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View all Best Recommendations for Kids book lists; This list was last updated on 11/15/2012
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release date: Jan 01, 1984
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Westing Game
A Newbery Medal Winner

For over thirty-five years, Ellen Raskin's Newbery Medal-winning The Westing Game has been an enduring favorite.


This highly inventive mystery involves sixteen people who are invited to the reading of Samuel W. Westing's will. They could become millionaires-it all depends on how they play the tricky and dangerous Westing game, a game involving blizzards, burglaries, and bombings! Ellen Raskin has created a remarkable cast of characters in a puzzle-knotted, word-twisting plot filled with humor, intrigue, and suspense.

Winner of the Newbery Medal
Winner of the Boston Globe/Horn Book Award
An ALA Notable Book
School Library Journal One Hundred Books That Shaped the Century

"A supersharp mystery...confoundingly clever, and very funny." —Booklist, starred review

 

"Great fun for those who enjoy illusion, word play, or sleight of hand." —The New York Times Book Review

"A fascinating medley of word games, disguises, multiple aliases, and subterfuges—a demanding but rewarding book." —The Horn Book
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One Hundred Years of Solitude
This magical realist novel tells the history of the Buendias family, the founders of Macondo, a remote South American settlement. In the world of the novel there is a Spanish galleon beached in the jungle, a flying carpet, and an iguana in a woman's womb.
release date: Oct 01, 1996
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A Clockwork Orange
"Anthony Burgess reads chapters of his novel A Clockwork Orange with hair-raising drive and energy. Although it is a fantasy set in an Orwellian future, this is anything but a bedtime story." -The New York Times

Told by the central character, Alex, this brilliant, hilarious, and disturbing novel creates an alarming futuristic vision of violence, high technology, and authoritarianism.Anthony Burgess' 1963 classic stands alongside Orwell's 1984 and Huxley's Brave New World as a classic of twentieth century post-industrial alienation, often shocking us into a thoughtful exploration of the meaning of free will and the conflict between good and evil. In this recording, the author's voice lends an intoxicating lyrical dimension to the language he has so masterfully crafted.

"I do not know of any other writer who has done as much with language as Mr. Burgess has done [in A Clockwork Orange]." -William S. Burroughs

Recognized as one of the literary geniuses of our time, Anthony Burgess produced thirty-two novels, a volume of verse, sixteen works of nonfiction, and two plays. Originally a composer, his creative output also included countless musical compositions, including symphonies, operas, and jazz. The author's musicality is evident in the lyrical and dramatic reading he gives in this recording. Anthony Burgess died in 1993.
release date: Jan 01, 2009
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The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit
A beautiful illustrated boxed set collecting the two most popular Tolkien hardbacks -- the Centenary edition of The Lord of the Rings and the 60th Anniversary edition of The Hobbit, both illustrated by Alan Lee. Since they were first published, The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings have been two books people have treasured. Steeped in unrivalled magic and otherworldliness, these works of sweeping fantasy have touched the hearts of young and old alike. Between them, nearly 100 million copies have been sold around the world. And no editions have proved more popular than the two that were illustrated by award-winning artist, Alan Lee -- the Centenary edition of The Lord of the Rings and the 60th Anniversary edition of The Hobbit. Now, for the first time, these two beautifully illustrated hardbacks have been collected together into one deluxe boxed set. Readers will be able to follow the complete story of the Hobbits and their part in the quest for the Ring -- beginning with Bilbo's fateful visit from Gandalf and culminating in the dramatic climax between Frodo and Gollum atop Mount Doom -- while also enjoying over seventy full-page colour paintings and numerous illustrations which accompany this epic tale.
release date: Jan 01, 2006
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release date: Aug 01, 1989
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The Crucible
Note: This book is an analysis of the play only and does not include the original text of the play.

