Paragraph Writing Reading List

Recommended for Ages 14 - 16 High School level course: Grades 9 - 11 (The Write Foundation Writing Curriculum)

Why read quality literature? It matters what you read.

  1. The best readers are the best writers.
  2. What you read is a major factor determining who you will become.
  3. Quality literature encourages reading, because it is hard to put a good book down.
  4. Reading is not just for fun. Reading plays a major role in brain development.

Do you want to raise your students’ reading level? Read out loud to them.
Do you want to improve your students’ listening skills? Read out loud to them. Even older students benefit from and enjoy listening to books.  

Reading Guidelines:

  • Read books to students. The more you read to them, the higher their level of reading and comprehension climbs.  Read books out loud to them that they would not find easy to read on their own, but also read easier books out loud for sheer enjoyment.
  • Listen to audio books. When you are going places in the car or just relaxing at home, listening to a good book captivates and entertains.
  • Encourage students to select books to read independently. Have them read books on their own that are on their easy-to-read level and that interest them.
  • Discuss what is read. Instead of book reports, talk to them about what they are reading. As they enjoy books, they will want to talk about them. Who? What? When? Where? How? Why?

Book List Organization and Point System:

  • The point groups are determined by length and reading level.
  • Books are mostly listed in alphabetical order by title.
  • If several books are by one author or a series by various authors, then they are included in the alphabetical order by the author’s name, series title or a group title such as historical fiction.
  • Books are not listed in a particular reading order.

Easy-to-Read? Abridged? Translated?

  1. Avoideasy-to-read” versions of any of the books, such as those by Great Illustrated Classics.
  2. Abridged means a book has been condensed or shortened. For a few extremely difficult books there are some abridged versions which may be preferable.
  3. A few of the classics were originally written in another language. Some translations are much better than others. 

Read reviews about different versions if questioning different abridged versions or translations.

  • Many of these books can probably be found at your public library. A good librarian can be a wonderful resource. 
  • Amazon is a convenient way to find out more about these books through their descriptions and reviews.

The goal is to encourage the reading of quality books that all will approve of and enjoy. Investigating these books that range from modern to classical to forgotten works of art will hopefully be an enjoyable adventure.

The Write Foundation – Paragraph Writing Reading List

12 Point Books

All of a Kind Family Series –  Sydney Taylor
                        All of a Kind Family
                        More All of a Kind Family
                        All of a Kind Family Uptown
                        All of a Kind Family Downtown
                        Ella of All of a Kind Family
And the Word Came with Power – Joanne Shetler
Benjamin West and His Cat Gimalkin –  Marguerite Henry
Born in the Year of Courage – Emily Crofford
The Breadwinner – Deborah Ellis
The Broken Blade – William Durbin
Bud Not Buddy – Christopher Paul Curtis
Building on the Rock Series (Short Stories) – Joel R. Beeke & Diana Kleyn
                        How God Stopped the Pirates
                        How God Used A Thunderstorm
                        Other books in this series are fine.
Call it Courage – Armstrong Sperry
Catherine Called Birdie – Karen Cushman
Clubhouse Mysteries – Sharon M. Draper
                        Lost in the Tunnel of Time
                        The Buried Bones
                        The Space Mission Adventure
                        Other books in this series are fine.
Dear America Series – Historical Fiction, Various Authors
                        Across the Wide Open Prairie
                        I Thought My Soul Would Rise and Fly
                        Behind the Masks
                        Any other books in this series count.
Detectives in Togas – Henry Winterfeld
                        The Mystery of the Roman Ransom (sequel)
The Door in the Wall – Marguerite De Angeli
Drew Farthering Mysteries – Juliana Deering
                        Death by the Book
                        Rules of Murder
                        Dressed for Death
                        Murder at the Mikado
Faith Like Potatoes – Angus Buchan
A Gathering of Days – Joan W. Blos
God's Adventurer: Hudson Taylor – Phyllis Thompson (missionary) 
The Heart Reader – Terri Blackstock
Hind’s Feet on High Places – Hannah Hurnard 
Holes – Louis Sachar
Homesick – Jean Fritz
Horses and Healing – Kim Meeder
                        Hope Rising
                        Bridge of Hope
Horse Stories – Marguerite Henry
                        Justin Morgan Had a Horse
                        King of the Wind
                        Misty of Chincoteague
                        White Stallion of Lipizza
Humbug Mountain – Sid Fleischman
The Incredible Journey – Sheila Burnford
Just David – Eleanor H. Porter
Leonardo Da Vinci – Emily Hahn
A Long Way from Chicago Series – Richard Peck
                        A Long Way from Chicago
                        A Season of Gifts
                        A Year Down Yonder
Old Yeller – Fred Gipson
Otto of the Silver Hand – Howard Pyle
Penderwick Series – Jean Birdsall
                        The Penderwicks: A Summer Tale
                        The Penderwicks at Gardam Street
                        Other books in this series count.
Peter Pan – James M. Barrie
Pollyanna – Eleanor H. Porter
Pooh Books (Original not Disney) – A. A. Milne
                        Winnie the Pooh
                        The House at Pooh Corner
The Red Badge of Courage – Stephen Crane
Red Sails to Capri – Melissa Weil
Shades of Gray – Carolyn Reeder
Shiloh Quartet – Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
                        Shiloh Season
                        Other books in this series count.
Snow Treasure – Marie McSwigan
Stink Alley – Jamie Gilson
Tales of Robin Hood – Tony Allan
Toliver's Secret – Esther Wood Brady
Up From Slavery – Booker T. Washington
The Wright Brothers – Quentin Reynolds
The Younguns Series – Thomas L. Tedrow
                        The Younguns of Mansfield
                        Frankie and the Secret
                        The Circus Escape
                       The Legend of the Missouri Mud Monster

