of Splendor by Elisabeth Elliot
  • To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  • Up From Slavery by Booker T. Washington, 1856-1915
  • Walden by Henry David Thoreau, 1817-1862
  • Born Again by Charles Colson, 1931–2012.  Colson gained notoriety for being named as one of the Watergate Seven, and served seven months in the federal Prison..  He became a Christian in 1973. His conversion to Christianity sparked a radical life change that led to the founding of Prison Fellowship ministry.

The following literature is recommended for students in grades 10th and up:

  • A Morbid Taste for Bones by Ellis Peters, 1913-1995
  • A Passage to India by Edward Morgan Forster, 1879-1970
  • A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens, 1812-1870
  • Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll, 1832-1898
  • Animal Farm by George Orwell, 1903-1950
  • Beowulf: An Anglo-Saxon Epic Poem, Translated From The Heyne-Socin, c1000
  • Favorite Father Brown Mysteries
  • Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift, 1667-1745
  • Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte, 1816-1855
  • Out of the Silent Planet by C. S. (Clive Staples) Lewis, 1898-1963
  • Paradise Lost by John Milton, 1608-1674
  • Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, 1775-1817
  • Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe, 1661?-1731
  • Selected Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer, d. 1400.
  • Sir Gawain & the Green Knight.  a late 14th-century Middle English alliterative romance. It is one of the better-known Arthurian stories, from Welsh, Irish and English tradition and highlights the importance of honor and chivalry.
  • Something Beautiful for God: Mother Teresa of Calcutta by Malcolm Muggeridge
  • The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien
  • The Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan, 1628-1688
  • The Screwtape Letters by C. S. (Clive Staples) Lewis, 1898-1963

The following literature is recommended for students in grades 11th and up:

  • Hamlet by William Shakespeare, 1564-1616
  • Henry V by William Shakespeare, 1564-1616
  • Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare, 1564-1616
  • Macbeth by William Shakespeare, 1564-1616
  • Much Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare, 1564-1616

The following literature is recommended for students in grades 12th and up:

  • What The Old Testament Authors Really Care About
  • Mere Christianity by C. S. (Clive Staples) Lewis, 1898-1963
  • Oedipus Rex by Sophocles
  • Theogony by Hesiod
  • The Discoverers by Daniel Boorstin, 1914-2004
  • The Iliad by Homer
  • The Odyssey by Homer
  • The Aeneid by Virgil

For additional recommended literature, visit

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