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CLASSICS: Classics for Teens

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Pride and prejudice book Pride and prejudice

Austen, Jane, 1775-1817.
FIC AUSTEN

Acclaimed by one reviewer to be the greatest novel ever written, the story of Mrs. Bennett's search for husbands for her daughters is told with wit and charm. A must for lovers of good literature.




Go tell it on the mountain book Go tell it on the mountain

Baldwin, James, 1924-1987.
FIC BALDWIN

First published in 1953 when James Baldwin was nearly 30, Go Tell It on the Mountain is a young man's novel, as tightly coiled as a new spring, yet tempered by a maturing man's confidence and empathy. It's not a long book, and its action spans but a single day--yet the author packs in enough emotion, detail, and intimate revelation to make his story feel like a mid-20th-century epic. Using as a frame the spiritual and moral awakening of 14-year-old John Grimes during a Saturday night service in a Harlem storefront church, Baldwin lays bare the secrets of a tormented black family during the depression. John's parents, praying beside him, both wrestle with the ghosts of their sinful pasts--Gabriel, a preacher of towering hypocrisy, fathered an illegitimate child during his first marriage down South and refused to recognize his doomed bastard son; Elizabeth fell in love with a charming, free-spirited young man, followed him to New York, became pregnant with his son, and lost him before she could reveal her condition. Baldwin lays down the terrible symmetries of these two blighted lives as the ironic context for John's dark night of the soul. When day dawns, John believes himself saved, but his creator makes it clear that this salvation arises as much from blindness as revelation: "He was filled with a joy, a joy unspeakable, whose roots, though he would not trace them on this new day of his life, were nourished by the wellspring of a despair not yet discovered."




The good earth book The good earth

Buck, Pearl S. (Pearl Sydenstricker), 1892-1973.
FIC BUCK

A poignant tale about the life and labors of a Chinese farmer during the sweeping reign of the country¹s last emperor.




The Canterbury tales book The Canterbury tales

Chaucer, Geoffrey, d. 1400.
821.1 CHAUCER

A selection of eight stories with some words from the host and from Chaucer: The Miller's Tale, The Reeve's Tale, The Franklin's Tale, The Words of the Host, The Pardoner's Tale, The Nun's Priest's Tale, The Wife of Bath's Tale, The Friar's Tale, The Clerk's Tale, Chaucer's Farewell.




The last of the Mohicans book The last of the Mohicans

Cooper, James Fenimore, 1789-1851.
FIC COOPER

Set in 1757 amidst the French and Indian War, the novel tells the story of frontier scout Hawkeye and his efforts to conduct two daughters of a fort commander to safety.




The red badge of courage book The red badge of courage

Crane, Stephen, 1871-1900.
FIC CRANE

First published in 1895, America's greatest novel of the Civil War was written before 21-year-old Stephen Crane had "smelled even the powder of a sham battle." But this powerful psychological study of a young soldier's struggle with the horrors, both within and without, that war strikes the reader with its undeniable realism and with its masterful descriptions of the moment-by-moment riot of emotions felt by me under fire. Ernest Hemingway called the novel an American classic, and Crane's genius is as much apparent in his sharp, colorful prose as in his ironic portrayal of an episode of war so intense, so immediate, so real that the terror of battle becomes our own ... in a masterpiece so unique that many believe modern American fiction began with Stephen Crane.




Two years before the mast and other voyages book Two years before the mast and other voyages

Dana, Richard Henry, 1815-1882.
910.45 DANA

This volume collects three sea-going travel narratives by Richard Henry Dana, Jr., that span 25 years of maritime history, from the age of sail to the age of steam.




Oliver Twist Teen Book Oliver Twist

Dickens, Charles, 1812-1870
TEEN DICKENS

Oliver, an orphan in 19th-century London, falls into a den of thieves, but is finally rescued by Mr. Brownlow, a wealthy benefactor. In each of Barron’s Graphic Classics, an English literary classic is transformed into a dramatic graphic novel with superb, atmospheric color illustrations and a finely-paced narrative. The tale—chosen from among important novels in the literary canon— will keep young readers fascinated from first page to last.




