"Red Scarf Girl," Vocabulary from Prologue-Writing Da-zi-bao

Born in Shanghai on Chinese New Year, Ji-li Jiang was given a name of luck and beauty, with hopes that she would become the happiest girl in the world. And she was, until sixth grade. That year, 1966, the Cultural Revolution started. The red scarf Young Pioneer who was the Student Council President soon found her family being persecuted because her grandfather was a landlord. Here are links to our lists for the memoir: Prologue-Writing Da-zi-bao, Red Successors-The Sound of Drums and Gongs, The Propaganda Wall-Fate, Junior High School at Last-Half-City Jiangs, The Class Education Exhibition-Epilogue
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"Grendel," Vocabulary from Chapters 1-4

Inspired by the Old English epic poem about Beowulf and a love-hate relationship with the philosophy and writing style of the French existentialist Jean-Paul Sartre, American author John Gardner sets out to capture the main ideas of Western civilization. See what you can learn from the perspective of a lonely, misunderstood creature who aches to rise above the cursed life he was born into. Here are links to our lists for the novel: Chapters 1-4, Chapters 5-7, Chapters 8-12
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"The Return of the Native," Vocabulary from Book One

For nineteenth-century British publishers, the themes that Thomas Hardy wrote about were too hot to handle. But this might be exactly why they caught the heart of the twentieth-century American character Holden Caulfield. Originally modeled on the format of Greek tragedies, but expanded to include a happy ending, the novel has six parts: The Three Women, The Arrival, The Fascination, The Closed Door, The Discovery, and Aftercourses. Check out this list to find out more about why readers will keep returning to this tale. Here are links to our lists for the novel: Book One, Book Two, Book Three, Book Four, Book Five, Book Six Here is a link to the full text: The Return of the Native
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"Fever 1793," Vocabulary from Chapters 1-6

During the summer of 1793, Philadelphia was the capital of the United States, but this did not stop mosquitoes from swarming the city, spreading yellow fever, and killing 5,000 residents. Through the perspective of a 16-year-old character, Laurie Halse Anderson takes the readers into this historical time when dreams of getting rich and traveling to France are replaced with a nightmarish struggle to survive. Here are links to our lists for the novel: Chapters 1-6, Chapters 7-13, Chapters 14-19, Chapters 20-24, Chapter 25-Epilogue
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Svetlana Alexievich wins the Nobel Prize for Literature

Svetlana Alexievich, from Belarus, was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature on October 8, 2015. Alexievich, a journalist, specializes in compiling oral histories of major events in Russian history, including the female experience in World War II, the war with Afghanistan, and the nuclear disaster at Chernobyl. The latter collection of interviews is the source of the vivid quotes below. Alexievich draws out details from her interview subjects that were kept hidden from the world at the time of the disaster and also gives her subjects room to express the emotional impact of the tragedy.
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"Harriet Tubman," Vocabulary from Chapters 1-6

Her basket name was Minty, but she grew up to be known as "Moses of her people" and "Conductor on the Underground Railroad." Ann Petry focuses on describing the woman who secretly led slaves to the North, but also gives glimpses of the cook, nurse, scout, and spy who worked for the Union army to bring about constitutional freedom. Learn this list to find out more about the personal and historic life of Harriet Tubman. Here are links to our lists for the biography: Chapters 1-6, Chapters 7-12, Chapters 13-18, Chapters 19-22
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"The Old Man and the Sea," Vocabulary from the novella

A 1953 Pulitzer Prize winner, which contributed to the Nobel committee recognizing Ernest Hemingway for all his literary works the following year, this short novel is focused on the age-old conflict between man and nature. The old man is Santiago, and the sea is just one part of nature that he fights against in order to survive. Fish for more clues in this list. Here is a link to our lists for another novel by the award-winning author: A Farewell to Arms
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"Twelve Angry Men," Vocabulary from Act 1

Most people try to get out of jury duty. A veteran of World War II, Reginald Rose served and found the experience so inspiring that he had to write about it. The script started out as a television drama, before being adapted for the stage and revised into an Oscar-nominated film. Later versions and spoofs of the 1954 play have included women, witches, cartoon characters, Muppets, and an odd couple. Consider the words in this list to come up with your verdict on their power. Here are links to our lists for the play: Act 1, Act 2
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"Where the Red Fern Grows," Vocabulary from Chapters 1 - 9

Most people can remember a time when they went through a stage of puppy love. For Billy Colman, it started when he was ten years old and turned into a lifelong tenderness towards dogs. Determined to own not just one, but two coonhounds, Billy works odd jobs for two years to save up the money, travels through the hills to pick them up at the station, and cuts down an enormous tree to keep his promise to Old Dan and Little Ann. The meaning of the title might break your heart, at the same time that it soothed Billy's, but if the author Wilson Rawls had his way, he would have kept "The Hounds of Youth." As you learn this list, hunt for words that capture the spirit of the Ozarks. Here are links to our lists for the novel: Chapters 1-9, Chapters 10-13, Chapters 14-20
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"The Blood of Olympus," Vocabulary from Chapters 1-8

