Acceptable Book Selections for 8th Grade Honors

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Acceptable Book Selections for 8th Grade Honors

We have these books in the LaVenture Library EXCEPT:



  • *available in the Mount Vernon District. We can send for it so you can check it out

  • # you will have to find this book at the public library or purchase it

Caution: Books that are written at higher reading levels often included subject matter that may not be for all middle school students. You must consult your parents before reading any of these titles.




The Acorn People, Jones. A tender, true, and humorous story about a summer camp for handicapped children. 81 pp.
Adventures of Ulysses, Evslin. A marvelous retelling of Ulysses' ten-year journey home. I 77pp.
#The Aguero Sisters, Williams-Garcia. A lyrical story of family secrets and cultural boundaries. Reina and Constancia are

sisters who reunite after a thirty-year estrangement. 300pp. #


#Alas, Babylon, Frank. The next Pearl Harbor attack might be atomic. Pat Frank's novel about the end of the world... and the

day after. 312pp. #


All Quiet On the Western Front, Remarque. Erich Maria Remarque's harrowing account of World War I as seen through

the eyes of a German Soldier. 256pp.


Animal Farm, Orwell. A devastating, satirical attack on the avaricious rulers in an imaginary totalitarian state. 128pp.
#Anthem, Rand. One man dares to take a stand against the paralyzing collectivism of a future the author fears may come to

pass. 123pp. #


#As I Lay Dying, Faulkner. The harrowing account of a family's struggle to get their mother properly buried. 251 pp. #

The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman, Caines. The tape-recorded history of a remarkable black woman more than 100

years old, who, with help from her Louisiana neighbors, recounts her story. 246pp. #

The Awakening, Chopin. The pioneering, short novel of feminist fiction. 211pp. *
#The Bean Trees, Kingslover. Taylor Greer flees her harsh life in Appalachia and heads west in this memorable novel of love

and friendship, abandonment and belonging. 232pp. #


Black Boy, Wright. Being a black boy in the thirties gave Richard Wright the fury to write this nowclassic account of what

hunger, fear, and hatred can do. 288pp.


Black Like Me, Griffin. A medically darkened white man's record of his month traveling as a black in the South. 157pp.
Brave New World, Huxley. Classic fantasy of the future that sheds a blazing, critical light on the shortcomings of the

present. 176pp.


The Canterbury Tales, Chaucer. Group portrait capturing the full spectrum of medieval society. 423pp.
#Childhood's End, Clarke. Clarke offers a brilliant treatment of the next step in human development: homo superior. 220pp.
The Chosen, Potok The odyssey of two young men journeying from boyhood to manhood, set against the background of the

conflicts and traditions of Hasidic and Orthodox Jews. 272 pp.


The Color Purple, Walker. Alice Walker's triumphant novel of a black woman's life in the South. Mature. 295pp.
#The Complete Plays of Sophocles, Hadas. Includes Ajax, Antigone, Oedipus the King, Oedipus at Colonus, Trachinian

Women, Philoctetes, Electra. 261pp.

A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, Twain. Satirical spoof about an American shop foreman transported back

to sixth-century England. 274pp.

The Count of Monte Cristo, Dumas. Unjustly sentenced to life imprisonment, Edmund Dantes escapes, determined to exact

revenge from his enemies. 442pp.


Cry, The Beloved Country, Paton. The compassionate story of Zulu pastor Stephen Kumalo and his son Absalom. 283pp.
Death Be Not Proud, Gunther. Gunther's moving story of his son's courageous battle to overcome cancer. 161 pp.
#A Death in the Family, Agee. Agee's great novel of a loving, close-knit family and the courage they display when tragedy

suddenly changes their lives. 339pp.


#Don Quixote, Cervantes. The unabridged saga of the fabulous knight and his simple squire and their adventures in medieval

Spain. 1,052pp.


Dune, Herbert. First volume of the epic science fiction series about a desert world and the immense struggle for wealth and

power that is played out there. 535pp.


The Education of Little Tree, Carter. This is the story of a Cherokee Indian boy growing up in the Tennessee hills with his

grandparents during the depression of the 1930's. Narrated by the boy in simple, honest language, the book goes much deeper

than a retelling of events- expressing honesty, innocence, and sadness. 216pp.

Ellen Foster, Gibbons. In a simple narrative voice, eleven-year old Ellen tells the story of a childhood filled with family

strife and parental loss. Her spunk and humor help her overcome adversity in this uplifting southern novel. 126pp.

