Recommended for Students by Students
Sophomore Reading List
Title Author Summary
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Adams, Douglas The insanely funny, satiric best-seller about the end of the world and
Galaxy the days that follow it.--reminds one of Vonnegut.
Bastard out of Carolina Allison, Dorothy Bone deals with the pain of growing up poor in an emotionally,
physically, and sexually abusive home and tells her story through the
mind of a child trying to cope with abuse while rationalizing its
Speak Anderson, Laurie Halse A traumatic event near the end of the summer has a devastating effect
on Melinda's freshman year in high school
Feed Anderson, M. T. In a future where most people have computer implants in their heads to
control their environment, a boy meets an unusual girl who is in
Ancient One Barron, T. A. While helping her Great Aunt Melanie try to protect an Oregon redwood
forest from loggers, thirteen-year-old Kate goes back five centuries
through a time tunnel and faces the evil creature Gashra, who is bent on
destroying the same forest.
Squashed Bauer, Joan As a sixteen-year-old pursues her two goals--growing the biggest
pumpkin in Iowa and losing twenty pounds herself--she strengthens her
relationship with her father and meets a young man with interests
similar to her own.
Dances with Wolves Blake, Michael No Review
Ender’s Game Card, Orson After the Earth is twice attacked by aliens, the world
government begins breeding military geniuses, one of whom
is Ender Wiggin.
Ricochet River Cody, Robin No Review
Chocolate Wars Cormier, Robert A young high school student refuses to join in the school's
annual fund raising drive and learns about intimidation and
peer pressure first hand.
Getting Near to Baby Coulombis, Audrey Although thirteen-year-old Willa Jo and her Aunt Patty seem to be
constantly at odds, staying with her and Uncle Hob helps Willa Jo and
her younger sister come to terms with the death of their family's baby.
Deep Six Cussler, Clive The President disappears from his yacht just as poison is released into
the ocean, and Dirk Pitt must save the government, its leader--and
seize personal revenge.
Aspen Gold Dailey, Janet No Review
On the Devil’s Court Deuker, Carl Struggling with his feelings of inadequacy and his failure to make the
basketball team in his new school, seventeen-year-old Joe Faust finds
himself willing to trade his soul for one perfect season of basketball.
Painting the Black Deuker, Carl When star athlete Josh Daniels moves in across the street, Remy Ward
doesn't realize how much his life will change during his senior year at
Seattle's Crown Hill High.
Paris Trout Dexter, Peter Tells of the murder of a fourteen-year -old black girl by a white man
in a small town in Georgia just after World War II.
Battle Dress Efaw, Amy As a newly arrived freshman at West Point, seventeen-year-old Andi
finds herself gaining both confidence and self esteem as she struggles
to get through the grueling six weeks of new cadet training known as
Goddess of the Night Ewing, Lynn Vanessa, who has always had the special power to become invisible,
discovers that she and her best friend Catty, a time-traveler, are
goddesses of the moon who must fight together to overcome the evil
Shadow Catcher Fergus, Charles As a government-backed expedition makes its way west--sent to America's
Indian reservations to extol the virtues of U.S. citizenship--
photographs of the poor conditions on the reservations, the work of
someone in the expedition, make their way into D.C. papers.
Love Among the Walnuts Ferris, Jean Born and raised in isolation in a wealthy, eccentric family, Sandy is
shocked when he, his parents, and their servants become victims of a
vicious plot by his greedy uncles to incapacitate them and take their
Eight Seconds Ferris, Jean Eighteen-year-old John must confront his own sexuality when he goes to
rodeo school and finds himself strangely attracted to an older boy who
is smart, tough, complicated, gorgeous, and gay.
America Frank, E.R. Teenage America, a not-black, not-white, not-anything boy who has spent
many years in institutions for disturbed, antisocial behavior, tries to
piece his life together. Dr. B., a psychiatrist at Ridgeway Hospital,
nudges America's life story from him.
Cold Mountain Frazier, Charles Inman, a wounded Civil War soldier, endures the elements, The Guard,
and his own weakness and infirmity to return to his sweetheart, Ada,
who is fighting her own battle to survive while farming the mountainous
North Carolina terrain.
