Literature Crash Course

Stories to Know Before You Go to High School

NURSERY RHYME BOOKS  Click HERE for more nursery rhymes,.)

Milne, A.A. When We Were Very Young. (British; 1924)
Opie, Iona and Rosemary Wells.Mother Goose’s Little Treasures. (American, 2007)
Prelutsky, Jack. The New Kid on the Block. (American; 1984)
Silverstein, Shel. Where the Sidewalk Ends. (American; 1974)
Stevenson, Robert Louis. A Child’s Garden of Verses. (Scottish; 1885)


Ardizzone, Edward. Little Tim and the Brave Sea Captain. (British; 1936)

Bemelmans, Ludwig. Madeline. (American; 1939)

Bouchard, David. The Elders are Watching (Canadian First Nations; 2003)

Bridwell, Norman.   Clifford, the Big Red Dog. (American; 1963)

Burton, Virginia Lee. The Little House. (American; 1942)

Burton, Virginia L.. Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel. (American; 1939)

Brown, Marcia. Stone Soup. (American; 1947)

Brown, Margaret W.. Goodnight Moon. (American; 1947)

Brunhoff, Jean de. The Story of Babar. (French; 1931)

Bunting, Eve. Walking to School. (Irish; 2008)

Bunting, Eve. You Were Loved Before You Were Born. (Irish; 2008)

Cali, David. The Enemy: a Book About Peace. (Italian; 2009)

Campbell, Nicola. Shi Shi Etko. (Canadian First Nations; 2005)

Carrier, Roch. The Hockey Sweater. (Canadian)

Cooney, Barbara. Miss Rumphius. (American; 1982)

Cooper, Ilene. The Golden Rule. (American; 2007)

Creech, Sharon. A Fine, Fine School. (American; 2001)

Dillon, Leo and Diane. Jazz on a Saturday Night. (American; 2007)

Freeman, DonCorduroy. (American; 1968)

Gag, Wanda. Millions of Cats. (American; 1929)

Goble, Paul. The Girl Who Loved Wild Horses. (American First Nations; 1993)

Hoban, Russell.  A Bargain for Frances. (American; 1970)

Hoban, Russell. Bread and Jam for Frances. (American; 1992)

Hoberman, Mary Ann. A House is a House for Me. (American; 1978)

nnocenti, Roberto. Rose Blanche. (Italian; 1985)

Keats, Ezra Jack. The Snowy Day. (American; 1962)

Khalsa, Dayal. I Want a Dog. (Canadian; 1987)

Kitamura, Satoshi. Stone Age Boy. (Japanese; 2007)

Kraus, Robert. Leo the Late Bloomer. (American; 1971)

Leaf, Munro. The Story of Ferdinand. (American; 1936)

Lionni, Leo. Frederick. (American; 1987)

Lionni, Leo. Little Blue and Little Yellow. (American; 1959)

Lobel, Arnold. Frog and Toad are Friends. (American; 1970)

Marshall, James. George and Martha. (American; 1972)

Martin, Jacqueline Briggs. Snowflake Bentley. (American; 1998).

Martin, Jr., Bill. Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? (American; 1967)

McCloskey, Robert. Blueberries for Sal. (American; 1948)

McCloskey, Robert. Make Way for Ducklings. (American; 1941)

Muth, Jon. The Three Questions. (American; 2002)

Numeroff, Laura J.. If You Give A Mouse a Cookie. (American; 1985)

Parish, Peggy. Amelia Bedelia. (American; 1963)

Peet, Bill. Chester the Worldly Pig. (American; 1965)

Potter, Beatrix. The Tale of Peter Rabbit. (British; 1902)

Rey, Margret and H.A.. Curious George. (American; 1941)

Rumford, James. Silent Music: A Story of Baghdad. (American; 2008)

Rylant, Cynthia. The Relatives Came. (American; 1985)

Rylant, Cynthia. When I Was Young in the Mountains. (American; 1982)

Say, Allen. Grandfather’s Journey. (American; 1993)

Schertle, Alice. We. (American; 2007)

Sendak, Maurice. Where the Wild Things Are. (American; 1963)

Seuss, Dr.. The Cat in the Hat. (American; 1957)

Seuss, Dr. Green Eggs and Ham. (American; 1960)

Seuss, Dr. The Lorax. (American; 1971)

Seuss, Dr.. One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish. (American; 1960)

Shulevitz, Uri. How I Learned Geography. (American; 2003)

Silverstein, Shel. The Giving Tree. (American; 1964)

Sis, Peter. The Wall: Growing Up Behind the Iron Curtain. (American; 2007)

Stead, Philip Christian. A Sick Day for Amos MdGee. (American; 2010).

