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101 Great Books Recommended for College-Bound Readers

A note about reading:  What type of books should a-g students read? Only books written at or above a student’s reading level will truly develop a student’s academic or intellectual capacity. Challenging books feature elevated vocabulary, sophisticated sentence structure, and complex ideas. Of course, this doesn’t mean that you should never read easier books just for fun; we do that all the time. However, reading a combination of “easy” books and more challenging books is the best way to sustain your interest and improve your abilities.

Grade Band        Current Lexile Band        “Stretch” Lexile Band

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The College Board: 101 Great Books Recommended for College-Bound Readers

Author, Title, Lexile

Achebe, Chinua Things Fall Apart 890

Agee, James A Death in the Family 1020

Baldwin, James Go Tell It on the Mountain 1030

Bellow, Saul The Adventures of Augie March n/a

Brontë, Charlotte Jane Eyre 890

Brontë, Emily Wuthering Heights 880

Camus, Albert The Stranger 880

Cather, Willa Death Comes for the Archbishop 1150

Chopin, Kate The Awakening 960

Cooper, James Fenimore The Last of the Mohicans 1350

de Cervantes, Miguel Don Quixote 1500

Defoe, Daniel Robinson Crusoe 1070

Dickens, Charles A Tale of Two Cities 1130

Dostoyevsky, Fyodor Crime and Punishment 990

Douglass, Frederick Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass 1080

Dreiser, Theodore An American Tragedy 1240

Dumas, Alexandre The Three Musketeers 960

Eliot, George The Mill on the Floss 1240

Ellison, Ralph Invisible Man 950

Faulkner, William As I Lay Dying 870

Faulkner, William The Sound and the Fury 870

Fielding, Henry Tom Jones 1360

Flaubert, Gustave Madame Bovary 1030

Ford, Ford Madox The Good Soldier 1040

Hardy, Thomas Tess of the d’Urbervilles 1160

Hawthorne, Nathaniel The Scarlet Letter 1340

Heller, Joseph Catch 22 1140

Hemingway, Ernest A Farewell to Arms 730

Hugo, Victor The Hunchback of Notre Dame 1340

Huxley, Aldous Brave New World 870

James, Henry The Portrait of a Lady 1020

James, Henry The Turn of the Screw 1140

Joyce, James A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man 1120

Kingston, Maxine Hong The Woman Warrior 880

Lewis, Sinclair Babbitt 1110

London, Jack The Call of the Wild 1120

Mann, Thomas The Magic Mountain 1350

Marquez, Gabriel García One Hundred Years of Solitude 1410

Melville, Herman Moby Dick 1200

O’Connor, Flannery A Good Man is Hard to Find n/a

Pasternak, Boris Doctor Zhivago 1010

Plath, Sylvia The Bell Jar 1140

Proust, Marcel Swann’s Way n/a

Remarque, Erich Maria All Quiet on the Western Front 830

Roth, Henry Call It Sleep n/a

Silko, Leslie Marmon Ceremony 890

Solzhenitsyn, Alexander One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich 900

Steinbeck, John The Grapes of Wrath 680

Stevenson, Robert Louis Treasure Island 1070

Stowe, Harriet Beecher Uncle Tom’s Cabin 1050

Swift, Jonathan Gulliver’s Travels 1210

Thackeray, William Vanity Fair 1270

Thoreau, Henry David Walden 1340

Tolstoy, Leo War and Peace 1240

Turgenev, Ivan Fathers and Sons n/a

Twain, Mark The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn 990

Vonnegut, Kurt Jr. Slaughterhouse-Five 850

Walker, Alice The Color Purple 670

Wharton, Edith The House of Mirth 1230

Wilde, Oscar The Picture of Dorian Gray 920

Woolf, Virginia To the Lighthouse 1030

Wright, Richard Native Son 700

Franklin, Benjamin Autobiography 1370

X, Malcolm The Autobiography of Malcolm X 1120