A Lesson Before Dying Ernest, Gaines This novel tells the story of a young black man sentenced to death for
a murder he did not commit, and a teacher who tries to impart to him
his learning and pride before the execution. In the end the two men
forge a bond as they both come to understand the simple heroism of
resisting --amd defying--the expected.
Fat City Gardner, Leonard No Review
Sights Unseen Gibbons, Kate Hattie Barnes relates how it was growing up in North Carolina with a
manic-depressive mother in this fictional memoir.
Paper Trail Gilbert, Barbara Snow In hiding from the Soldiers of God, the Oklahoma antigovernment militia
group whose members have now turned against him and his parents, a
fifteen-year-old boy remembers what it was like to grow up among them.
Pushing the Bear Glancy, Diane Brings to life the haunting voices of Maritole, a young Cherokee woman,
her husband and a host of others as they travel the Trail of Tears.
The Jump Off Creek Gloss, Molly Lydia Sanderson confronts the painful hardships of pioneer life in
Oregon in the 1890s as she sets out to homestead a place of her own.
Memoirs of a Geisha Golden, Arthur No Review
Debt of Bones Goodkind, Terry A young peasant woman struggles to win the aid of the most important
man alive in the hopes he can prevent a catastrophic war.
“A” is for Alibi Grafton, Sue Out on parole from a conviction of murdering her husband, Niki Fife
hires PI Kinsey Millhone to follow a trail leading to the real killer.
Mary Wolf Grant, Cynthia Sixteen-year-old Mary tries to keep her family together as they
aimlessly travel the country after her father's business fails and he
starts to change.
White Horse Grant, Cynthia In her writing for a concerned teacher, sixteen-year-old Raina reveals
her troubles with a dysfunctional family, life on the streets, drug
abuse and finally an unplanned pregnancy.
Snow falling on cedars Guterson, David When a newspaper journalist covers the trial of a Japanese American
accused of murder, he must come to terms with his own past.
My Sister’s Bones Hanauer, Cathi No Review
Dune Frank, Herbert The story of a young prince, Paul Artreides, scion of a star-crossed
dynasty, and of his journey from boy to warrior to ruler of a dying
planet destined to become a paradise regained.
A Bell for Adano Hersey, John No Review
Hoot Hiaasen, Carl Roy, who is new to his small Florida community, becomes involved in
another boy's attempt to save a colony of burrowing owls from a
proposed construction site.
Coyote Waits Hillerman, Tony An investigation of the murder of a tribal policeman leads to a
historical find worth a fortune.
Rice Without Rain Ho, Minfong After social rebels convince the headman of a small village in northern
Thailand to resist the land rent, his seventeen-year-old daughter Linda
finds herself caught up in the student uprising in Bangkok.
Downriver Hobbs, Will Fifteen-year-old Jessie and the other rebellious teenage members of a
wilderness survival school team abandon their adult leader, hijack his
boats, and try to run the dangerous white water at the bottom of the
Raspberry House Blues Holeman, Linda When Poppy's divorced mother spends the summer in Greece with her
boyfriend, the adopted teen decides to visit her dad and his new
family in Winnipeg and search for her birth mother.
Demon in the Teahouse Hoobler, Dorothy In eighteenth-century Japan, fourteen-year-old Seikei, a merchant's son
in training to be a samurai, helps his patron investigate a series of
murders and arson in the capital city of Edo, each of which is
associated in some way with a popular geisha
Alone at Ninety Foot Holubitsky, Katherine Fourteen-year-old Pamela Collins struggles to come to terms with her
A time for dancing Hurwin, Willis Seventeen-year-old best friends Samantha and Juliana tell their stories
in alternating chapters after Juliana is diagnosed with cancer.
Their Eyes were watching god Hurston, Zora Neale A story about a young black woman and her coming to an understanding
about love and happiness.
Typical American Jen, Gish No Review Available
Mona in the Promised Land Jen, Gish Mona Chang, the American-born daughter of Chinese immigrants, fully
embraces the ideals of freedom and converts to Judaism in the first of
many rebellions she stages in her search for individualism while
growing up in the 1960s and 1970s.
