Reading Lists

We love to read. Books inspire us. They make us laugh and make us cry… Reading affords us many rich and varied experiences, which open our hearts to new ideas every day. When we read together, we find instances to relate literature to our daily lives (*see blog post “You Are What You Read”).

“Books help us understand who we are and how we are to behave. They show us what community and friendship mean.”   – Anne Lamott

Reading quality literature expands our minds and hearts in ways that both educate and evolve our humanity.  To share our reading lists, is to share a little bit of our souls. For ease of searching, I have divided the kids reading lists into age/grade year. My annual reading lists are at the bottom of this page. Please feel free to email and ask us about any of the titles listed. I am sure you will get a robust response!

“It is what you read when you don’t have to, that determines what you will be when you can’t help it.”  – Oscar Wilde

Oliver’s Reading List 2019-2020 (grade 8, age 14)

 The Science of Hitting by Ted Williams

20,000 Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne

The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton

Ask a Science Teacher by Larry Scheckel

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by B. Alire Sáenz

Spy School: British Invasion by Stuart Gibbs

How to be a Good Creature by Sy Montgomery

Oliver’s Reading List 2018-2019 (grade 7, age 12-13)

All the Wrong Questions by Lemony Snicket

Spy Ski School and also Space Case by Stuart Gibbs   |   Spaced Out by Stuart Gibbs

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho   |   The Well by Mildred D. Taylor

The Odyssey (Homer) a graphic novel by Gareth Hinds

Born to Play: My Life in the Game by Dustin Pedroia

The Odyssey by Homer (abridged, Geraldine McCaughrean)   |   Immigrant Kids by Russell Freedman

Zofietka by E. Robert Thomas   |   Poached by Stuart Gibbs

Longitude by Dava Sobel   |   Bubble by Stewart Foster

The Story of the World: The Modern Age by Susan Wise Bauer

Honey, I Love (poetry) by Eloise Greenfield   |   Spy School Goes South by Stuart Gibbs

HOOT by Carl Hiaasen   |   Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys

Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson   |   Into the Magic Shop by James R. Doty

The Baseball Fan’s Treasury of Quotations: an Anthology by Hatherleigh Press

American Tall Tales by Adrien Stoutenburg   |   Genius by Derek Jeeter

Oliver’s Reading List 2017-2018 – (Grade 6, age 11-12)

Jim and Me by Dan Gutman

Jane Goodall by Roberta Edwards   |   Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson

The Boy on the Porch by Sharon Creech   |   Abner and Me by Dan Gutman

Dr. Doolittle by Hugh Lofting   |   Spy School by Stuart Gibbs

Spy Camp by Stuart Gibbs   |   Evil Spy School by Stuart Gibbs

The Crims by Kate Davies   |   Old Yeller by Fred Gipson

Blue Chip Kids: Money, Investing, and the Stock Market by David Bianchi

A Young People’s History of the United States by Howard Zinn

Louis Braille by Margaret Davidson

The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster   |   Moo by Sharon Creech

Oliver’s Reading List 2016-2017 – (Grade 5, age 10-11)

Out of the Dust by Karen Hesse

The Trumpet of the Swan by E.B. White   |   The Cay by Theodore Taylor

Wonder by R.J. Palacia   |   Ranger Rustler by David A. Kelly

The Grand Canyon by Jim O’Connor   |   Wrigley Riddle by David A. Kelly

Blubber by Judy Blume   |   The World Series by Gail Herman  (READ TWICE)

Alcatraz Believe it or Not by T.C. Baker   |   Holes by Louis Sachar

Shiloh by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor   |   What Were The Twin Towers by Jim O’Connor

Theodore Roosevelt by Michael Burgan   |   The March on Washington by Kathleen Krull

The Fanatics Guide to Golf    |   Babe and Me by Dan Gutman

Honus and Me by Dan Gutman   |   Shoeless Joe and Me by Dan Gutman

Jackie and Me by Dan Gutman   |   Mickey and Me by Dan Gutman

Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell   |   Satch and Me by Dan Gutman

Willie and Me by Dan Gutman   |   The Kid Who Ran for President by Dan Gutman

The Kid Who Became President by Dan Gutman   |   When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead

The Breadwinner by Deborah Ellis   |   Just So Stories by Rudyard Kipling

King of the Mound: My Summer with Satchel Paige by Wes Tooke

Ted and Me by Dan Gutman   |   Ray and Me by Dan Gutman

Born to Play: My Life in the Game by Dustin Pedroia & Edward Delaney

Oliver’s Reading List 2015-2016 – (Grade 4, age 9-10)

Flora and Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures by Kate DiCamillo (part 2)

Caught Stealing by Jake Maddox   |   Jackie Robinson Strong: Inside and Out by Denise Lewis Patrick

Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo   |   What is the World Series by Gail Herman

Michelle Obama by Megan Stine   |   Who is Derek Jeter? by Gail Herman

Bunnicula by James Howe and Deborah Howe   |   Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes (abridged)

E is for Ethics by Ian James Corlett   |   A Strong Right Arm by Michelle Y. Green

Who is Jacques Cousteau by Nico Medina   |   Masters of Disaster by Gary Paulsen

Who is George Lucas by Pam Pollack and Meg Belviso   |   Pearl Harbor by Patricia Brennan Demuth

What was the March on Washington by Kathleen Krull   |   The Great Depression by Janet B. Pascal

The Adventures of Super Diaper Baby by George Beard and Harold Hutchins

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling   |   Red Sox Rhymes Poetry by Dick Flavin

The Adventures of Captain Underpants by Dav Pilkey   |   Who Was King Tut?  By Roberta Edwards

Harry Potter: The Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling   |   Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing by Judy Blume

Harry Potter and the Prizoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling   |   Who Were the Wright Brothers? By James Buckley Jr.

Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe  by C.S. Lewis

The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame   |   Masterpiece by Elise Broach

“I’m not saying that you have to be a reader to save your soul in the modern world. I’m saying it helps.”     –  Walter Mosley

Oliver’s Reading List: (Grade 3, age 8-9)

Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain (abridged)   |   The Witches by Roald Dahl
Music of Dolphins by Karen Hesse   |   
Moby Dick by Herman Melville (abridged)   |   Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L’Engle   |   American Tall Tales: Paul Bunyan    |    Biography of Sally Ride by Megan Stine
Biography of Neil Armstrong by Roberta Edwards    |   
The Philly Fake (mystery) by David A. Kelly

The Wriggley Riddle (mystery) by David A. Kelly    |   The LA Dodger (mystery) by David A. Kelly
The SanFrancisco Splash by David A. Kelley   |   The Missing Marlin by David A Kelly

The Pinstripe Ghost by David A Kelly   |   The Astro Outlaw by David A Kelly
The All-Star Joker by David A. Kelly   |   The Underground Railroad by Yona Zeldis McDonough

Race to the Moon by Allison Lassieur   |   Alvin Ho by Lenore Look
Fantastic Mr. Fox by Roald Dahl   |   The Magic Finger by Roald Dahl
The Enormous Crocodile by Roald Dahl   |   Esio Trot by Roald Dahl
The Giraffe and the Pelly and Me by Roald Dahl

‘Tis dangerous to take a cold, to sleep, to drink; but I tell you, my lord fool,

out of this nettle, danger, we pluck this flower, safety.  – Shakespeare

Sophia’s Reading List: 2019-2020, (Grade 10, age 14-15)
20,000 Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne
Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
What the Moon Saw by Laura Resau
Women in Science by Rachel Ignotofsky
One Special Summer by Jacqueline and Lee Bouvier
Provenance by Laney Salisbury
The Salt and the Sea by Ruta Sepetys
Christmas with Norman Rockwell by John Kirk
The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton
1776 by David McCullough
Great Essays in Science by Martin Gardner

Sophia’s Reading List: 2018-2019, (Grade 9, age 14-15)
The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls   |   Eggs by Jerry Spinelli
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho   |   The Odyssey by Homer (abridged, Geraldine McCaughrean)
A Thousand Mornings (poetry) by Mary Oliver   |   The Odyssey (Homer) a graphic novel by Gareth Hinds
Helium (poetry) by Rudy Francisco
The Alchemist: A Graphic Novel  by Derek Ruiz illustrated by D. Sampere
Immigrant Kids by Russell Freedman   |   Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach
Zofietka by E. Robert Thomas   |   Longitude by Dava Sobel
Physics of the Future by Michio Kaku   |   Lois Lowry’s The Giver
Gathering Blue by Lois Lowry   |   The Story of the World: The Modern Age by Susan Wise Bauer
The Princess Bride by William Goldman   |   The Physics of Everyday Things by James Kakalios
Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys   |   Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson
A Briefer History of Time by Stephen Hawking   |   The Color of Water by James McBride
A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett   |   Boys in the Boat  by Daniel James Brown