14 Point Books

Adventures of Tom Sawyer – Mark Twain
Amos Fortune Free Man – Elizabeth Yates
Anne of Green Gables Series – L. M. Montgomery
                        Anne of Green Gables
                        Anne of the Island
                        Anne of Avonlea
                        Other books in this series count.
An Autobiography of Buffalo Bill: The Life of Colonel William F. Cody – William F. Cody (Timeless Classic Books 178 pages)
Archimedes and the Door of Science – Jeanne Bendick
Bound for Oregon – Jean Van Leeuwen
The Bronze Bow – Elizabeth G. Speare
Bud and Me – Alta Abernathy
By the Great Horn Spoon – Sid Fleischman
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Roald Dahl
Christian Heroes, Then and Now Series – Janet and Goeff Benge
                        Gladys Altwood: The Adventure of a Lifetime
                        David Livingston: Africa’s Trailblazer
                        Other books in this series are fine.
A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens
The Cross and the Switchblade – David Wilkerson
Father Brown – G.K. Chesterton
                        The Best of Father Brown
                        The Complete Father Brown
                        Father Brown: The Essential Tales
Follow My Leader – James B. Garfield
Freedom Train (Harriet Tubman) – Dorothy Sterling
The Good Master– Kate Seredy
                        The Singing Tree (sequel)
Gone Away Lake – Elizabeth Enright
Heidi – Johanna Spyri
Henry Reed Series – Keith Robertson
                        Henry Reed, Inc.
                        Henry Reed’s Journey
                        Henry Reed’s Babysitting Service
The Hound of the Baskervilles – Arthur Conan Doyle
The House of Sixty Fathers – Meindert Dejong
In Search of Honor – Donna Lynn Hess
The Journeyman – Elizabeth Yates
Jungle Books (not Disney) – Rudyard Kipling
                        Just So Stories – Rudyard Kipling
Kildee House – Rutherford George Montgomery
Little House Series – Laura Ingalls Wilder
                        Little House in the Big Woods
                        Little House on the Prairie
                        Farmer Boy
                        On the Banks of Plum Creek
                        Other books in this series count.
Love Comes Softly Series – Janette Oke
                        Love Comes Softly
                        Love’s Enduring Promise
                        Love’s Long Journey
                        Love’s Abiding Joy
                        Other books in this series count.
The Magna Charta – James Daugherty
Men of Faith Series – Various Authors
                        John Newton: The British Slave Trader
                        George Muller: Man of Faith and Miracles
                        Samuel Morris: The African Boy God Sent
                        Other books in this series count.
Miracles on Maple Hill – Virginia Sorenson
Mother Carey’s Chickens – Kate Douglas Wiggin
Number the Stars – Lois Lowry
The Pink Motel – Carol Ryrie Brink
Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm – Kate Wiggin
Science – John Hudson Tiner
                        Exploring Planet Earth
                        Exploring the History of Medicine
                        Exploring the World of Biology
                        Exploring the World of Chemistry
Science Fiction – Jules Verne
                        Around the World in Eighty Days
                        Master of the World
                        20,000 Leagues Under the Sea
                        A Journey to the Center of the Earth
                        The Mysterious Island
Sign of the Beaver – Elizabeth G. Speare
Star of Light – Patricia St. John
                        The Tanglewood's Secret
                        The Secret at Pheasant Cottage
                        Rainbow Garden
                        Treasures of the Snow
                        Where the River Begins
                        Three Go Searching
Theras and His Town – Caroline Dale Snedeker
The Trumpeter of Krakow – Eric P. Kelley
Understood Betsy – Dorothy Canfield Fisher
Warrior of the Son – Samuel Schiller