The hound of the Baskervilles book The hound of the Baskervilles

Doyle, Arthur Conan, Sir, 1859-1930.
FIC DOYLE

In this, one of the most famous of Doyle's mysteries, the tale of an ancient curse and a savage ghostly hound comes frighteningly to life. The gray towers of Baskerville Hall and the wild open country of Dartmoor will haunt the reader as Holmes and Watson seek to unravel the many secrets of the misty English bogs.




The three musketeers book The three musketeers

Dumas, Alexandre, 1802-1870.
FIC DUMAS

First published in 1844, The Three Musketeers is the most famous of Alexandre Dumas’s historical novels and one of the most popular adventure novels ever written. Dumas’s swashbuckling epic chronicles the adventures of d’Artagnan, a brash young man from the countryside who journeys to Paris in 1625 hoping to become a musketeer and guard to King Louis XIII. Before long, he finds treachery and court intrigue—and also three boon companions, the daring swordsmen Athos, Porthos, and Aramis. Together the four strive heroically to defend the honor of their queen against the powerful Cardinal Richelieu and the seductive spy Milady.




The great Gatsby book The great Gatsby

Fitzgerald, F. Scott (Francis Scott), 1896-1940.
FIC FITZGER

In 1922, F. Scott Fitzgerald announced his decision to write "something new--something extraordinary and beautiful and simple + intricately patterned." That extraordinary, beautiful, intricately patterned, and above all, simple novel became The Great Gatsby, arguably Fitzgerald's finest work and certainly the book for which he is best known. A portrait of the Jazz Age in all of its decadence and excess, Gatsby captured the spirit of the author's generation and earned itself a permanent place in American mythology. Self-made, self-invented millionaire Jay Gatsby embodies some of Fitzgerald's--and his country's--most abiding obsessions: money, ambition, greed, and the promise of new beginnings. "Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgiastic future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded us then, but that's no matter--tomorrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther.... And one fine morning--" Gatsby's rise to glory and eventual fall from grace becomes a kind of cautionary tale about the American Dream.




The scarlet letter book The scarlet letter

Hawthorne, Nathaniel, 1804-1864.
FIC HAWTHOR

A stark and allegorical tale of adultery, guilt, and social repression in Puritan New England, "The Scarlet Letter" is a foundational work of American literature. Nathaniel Hawthorne's exploration of the dichotomy between the public and private self, internal passion and external convention, gives us the unforgettable Hester Prynne, who discovers strength in the face of ostracism and emerges as a heroine ahead of her time. As Kathryn Harrison points out in her Introduction, Hester is "the herald of the modern American heroine, a mother of such strength and stature that she towers over her progeny much as she does the citizens of Salem."




The old man and the sea book The old man and the sea

Hemingway, Ernest, 1899-1961.
FIC HEMINGW

In language of great simplicity and power, Hemingway tells the story of an old Cuban fisherman, down on his luck--he hasn't caught a fish in 84 days--who goes out in his small skiff one more time. This time he hooks a huge marlin. During his relentless ordeal, a long and agonizing battle with the marlin far out in the Gulf Stream, the old man faces long days of hunger and exhaustion, his courage and his respect for his adversary never flagging. The man is old and tired and at the end of his life, but he remains the archetypical Hemingway hero who refuses to accept defeat.




Goodbye, Mr. Chips Juvenile Book Goodbye, Mr. Chips

Hilton, James, 1900-1954.
J HILTON

Sentimental novel by James Hilton, published serially and in book form in 1934. The work depicts the career of a gentle schoolteacher at an English public school. Arthur Chipping ("Mr. Chips") is a middle-aged bachelor who falls in love with and marries a young woman whom he has met on a mountaineering vacation. They live happily at Brookfield School until her death, only a few years later. Mr. Chips devotes the rest of his life to educating many generations of boys.




Lost horizon book Lost horizon

Hilton, James, 1900-1954.
FIC HILTON

In the last year and a half, James Hilton has been recognized by a few score of critics, by a few thousand discriminating American readers as one of the really important younger novelists. We believe that this new novel, Lost Horizon, is the finest thing Hilton has written. It has all the emotional, dramatic appeal of And Now Good-Bye, the rich imaginative vision of Ill Wind, and the fulfullment of brilliant intellectual maturity promised in both these earlier books. Lost Horizon is being published simultaneously in England and America. The story is of such a character that it should not only definitely establish the author's reputation as a novelist, but add considerably to his already substantial group of followers.