Sophia’s Reading List: 2017-2018, (Grade 8, age 13-14)

The Wanderer by Sharon Creech
The Little Mermaid by Hans Christian Anderson, as well as: The Snow Queen, Elfin-Mount, The Marsh King’s Daughter, The Storks, The Nightingale, The Wild Swans, The Princess and the Pea, The Red Shoes, The Emperor’s New Clothes, The Swineherd, The Flying Trunk, The Leaping March, The Shepherdess and the Chimney Sweeper, The Ugly Duckling, The Naughty Boy.
Poached by Stuart Gibbs   |   Jane Goodall by Roberta Edwards
Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson   |   The Help by Kathryn Stockett
Dr. Doolittle by Hugh Lofting   |   Belly Up by Stuart Gibbs
Born a Crime by Trevor Noah   |   Cheaper by the Dozen by Frank B. Gilbreth
Big Game by Stuart Gibbs   |   Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
Old Yeller by Fred Gipson   |   Animal Farm by George Orwell

Blue Chip Kids: Money, Investing, and the Stock Market by David Bianchi

A Young People’s History of the United States by Howard Zinn   |   The Martian by Andy Weir

Louis Braille by Margaret Davidson

Sophia’s Reading List: 2016-2017, (Grade 7, age 12-13)
Out of the Dust by Karen Hesse   |   The Trumpet of the Swan by E.B. White
I am Malala by Malala Yousafzai   |   Spy Camp by Stuart Gibbs
Alcatraz Believe it or Not by T.C. Baker   |   The Brooklyn Bridge by Megan Stine
The Fantastic Mr. Fox by Roald Dahl   |   Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt
Hate That Cat by Sharon Creech   |   Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell
Evil Spy School by Stuart Gibbs   |   Harry Potter and the Order of the Pheonix by J.K. Rowling
Starring Sally J. Freedman as Herself by Judy Blume   |   The Cay by Theodore Taylor
Timothy of the Cay by Theodore Taylor   |   Just So Stories by Rudyard Kipling
Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery   |   Are You There God? Its Me, Margaret by Judy Blume

Long, too long America,
Traveling roads all even and peaceful you learn’d from joys
     and prosperity only.
But now, ah now, to learn from crisis of anguish, advancing,
     grappling with direst fate and recoiling now, 
And now to conceive and show to the world what your
     children en-masse really are.
                                   – Walt Whitman

Sophia’s Reading List: (Grade 6, age 11-12)
Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes (abridged)    |   E is for Ethics by Ian James Corlett
The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame   |   Land of Stories Book 4: Beyond the Kingdoms by Chris Colfer

Grace by Mary Casanova   |   Esperanza Rising by Pam Muñoz Ryan   |   Star Girl by Jerry Spinelli

Theras and His Town by Caroline Dale Snedeker   |   The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster

Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH by Robert C. O’Brien   |   Who is Michelle Obama by Megan Stine
Who was Milton Hershey by James Buckley, Jr.   |   Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll   |   Who is Malala Yousafzai by Dinah Brown
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling   |   The Isle of the Lost by Melissa de la Cruz
Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing by Judy Blume   |   Harry Potter: The Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling
A Child’s Garden of Verses by Robert Louis Stevenson (poetry)   |   Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe  by C.S. Lewis   |   Leonardo Da Vinci by Roberta Edwards
Harry Potter and the Prizoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling   |   Smile by Raina Telgemeier
Ramona the Pest by Beverly Cleary   |   The Adventures of Super Diaper Baby by George Beard and H. Hutchins
Harry Potter: The Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling   |   Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart by Yona Zeldis McDonough
Who was Dr. Seuss? By Janet B. Pascal   |   Spy School by Stuart Gibbs
Space Case by Stuart Gibbs   |   Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White
Jackie Robinson By Gail Herman, John O’Brien   |   The World Series by Gail Herman and Scott Anderson
Sally Ride by Megan Stine   |   King Tut by Roberta Edwards   |   Queen Elizabeth by June Eding

Sophia’s Reading List: (Grade 5, age 10-11)

Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain    |   The Witches by Roald Dahl
Music of Dolphins by Karen Hesse   |   Moby Dick by Herman Melville    |   
Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L’Engle

American Tall Tales: Paul Bunyan    |   Watsons Go to Birmingham by Christopher Paul Curtis 

Shiloh by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor   |   Wonder by R. J. Palacio

Who Could That Be at This Hour? by Lemony Snicket   |   When Did You See Her Last? by Lemony Snicket
Shouldn’t You be in School? by Lemony Snicket   |   Land of Stories Book 1 The Wishing Spell by Chris Colfer
Land of Stories Book 2 A Grimm Warning by Chris Colfer

Land of Stories Book 3 The Entrantress Returns by Chris Colfer  

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Flies Again by Frank Cottrell Boyce    |   Mary Poppins by P.L. Travers

Number the Stars by Lois Lowry   |   The Whole Story of Half a Girl by Veera Hiranandani
The Misfits by James Howe   |   Rapunzel, the One with all the Hair by Wendy Mass
Sleeping Beauty, the One who Took the Really Long Nap by Wendy Mass 

RUMP: The True Story of Rumplestiltskin by Liesl Shurtliff
A Year Without Autumn by Liz Kessler   |   Sisters by Raina Telgemeier
BFG by Roald Dahl

“A children’s story that can only be enjoyed by children is not a good children’s story in the slightest.”  – C.S. Lewis

Lynne’s Reading List:


No One is Too Small to Make a Difference by Greta Thurnberg

The Dutch House by Ann Patchett

Love & Misadventure by Lang Leav (poetry)


Becoming by Michelle Obama

Longitude by Dava Sobel

The Story of the World: The Modern Age by Susan Wise Bauer

Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys

Into the Magic Shop by James R. Doty, MD

Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson

Once Upon a River by Diane Setterfield

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

Becoming Wise: An inquiry into the Mystery and Art of Living by Krista Tippett

The Brave Learner by Julie Bogart

Lolita by Russian-American novelist Vladimir Nabokov

Killers of the Flower Moon by David Grann

The Library Book by Susan Orlean

Creative Schools by Lou Aronica and Ken Robinson

My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante

The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton

20,000 Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne (again!)

Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books by Azar Nafisi

The Heart’s Invisible Furies by John Boyne

Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen

The Keeper of Lime Rock: Story of Ida Lewis by Lenore Skomal

Thirteen Days by Robert F. Kennedy

In Our Time by Ernest Hemingway

How to be a Good Creature by Sy Montgomery

Brooklyn by Colm Toíbín

The Nutcracker by Alexander Dumas

Christmas with Norman Rockwell by John Kirk

Christmas Poems and Stories (Portland House)


To Have and Have Not by Ernest Hemingway   |   Ernest Hemingway on Writing edited by Larry W. Phillips

Red Notice by Bill Browder   |   Cortadito by Enrique Fernández

The Guest Cat by Takashi Hiraide   |   Poems from the Book of Hours by Rainer Maria Rilke

FINDING by Kim Fuller   |   Braving the Wilderness by Brené Brown

Painting as a Pastime by Winston S. Churchill   |   Old Yeller by Fred Gipson

The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin   |   Honey, I Love (poetry) by Eloise Greenfield

The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls   |   A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles

A Young People’s History of the United States by Howard Zinn

Helium (poetry) by Rudy Francisco   |   The Gifts of Imperfection by Brené Brown

Blue Chip Kids: Money, Investing, and Stock Market by David Bianchi

The Black Count by Tom Reiss   |   Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders

Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott   |   Letters to my Daughter by Maya Angelou

Felicity (poetry) by Mary Oliver   |   Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

The Girl Who Smiled Beads by Clemantine Wamariya   |   A Thousand Mornings (poetry) by Mary Oliver

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho   |   The Last Painting of Sara de Vos by Dominic Smith

The Odyssey by Homer (abridged/Geraldine McCaughrean)   |   Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach

The Ninth Hour by Alice McDermott   |   West With the Night by Beryl Markham


Tomorrow is Now by Eleanor Roosevelt   |   Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of Family and Culture in Crisis by J.D. Vance

The Cay by Theodore Taylor   |   The Space Between Sisters by Mary McNear

The Death of Ivan Ilyich, by Leo Tolstoy   |   A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman

Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics by Daniel James Brown

Just So Stories by Rudyard Kipling   |   Sutton by J.R. Moehringer

A People’s History of the United States by Howard Zinn   |   Make Someone Happy: Favorite Postings by Elizabeth Berg

The Swans of Fifth Avenue by Melanie Benjamin   |   Party of the Century by Deborah Davis

Sail Cowabunga! A Family’s Ten Years at Sea by Janis Couvreux

Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman Capote   |   The Patient in Room Nine Says He’s God by Louis M. Profeta, MD

Born a Crime by Trevor Noah   |   The Book That Matters Most by Ann Hood

Stop Here, This is the place: A Year in Motherhood by Susan Conley and Winky Lewis

Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson   |   The Miniaturist: A Novel by Jessie Burton

The Wright Brothers by David McCullough   |   Dr. Doolittle by Hugh Lofting

The Sun and Her Flowers (poetry) by Rupi Kaur   |    It’s Up to the Women by Eleanor Roosevelt


The Sun Also Rises, by Ernest Hemingway   |   A Moveable Feast – Hemingway

The Paris Wife by Paula McLain

Voyaging with Kids by Behan Gifford, Sara Dawn Johnson, Michael Robertson

Out of Africa – Isak Dinesen   |   Circling the Sun by Paula McLain

To Have and Have Another: A Hemingway Cocktail Companion  by Philip Greene

The Historian’s Daughter by Rashida Murphy   |   The Sellout by Paul Beatty

Out of the Dust by Karen Hesse   |   The Trumpet of the Swan by E.B. White

The Pearl by John Steinbeck   |   Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell

The Old Man and the Sea by Earnest Hemingway   |   Me Before You by Jojo Moyes


All the Light we Cannot See – Anthony Doerr   |   The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd

To Kill A Mockingbird – Harper Lee (again)   |   The Mockingbird Next Door – Marja Mills

Go Set A Watchman – Harper Lee   |   The Danish Girl – David Ebershoff

Just Mercy – Bryan Stevenson   |   20,000 Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne

The Luncheon of the Boating Party – Susan Vreeland

Don Quixote (2nd time) by Miguel Cervantes   |   The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame


Brave Companions, by David McCullough   |   Beautiful Ruins, by Jess Walter

The Hare with Amber Eyes” by Edmund De Waal

“The Great Floodgates of the Wonderworld”  by Justin Hocking

Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline   |   Middlemarch by George Elliot

My Life in Middlemarch – Rebecca Mead   |   A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith

Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain    |   Music of Dolphins by Karen Hesse 

Moby Dick by Herman Melville   |   Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L’Engle 


The Orphan Master’s Son by Adam Johnson   |   Life after Life by Kate Atkinson

Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray   |   The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey

Alice Munro’s “Runaway”   |   East of Eden by John Steinbeck

Me, Who Dove into the Heart of the World, by Sabina Berman

Tell the Wolves I’m Home, by Carol Rifka Brunt

Mr. Penumbra’s 24-hour Bookstore, by Robin Sloane   |   The Sound and the Fury, by Wm Faulkner

Glitter and Gold by Consuela Vanderbuilt Balsan

Strapless by Deborah Davis   |   Waiting for Snow in Havana by Carlos Eire

Breathe, by Kelly Kittel

The Well-Trained Mind: A Guide to Classical Education at Home by Susan Wise Bauer


Priceless by Robert Whittman   |   Day for Night by Frederick Keiken

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee   |   The Art of Hearing Heartbeats by Jan-Philipp Sendker

Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell   |   The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga

The Twelve Tribes of Hattie by Ayana Mathis   |   Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert

Consuelo and Alva by Amanda Mackenzie Stuart   |   A Clean Well Lighted Place by Ernest Hemingway

The Education of a Lifetime by Robert Khayat

A Constellation of Vital Phenomena by Anthony Marra   |   Old Filth by Jane Gardam

The Man in the Wooden Hat by Jane Gardam   |   Provenance by Laney Salisbury

Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand by Helen Simonson   |    Wait til Next Year by Doris Kearns Goodwin


Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese   |   Don Quixote by Cervantes

The Tiger’s Wife by Tea Obreht   |   State of Wonder by Ann Patchett

Tolstoy and the Purple Chair: My Year of Magical Reading by Nina Sankovitch

Proust was a Neuroscientist by Jonah Lehrer

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks  by Rebecca Skloot

The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides   |   Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close  by Jonathan Safran Foer

