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Older Readers: Project
Montessori List for Older Readers 

1984 by George Orwell
The year is 1984; the scene is London. In a grim city and a terrifying country, where Big Brother is always Watching You and the Thought Police can practically read your mind, Winston is a man in grave danger for the simple reason that his memory still functions

20,000 Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne
Verne’s classic novel about Captain Nemo and his submarine Nautilus – classic science fiction still today!

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
An amusing, nostalgic look at boyhood on the Mississippi River in the mid-19th century, and is based on Mark Twain’s memories of his youth in the river town of Hannibal, Missouri.  Also, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

Animal Farm by George Orwell
George Orwell’s anthropomorphic fable of a workers’ revolution gone wrong…

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
“Community, Identity, Stability” is the motto of Aldous Huxley’s utopian World State. Here everyone consumes daily grams of soma, to fight depression, babies are born in laboratories, and the most popular form of entertainment is a “Feelie,” a movie that stimulates the senses of sight, hearing, and touch. Though there is no violence and everyone is provided for…

Catch-22 by Joseph L. Heller
Classic satire on the murderous insanity of war…

The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
The coming-of-age story against which all others are judged. Read and cherished by generations, the story of Holden Caulfield is truly one of America’s literary treasures…

A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
Set in a dismal dystopia, it is the first-person account of a juvenile delinquent who undergoes state-sponsored psychological rehabilitation for his aberrant behavior. The novel satirizes extreme political systems that are based on opposing models of the perfectibility or incorrigibility of humanity…

The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexander Dumas
One of the greatest thrillers of all time, The Count of Monte Cristo tells the tale of young Edmond Dantes, who, falsely accused of treason and arrested on his wedding day, escapes from prison to seek revenge on his enemies

Death of A Salesman by Arthur Miller
Described by Miller as “the tragedy of a man who gave his life, or sold it” in pursuit of the American Dream. After many years on the road as a traveling salesman, Willy Loman realizes he has been a failure as a father and husband…

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
Classic, frightening vision of the future, where firemen don’t put out fires–they start them in order to burn books. This vividly painted society holds up the appearance of happiness as the highest goal–a place where trivial information is good, and knowledge and ideas are bad…

The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams
The domineering matriarch of the Wingfield family tries to find a “gentleman caller” for her fragile daughter. This is a “memory play”; the narrator/character, Tom, continually shifts from narration to his “in scene” character…

Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
What this cautionary tale of a young man raised high above his station by a mysterious benefactor lacks in length, it more than makes up for in its remarkable characters and compelling stories…

Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift
Gulliver’s Travels describes the four fantastic voyages of Lemuel Gulliver, a kindly ship’s surgeon. Swift portrays him as an observer, a reporter, and a victim of circumstance

The Last of the Mohicans by James Fenimore Cooper
Cooper’s famous adventure brings the wilds of the American frontier and the drama of the French-Indian war to vivid life. Featuring the classic character Natty Bumppo, it is a moving, memorable depiction of courage, passion, and forbearance, and a precursor to the Western genre

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
The March family, with its four spirited daughters, succeeds in any circumstances.  Alcott’s themes of love, kindness and faith endure through the centuries

The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury
From “Rocket Summer” to “The Million-Year Picnic,” Ray Bradbury’s stories of the colonization of Mars form an eerie mesh of past and future…

Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
The tragic story, given poignancy by its objective narrative, is about the complex bond between two migrant laborers

Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens
Oliver’s stark request, “Please, sir, I want some more,” will thrill kids today as it always has, and the story of the street boy on the run, who lives with outlaws and then finds a safe home…

The Pearl by John Steinbeck
The tragic tale of how a priceless pearl brings greed, treachery and loss to a poor Mexican pearl diver, his wife and their infant son…

A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry
An African-American family is united in love and pride as they struggle to overcome poverty and harsh living conditions…

The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane
Classic tale of a young man’s coming-of-age during the American Civil War…

Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe
Crusoe has become an emblem of human survival in a lonely and hostile world…

