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The Best Books for Grades 9-12

See the books that teachers of grades 9-12 say are must-haves for your classroom library.


WeAreTeachers recently polled over 200 teachers about the best books in their classroom libraries, from their favorite read alouds and fiction books to the top science, humor and poetry. Here’s what teachers of grades 9-12 had to say:

Top Realistic Fiction
  1. The Great Gatsby
    Written by F. Scott Fitzgerald. $7.70
  2. Of Mice and Men
    Written by John Steinbeck. $8.95
  3. To Kill a Mockingbird
    Written by Harper Lee. $9.66
  4. Speak
    Written by Laurie Halse Anderson. $8.48

Also recommended:
  • Sold
    Written by Patricia McCormick. $7.88
  • The Book Thief
    Written by Markus Zusak. $7.34
  • The Help
    Written by Kathryn Stockett. $12.09

Top Mystery Books
  1. And Then There Were None
    Written by Agatha Christie. $10.22
  2. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
    Written by Mark Haddon. $11.94
  3. The Maltese Falcon
    Written by Dashiell Hammett. $10.78
  4. Rebecca
    Written by Daphne du Maurier. $12.08

Also recommended:
Top Fantasy and Science Fiction Books
  1. The Hobbit
    Written by J.R.R. Tolkien. $8.49
  2. The Hunger Games (Series)
    Written by Suzanne Collins. $5.64
  3. The Lord of the Rings (Series)
    Written by J.R.R. Tolkien. $14.28
  4. Fahrenheit 451
    Written by Ray Bradbury. $7.90

Also recommended:
Top Historical Fiction Books
  1. The Book Thief
    Written by Markus Zusak. $7.34
  2. The Things They Carried
    Written by Tim O’Brien. $8.97
  3. The Great Gatsby
    Written by F. Scott Fitzgerald. $7.70

Also recommended:
Top Biographies
  1. Night
    Written by Elie Wiesel. $5.97
  2. The Glass Castle
    Written by Jeannette Walls. $20.82
  3. Tuesdays With Morrie
    Written by Mitch Albom. $9.66
  4. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
    Written by Maya Angelou. $11.38

Also recommended:
Top Science Books
  1. Stiff
    Written by Mary Roach. $10.86
  2. Jurassic Park
    Written by Michael Crichton. $4.50
  3. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
    Written by Rebecca Skloot. $9.60

Also recommended:
Top History Books
  1. The Things They Carried
    Written by Tim O’Brien. $8.97
  2. Night
    Written by Elie Wiesel. $5.97
  3. The Devil in the White City
    Written by Erik Larson. $8.97

Also recommended:
Top Poetry Books
  1. Sound and Sense
    Edited by Laurence Perrine and Thomas R. Arp. $34.79
  2. Carver: A Life In Poems
    Written by Marilyn Nelson. $14
  3. Poetry 180
    Edited by Billy Collins. $11.49

Also recommended:
Top Humor Books
  1. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian
    Written by Sherman Alexie, illustrated by Ellen Forney. $11.49
  2. A Walk in the Woods
    Written by Bill Bryson. $12.67
  3. Me Talk Pretty One Day
    Written by David Sedaris. $11.46

Also recommended:
Top Drama Books
  1. The Crucible
    Written by Arthur Miller. $7.29
  2. Hamlet
    Written by William Shakespeare. $5.39
  3. Romeo and Juliet
    Written by William Shakespeare. $1.35

Also recommended:
Top Reference Books
  1. Guinness World Records 2014
    Edited by Guinness World Records. $10.86
  2. The Elements of Style
    Written by William Strunk Jr. and E.B. White. $6.66
  3. Shorter Oxford English Dictionary
    Edited by William R. Trumble. $86.30

Also recommended:
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