9th Grade Reading List: Must-Read Books for English Class

Classic Novels for 9th Graders


Classic Novels for 9th Graders

Reading is an essential part of any student’s life as it helps in developing their vocabulary and enhancing their overall knowledge. As a 9th-grade student, it is crucial to read classic novels that can introduce them to complex themes, sophisticated language, and critical thinking. Classic novels are an excellent way to improve students’ reading skills, writing skills, and comprehension. Therefore, here is a recommended reading list of classic novels for 9th graders:

1. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee is an enthralling tale of racial injustice, courage, compassion, and the loss of innocence. The narrative is set in southern Alabama in the 1930s and revolves around a young girl named Scout Finch, who returns to her hometown after living in New York City. The book showcases Scout’s journey of growing up, her experiences with prejudice and racism, and the lessons she learns along the way. The novel explores important themes such as fairness, morality, and the consequences of standing up for what is right.

The book has an extraordinary ability to engage readers, leave a lasting impression and provide insight into social issues that are still relevant today. The author’s use of language is simple yet captivating and conveys a profound message that is sure to inspire students. The book has won many prestigious awards, including the Pulitzer Prize and is widely regarded as a must-read classic for young adults.

The subject matter of this book allows teachers to incorporate discussions on racial injustice and social issues into their English classes.

In conclusion, To Kill a Mockingbird is a timeless classic that is sure to captivate young readers. It is an essential novel that helps students gain insights into social issues that are still relevant to this day. Students can learn valuable life lessons from this book, such as empathy, compassion, and moral responsibility. Therefore, this novel should be on every 9th-grader reading list.

Contemporary Fiction Must-Reads


Contemporary Fiction Must-Reads

Contemporary fiction, also known as modern fiction, is a genre that is set in the present time or recent past and deals with themes that are relevant to the current generation. It can help us understand the society we live in, and inspire us to make changes. Here are some must-read contemporary fiction books for ninth-graders.

1. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

The Hate U Give

The Hate U Give is a powerful book that deals with the issue of racism and police brutality. It follows the story of sixteen-year-old Starr Carter, who is the only witness to the fatal shooting of her friend Khalil by a white police officer. The book explores the themes of identity, family, friendship, and justice. It is a must-read for all teenagers, as it can help them understand the importance of speaking up against injustice.

2. Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

Everything, Everything is a heartwarming book that explores the themes of love, loss, and self-discovery. It follows the story of Madeline, a teenager who has a rare disease that prevents her from leaving her house. When she falls in love with her new neighbor Olly, she realizes that she wants to experience the world outside. The book is a journey of self-discovery and the importance of taking risks. It is a must-read for all teenagers, as it can inspire them to step out of their comfort zones.

3. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

The Fault in Our Stars

The Fault in Our Stars is a heart-wrenching book that deals with the themes of love, loss, and hope. It follows the story of sixteen-year-old Hazel, who has terminal cancer and meets Augustus Waters at a support group. The two fall in love and embark on a journey to find the author of their favorite book. The book is a reminder to live life to the fullest, and to cherish every moment. It is a must-read for all teenagers, as it can inspire them to appreciate the little things in life.

4. Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell

Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell

Eleanor and Park is a moving book that explores the themes of love, family, and friendship. It follows the story of two misfits, Eleanor and Park, who fall in love despite their differences. The book is set in the 1980s, but the issues it deals with are relevant to teenagers today. It is a must-read for all teenagers, as it can teach them the importance of acceptance and understanding.

5. The Maze Runner by James Dashner

The Maze Runner by James Dashner

The Maze Runner is an exciting book that combines sci-fi and dystopian elements. It follows the story of Thomas, a teenage boy who wakes up in a maze with no memory of his past. The book is full of action and suspense, and explores themes of identity, power, and leadership. It is a must-read for all teenagers who enjoy adventure stories.

These contemporary fiction books are a great way for ninth-graders to learn about themselves and the world around them. They deal with themes that are relevant to teenagers today, and can inspire them to become better versions of themselves. So why not pick up one of these books today and start reading?

Memoirs and Autobiographies for Teenagers


Memoirs and Autobiographies for Teenagers

Memoirs and autobiographies are an excellent read for teenagers who want to understand real-life experiences and be inspired by them. It’s essential for teenagers to understand different perspectives and learn from the lives of others, and memoirs and autobiographies are the perfect way to achieve that. Here are three memoirs and autobiographies for teenagers:

“Becoming” by Michelle Obama


Becoming by Michelle Obama

“Becoming” by Michelle Obama is a poignant memoir of the former First Lady of the United States. In this memoir, Michelle Obama tells the story of her life from her childhood on the south side of Chicago to her time as a working mother and First Lady in the White House. The book takes the reader on a journey of resilience, perseverance, and determination, as Michelle Obama shares her experiences and the lessons she learned along the way. The book’s themes revolve around empowerment, self-improvement, and dealing with societal barriers. The memoir is an excellent read for teenagers who want to understand the journey and challenges of a woman who went from a humble background to becoming one of the most iconic figures globally.

“Salvage the Bones” by Jesmyn Ward


Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward

“Salvage the Bones” by Jesmyn Ward is an autobiographical novel that tells the story of a family’s journey through Hurricane Katrina. The book’s themes revolve around sacrifice, resilience, and the bonds that tie people together in times of crisis. The novel is a blend of fact and fiction, with Jesmyn Ward drawing on her experiences as a survivor of Hurricane Katrina and her family’s struggles in the aftermath. This book is an excellent read for teenagers who want to understand the impact of natural disasters on society and the importance of resilience in the face of adversity.

