Books and Short Stories Every 9th Grader Should Read
9th grade summer reading lists vary by school district. Here’s a good one.
- Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck - George and Lennie are friends. George and Lennie are likable. George and Lennie are losers. Follow them as Lennie kills things and George yells at him. It’s a very sad book.
- Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare - Very few incoming 9th graders have the skills to read and comprehend Shakespeare. Every incoming 9th grader, however, should at least be familiar with the play.
- The Odyssey by Homer - Odysseus wins a war and gets lost, really lost. Join him as he fights one-eyed monsters, sorceresses, and dead people.
- A Separate Peace by John Knowles - Remember that time you were jealous of your friend and you knocked him off a tree? That’s what a guy in this novel does.
- Short Stories of Edgar Allan Poe - “The Black Cat,” “The Tell-tale Heart,” and “The Cask of Amontillado” are just three of Poe’s stories that will chill and entertain.
- “The Most Dangerous Game," by Richard Connell - Remember when you lured a famous hunter onto your island so you could hunt him down and kill him? That’s what General Zaroff does.
- Animal Farm by George Orwell - Animals take over a farm in the name of freedom so they can enslave other animals.
- “The Necklace” by Guy de Maupassant - Mathilde borrows a necklace, loses it, works three jobs to earn the money to pay it back, discovers it was a fake, and feels really stupid.
- “The Declaration of Independence” - It contains the philosophy upon which the United States was founded. That’s important.
- The Constitution of the United States of America - It’s time to hold your representatives accountable to the document they have sworn to uphold.
Young Adult Literature
- Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card - Ender killed his first enemy when he was six. He was sent to space camp shortly thereafter. On the way there, he broke some Frenchie’s arm for hitting him in the head with a seat belt. You don’t mess with Ender Wiggin!
- Hatchet by Gary Paulsen - Hatchet won a Newberry Award in 1987. Some Hollywood director made a horrible movie called A Cry in the Wild in 1990 based on the book. I took a hatchet camping once and almost chopped off my foot. Next time I’ll take the book. Worst case scenario: I use the book for firewood (after I read it).
- A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L’Engle - Even if you don’t like science fiction/fantasy, someone does. That someone will love this book.
- Anything by David Lubar - His short stories are outstandingly funny. I keep telling people–young and old alike–to read this guy. He’s hilarious.
This post is part of the series: Reading Lists
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