Here, especially for high school students, is an analysis and summary of Arthur Miller's famous play. Titles in the Literature Made Easy Series analyze novels and plays found in most school curricula. More than mere plot summaries, these books explain themes, analyze characters, and discuss each author's unique writing style, mastery of language, and command of his material. Books also feature "Mind Maps," diagrams that summarize a work's most important details as a way to help students focus ideas for exams and term papers.
release date: Jan 01, 1992
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Invisible Man
FOR USE IN SCHOOLS AND LIBRARIES ONLY. A black man's search for success and the American dream leads him out of college to Harlem and a growing sense of personal rejection and social invisibility.
release date: Jan 01, 2007
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release date: Jun 01, 1982
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Madame Bovary
This exquisite novel tells the story of one of the most compelling heroines in modern literature--Emma Bovary. Unhappily married to a devoted, clumsy provincial doctor, Emma revolts against the ordinariness of her life by pursuing voluptuous dreams of ecstasy and love. But her sensuous and sentimental desires lead her only to suffering corruption and downfall. A brilliant psychological portrait, Madame Bovary searingly depicts the human mind in search of transcendence. Who is Madame Bovary? Flaubert's answer to this question was superb: "Madame Bovary, c'est moi." Acclaimed as a masterpiece upon its publication in 1857, the work catapulted Flaubert to the ranks of the world's greatest novelists. This volume, with its fine translation by Lowell Bair, a perceptive introduction by Leo Bersani, and a complete supplement of essays and critical comments, is the indispensable Madame Bovary.
release date: Jan 01, 2000
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Interview with the Vampire
2 cassettes / 3 hours
Read by F. Murray Abraham
Also available on Compact Disk

Interview with the Vampire is a novel that evokes the brilliance, the decadence, the horror of The Vampire's world - as he pours out the erotically charged confessions of his first two hundred years as one of the living dead.  It is the first of the famous "Chronicles of the Vampires" by Anne Rice.

"From the beginning we are seduced, hypnotized by the voice of the vampire."
--Chicago Tribune

"A supernatural thriller raised to the level of literature."
-- Philadelphia Inquirer

"If you surrender, you will find that you have surrender to enchantment, as if in a voluptuous dream."
-- Boston Globe
release date: Jan 01, 2006
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Heart of Darkness
A ferryboat captain in search of a notorious ivory trader ventures into an African jungle, where he discovers a dark side of the human condition. In this burning indictment of colonialism, Joseph Conrad drew upon his own shipboard experiences in the region formerly known as the Belgian Congo. His novella explores the potential for evil that lurks behind the illusion of civilized restraint.
No student of modern fiction can afford to neglect Heart of Darkness or to overlook its narrative and symbolic richness, penetrating character studies, and psychological power. A definitive survey, this Dover Thrift Study Edition offers the novel's complete and unabridged text, plus a comprehensive study guide.Created to help readers gain a thorough understanding of the content and context of Heart of Darkness, the guide includes:
• Chapter-by-chapter summaries
• Explanations and discussions of the plot
• Question-and-answer sections
• Conrad biography
• List of characters and more 
release date: Jan 01, 2005
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release date: Jan 01, 2000
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Crime and Punishment
Crime and Punishment focuses on the mental anguish and moral dilemmas of Rodion Romanovich Raskolnikov, an impoverished man who formulates and executes a plan to kill an unscrupulous pawnbroker seemingly for her money, thereby solving his financial problems and at the same time, ridding the world of an evil parasite. Raskolnikov also strives to be an extraordinary being, believing that murder is permissible in pursuit of a higher purpose.
release date: Jan 01, 2008
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The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
It's 1946 and author Juliet Ashton can't think what to write next. Out of the blue, she receives a letter from Dawsey Adams of Guernsey - by chance, he's acquired a book that once belonged to her - and, spurred on by their mutual love of reading, they begin a correspondence. When Dawsey reveals that he is a member of the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, her curiosity is piqued and it's not long before she begins to hear from other members. As letters fly back and forth with stories of life in Guernsey under the German Occupation, Juliet soon realizes that the society is every bit as extraordinary as its name.
release date: Jan 01, 1998
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Pigs in Heaven
The Poisonwood Bible is a story told by the wife and four daughters of Nathan Price, a fierce evangelical Baptist who takes his family and mission to the Belgian Congo in 1959. They carry with them all they believe they will need from home, but soon find that all of it - from garden seeds to Scripture - is calamitously transformed on African soil. This tale of one family's tragic undoing and remarkable reconstruction, over the course of three decades in postcolonial Africa, is set against history's most dramatic political parables. The Poisonwood Bible dances between the darkly comic human failings and inspiring poetic justices of our times. In a compelling exploration of religion, conscience, imperialist arrogance, and the many paths to redemption, Barbara Kingsolver has brought forth her most ambitious work ever.
release date: Jan 01, 1999
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Their Eyes Are Watching God

“A deeply soulful novel that comprehends love and cruelty, and separates the big people from the small of heart, without ever losing sympathy for those unfortunates who don't know how to live properly.” —Zadie Smith