16 Point Books

American History – Peter Marshall
                        The Light and the Glory for Young Readers
                        From Sea to Shining Sea for Young Readers
                        Sounding the Trumpet for Young Readers
Air Raid, Pearl Harbor – Theodore Taylor
Black Horses for the King – Anne McCaffrey
Blackthorn Winter – Douglas Wilson
                        Susan Creek (sequel)
The Borrowers – Mary Norton
Caddie Woodlawn – Carol Ryrie Brink
Calico Bush – Rachel Field
The Cay – Theodore Taylor
The Chestery Oak – Kate Seredy
Chronicles of Narnia Series – C. S. Lewis
                        The Magicians Nephew
                        The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe
                        The Silver Chair
                        The Horse and His Boy
                        Prince Caspian
                        The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
Daughters of the Faith Series – Wendy Lawton
                        The Tinker’s Daughter: Mary Bunyan
                        The Captive Princess: Pocahontas
                        Ransom’s Mark: Pioneer Olive Oatman
                        Courage to Run: Harriet Tubman
                        Other books in this series count.
Favorite Dog Stories – James Herriot
God King: A Story in the Days of King Hezekiah – Joanne Williamson
The Great and Terrible Quest –  Margaret Lovett
Greek Mythology – Rosemary Sutcliff
                        Black Ships Before Troy: Iliad
                        The Wanderings of Odysseus: Odyssey
The Hawk That Dare Not Hunt Day – Scott O’Dell
Hittite Warrior – Joanne Williamson 
I Am David –  Anne Holm
Indian Captive –  Lois Lenski
Kingdom’s Dawn Series – Chuck Black
                        Kingdom’s Dawn
                        Kingdom’s Hope
                        Kingdom’s Edge
                        Kingdom’s Call
                        Other books in this series count.
The Last Sin Eater – Francine Rivers
A Little Princess –  Frances Hodgson Burnett
Missionaries (more elsewhere) 
                        Bruscho – Bruce Olsen
                        The Cross and the Switchblade – David Wilkerson
My Side of the Mountain – Jean C. George
Orphan Train Adventures – Joan Lowery Nixon
                        A Family Apart
                        Caught in the Act
                        In the face of Danger
                        A Place to Belong
                        A Dangerous Promise
                        Keeping Secrets
                        Circle of Love
The Phantom Toll Booth – Norton Juster
Rani Adventure Series – Ron Snell
                        It's a Jungle Out There!
                        Life is a Jungle
                        Jungle Calls
Rascal – Sterling North
Rachel’s Tears: The Spiritual Journey – Beth Ninmo, Darrell Scott
Same Kind of Different as Me – Ron Hall
Sarah Bishop – Scott O’Dell
Shadows on the Sea – Joan Hiatt Harlow
Shepherd of the Hills – Harold Bell Wright
The Silver Pencil – Alice Dagliesh
They Loved to Laugh – Kathryn Worth
Treasure Island – Robert Louis Stevenson
Where the Red Fern Grows –  Wilson Rawls
Wind in the Willows – Kenneth Graham 