Steig, William. Amos and Boris. (American; 1971)

Steig, William. Brave Irene. (American; 1986)

Steig, William Sylvester and the Magic Pebble. (American; 1969)

Tan, Shaun. The Red Tree. (Australian; 2003)

Thurber, James. Many Moons. (American; 1971)

Van Allsburg, Chris. The Polar Express. (American; 1985)

Vickers, Roy Henry. Raven Brings the Light.  (Canadian First Nations)

Viorst, Judith. Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. (American; 1972)

Waber, Bernard. Ira Sleeps Over. (American; 1972)

Waber, Bernard. Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile. (American; 1965)

Williams, Margery. The Velveteen Rabbit. (British; 1922)

Woodson, Jacqueline. The Other Side. (American; 2001)

Woodson, Jacqueline. Show Way. (American; 2005)

Yashima, Tasho. Crowboy. (Japanese; 1955)

Yolen, Jane. Encounter. (American; 2002)

Zion Gene. Harry the Dirty Dog. (American; 1956)


Short stories that are based on an oral tradition and usually involve magical events and creatures.


__ Aesop’s Fables


Charles Perrault lived in the 1700s. Many of his stories were later changed and rewritten by Jakob and Wilhelm Grimm in Germany.
__ Cinderella
__ Puss in Boots
__ Sleeping Beauty


The Grimm Brothers, Jakob and Wilhelm, lived in the late 1700s and the first part of the 1800s. They spent much of their lives travelling around collecting stories from the people they met.
__ The Fisherman and His Wife
__ The Frog Prince
__ Goldilocks and the Three Bears
__ Hansel and Gretel
__ Little Red Riding Hood
__ Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
__ Rumpelstiltskin


Hans Christian Andersen lived in the 1800s and is mainly remembered for his fairy tales.

___ The Emperor’s New Clothes

___ The Steadfast Tin Soldier

___ The Ugly Duckling


___ Beowulf

___ Robin Hood


__ Jack and the Beanstalk

__ The Three Billy Goats Gruff

__ The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse 


__ Cloudwalker by Roy Henry Vickers

__ How Summer Came to Canada by William Toye

__ The Lost Island by E. Pauline Johnston

__ Raven Brings the Light by Roy Henry Vickers


NOVELS (If more than one title is given for an author, choose one.)

Alexander, Lloyd. The High King. (British; 1968)

Armstrong, William. Sounder. (American; 1969)

*Avi. Crispin: The Cross of Lead. (2003 Newbery Medal Winner)

Babbitt, Natalie. Tuck Everlasting. (American; 1975)

Bauer, Marion Dane. On My Honor. (1987 Newbery Honor Book)

Baum, Frank. The Wizard of Oz. (American; 1900)

Boyne, John. The Boy in the Striped Pajamas. (Irish; 2006)

Burnford, Sheila. The Incredible Journey. (British; 1963)

Carlson, Natalie Savage. The Family Under the Bridge. (1959 Newbery Honor Book)

Cleary, Beverly. The Mouse and the Motorcycle. (American; 1965)

Cleary. Beverly. Ramona the Pest. (American; 1968)

Coerr, Eleanor. Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes. (Canadian-born American; 1977)

*Collins, Suzanne. The Hunger Games. (American; 2008)

*Cooper, Susan. The Dark is Rising. (British; 1973)

*Cooper, Susan. Over Sea, Under Stone. (British; 1965)

Creech, Sharon. Walk Two Moons. (American; 1994)

*Curtis, Christopher Paul. Elijah of Buxton. (2008 Newbery Honor Book)

*Dahl, Roald. James and the Giant Peach. (British; 1961)

Dickens, Charles. A Christmas Carol. (British; 1843)

Doyle, Arthur Conan. The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. (British; 1892)

*Ellis, Deborah. The Breadwinner. (Canadian; 2000)