"Seven half-bloods shall answer the call, To storm or fire the world must fall. An oath to keep with a final breath, And foes bear arms to the Doors of Death." Spoken by the Oracle of Delphi in "The Last Olympian" (the last book in the prequel pentalogy by Rick Riordan), this prophecy is developed in the tenth book about the sons and daughters of Greek and Roman gods. No longer on separate quests to retrieve magical objects or rescue gods, the demigods must now unite to defeat the giants and prevent Gaia from rising and destroying the earth. Here are links to our lists for Book 5 of "The Heroes of Olympus" series: Chapters 1-8, Chapters 9-20, Chapters 21-32, Chapters 33-44, Chapters 45-58 Here is a link to our lists for Book 1 of the "Percy Jackson and the Olympians" series: The Lightning Thief
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"Go Set a Watchman," Vocabulary from Part 1

Published 55 years later, with more of a focus on the voice of twenty-six-year-old Jean Louise than six-year-old Scout, this can be read as a sequel. But that would not be true to the intentions of the author. Struggling to reconcile her Southern background with the civil rights issues that were boiling the 1950s, Harper Lee developed this conflict through a fictional counterpart. However, her editor was more impressed with the flashback scenes and suggested a rewrite. Thus, "Go Set a Watchman" is actually a first draft. As you read this list, be on the watch for images and tones that set up the later characterizations and themes of the Pulitzer Prize-winning "To Kill a Mockingbird." Here are links to our lists for the novel: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7 Click here for our lists for To Kill A Mockingbird
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"The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe," Vocabulary from Chapters 1-4

If the title were rearranged to show the order in which each appears, it would be "The Wardrobe, the Witch and the Lion." If readers want to journey in chronological order, they should meet a magician's nephew before the four Pevensie children. But C. S. Lewis did not create the fantastical world of Narnia to follow the same order as mid-twentieth century London. Step into this list to lose track of reality and time. Here are links to our lists for Book 2 of "The Chronicles of Narnia": Chapters 1-4, Chapters 5-8, Chapters 9-12, Chapters 13-17 Here are links to our lists for other books about Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, Prince Caspian, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
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"Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire," Vocabulary from Chapters 1-9

While writing this biggest of the first four novels about the British wizard, J. K. Rowling struggled with the title. At first, it was "Harry Potter and the Doomspell Tournament." Then the central conflict was renamed to the alliterative "Triwizard Tournament." If the author had her own Goblet of Fire, it might have made the choice for her. But as most students at Hogwarts know, magic does not make life easier. So Muggle, learn this list so that you would not be doomed to misspell. Here are links to our lists for Book 4 of the series: Chapters 1-9, Chapters 10-17, Chapters 18-23, Chapters 24-29, Chapters 30-37 Here is a link to our lists for Book 1 of the series: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
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"Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets," Vocabulary from Chapters 1-5

Despite nearly flying off the handle in a Quidditch match, battling a troll in the toilet, and waking up in the hospital, Harry can't wait to get back to school. In her second book, J. K. Rowling takes readers through Harry's second year at Hogwarts. Enemies of spoilers, beware. This list reveals secrets that will slither into your soul. Here are links to our lists for Book 2 of the series: Chapters 1-5, Chapters 6-10, Chapters 11-14, Chapters 15-18 Here are links to our lists for other books of the series: The Sorcerer's Stone, The Chamber of Secrets, The Goblet of Fire
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"The Alchemist," Vocabulary from the Foreword-Section 4

"When you really want something to happen, the whole universe conspires so that your wish comes true." This theme is in the hearts of the characters created by the Brazilian author Paulo Coelho, and it has resonated with readers in more than sixty languages around the world. Be transformed by the treasures in this list. Here are links to our lists for the novel: Foreword-Section 4, Sections 5-8, Section 9-Epilogue
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Persepolis: "The Veil" through "Moscow"

Persepolis is the true story of one girl's childhood during the Iranian revolution of the late 1970s and early 1980s. A precocious child tries to come to grips with complex political theory while the brutal consequences of that theory become all-too real right outside her door. Filled with harrowing detail, Marjane Satrapi's graphic novel is also filled with humor and an abiding sense of the love she got from her family, despite or perhaps because of, their struggles. Vocabulary from the chapters "The Veil" through "Moscow" is below. Find vocabulary for the chapters "The Sheep" through "The Wine" here and vocabulary for the chapters "The Cigarette" through "The Dowry" here.
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"The Maze Runner," Vocabulary from Chapters 1-13

"WICKED is good." This is just one of the strange realities that Thomas faces when he is mysteriously transported to a new life in the Glade. Work your way through this list to make sense of the world created by James Dashner. This list focuses on confusion. Here are links to our lists for Book 1 of the series: Chapters 1-13, Chapters 14-26, Chapters 27-40, Chapters 41-53, Chapter 54-Epilogue
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"The Devil's Arithmetic," Vocabulary from Chapters 1-6

