• Special thanks to the Jackson Honors/AP teachers who shared this list.

    by Read as many as you can Year Published: 2013

    GUIDE TO CHALLENGING READING: Books of Literary Merit

    HF="Historical" Fiction F="Fiction" SF="Science" Fiction

    MEDIUM (close to grade level):

    Dune by Frank Herbert (7.4) SF

    The Andromeda Strain and others by Michael Crichton HF

    Sounder by William Armstrong (6.9) F

    The Pushcart War by Jean Merrill (7.6) F

    Caves of Steel, Second Foundation and others by Isaac Asimov SF

    Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell (6.5) F

    Farewell to Manzanar by Jeanne Houston (7.4) NF

    The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle by Avi (7.2) F

    Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant, Breathing Lessons or others by Anne Tyler (6.5) F

    The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane (7.6) HF

    Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck (8.0)

    Death Be Not Proud by John Gunther (8.0) F

    My Antonia by Willa Cather

    Tell Me If the Lovers are Losers by Cynthia Voigt (8.0)

    The Twenty-One Balloons (7.9) by William duBois F

    The Long Road to Gettysburg by Jim Murphy (7.6)


    Across Five Aprils, No Promises in the Wind, and others by Irene Hunt (8.9)

    Johnny Tremain by Esther Forbes (8.1)

    A Separate Peace by John Knowles

    Texas and others by James Michener

    The Town by Conrad Richter

    A Fable by William Faulkner

    Theophilus North and others by Thornton Wilder

    Ethan Frome, The House of Mirth, or others by Edith Wharton

    Main Street by Sinclair Lewis

    The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck (11.0)

    Gilead by Marilynne Robinson (9.2) F

    Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury SF (9.8)

    Portrait of a Lady and others by Henry James F — set in Europe and U.S.

    The Chosen, The Promise and others by Chaim Potok (9.4) HF

    Jacob Have I Loved by Katherine Paterson (8.3) F

    The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway (8.9) F — set in Cuba

    Death Comes for the Archbishop, Oh, Pioneers, by Willa Cather (7.9) HF

    The Scarlet Letter, The House of Seven Gables by Nathaniel Hawthorne (11.7) HF

    Little Women by Louisa May Alcott (8.6)

    The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain (8.3)

    Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe (8.2)

    The Fall of the House of Usher and other stories by Edgar Allan Poe

    The Last of the Mohicans by James Fenimore Cooper

    Walden by Henry David Thoreau

    An American Tragedy by Theodore Dreiser (8.5)


    Three Cups of Tea (8.4) by Greg Mortenson and David Relin — set in Pakistan and U.S.

    Mountains Beyond Mountains by Tracy Kidder (8.0) * NF — set in Haiti and U.S.

    The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin, Poor Richard's Almanac and others by Benjamin Franklin

    Eleanor and Franklin by Joseph P. Lash

    Harriett Beecher Stowe: A Life by Joan Hedrick

    The 50 Most Influential Women in American Law by Dawn Bradley Berry, J.D.

    Into Thin Air by John Krakauer (9.4)*

    Bill Gates by Alan Woog

    More Than Houses by Millard Fuller

    Invisible Allies: Microbes That Shape Our Lives by Jeanette Farrell

    Moby Dick by Hermann Melville (10.3)

    Reading Like a Writer by Francine Prose

    My Life by Golda Meier

    American Hero: The True Story of Charles A. Lindbergh by Barry Denenberg (8.2)

    Lincoln and Slavery by Peter Burchard (8.9)

    Angela's Ashes by Frank McCourt

    Founding Mothers by Cokie Roberts

    Dreams from My Father by Barack Obama


    The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt (12.0) by Edmund Morris NF

    The End of Poverty by Jeffrey Sachs (9.4) NF

    Personal History by Katherine Graham NF

    *These books have either a lot of violence or some swear words. Please discuss with your parents whether or not they want you to read them.

    Comments (-1)