One of the most important and enduring books of the twentieth century, Their Eyes Were Watching God brings to life a Southern love story with the wit and pathos found only in the writing of Zora Neale Hurston. Out of print for almost thirty years—due largely to initial audiences' rejection of its strong black female protagonist—Hurston's classic has since its 1978 reissue become perhaps the most widely read and highly acclaimed novel in the canon of African-American literature.

release date: Jan 01, 2003
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Five People You Meet in Heaven
THE FIVE PEOPLE YOU MEET IN HEAVEN is a wonderfully moving fable that addresses the meaning of life, and life after death, in the poignant way that made TUESDAYS WITH MORRIE such an astonishing book. The protagonist is an elderly amusement park maintenance worker named Eddie who, while operating a ride called the 'Free Fall', dies while trying to save a young girl who gets in the way of a falling cart that hurtles to earth. Eddie goes to heaven, where he meets five people who were unexpectedly instrumental in some way in his life. While each guide takes him through heaven, Eddie learns a little bit more about what his time on earth meant, what he was supposed to have learned, and what his true purpose on earth was. Throughout there are dramatic flashbacks where we see scenes from his troubled childhood, his years in the army in the Philippines jungle, and with his first and only love, his wife Marguerite. THE FIVE PEOPLE YOU MEET IN HEAVEN is the perfect follow up to TUESDAYS WITH MORRIE. Its compellingly affecting themes and lyrical telling will fascinate Mitch Albom's huge readership.
release date: Jan 01, 2009
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Things Fall Apart
First published in 1958, this is the story of a strong man whose life is dominated by fear and anger. It is also a social document, recounting the impact of colonialism and Christianity on the life of an African tribe - the Ibo - in turn-of-the-century Nigeria.
release date: Feb 01, 1999
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Old Man and the Sea
Set in the Gulf Stream off the coast of Havana, Hemingway's magnificent fable is the tale of an old man, a young boy and a giant fish. This story of heroic endeavour won Hemingway the Nobel Prize for Literature. It stands as a unique and timeless vision of the beauty and grief of man's challenge to the elements.
release date: Jan 01, 2011
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The Call of the Wild
First published in 1903, The Call of the Wild is regarded as Jack London's masterpiece. Based on London's experiences as a gold prospector in the Canadian wilderness and his ideas about nature and the struggle for existence, The Call of the Wild is a tale about unbreakable spirit and the fight for survival in the frozen Alaskan Klondike.
release date: Dec 31, 2002
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One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
Ken Kesey's counterculture classic

Boisterous, ribald, and ultimately shattering, Ken Kesey's One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest is the seminal novel of the 1960s that has left an indelible mark on the literature of our time. Here is the unforgettable story of a mental ward and its inhabitants, especially the tyrannical Big Nurse Ratched and Randle Patrick McMurphy, the brawling, fun-loving new inmate who resolves to oppose her. We see the struggle through the eyes of Chief Bromden, the seemingly mute half-Indian patient who witnesses and understands McMurphy's heroic attempt to do battle with the awesome powers that keep them all imprisoned.

This edition includes a new foreword by Kesey, a new text introduction by Robert Faggen, and line drawings the author made when writing the book, many never before published.

For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.

release date: Jan 01, 2009
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Eclipse
The #1 New York Times bestseller is available for the first time in a mass market paperback edition, featuring a striking movie tie-in cover.

Readers captivated by Twilight and New Moon will eagerly devour the paperback edition Eclipse, the third book in Stephenie Meyer's riveting vampire love saga. As Seattle is ravaged by a string of mysterious killings and a malicious vampire continues her quest for revenge, Bella once again finds herself surrounded by danger. In the midst of it all, she is forced to choose between her love for Edward and her friendship with Jacob --- knowing that her decision has the potential to ignite the ageless struggle between vampire and werewolf. With her graduation quickly approaching, Bella has one more decision to make: life or death. But which is which?
release date: Apr 26, 2005
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Eragon
Perfect for fans of Lord of the Rings, the New York Times bestselling Inheritance Cycle about the dragon rider Eragon has sold over 35 million copies and is an international fantasy sensation.


Fifteen-year-old Eragon believes that he is merely a poor farm boy—until his destiny as a Dragon Rider is revealed. Gifted with only an ancient sword, a loyal dragon, and sage advice from an old storyteller, Eragon is soon swept into a dangerous tapestry of magic, glory, and power. Now his choices could save—or destroy—the Empire.