Damage Jenkins, A M In a future where most people have computer implants in their heads to
control their environment, a boy meets an unusual girl who is in
Pocket Change Jensen, Kathryn When her father's behavior becomes erratic and violent, sixteen-year-
old Josie suspects that it may be connected to his wartime experiences
Waiting Jin, Ha Story of a married army doctor who falls in love with a nurse during
the Cultural Revolution.
Night Flyers Jones, Elizabeth McDavid In 1918, caring for her family's homing pigeons while her father is
away fighting in World War I, twelve-year-old Pam comes to suspect that
a mysterious stranger in her small North Carolina town is a German spy.
Trumpeter of Krakow Kelly, Eric A Polish family in the Middle Ages guards a great secret treasure, and
a boy's memory of an earlier trumpeter of Krakow makes it possible for
him to save his father.
Ironweed Kennedy, William Ironweed is a kind of fantasia on the strangeness of human destiny, on
the mysterious ways in which a life can be transformed and sometimes
redeemed . . . a work of unusual interest, original in its conception,
full of energy and color.
Blue Coyote Ketchum, Liza While searching for his lost friend, Alex not only learns the reasons
behind Tito's disappearance but also comes to accept some hidden truths
Secret Life of Bees Kidd, Sue Monk Fourteen-year-old Lily and her companion, Rosaleen, an African-American
woman who has cared from Lily since her mother's death ten years
earlier, flee their home after Rosaleen is victimized by racist police
officers, and find a safe haven in Tiburon, South Carolina at the home
of three beekeeping sisters, May, June, and August.
Lucy Kincaid, Jamaica Lucy, a teenage girl from the West Indies, comes to work as an au pair
for a wealthy American couple, discovering the dark side behind their
facade of happiness as she also awakens to her own sexuality.
Mr. Potter Kincaid, Jamaica Mr. Potter, an illiterate chauffer, struggles to live a good life,
despite the difficult events of his life.
Animal Dreams Kingsolver, Barbara Hallie Nodine fights for justice in Nicaragua while her sister, Codi,
returns to Arizona to confront her dying father, as myths, dreams, and
flashbacks blend to examine life's commitments.
Bean Treez Kingsolver, Barbara Taylor Greer grew up in poor rural Kentucky with two goals: to avoid
pregnancy and to get away. She buys a 1955 VW bug and starts her
journey West only to have a young Indian child, who is badly hurt, put
in her car propelling her into the position of "motherhood".
Pigs In Heaven Kingsolver, Barbara Six-year-old Turtle Green witnesses a freak accident drawing her and
her mother into a conflict of historic proportions.
Prodigal Summer Kingsolver, Barbara The coming of summer to Appalachia's Zebulon Mountain brings a
blossoming in nature as well as in the lives of reclusive wildlife
biologist Deanna Wolfe, young hunter Eddie Bondo, transplanted city-
girl Lusa Landowski, and a pair of elderly, feuding neighbors.
Blood and Chocolate Klause, Annette Having fallen for a human boy, a beautiful teenage werewolf must battle
both her pack mates and the fear of the townspeople to decide where she
belongs and with whom.
Kiss the Dust Laird, Elizabeth Her father's involvement with the Kurdish resistance movement in Iraq
forces thirteen-year-old Tara to flee with her family over the border
into Iran, where they face an uncertain future.
She’s Come Undone Lamb, Wally Overweight and sensitive Dolores Price grows from painful childhood,
through excruciating adolescence, to lonely adulthood, experiencing
the heartache of being a misfit in a confusing world.
Sackett L’Amour, Louis The adventures of the members of the Sackett family in the frontier
The Fixer Malamud, Bernard Winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award, this is the
story of Yakov Bok, accused of murder as part of an anti-Semitic
movement, and how he becomes a hero.
The Natural Malamud, Bernard Roy Hobbs is a talented athlete whose promising career is derailed and
attempts a comeback as an aging player.