When 12-year-old Hannah symbolically opens the door for Elijah during a Passover Seder in 1980s New York, she is transported back forty years to Poland. Forced into a concentration camp, Hannah struggles to live up to her names, both the palindrome and Chaya, which connects her more closely to her Jewish family and heritage. Whether or not she survives will partly be determined by the devilish arithmetic that the Nazis used to keep track of their prisoners. With the help of Jane Yolen, add this list of words to your vocabulary to fight the evils of indifference and ignorance. Here are links to our lists for the novel: Chapters 1-6, Chapters 7-12, Chapter 13-Epilogue
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"American Born Chinese," Vocabulary from the graphic novel

A lonely boy who just wants to fit in, a teenager who is ashamed of his family, and a monkey who wants to be a god—these three characters do not appear to have much in common, but their fates end up being intertwined in a graphic novel that crosses the boundaries of cultures, species, and time. This list can help you visualize some of the images developed by the award-winning writer and artist Gene Luen Yang.
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"Frightful's Mountain," Vocabulary from the Foreword–"Frightful Peregrinates"

"Frightful" is usually an adjective, but to Jean Craighead George and her character Sam, it is a proper noun. When Sam came up with the name for his peregrine falcon, he was focused on the frightful difficulties in getting the nestling away from its mother. Now, Frightful is on her own in the wilderness. Look out for dangers and traps in this list. Here are links to our lists for the novel: Foreword-Frightful Peregrinates, Frightful Finds the Enemy-There are Eggs and Trouble, The Kids are Heard-A Pal Finds a Pal, Frightful and Oksi Run the Show-Afterword Here are links to our lists for the trilogy: My Side of the Mountain, On the Far Side of the Mountain, Frightful's Mountain
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"Friday Night Lights," Vocabulary from the Prologue-Preseason

Odessa, Texas is a town in the middle of a desert that Newsweek once nicknamed "Murder Capital U.S.A." It used to be oil-rich, but when that boom ended, energies were pumped into its high school football team. Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist H.G. Bissinger spent a season observing how the focus on Friday night games both positively and negatively affected the daily lives and futures of the players, coaches, families, and other residents. Practice this list to boost your score. Here are links to our lists for the nonfiction narrative subtitled "A Town, a Team, and a Dream": Prologue-Preseason, The Season, Push for the Playoffs, Postseason-Epilogue
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"My Side of the Mountain," Vocabulary from the Preface-"I Meet One of My Own Kind"

Her first pet was a turkey vulture. Her children had nearly two hundred pets ranging from owls to tarantulas. This love of nature inspired Jean Craighead George to develop a story about a 12-year-old boy who decides to run away from his overcrowded home in New York City to live in the Catskill Mountains. Practice this list to find out what Sam learned, from books, animals, people, and his own experiences, about surviving in the wilderness. Here are links to our lists for the novel: Preface-I Meet One of My Own Kind, The King's Provider-I Find a Real Live Man, The Autumn Provides Food and Loneliness-I Learn about Birds and People, I Have a Good Look at Winter-The City Comes to Me Here are links to our lists for the trilogy: My Side of the Mountain, On the Far Side of the Mountain, Frightful's Mountain
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"On the Far Side of the Mountain," Vocabulary from "A Storm Breaks"-"A Trade Comes My Way"

Jean Craighead George did not intend to write a sequel for "My Side of the Mountain." But thirty years of begging from fans brought Sam Gribley back. Now a teenager, Sam is joined by his younger sister Alice, who lives in a nearby tree house. When she suddenly disappears and his falcon is confiscated, Sam travels to the far side of the mountain. Search this list for clues to what he finds. Here are links to our lists for the novel: A Storm Breaks-A Trade Comes My Way, I Go Backwards in Order to Go Forwards-Zella Makes Sense, I Learn to Think Like a Pig-I Get News of Alice, The Dawn Breaks over Me-A Bird Talks to Me Here are links to our lists for the trilogy: My Side of the Mountain, On the Far Side of the Mountain, Frightful's Mountain
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"Paper Towns," Vocabulary from Part 1

In Orlando, Florida, magical wonders attract families of tourists. But as young children living in a nearby subdivision, Margo and Quentin discover the corpse of a neighbor. As teenagers, Quentin obsesses about a future with Margo, while Margo enlists Quentin's help to get revenge on everyone who has hurt her in the past four years. Step into this list to see how John Green, through his settings and characters, develops the tension between happy dreams and darker realities. Here are links to our lists for the novel: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3
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"I Am Malala," Vocabulary from the Prologue-Part One

Her full name is Malala Yousafzai. She was a girl just like any other, until the Taliban took control of her hometown in Pakistan. Then, she became the girl who "stood up for education and changed the world." Learn this list of words that the youngest Nobel Peace Prize laureate risked her life to share with you. This list focuses on freedoms. Here are links to our lists for the Young Readers Edition of the memoir written with Patricia McCormick: Prologue-Part One, Part Two, Part Three, Part Four, Part Five-Epilogue
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