18 Point Books

Across Five Aprils – Irene Hunt
Adam of the Road – Elizabeth Janet Gray
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn – Mark Twain
Book of Greek Myths – Ingri and Edgar Parin d'Aulaire
Big Red – Jim Kjelgoard
Calico Captive – Elizabeth G. Speare
Carry On Mr. Bowditch – Jean Lee Latham 
Crown and Covenant – Douglas Bond
                        Duncan’s War
                        King’s Arrow
                        Rebel’s Keep
Dutch Tales  – Meindert Dejong
                        Dirk’s Dog Bello
                        Far out the Long Canal
                        The Wheel on the School
The Escape – A. Vander Jagt
Fairy Tales: Original Versions (Warning – Grimm’s can be dark.)
                        Andersen’s Fairy Tales – H. C. Andersen
                        Hans Andersen’s Fairy Tales Second Series
                        Grimm’s Fairy Tales (Diversion Classics)
The Galway Chronicles – Brock and Bodie Thoene
                        Only the River Runs Free
                        Of Men and Of Angels
                        Ashes of Remembrance
                        All Rivers to the Sea
God’s Smuggler – Brother Andrew
The Golden Goblet – Eloise Jarvis McGraw
If I Perish – Esther Ahn Kim
Lad: A Dog – Albert Payson Terhune
Lassie, Come Home – Eric Knight
A Lantern in Her Hand – Beth Streeter Aldrich
Little Britches Series – Ralph Moody
                        Little Britches: Father and I Were Ranchers
                        Man of the Family
                        The Home Ranch
                        Mary Emma and Company
                        The Fields of Home
                        Other books in this series count.
Lord Peter Wimsey Mysteries – Dorothy Sayer
                        Clouds of Witnesses
                        Strong Poison
                        Unnatural Death
                        Other Sayer mysteries about this length count.
Mark of the Lion Series – Francine Rivers
                        A Voice in the Wind
                        An Echo in the Darkness
                        As Sure as the Dawn
Mara, Daughter of the Nile – Eloise Jarvis McGraw
Missionaries (others elsewhere) True story of missionary outreach to Auca Indians of Ecuador.
                        Jungle Pilot (Nate Saint) – Russell T. Hitt
                        End of the Spear – Steve Saint
                        Through the Gates of Splendor – Elizabeth Elliot
                        Shadow Almighty: The Life and Testament of Jim Elliot - Zondervan
Pilgrim’s Progress Today – Lael Arrington
The Prince and the Pauper – Mark Twain
Redwall Series – Brian Jacques
                        Other books in this series count.
Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry – M. D. Taylor
                        Let the Circle Be Unbroken (sequel)
The Roman Britain Trilogy – Rosemary Sutcliff
                        Eagle of the Ninth
                        The Silver Branch
                        The Lantern Bearers
The Secret Garden – Frances H. Burnett
The Shining Company –  Rosemary Sutcliff
Snow in the River – Carol Ryrie Brink
Stowaway –  Karen Hesse
Summer of the Monkeys – Wilson Rawls
Swift Rivers –  Cornelia Meigs
Will Rogers: A Biography – Ben Yogado
                        Never Met a Man I Didn't Like: The Life and Writings of Will Rogers – Will Rogers and Joseph Carter