A New York Times Bestseller

A USA Today Bestseller

A Wall Street Journal Bestseller

A Book Sense Bestseller
release date: Jan 01, 2006
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Water for Elephants
When Jacob Jankowski, recently orphaned and suddenly adrift, jumps onto a passing train, he enters a world of freaks, grifters, and misfits - the Benzini Brothers Most Spectacular Show on Earth - a second-rate travelling circus struggling to survive during the Great Depression, making one-night stands in town after endless town. Jacob, a veterinary student who almost earned his degree, is put in charge of caring for the circus menagerie. It is there that he meets Marlena, the beautiful young star of the equestrian act, who is married to August, the charismatic but twisted animal trainer. He also meets Rosie, an elephant who seems untrainable until he discovers a way to reach her. Water for Elephants is illuminated by a wonderful sense of time and place. It tells a story of a love between two people that overcomes incredible odds in a world in which even love is a luxury that few can afford. Water for Elephants was a major movie starring Robert Pattinson and Reese Witherspoon.
release date: Jan 01, 1994
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Frankenstein
"I saw the pale student of unhallowed arts kneeling beside the thing he had put together. I saw the hideous phantasm of a man stretched out, and then, on the working of some powerful engine, show signs of life and stir with an uneasy, half-vital motion." A summer evening's ghost stories, lonely insomnia in a moonlit Alpine's room, and a runaway imagination--fired by philosophical discussions with Lord Byron and Percy Bysshe Shelley about science, galvanism, and the origins of life--conspired to produce for Marry Shelley this haunting night specter. By morning, it had become the germ of her Romantic masterpiece, Frankenstein.

Written in 1816 when she was only nineteen, Mary Shelley's novel of "The Modern Prometheus" chillingly dramatized the dangerous potential of life begotten upon a laboratory table. A frightening creation myth for our own time, Frankenstein remains one of the greatest horror stories ever written and is an undisputed classic of its kind.


From the Paperback edition.
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Stranger
Get your "A" in gear!

They're today's most popular study guides-with everything you need to succeed in school. Written by Harvard students for students, since its inception SparkNotes™ has developed a loyal community of dedicated users and become a major education brand. Consumer demand has been so strong that the guides have expanded to over 150 titles. SparkNotes'™ motto is Smarter, Better, Faster because:

· They feature the most current ideas and themes, written by experts.
· They're easier to understand, because the same people who use them have also written them.
· The clear writing style and edited content enables students to read through the material quickly, saving valuable time.

And with everything covered--context; plot overview; character lists; themes, motifs, and symbols; summary and analysis, key facts; study questions and essay topics; and reviews and resources--you don't have to go anywhere else!



release date: Jan 01, 2000
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Canterbury Tales
In this, Chaucer's finest work, the poet tells of meeting at the Tabard Inn with thirty others to make the usual April pilgrimage to Becket's shrine at Canterbury. He describes his companions, who are of widely varying classes and occupations.
release date: Jan 01, 2006
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The Book Thief
The extraordinary #1 New York Times bestseller that is now a major motion picture, Markus Zusak's unforgettable story is about the ability of books to feed the soul.

It is 1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier, and will become busier still.

Liesel Meminger is a foster girl living outside of Munich, who scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can't resist–books. With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, she learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement.

In superbly crafted writing that burns with intensity, award-winning author Markus Zusak, author of I Am the Messenger, has given us one of the most enduring stories of our time.
release date: Jan 01, 2001
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The Alchemist

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho continues to change the lives of its readers forever. With more than two million copies sold around the world, The Alchemist has established itself as a modern classic, universally admired.

Paulo Coelho's masterpiece tells the magical story of Santiago, an Andalusian shepherd boy who yearns to travel in search of a worldly treasure as extravagant as any ever found.

The story of the treasures Santiago finds along the way teaches us, as only a few stories can, about the essential wisdom of listening to our hearts, learning to read the omens strewn along life's path, and, above all, following our dreams.

release date: Jan 01, 2008
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The Shack
Mackenzie Allen Phillips's youngest daughter, Missy, has been abducted during a family vacation, and evidence that she may have been brutally murdered is found in an abandoned shack deep in the Oregon wilderness. Four years later, in this midst of his great sadness, Mack receives a suspicious note, apparently from God, inviting him back to that shack for a weekend. Against his better judgment he arrives at the shack on wintry afternoon and walks back into his darkest nightmare. What he finds there will change his life forever.
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