In the Garden of Beasts by Eric Larsen   |   The Greater Journey by David McCullough

Rape of Europa by Lynn Nicholas   |   The Tipping Point Malcom Gladwell


Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann  |  The Whistling Season by Ivan Doig

Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Stout  |  The Known World by Edward P. Jones

The Lost City of  Z  by David Grann  |  The Moonflower Vine by Jetta Carleton

Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy  |  History of Love by Nicole Krauss

Checkhov Short Stories  |  People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks

March by Geraldine Brooks,  |  Mayflower by Nathaniel Philbrick

1776 by David McCullough  |  The Namesake, Jhumpa Lahiri

Loving Frank, Nancy Horan  |  Autobiography of a Face by Lucy Grealy

Truth and Beauty by Ann Patchett  |  The Solace of Leaving Early by Haven Kimmel


Don’t Let’s go to the Dogs Tonight by Alexandra Fuller   |   Gift from the Sea, Anne Morrow Lindburgh

Life of Pi, Yann Martel   |   Tender at the Bone by Ruth Reichl

The Passion of Artemesia by Susan Vreeland

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer, and Annie Barrows

Song yet Sung by James McBride   |   The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery

City of Thieves  by David Benioff   |   Bel Canto by Ann Patchett

2006 – 2008  (incomplete list, but titles of note)

Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri  |  On Green Dolphin Street, Sebastian Faulks  |  Girl in Hyacinth Blue, Susan Vreeland  |  Peace Like a River, Leif Enger  |  The Blue Virgin, Tracy Chevalier  |  Balzac & the Little Chinese Seasmstress, Dai Sijie  |  The Audacity of Hope, Barack Obama  |  Dreams from my Father, Barack Obama,  |  The Color of Water, James McBride  |  The Red Tent, Anita Diamant  |  Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert  |  Ghost Heart by Cecelia Samartin  |  Middleplace by Kelly Corrigan  |  Five Quarters of an Orange by Joanne Harris  |  The Mermaid Chair by Sue Monk Kidd  |  The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd  |  Operating Instructions by Anne Lamott  |  Kite Runner by Khaled Husseini  |  The Help by Kathryn Stockett  |  Angela’s Ashes Frank McCourt  |  ‘Tis Frank McCourt  |  The Unfortunates Laurie Graham  |  The Future Housewives of America by Laurie Graham  |  The Alchemist, Paulo Coelho  |  Prodigal Summer by Barbara Kingsolver  |  Small Wonder by Barbara Kingsolver  |  Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver  |  Pigs in Heaven by Barbara Kingsolver  |  High Tide in Tuscon by Barbara Kingsolver  |  A Girl Named Zippy by Haven Kimmel  |  She Got Up Off the Couch by Haven Kimmel  |  Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Oliver, hello! I’m TC Bakker (pen name) the author of “Alcatraz: Believe it or Not.” I was so thrilled to find my book in your reading list with such illustrious titles as “Holes” “Honus and Me,” and “Island of the Blue Dolphins,” three of my favorite books. I want to tell you a story. When I was growing up, I was not allowed to own any books. We were in the military and moved a lot, but I also believe it was because my parents were non-readers. They were literate, but I never saw them read a single book. I adored books, so I practically lived in libraries, and, I used to make my own books. One of the books I would make was to cut out “Ripley’s Believe it or Not” illustrations from the Sunday Newspaper and glue them on construction paper and staple them together. When I was writing my Alcatraz book, I was planning to call it “Alcatraz: The Wickedest Book Ever.” But just before it was published, the editor decided to call it “Alcatraz: Believe it or Not.” That’s funny in a way. When I was 12, if I had only known that one day I would have my own “Believe it or Not” book, I would have been so thrilled! You never know what will happen in life. I’m so glad you liked my book, and I hope you stay curious all of your life!


  2. Lynne Rey says:

    Wow, Ms. Baker, … what a beautiful comment to Oliver’s reading list! Thank you for sharing your story. We read your letter together today and it stirred a wonderful conversation about the importance of reading a variety of books and how lucky the kids are to grow up in a family of “readers”! Also, the golden nugget of advice, that we never know where our lives will lead us. Oliver LOVED the Alcatraz book. He chose it in the bookstore (at Alcatraz) when we were visiting there last fall. Thank you for writing it. Have a great day!


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