The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
In the early days of Puritan Boston, Hester Prynne braves the stigma of adultery by wearing the embroidered scarlet “A” on her clothing…

A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…”  This classic story of feuding families set against a backdrop of London and Paris during the French Revolution reveals the author’s belief that from the ashes of the past can come the birth of a more enlightened age…

Three Musketeers by Alexander Dumas
Timeless tale of swashbuckling adventure and heroic deeds…

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Set in the small Southern town of Maycomb, Alabama, during the Depression, To Kill a Mockingbird follows three years in the life of 8-year-old Scout Finch, her brother, Jem, and their father, Atticus–three years punctuated by the arrest and eventual trial of a young black man accused of raping a white woman. Though her story explores big themes, Harper Lee chooses to tell it through the eyes of a child. The result is a tough and tender novel of race, class, justice, and the pain of growing up…


By Gary Blackwood:
     The Shakespeare Stealer tale of a 14-year-old Yorkshire orphan sent by a rival theater manager to steal the as-yet unpublished Hamlet in 1601 London “excels in the lively depictions of Elizabethan stagecraft and street life”
     Shakespeare’s Scribe
     Shakespeare’s Spy


World of Adventure series, by Gary Paulsen (chapter books to pre-teen, mostly out of stock but available used)

          Brian Robeson is at home in the Canadian wilderness. He has stood up to the challenge of surviving alone in the woods. He prefers being on his own in the natural world to civilization…

     The Legend of Red Horse Cavern

     The Treasure of El Patron

     Rodomonte’s Revenge


     Escape from Fire Mountain

     The Seventh Crystal

     The Rock Jockeys

     The Creature of Black Water Lake

     Hook ‘Em, Snotty

     Time Benders

     Danger on a Midnight River


     The Gorgon Slayer

     Thunder Valley


     Curse of the Ruins

     Project: A Perfect World

     Flight of the Hawk


Other titles by Gary Paulsen:

     Harris and Me:

post-WWII story of an 11-year-old boy sent to spend the summer on his relatives’ farm… Dogsong A fourteen-year-old Eskimo boy who feels at odds with aspects of modern life takes a 1400-mile journey by dog sled across ice, tundra, and mountains seeking his own “song” of himself.

     Canyons An Apache boy: 

takes part in his first raid–the one that will usher him into manhood. More than a hundred years later, while camping near Dog Canyon, fifteen-year-old Brennan Cole becomes obsessed with a skull that he finds, pierced by a bullet…

     The Car:

14-year-old Terry Anders is a 1990s Huck Finn, with parents as neglectful as Pap. Like Huck, he escapes, not on a raft but by constructing a kit car. Besides evoking a type of independence and tough-mindedness that will appeal to teens, this provocative novel introduces and explores some interesting philosophies of life…

     The Island:

The island is in the middle of a small lake in northern Wisconsin, uninhabited until the summer Wilstet, 15, arrives. Wil is at first drawn by the simplicity of the place, but as his concentration sharpens the island unfolds its matrix of life and death, mirroring the unfolding layers of Wil’s self-consciousness…


The Series of Unfortunate Events, by Lemony Snicket (chapter books and up)

Truth Behind A Series of Unfortunate Events: Eyeballs, Leeches, Hypnotism, and Orphans—Exploring Lemony Snicket’s World “Make no mistake. The Bad Beginning begins badly for the three Baudelaire children, and then gets worse.” A bit dark, but tons of fun, and full of great vocabulary (always explained in the text), these are the latest craze among kids from early chapter book readers to teens.  Don’t miss Lemony Snicket: The Unauthorized Autobiography

     The Bad Beginning

     The Reptile Room

     The Wide Window

     The Miserable Mill

     The Austere Academy

     The Ersatz Elevator 

     The Vile Village

     The Hostile Hospital

     The Carnivorous Carnival

     The Slippery Slope

     The Grim Grotto

     The Penultimate Peril 

     The Notorious Notations

     The Puzzling Puzzles: Bothersome Games Which Will Bother Some People

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