Literature Survey

This list could be much, much longer.
But if you want to read some classic novels that take you around the world and throughout time and are written by fantastic authors, here’s a start:

Aiken, Joan. (British historical novels) esp. Black Hearts in Battersea
Alcott, Louisa May. (American historical novels) esp. Little Women
Alexander, Lloyd. (British historical and fantasy novels) esp. The High King
Baum, L. Frank. (American) esp. The Wizard of Oz
Bronte, Charlotte. (British) esp. Jane Eyre
Burnett, Frances Hodgson. (British) esp. The Secret Garden
Byars, Betsy. (American realistic and humorous novels) esp. Cracker Jackson and The Glory Girl
Cleary, Beverly (happy American stories) esp. The Mouse and the Motorcycle
Cooper, Susan. (British fantasy novels often relating to King Arthur) esp. The Dark is Rising
Creech, Sharon. (American) esp. Walk Two Moons
Dahl, Roald. (humorous British novels) esp. Danny, the Champion of the World
Ellis, Deborah. (Canadian) esp. The Breadwinner about a girl in Afghanistan
Estes, Eleanor. (American historical novels) esp. The Moffats about family life fifty years ago
Farley, Walter. (American horse stories) esp. The Black Stallion
Fox, Paula. (American) esp. One-eyed Cat about a boy who accidentally shoots a cat
Funke, Cornelia (German fantasy novels) esp. Inkheart
Garfield, Leon. (British historical novels) esp. Smith about a Victorian pickpocket
Grahame, Kenneth. (British) esp. Wind in the Willows
Greene, Bette. (American)
esp. Summer of My German Soldier about a girl who hides a German POW
Hill, Kirkpatrick. (American stories set in Alaska) esp. Toughboy and Sister
Houston, James. (Canadian outdoor survival novels)
esp. River Runners about a fifteen-year-old Hudson Bay fur-trader
Hughes, Monica. (Canadian science fiction novels for good readers)
esp. Devil on My Back about a computer-controlled populace
Kipling, Rudyard. (British historical novels set in India) esp. The Jungle Book
Kjelgaard, James A. (American novels with animals as main characters)
esp. Big Red about a dog
L’Engle, Madeleine. (American fantasy novels for thoughtful readers)
esp. A Wrinkle in Time about space/time travel
Lewis, C.S. (fantasy novels from Britain) esp. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
Lindgren, Astrid. (Swedish) esp. Pippi Longstocking
Little, Jean. (Canadian realistic novels that portray people overcoming problems)
esp. Willow and Twig about two children of a drug addict in Vancouver
London, Jack. (outdoor survival) esp. The Call of the Wild
Lunn, Janet. (Canadian historical novels) esp. The Root Cellar about slavery
MacLachlan, Patricia. (American novels for thoughtful readers)
esp. Sarah, Plain and Tall about a stepfamily in the late nineteenth century
Matas, Carol. (Canadian; historical novels set during W.W. 2)
esp. Lisa about a girl in WW 2 Denmark
McCloskey, Robert. (humorous, American historical novels) esp. Homer Price
Montgomery, L.M. (Canadian) esp. Anne of Green Gables
Milne, A.A. (British) esp. Winnie-the-Pooh
Mowat, Farley. (Canadian) esp. The Dog Who Wouldn’t Be
Naidoo, Beverley. (South African) esp. Journey to Jo’burg
Nesbit, E. (British) esp. The Railway Children
Paulson, Gary. (American adventure novels) esp. Hatchet about outdoor survival
Rylant, Cynthia (American with beautiful figurative language) esp. Missing May
Stevenson, Robert Louis. (British) esp. Treasure Island
Travers, P.L. (British) esp. Mary Poppins
Twain, Mark. (American) esp. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
Verne, Jules. (science fiction written for adults) esp. Around the World in Eighty Days
Voight, Cynthia. (American realistic novels for thinking readers)
esp. Dicey’s Song about a girl who takes care of her younger siblings
Walsh, Jill Paton.
(British historical novels) esp. A Parcel of Patterns
White, E.B. (modern American classic)
esp. Charlotte’s Web
Wilder, Laura Ingalls.
(American historical novels about frontier days)
esp. Little House on the Prairie
Wilson Eric. (Canadian mystery novels that are fun to read)
esp. Murder on the Canadian about a mystery on a train

Your Responses

  Inkheart by Cornella Funke (The Chicken House, 2003) was about a girl named Meggie who could make a story from a book come true by simply reading it aloud. In the beginning, the conflict was between Meggie’s father, Mo, and a strange man named Dustfinger who came to their house. Dustfinger told Mo that ‘Capricorn’ was in the north so Meggie and Mo needed to move to the south as quickly as they could. And so they did. Meggie,and my brain, were off to the south, not knowing a single thing about what was going to happen. I was thrilled, excited, and curious when they were all locked up in Capricorn’s church due to Dustfinger’s betrayal. What would they do? How would they get themselves free? Read this great book and you will find and interesting and fascinating ending. (Eric in grade eight)

 I recently read a book that changes the way I thought about the world, people, and everything else for that matter! The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett (Scholastic Inc., 1911) is about Mary Lennox, a ten year old girl who lives in India with her beautiful mother and always busy father, who both ignore her, causing her to be a spoiled, ugly child. Mary has to change all her ways when her parents and all the native servants are killed by a deadly illness. She is sent to live with her unknown uncle, Master Craven, in his mansion in Yorkshire, England. During her time there Mary changes from an unthankful girl who has never seen the great beauty of nature to a girl with a love for the outside and a compassionate heart. But let me go back a bit. When Mistress Mary arrived at Misselthwaite Mansion, she had no intention of considering or even talking to anyone, since she had no interest in another being but herself. However that soon changes when she hears of a secret garden locked up for ten years. Not only did her heart grow beautifully, but her appearance also improved on the outside. Along her journey to finding a key to the door and keeping the garden a secret, Mary befriends a cheeky robin, a gardener named Ben Weatherstaff, a Yorkshire “animal charmer” named Dickon, and Colin, the secret son of Master Craven. Thanks to this secret garden, a father and son are united, a selfish little girl finds true friends, and the whole mansion rejoices after the gloomy curse of their master is lifted. The magic in this book really touched my heart and I will never grow tired of reading it. (Ilar in grade eight)

Smith by Leon Garfield (Puffin Books, 1968) is the story of Smith, or Smut as he is affectionately called by his sisters, who has a talent for pickpocketing wealthy old gentlemen. Smith, a talented young boy living in London, faces a conflict which leads him into murder, mystery and betrayal. Will Smith continue to live his life as a pickpocket or will he try to turn his life around? (Evan in grade eight)

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