Ellis, Deborah. Lunch with Lenin and Other Stories. (Canadian; 2008)

Estes, Eleanor. The Moffats. (American; 1969)

*Estes, Eleanor. Rufus M. (1944 Newbery Honor Book)

*Fleischmanm, Sid. The Whipping Boy. (1987 Newbery Medal Winner)

Funke, Cornelia. Inkheart. (German; 2003)

Gallico, Paul. The Snow Goose. (British, 1940)

Garfield, Leon. Smith. (British; 1965)

George, Jean Craighead. My Side of the Mountain. (American; 1958)

*Gipson, Fred. Old Yeller. (1957 Newbery Honor Book)

*Haddix, Margaret Peterson. Among the Hidden. (American; 1998)

Hesse, Karen. Aleutian Sparrow. (American; 2003)

*Hinton, S.E. The Outsiders. (American; 1967)

Kjlelgaard, Jim. Big Red. (American; 1945)

Lawson, Robert. Rabbit Hill. (1945 Newbery Medal Winner)

*L’Engle, Madeline. A Wrinkle in Time. (1963 Newbery Medal Winner)

*Lewis, C.S. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. (British; 1950)

*Lowry, Lois. The Giver. (1994 Newbery Medal Winner)

*Lowry, Lois. Number the Stars. (1990 Newbery Medal Winner)

*MacLachlan, Patricia. Sarah, Plain and Tall. (1986 Medal Winner)

*Matas, Carol. Daniel’s Story and Lisa’s War and Jesper. (Canadian; 1983 & 1987 & 1989)

McCloskey, Robert. Homer Price. (American; 1943)

*Mikaelsen, Ben. Touching Spirit Bear. (American; 2001)

*Milne, A. A. Winnie-the-Pooh. (British; 1926)

Montgomery, L.M. Anne of Green Gables. (Canadian; 1908)

Mowat, Farley. The Dog Who Wouldn’t Be. (Canadian; 1957)

Mowat, Farley. Lost in the Barrens. (Canadian; 1956)

*Mowat, Farley. Owls in the Family. (Canadian; 1961)

Naidoo, Beverley. The Other Side of Truth. (South African; 2004)

*Naylor, Phyllis Reynolds. Shiloh. (1992 Newbery Medal Winner)

*North, Sterling. Rascal. (1964 Newbery Medal Winner)

Paterson, Katherine. Bridge to Terabithia. (American; 1977)

*Paterson, Katherine. The Great Gilly Hopkins. (1979 Newbery Honor Book)

Paulsen, Gary. The Crossing. (American; 1987)

*Paulsen, Gary. Hatchet. (1988 Newbery Honor Book)

Pearson, Kit. The Sky is Falling. (Canadian; 1989)

*Peck, Robert Newton. Soup. (American; 1974)

Riordan, Rick. The Lightning Thief. (American; 2005)

*Rowling, J.K. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. (British; 1997)

Saint-Exupéry, Antoine de. The Little Prince. (French, 1943)

Smelcer, John. The Trap. (American; 2006)

*Smucker, Barbara. Days of Terror. (American; 1979)

Smucker, Barbara. Underground to Canada. (American; 1978)

*Snicket, Lemony. The Bad Beginning. (American; 1999)

Stead, Rebecca. When You Reach Me. (2010 Newbery Medal Winner)

*Steinbeck, John. The Red Pony. (American; 1933)

*Trease, Geoffrey. Word to Caesar. (British; 1955)

Twain, Mark. Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn. (American; 1876 & 1884)

Ullman, James Ramsey. Banner in the Sky. (1955 Newbery Honor Book)

Walters, Eric. Shattered. (Canadian; 2006)

*White, E.B. Charlotte’s Web. (1953 Newbery Honor Book)

Wilder, Laura Ingalls. Little House On the Prairie. (American; 1935)

Wilson, Eric. Murder on the Canadian. (Canadian; 1976)

Woodson, Jacqueline. Feathers. (2008 Newbery Honor Book)

*Yelchin, Eugene. Breaking Stalin’s Nose. (Russian American; 2011)



Click HERE to find a list of novels and fictional characters.

You do not need to read all the books, but you should know brief summaries.


Print Friendly, PDF & Email