“I am Malala” by Malala Yousafzai and Christina Lamb


I am Malala by Malala Yousafzai

“I am Malala” is an autobiography of Malala Yousafzai, a Pakistani activist for women’s education and the youngest Nobel Prize laureate. The book tells the story of Malala’s upbringing in the Swat Valley in Pakistan, her advocacy for education, and how she survived an assassination attempt by the Taliban. The book’s themes revolve around courage, determination, and standing up for what you believe in. The memoir is an excellent read for teenagers who want to understand the importance of education, the struggles of women in some parts of the world, and the power of standing up for your beliefs.

In conclusion, Memoirs and autobiographies are incredible reads for teenagers who want to learn about the world, understand different perspectives, and how they can make the world better. These three books will inspire teenagers to keep pushing forward, despite life’s hardships, to achieve their goals and make a difference in their communities.

Essential Poetry Collections for High School Students


Essential Poetry Collections for High School Students

Poetry is capable of evoking deep emotions, stirring the imagination, and challenging a person’s perspectives. Assigning poetry collections is a great way to engage high school students in the study of literature and to encourage them to think more critically. Here are some essential poetry collections that can broaden the horizons of 9th-grade students:

1. “Leaves of Grass” by Walt Whitman – This collection is an American classic, celebrating individuality, democracy, and nature. It is written in free verse and includes themes of love, democracy, and the beauty of the natural world.

2. “The Poems of Emily Dickinson” by Emily Dickinson – Dickinson’s work is known for its unconventional punctuation and capitalization, and her haunting themes of death, spirituality, and nature contributed to her reputation as one of America’s greatest poets.

3. “Oxford Book of English Verse” – Edited by Christopher Ricks, this collection includes the works of major British poets from the 14th to the early 20th century and provides a broad view of English literature.

4. “The Collected Poems of Langston Hughes” by Langston Hughes – Dubbed “the poet laureate of the Negro race,” Langston Hughes is one of the most renowned and influential poets of the 20th century. His work celebrates the beauty, strength, and resilience of African American culture while also addressing oppression, racism, and inequality.

High school students can relate to the issues Hughes tackles in his poems. He shines a light on oppression, which is a consistent and relevant theme that youths can relate to and understand better. One of Hughes’s most exemplary poems is “Theme for English B.” This poem paints a picture of a black student’s reality in a predominantly white educational institution. In this poem, Hughes tackles the theme of racial identity, which is one of the central themes relevant to students of any era.

“Some ask me where I’ve been.”
Today in English class we analyzed Theme for English B.
Langston Hughes #PoetryMonth#WeAreScarletNation #HighSchoolEnglish pic.twitter.com/O44U5qxHzB

— Scarlet Knights (@ScarletKnights1) April 22, 2019

5. “The Complete Tales and Poems” by Edgar Allan Poe – This collection includes Poe’s most famous poems like “The Raven” and “Annabel Lee” which typically explore themes of death, loss, and gothic horror. The inclusion of Poe’s works can provide an opportunity for students to dive into the darker aspects of poetry and hone in on his distinctive style.

6. “The Essential Rumi” by Rumi – This collection is a blend of prose and poetry from the 13th-century Sufi mystic Rumi and was translated to English by Coleman Barks. The themes in this collection revolve around the mystical aspects of life, love, and God. The collection is sure to provide students with a deeper insight into the mystical elements that permeate some of the world’s famous poetry.

In conclusion, these poetry collections are classics that have endured the test of time. They provide opportunities for students to learn about different cultures, perspectives, and literary styles. When assigned in high school curriculum, they help students with their literary comprehension and critical thinking skills. Student engagement with poetry can be furthered if teachers use essential collections as an avenue to discuss current events and issues, making poetry an even more important source of inspiration for young minds.

Influential Non-Fiction Works for Freshmen


Influential Non-Fiction Works for Freshmen

Reading non-fiction books can be just as enticing and informative as its counterpart; fiction. Below are some influential non-fiction works that aim to educate and inspire young minds:

Into Thin Air: A Personal Account of the Mt. Everest Disaster – Jon Krakauer


Into Thin Air - Jon Krakauer

Into Thin Air is a gripping memoir of an infamous Mount Everest expedition. Jon Krakauer’s book showcases the complications that arise during as well as after the ill-fated climb that took place in May 1996. It gives an insight of what mountaineering entails and how a community can come together during times of adversity.

The Diary of a Young Girl – Anne Frank


The Diary of a Young Girl - Anne Frank

This autobiography is a must-read. With empathy and a remarkable sense of humor, Anne Frank writes a personal account of her life in hiding during the Second World War. It is a significant historical document that portrays the horrors of the Holocaust, leaving a lasting impression on all those who read it.

Outliers: The Story of Success – Malcolm Gladwell


Outliers - Malcolm Gladwell

In this book, Malcolm Gladwell argues that success is not solely determined by intelligence or circumstances but by hard work, opportunity, and regulations. Outliers reflect on the different factors shaping success stories, providing insights on what makes successful people different from average ones.

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks – Rebecca Skloot


The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks - Rebecca Skloot

Henrietta Lacks’ immortal cells aided the medical industry in researching and producing vaccines and treatments to some of the world’s deadliest diseases. However, the circumstances under which her cells were obtained were less than lawful. This work by Rebecca Skloot sheds light on the ethics of medical research, the inhumane treatment of people of color, and the scientific implications of the HeLa cells.

The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals – Michael Pollan


The Omnivore's Dilemma - Michael Pollan

The Omnivore’s Dilemma lays out the different ways in which food reaches our tables, creating an awareness that most don’t consider. From industrial agriculture to organic farming, Michael Pollan explores how our choices impact our environment, the quality of our food, and our future.

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