A Killing Frost Marsden, John Sequel to: Tomorrow, when the war began and the dead of night
Dead of Night Marsden, John Six determined Australian teenagers try to find their missing friends
while continuing to resist the enemies who have invaded their country
Tomorrow, When the War Began Marsden, John Seven Australian teenagers return from a camping trip in the bush to
discover that their country has been invaded and they must hide to stay
Nectar in a Sieve Markandaya, Kamala A woman's struggle to find happiness in a changing India.
Christy Marshall, Katherine Eager for excitement, nineteen-year-old Christy decides to leave home
and teach school in a remote section of the Smoky Mountains.
Faces in the Ground Marshall, William No Review
Listen For the Fig Tree Mathis, Sharon Bell A sixteen-year old black girl's first celebration of Kwanza gives her a
sense of the past and strength to deal with her troubled mother and her
Trial by Wilderness Mathieson, David A girl survives a plane crash off the coast of British Columbia, and
then faces survival in the wilderness, a feat that calls upon her
courage, her endurance, and her skills.
The Truth Trap Millo, Frances Following the death of their parents in an automobile accident, 15-
year-old Matthew and his younger, deaf sister run away to Los Angeles
where he becomes the only suspect in her brutal beating and murder.
Lost in Translation Manes, Nicole No summary.
Women of Brewster Place Naylor, Gloria A series of vignettes focusing on seven black women who are residents
of Brewster Place. Shows how they react to certain situations is
affected by their background, age, dreams, and problems.
Big Mouth and Ugly Girl Oates, Joyce Carol When sixteen-year-old Matt is falsely accused of threatening to blow up
his high school and his friends turn against him, an unlikely classmate
comes to his aid.
The Things They Carried O’Brien, Tim Related short stories with recurring characters and an interwoven plot
and theme as told by a foot soldier recreating his Vietnam War
Giai’s Toys Ore, Rebecca No Summary
Peeling the Onion Orr, Wendy Following an automobile accident in which her neck is broken, a teenage
karate champion begins a long and painful recovery with the help of her
Pastime Parker, Robert No Summary
Kathleen the Celtic Knot Parkinson, Siobhaan Twelve-year-old Dubliner Kathleen Delaney is given the chance to take
Irish dancing lessons in 1937 and discovers she has a talent for it.
Eyes of a Child Patterson, Richard North No Summary
Eragon Paolini, Christopher In Aagaesia, a fifteen-year-old boy of unknown lineage called Eragon
finds a mysterious stone that weaves his life into an intricate
tapestry of destiny, magic, and power, peopled with dragons, elves, and
Gift of Asher Lev Potok, Chaim When the death of a beloved uncle brings him back to his native
Brooklyn after two decades, painter Asher Lev is plunged into a
conflict between the culture into which he was born and the life that
he has forged for himself.
Carpe Jugulum Pratchet, Terry King Verence unwittingly invites trouble when he opens the doors of the
castle to Uberwald's undead, the Magpyrs, to celebrate the birth of his
A Door Near Here Quarles, Heather No Summary
All Quiet on the Western Front Remaque, Erich Depicts the experiences of a group of young German soldiers fighting
and suffering during the last days of World War I.
Safe Harbor Rice, Luann When a tragic accident takes her beloved sister from her, Dana
Underhill returns to her childhood home to care for her sister's two
daughters, but she soon finds the challenges of motherhood may be more
than she can handle.
The Lovely Bones Sebold, Alice Fourteen-year-old Susie Salmon, the victim of a sexual assault and
murder, looks on from the afterlife as her family deals with their
grief, and waits for her killer to be brought to some type of justice.
A Boy Called H Senoh, Kappa An autobiographical novel in which Kappa Senoh describes what it was
like to grow up as a nonconformist in Japan during World War II.
Stone Diaries Shields, Carol An aged woman discovers herself as she reflects upon her life in the
Pilot’s Wife Shreve, Anita No summary
Town Like Alice Shute, Nevil No summary
Rewind Sleator, William Not long after learning that he was adopted, eleven-year-old Peter is
hit by a car and then given several chances to alter events that could
lead to his death.