20 Point Books

Alas, Babylon – Pat  Frank
Amazing Grace: William Wilberforce and the Heroic Campaign to End Slavery – Eric Metaxas
Anna and the King of Siam –  Margaret Landon
Jane Austen
                        Pride and Prejudice
Born Again – Charles Colson
Buffalo Coat – Carol Ryrie Brink
Agatha Christie
                        Murder on the Orient Express
                        And Then There Were None
                        The Murder of Roger Ackroyd
                        Other books in Hercule Poirot mysteries count.
Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court – Mark Twain
The Diary of Anne Frank – Anne Frank
Endurance: Shackleton's Incredible Voyage – Alfred Lansing
The Favorite Uncle Remus – Joel Chandler Harris
The Gift of Music: Great Composers and Their Influence – Jane Stuart Smith & Betty Carlson
Hard Times – Charles Dickens
The Hiding Place – Corrie Ten Boom
The Hobbit – J.R.R. Tolkien
How to Win Friends and Influence People – Dale Carnegie
In the Presence of My Enemies – G. Burnham
Johnny Tremain – Esther Forbes
Kidnapped – Robert Louis Stevenson
Keeper of the Bees – Gene Stratton Porter
Kon-Tiki – Thor Heyerdahl
Catherine Marshall
                        A Man Called Peter: The Story of Peter Marshall
The Phantom of the Opera – Gaston Leroux 
Gene Stratton Porter
                        Girl of the Limberlost (Sequel to Freckles)
                        The Harvester
The Ramsay Scallop – Frances Temple
Rifles for Watie – Harold Keith
Robinson Crusoe – Daniel DeFoe
Robin Hood – Roger Green
Run Baby Run: Story of NY Gang Leader – Nicky Cruz
St. Simons Trilogy - Eugenia Price
                        Historical Fiction
                        New Moon Rising
                        Beloved Invader
Dorothy L. Sayers - (Lord Peter Wimsey Mysteries 200-400 pgs.)
                        Clouds of Witnesses
                        The Five Red Herrings
                        Murder Must Advertise
                        Strong Poison
                        Other books this length can count.
The Scarlet Pimpernel – Baroness Orczy
                        The Scarlet Pimpernel
                        The Elusive Pimpernel
                        The League of the Scarlet Pimpernel
                        Sir Percy Leads the Band
                        Other books in this series count.
Sea of Glory – Ken Wales & David Poling
The Shiloh Legacy – Bodie Thoene
                        In My Father’s House
                        A Thousand Shall Fall
                        Say to This Mountain
The Story of King Arthur and His Knights – Howard Pyle
The Story of the Trapp Family Singers – Maria Augusta Trapp (Sound of Music)
Jessie Stuart Stories
                        Hie to The Hunters
                        The Thread That Runs So True
Swiss Family Robinson – Johann D. Wyss
Tales From Shakespeare – Charles Lamb
To Kill a Mocking Bird – Harper Lee
A Walk Across America – Peter Jenkins
                        The Walk West (sequel)

24 Point Books

Buffalo Bill's Life Story: An Autobiography – William F. Cody (365 pages version)
Christy – Catherine Marshall
Charles Dickens
                        Great Expectations
                        Oliver Twist
                        A Tale of Two Cities
Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte
James Herriot
                        All Creatures Great and Small
                        All Things Bright and Beautiful
                        All Things Wise and Wonderful
                        The Lord God Made Them All
Pilgrim's Progress – John Bunyan
Dorothy L. Sayers (Lord Peter Wimsey Mysteries 400-600 pgs.)
                        Busman's Honeymoon
                        Gaudy Night
                        Have His Carcase
                        The Nine Tailors
                        Other books this length count.
Irving Stone
                        The President’s Lady: Rachel and Andrew Jackson
                        Love is Eternal: Mary Todd and Abraham Lincoln
The Lord of the Rings – J.R.R. Tolkien
                        The Fellowship of the Ring
                        The Two Towers
                        The Return of the King
The Zion Chronicles – Brock & Bodie Thoene
                        The Gates of Zion
                        A Daughter of Zion
                        The Return to Zion
                        The Key to Zion
                        A Light in Zion
The Zion Covenant – Brock & Bodie Thoene
                        Vienna Prelude
                        Prague Counterpoint
                        Munich Signature
                        Jerusalem Interlude
                        Danzig Passage
                        Other books in this series count.
The Zion Legacy – Brock & Bodie Thoene
                        Jerusalem Vigil
                        Thunder from Jerusalem
                        Jerusalem’s Heart
                        The Jerusalem Scroll
                        Stones of Jerusalem
                        Jerusalem’s Hope
                        Other books in this series count.

32 Point Books

Ben Hur – Lew Wallace
Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy – Eric Metaxas
Civil War Trilogy– Jeff M. Shaara
                        The Killer Angels
                        Gods and Generals
                        The Last Full Measure
                        Alexandre Dumas 
The Count of Monte Cristo (Lowell Bair translator) – Alexandre Dumas
                        The Three Musketeers (Lowell Bair)
                        Twenty Years Later
                        Ten Years Later
                        The Man in the Iron Mask
Greek Mythology (Translated by Robert Fagles)
                        The Aeneid – Virgil
                        The Iliad – Homer
                        The Odyssey – Homer
A Lineage of Grace: Five Stories of Unlikely Women Who Changed Eternity – Francine Rivers
Lorna Doone – R. D. Blackwell
North and South – Elizabeth Gaskill
The Robe – Lloyd C. Douglas
Irving Stone
                        Men to Match My Mountains
                        Those Who Love: John and Abigail Adams