Emma, Austen. Classic novel about a self-assured young lady whose capricious behavior is dictated by romantic fancy.

396pp.
Frome, Ethan, Wharton. This tragic love story set in New England has become a timeless classic. 136pp.


#Fading Leaves, McBride. Adeline Yen Mah, the youngest daughter of an affluent Chinese family, endured childhood of

appalling emotional abuse. Her struggles reveal the harsh realities of growing up female in the twentieth-century China.

278pp.
A Farewell to Arms, Hemingway. One of Ernest Hemingway's most enduring works, a tale of love set on the Italian front

during World War 1. 332pp.


Flowers for Algernon, Keyes. Provocative novel of a dramatic medical experiment and its implications for society. Thirty-

year-old retarded Charlie Gordon is turned into a genius. 216pp.


The Fountainhead, Rand. Novel of a rebellious architect who refuses to lower his standards in work or love. 695pp.
A Gathering of Old Men, Gaines. In this eloquent novel, set in Louisiana in the 1970's, eighteen old, black men each claim

to have shot a white man and, in the process, experience their first taste of power and pride. 213pp.


The Glass Menagerie, Williams. Drama of Amanda WingfIeld, who, clinging to another time and place, cannot help her

children take their places in the real world. 115pp.


#Great Expectations, Dickens. The story of young Pip's difficult coming-of-age in the genteel but corrupt world of Victorian

society. 454pp.

Gulliver's Travels and Other Writings, Swift. A satire revealing human foibles through Gulliver's adventure in fantastic

lands. 535pp.


#Hard Times, Dickens. A fierce indictment that callous greed of Victorian industrial society and its inhumane educational

system. 306pp.


#The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, McCullers. Unsentimental yet compassionate portrayal of a cross section of humanity in a

small southern town. 308pp.


good, and its inclination for evil. 158pp.
Hiroshima, Hersey. Pulitzer Prize-winner John Hersey's interviews with survivors of Hiroshima's bomb when the ashes were

still warm. 116pp.


The Hobbit, Tolkein. Tolkein has created a world of fantasy called Middle-Earth, populated by small creatures known as

Hobbits. This prelude to The Lord of the Rings chronicles the adventures of Bilbo Baggins. 186pp.


The Illustrated Man, Bradbury. Eighteen tales, spun from the fertile Bradbury brain, involving time and space- without and

within. 186pp.


Inherit the Wind, Lawrence & Lee. Dramatization of the famous Monkey Trial in Tennessee of 1925, when Clarence

Darrow put Darwinism on trial. 116pp.

Into Thin Air, Krakauer. The tragedy that took the lives of experienced mountain guides and novice climbers in a raging

blizzard atop Mt. Everest in 1996 is chronicled with clarity, poignancy, and brutal honesty by one who witnessed the event

first-hand. 378pp.

Invisible Man, Ellison. Strange, gripping saga of a black man who struggles from the South to the North, always

encountering other people's preconceived notions about him. 581pp.


Ishi, Last of His Tribe, Kroeber. The history of the Yaho, a small tribe of California Indians, who hid from the white

invaders in the early 1900's in order to die a natural death. 209pp.


Jane Eyre, Bronte. The searching portrayal of a passionate mid-nineteenth-century woman. 433pp.
#Johnny Got His Gun, Trumbo. This underground classic about the horrors of World War I is a strong polemic against war.

244pp.
The Killer Angels, Shaara. A gripping, Pulitzer Prize-winning novel of the four days of the Battle of Gettysburg, as seen by

members of the Union and Confederate armies. 360pp.
#A Lesson Before Dying, Gaines. Set in the 1940' s here unfolds a heart breaking story of friendship between two black men-

one wrongly condemned to die and one who's persuaded to impart something of himself. From the author of A Gathering of



Old Men. 255pp.
The Martian Chronicles, Bradbury. These stories of Earth and Mars illustrate the universal forces of love, hate, fear, and

courage. 181 pp.


#The Miracle Worker, Gibson. Annie Sullivan's struggle to release the young Helen Keller from the awful prison of eternal

silence and darkness. 122pp.

In classroom collection: My Antonia, Cather. Willa Cather portrays pioneer Nebraska life in one of the best-loved classics of American fiction.

244pp.

1984, Orwell. A chilling, prophetic vision of a totalitarian "future" which, in many respects, has come to pass. 267pp.