The Iliad book The Iliad

Homer.
883.01 HOMER

One of the foremost achievements in Western literature, Homer's Iliad tells the story of the darkest episode of the Trojan War. At its center is Achilles, the greatest warrior-champion of the Greeks, and his conflict with his leader Agamemnon. Interwoven in the tragic sequence of events are powerfully moving descriptions of the ebb and flow of battle, the besieged city of Ilium, the feud between the gods, and the fate of mortals.




The Odyssey book The Odyssey

Homer.
883.01 HOMER

Robert Fagles's translation is a jaw-droppingly beautiful rendering of Homer's Odyssey, the most accessible and enthralling epic of classical Greece. Fagles captures the rapid and direct language of the original Greek, while telling the story of Odysseus in lyrics that ring with a clear, energetic voice. The story itself has never seemed more dynamic, the action more compelling, nor the descriptions so brilliant in detail. It is often said that every age demands its own translation of the classics. Fagles's work is a triumph because he has not merely provided a contemporary version of Homer's classic poem, but has located the right language for the timeless character of this great tale. Fagles brings the Odyssey so near, one wonders if the Hollywood adaption can be far behind. This is a terrific book.




The legend of Sleepy Hollow Juvenile Book The legend of Sleepy Hollow

Irving, Washington, 1783-1859.
J IRVING

Illustrations by Arthur Rackham accompany this retelling of Irving's classic tale of a headless horseman.




Rip Van Winkle Juvenile Book Rip Van Winkle

Irving, Washington, 1783-1859.
J IRVING

A man who sleeps for twenty years in the Catskill Mountains wakes to a much-changed world.




To kill a mockingbird book To kill a mockingbird

Lee, Harper.
FIC LEE

Lawyer Atticus Finch defends the real mockingbird of Harper Lee's classic, Puliter Prize-winning novel--a black man charged with the rape of a white woman. Through the eyes of Atticus's children, Scout and Jem Finch, Harper Lee explores with rich humor and unanswering honesty the irrationality of adult attitudes toward race and class in the Deep South of the 1930's.




The call of the wild Juvenile Book The call of the wild

London, Jack, 1876-1916.
J LONDON

The adventures of an unusual dog, part St. Bernard, part Scotch shepherd, that is forcibly taken to the Klondike gold fields where he eventually becomes the leader of a wolf pack.




Moby-Dick book Moby-Dick

Melville, Herman, 1819-1891.
FIC MELVILL

Moby-Dick is generally regarded as its author's masterpiece and one of the greatest American novels. The basic plot of Moby-Dick is simple. The narrator (who asks to be called "Ishmael") tells of the last voyage of the ship Pequod out of New Bedford, Mass. Captain Ahab is obsessed with the pursuit of the white whale Moby-Dick, which finally kills him. On that level, the work is an intense, superbly authentic narrative. Its theme and central figure, however, are reminiscent of Job in his search for justice and of Oedipus in his search for truth. The novel's richly symbolic language and tragic hero are indicative of Melville's deeper concerns: the equivocal defeats and triumphs of the human spirit and its fusion of creative and murderous urges. -- The Merriam-Webster Encyclopedia of Literature.




Gone with the wind. book Gone with the wind.

Mitchell, Margaret, 1900-1949.
FIC MITCHEL

A monumental classic considered by many to be not only the greatest love story ever written, but also the greatest Civil War saga.




Nineteen eighty-four book Nineteen eighty-four

Orwell, George, 1903-1950.
FIC ORWELL

While the totalitarianism that provoked George Orwell into writing 'Nineteen Eighty-Four' seems to be passing into oblivion, his harrowing, cautionary tale of a man trapped in a political nightmare has had the opposite fate, and its relevance and power to disturb our complacency seem to grow decade by decade.




The yearling Juvenile Book The yearling

Rawlings, Marjorie Kinnan, 1896-1953.
J RAWLING

A young boy living in the Florida backwoods is forced to decide the fate of a fawn he has lovingly raisesd as a pet.




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It had been startling and disappointing to me to find out that story books had been written by people,
that books were not natural wonders, coming up of themselves like grass.
- Eudora Welty


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