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Themed Booklists

Literature and Language Arts

A YALSA committee of librarians selected these books to open doors on new worlds, exciting ideas, eccentric personalities, unfamiliar cultures, and distant time periods. Use it to broaden students’ horizons as they prepare for college entrance exams and courses.

The Book Thief

The Book Thief

Marcus Zusak
Age Level:
YA
Genre:
Historical Fiction
Published:
2005
Blankets

Blankets

Craig Thompson
Age Level:
YA
Genre:
Autobiography and Memoir, Romance
Published:
2003
Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead Play by Tom Stoppard

Rosencrantz & Guildenstern are Dead

Tom Stoppard
Age Level:
YA
Genre:
Classics, Fiction
Published:
1966

Lucky: A Memoir

Alice Sebold
Age Level:
YA

The Plot Against America

Philip Roth
Age Level:
YA
Genre:
Historical Fiction
Published:
2004
Sunrise Over Fallujah

Sunrise Over Fallujah

Walter Dean Myers
Age Level:
YA
Genre:
Fiction, Historical Fiction
Published:
2009
Kafka on the Shore

Kafka on the Shore

Haruki Murakami
Age Level:
YA
Genre:
Fantasy, Fiction
Published:
2005

The Road

Cormac McCarthy
Age Level:
YA
Genre:
Fantasy, Fiction, Science fiction / Dystopian, Thriller / Horror
Published:
2006
The God of Animals

The God of Animals

Aryn Kyle
Age Level:
YA
Genre:
Fiction
Published:
2007
Secret Life of Bees

Secret Life of Bees

Sue Monk Kidd
Age Level:
YA
Genre:
Fiction
Published:
2001
Good Poems

Good Poems

Garrison Keillor
Age Level:
YA
Genre:
Poetry
Published:
2003
Mister Pip

Mister Pip

Lloyd Jones
Age Level:
YA
Genre:
Historical Fiction
Published:
2006
Never Let Me Go

Never Let Me Go

Kazuo Ishiguro
Age Level:
YA
Genre:
Fantasy, Fiction, Science fiction / Dystopian
Published:
2005
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

Mark Haddon
Age Level:
YA
Genre:
Fiction, Mystery / Crime
Published:
2003
A Lesson Before Dying

A Lesson Before Dying

Ernest Gaines
Age Level:
YA
Genre:
Fiction, Mystery / Crime
Published:
2001
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

Jonathan Safran Foer
Age Level:
YA
Genre:
Fiction
Published:
2006
Ella Minnow Pea: A Novel in Letters

Ella Minnow Pea: A Novel in Letters

Mark Dunn
Age Level:
YA
Genre:
Fiction
Published:
2002
Caramelo

Caramelo

Sandra Cisneros
Age Level:
YA
Genre:
Fiction
Published:
2003
Someday This Pain Will Be Useful to You

Someday This Pain Will be Useful to You

Peter Cameron
Age Level:
YA
Genre:
Fiction
Published:
2007
Who the Hell Is Pansy O'Hara

Who the hell is Pansy O’Hara?

Jenny Bond, Chris Sheedy
Age Level:
YA
Genre:
Nonfiction
Published:
2008
The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Traitor to the Nation, Volume I: The Pox Party

The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Traitor to the Nation, Vol. 1: The Pox Party

M.T. Anderson
Age Level:
YA
Genre:
Historical Fiction
Published:
2006
Bastard Out of Carolina

Bastard Out of Carolina

Dorothy Allison
Age Level:
YA
Genre:
Fiction
Published:
2005
Looking for Alaska

Looking for Alaska

John Green
Age Level:
YA
Genre:
Fiction, Romance
Published:
2005
The Kite Runner

The Kite Runner

Khaled Hosseini
Age Level:
YA
Genre:
Fiction, Historical Fiction
Published:
2003