Have You Read?

The students in my academically talented class varied greatly in what they enjoyed

Mind Mapping

Mind Mapping (Photo credit: sirwiseowl)

reading and what they could read.  I compiled a list of these favourites to help them expand their tastes.  It gave the students a place to start if they were avid readers who just couldn’t find anything they liked.  Then I added a few for their parents.

 Have You Read?

Caveat: you may not be ready to read some of these books yet.  That’s fine.  They keep.

Map of Some of the Principal Lakes, River’s Le...

Map of Some of the Principal Lakes, River’s Leading from YF to Basquiaw (Samuel Hearne 1776) (Photo credit: Manitoba Historical Maps)

Do not read an abridged version; wait until you are ready to read the original!


Karen Armstrong at Compassionate Seattle

Karen Armstrong at Compassionate Seattle (Photo credit: Seamus Rainheart)

Twelve Steps to a Compassionate Life, Karen Armstrong (a former nun who now teaches at a college for the study of Judaism)

Buddha, Karen Armstrong

Christian Bible

Don Juan, Carlos Casteneda  (parental guidance may be necessary!)

Hebrew Bible

Screwtape Letters

Screwtape Letters (Photo credit: ckpicker)


Sophie’s World  (parental guidance may be necessary!)

The Screwtape Letters: letters from a senior devil to a younger devil, C.S. Lewis

Waiting for Godot

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

History & Biography

Anne Frank’s Diary

Anything by Antonia Fraser  (Warrior Queens, The Weaker Vessel, Mary Stuart)

Cover of "Notes from the Hyena's Belly: A...

Cover via Amazon

Karen, Marie Killilea (true story of author’s daughter w/ cerebral palsy)

Notes from the Hyena’s Belly: memories of my Ethiopian Boyhood, Nega Mezlekia

Stolen Continent, Ronald Wright  the best account I have read from the aboriginal perspective of the history of North America

The Concubine’s Children, Denise Chong

The Coppermine Journeys (Samuel Hearne’s journal) edited by Farley Mowat

The Kon-Tiki Expedition, Thor Heyerdal

West Viking, Farley Mowat

Historical Fiction

Cover of "Mr. Midshipman Easy (Signet Cla...

Cover of Mr. Midshipman Easy (Signet Classics)

Alias Grace, Margaret Atwood (parental guidance may be necessary!)

Any book from the Flashman series (parental guidance required!)

Any book from the Hornblower series

Cover of "The True Confessions of Charlot...

Cover of The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle

Mr. Midshipman Easy

Prester John, John Buchan (a former governor general)

The Daughter of Time, Josephine Tey

The Three Musketeers

The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle, Avi

Classic Children’s

Alice in Wonderland & Alice through the Looking-Glass, Lewis Carroll

Green Gables

Green Gables (Photo credit: josephleenovak)

Anne of Green Gables, L. M. Montgomery

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, J. K. Rowling

Little Women, Louisa May Alcott

Tales of Narnia, C.S. Lewis

The Jungle Book, Rudyard Kipling

The Wind in the Willows

Winnie the Pooh, A. A. Milne

Science Fiction

A Canticle for Liebowitz, Walter M. Miller

The Mule playing his Psycholyre on a paperback...

The Mule playing his Psycholyre on a paperback cover of Foundation and Empire from the 1960s (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A Wrinkle in Time, Madeleine D’Engle

Brave New World

Day of the Triffids, John Wyndham

Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde, Robert Louis Stevenson

Dragonflight, Anne McCaffrey


Earthsea triology, Ursula K. LeGuin

Ender’s Game

Farenheit 451

Foundation, Isaac Asimov

I, Robot, Isaac Asimov

Invitation to the Game, Monica Hughes

a stranger in a strange land

a stranger in a strange land (Photo credit: jorgempf)

Out of the Silent Planet trilogy, C.S. Lewis

Stranger in a Strange Land, Robert Heinlein   (parental guidance may be necessary!)

The Martian Chronicles, Ray Bradbury


Dr. Tatiana’s Sex Advice to All Creation, Olivia Judson

Rick likes "The Island of the Colour-blin...

The Island of the Colour Blind, Oliver Sacks

The Seven Daughters of Eve, Bryan Sykes

The Wealthy Barber


1984, George Orwell

A Little Princess, Frances Hodgson Burnett

Animal Farm, George Orwell

Catcher in the Rye

Gone With the Wind, Margaret Mitchell

Gormenghast trilogy, Mervyn Peake

Holes, Louis Sachar

Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain

I Never Promised You a Rose Garden

Lord of the Flies, William Golding

Lorna Doone, R. D. Blackmore

Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen

Rebecca, Daphne du Maurier

Cover of "Some of the Kinder Planets"

Cover of Some of the Kinder Planets

Silas Marner, George Elliot

Snow Falling on Cedars (parental guidance may be necessary!)

Some of the Kinder Planets, Tim Wynne-Jones

The Chosen, Chaim Potok

The Count of Monte Cristo

The Dark is Rising, Susan Cooper

The Diary of Adrian Mole, Age 13 ¾

The Dollhouse, Henrik Ibsen

The Good Earth, Pearl S. Buck

The Hobbit, Tolkein

The Life of Pi

The Lovely Bones, Alice Sebold

The Lysistrata, Aristophanes (parental guidance may be necessary!)

The Maestro, Tim Wynne-Jones

The Mill on the Floss, George Elliot

Sue Monk Kidd and Ann Kidd Taylor

Sue Monk Kidd and Ann Kidd Taylor (Photo credit: ALA – The American Library Association)

The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency

The Secret Life of Bees, Sue Monk Kidd

The Thief of Always, Clive Barker

The Warden, Anthony Trollope

To Kill a Mockingbird

Watership Down, Richard Adams

We Have Always Lived in the Castle, Shirley Jackson

For Parents:

Could Do Better: why children underachieve and what to do about it, Harvey Mandel & Sander Marcus

Descartes Error, Antonio Damasio (why I believe so strongly in the integration of intellect, emotion and character in the classroom)

How to Read a Book, Mortimer Adler & Charles Van Doren (I’m not joking – this was compulsory in my foundation course in my M. A. Ed. Program at OISE/UT and it is one of the best books I have found on reading!)

The Project Book, Hugh Robertson (almost everything your child should know about research projects from choosing a topic to presentations whether oral, written or visual.)

To Open Minds, Howard Gardner (the guru of multiple intelligences looks at art education in the USA and China – fascinating and a real eye opener – very helpful in understanding the differences between western and eastern approaches to education)

This is a sampler – I am sure you could add many more to these and have your own favourites from many of these authors.   Have fun and let me know what your favourite books are.

Isaac Asimov Quote

Isaac Asimov Quote (Photo credit: Psychology Pictures)


About Diane Scaiff

Education fascinates me as a teacher, a learner and observer. I constantly wonder why certain things work and others don't, why we are told to teach in ways that are not sound, pedagogically, when we all know better. I also wonder about the impact of teaching on teachers' lives. Does it change us? Does it affect our families? What about the effect of public perceptions of teachers and our roles in the communities? How can we be scapegoats once day and saints the next? How do we deal with this? How are students affected by these perceptions? I hope to address some of these questions and more that arise from my readers as time goes on. There may be no answers, but asking questions is important. Diane B.A. (hons), Dip R.S.A., M.A.(Ed) 25 years of teaching elementary students and adults, Qualified in ESL and adaptive education.
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