Joy in the Morning Smith, Betty The story of a young couple from Brooklyn who marry young, have little
money, and face bitter parental opposition, but are determined to make
something of their life together.
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn Smith, Betty No summary
Sasquatch Smith, Roland Thirteen-year-old Dylan follows his father into the woods on the slopes
of Mount St. Helens, which is on the brink of another eruption, in an
attempt to protect the resident Sasquatch from ruthless hunters.
Message in a Bottle Sparks, Nicholas Theresa Osborne, divorced and disillusioned, finds a bottle on the
beach with a mysterious love letter inside.
A Cold Blooded Business Stabenow, Dana Alaskan private detective Kate Shugak goes undercover to expose the
illicit drug trade along the TransAlaska pipeline, but the case is
threatened when her own cover is blown and the body count begins to
Fruit of Stone Spragg, Mark This is the story of the lifelong friendship between two men and their
love for the woman who eludes them. Then she leaves her husband for a
new life, the two men follow her on an odyssey across the American West
that forces truths and tests the ultimate, mystical extremes of love
East of Eden Steinbeck, John Covers the passionate lives of two turbulent families.
Crystal Cave Stewart, Mary Sequels: The hollow hills and The last enchantment.
Billy Strieber, Whitley Barton Royal, a deranged misfit, kidnaps twelve-year-old Billy Neary
from the video arcade at the Crossland Mall and imprisons him in the
secret black room beneath his house, in a tale of madness and evil.
Sophie’s Choice Styron, William The gripping, unforgettable story of Stingo, a 22-year-old writer;
Sophie, a survivor of the Nazi camps; and Nathan, her mercurial lover.
The three friends share magical, heart-warming times until doom
overtakes them as Sophie's and Nathan's darkest secrets are revealed.
Joy Luck Club Tan, Amy In 1949 four Chinese women began meeting in San Francisco
to play mah jong. They called their gathering the Joy Luck
Club. Forty years later they look back and remember.
Sniper Taylor, Theodore Fifteen-year-old Ben must cope alone when a mysterious sniper begins
shooting the big cats in his family's private zoological preserve.
Walking up a Rainbow Taylor, Theodore Fifteen-year-old Ben must cope alone when a mysterious sniper begins
shooting the big cats in his family's private zoological preserve.
The Rain Catchers Thesman, Jean Growing up in a house full of women, fourteen-year-old Grayling learns
to deal with death, love, and the unanswered questions raised by her
widowed mother's apparent abandonment.
Grounding of Group 6 Thompson, Julian Arriving at what they believe is an exclusive school, five sixteen-year
olds are unaware that they have been sent there to be exterminated and
that their teacher is a murderer for hire.
The South Toibin, Colm No Summary
Stuck in Neutral Trueman, Terry Fourteen-year-old Shawn McDaniel, who suffers from severe cerebral
palsy and cannot function, relates his perceptions of his life, his
family, and his condition, especially as he believes his father is
planning to kill him.
Saint Maybe Tyler, Anne Ian Bedloe's life is forever affected by an event that took place years
before--the night, in 1967, when he told his older brother, Dan, that
Dan's wife had been cheating on him and that the baby son Dan had come
to love was not his own.
Slaughterhouse Five Vonnegut, Kurt No Summary
Striking Out Weaver, Will Since the death of his older brother, thirteen-year- old Billy Baggs
has had a distant relationship with his father, but life on their farm
in northern Minnesota begins to change when he starts to play baseball.
Machine Gunners Westall, Robert After an air raid, a group of English children find a German machine
gun and hide it from adults who are looking for it.
The Accident Wiesel, Elie No summary
Look Homeward Angel Wolfe, Thomas This is the story of an early twentieth century North Carolina family
as told through the eyes of the youngest son, Eugene Gant. The Gants,
despite delightful eccentricities stemming from both sides of the
family, are not extraordinary, but through the eyes of Thomas Wolfe,
their lives sparkle with joy and tragedy.
Briar Rose Yolen, Jane The bright tale of Sleeping Beauty and the dark tale of the holocaust
twined together in a memorable story.
Beyond the Mango Tree Zemger