The Odyssey, Rouse, trans. Excellent natural translation of the magnificent saga of Ulysses. 304pp.
#The Once and Future King, White. The classic novel about the court of King Arthur. 639pp.
One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, Solzhenitsyn. A day in the life of a prisoner in a Soviet work camp and his heroic

struggle to survive. 203pp.


#One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Kesey. "Powerful, poetic realism... makes the tired old subject of life in a mental

hospital into an absorbing Orwellian microcosm of all humanity." 273pp.


Our Town, Wilder. A vision of the enduring truths of human existence, played out with simplicity and great beauty on an

almost bare stage. 103pp.


#The Perfect Storm, Junger._ In 1991 the forces of nature converged to create a 100-year storm that caught the North

Atlantic fishing fleet at sea and unprotected. Readers follow a Gloucester, Massachusetts, fishing boat as the fishermen battle

for survival against high seas and overwhelming odds. 301pp.
Pride and Prejudice, Austen. A superb comedy of manners, detailing the romantic clash between an opinionated woman and

her proud beau. 324pp.

#The Prince, Machiavelli. A fascinating political and social document as pertinent today as when it first appeared in

sixteenth-century Italy. 147pp.

Rebecca, du Maurier. This classic novel of mystery and romance still touches the imagination of young people. 380pp.
The Return of the Native, Hardy. Vast, brooding Egdon Heath is the setting for this examination of the frailties of human

love. 371pp.



#Snow Falling on Cedars, Guterson. In 1954 on the isolated beaches of San Pedro Island in Puget Sound, a local fisherman

mysteriously drowns. When a Japanese American is charged with his murder, it becomes clear over the course of the ensuing

trial that much more is at stake than one man's guilt. 460pp.
The Sword in the Stone, White. T.H. White's classic story of the boyhood of King Arthur, greatest of all legendary

monarchs and symbol of the Age of Chivalry. A blend of fact and fantasy, the book forms the opening sequences of The



Once and Future King. 288pp.
#Tess of the D'Urbervilles, Hardy. The tragic tale of the seduction of a beautiful and innocent peasant girl. 414pp.
#The Theban Plays of Sophocles, Watling, trans. King Oedipus at Colonus, and Antigone. 168pp.
Thoreau: Walden & Other Writings, Krutch. Thoreau's account of a year spent in a shack at Walden Pond. Also "Civil

Disobedience", "Life Without Principle", and other selections. 436pp.


The Time Machine, Wells. The Time Traveler is transported into the distant future and learns a devastating truth about

humanity. 115pp.

#The Turn of the Screw, James. Also includes Daisy Miller, Washington Square, The Beast in the Jungle, and The Jolly


Corner. 403pp.
Uncle Tom's Cabin, Stowe. More than an outdated work of propaganda, this 1852 novel of slavery poses the question:

"What is it to be a moral human being?" 494pp.


Walden, Thoreau. Thoreau's detailed recording of his year in a shack beside Walden Pond. The essays "Civil Disobedience"

and "Life Without Principle" are included. 433pp.


Watership Down, Adams. Bestselling picturesque saga of a maverick band of rabbits who, against all odds, seek a new home

and a better society. 478pp.


#Woman Warrior: Memoirs of a Girlhood Among Ghosts, Kingston. Vivid and poetic account of what it was like to grow

up in California as the daughter of a traditional Chinese family that found women inferior to men and considered all non-

Chinese "ghosts". Rave reviews. 109pp.
Wuthering Heights, Bronte. A savage, tormented orphan falls wildly in love with the daughter of his benefactor. 315pp.
#A Yellow Raft in Blue Water, Dorris. This is the thrice-told tale of three women... fifteen-year-old part-black Rayona, her

American-Indian mother Christine, and the fierce and mysterious Ida, whose search and dreams bind the three women

together. 372pp.

· All Quiet on the Western Front - Remarque

· Black Like Me - Griffin· Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee - Brown

· *Good Earth, The - Pearl Buck

· *Great Expectations - Charles Dickens

· Ten Great Mysters of Edgar Allen Poe - Edgar Allen Poe

· *The Heart is a Lonely Hunter - Carson McCullers

· Hound of the Baskervilles - Arthur Conan Doyle

· I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings - Maya Angelou

· Iliad - Homer

· Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte

· *The Little Prince - Saint Exupery

· Lord of the Flies - Golding

· #Nine Stories - J.D. Salinger

· Odyssey - Homer

· The Old Man and the Sea - Ernest Hemingway

· A Separate Peace - Knowles



· Slaughterhouse Five - Kurt Vonnegut

· The Yearling, The – Rawlings


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