Vocabulary Lists

Literature

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  1. Space CaseStuart Gibbs
    Twelve-year-old Dash Gibson tries to solve a murder mystery on the moon base he calls home.
  2. Pay Attention, Carter JonesGary D. Schmidt
    When Mr. Bowles-Fitzpatrick, a traditional English butler, comes to live with the Jones family, he helps twelve-year-old...
  3. SlayBrittney Morris
    No one knows that seventeen-year-old Kiera Johnson is the developer behind a popular online role-playing game called...
  4. Brian's WinterGary Paulsen
    This sequel to Hatchet and The River imagines that 13-year-old Brian Robeson wasn't rescued the summer after he survived...
  5. The Mighty Heart of Sunny St. JamesAshley Herring Blake
    After a heart transplant, Sunny St. James resolves to reinvent herself — but she must navigate complicated relationships...
  6. Waiting for GodotA Tragicomedy in Two ActsSamuel Beckett
    In this classic absurdist play, Vladimir and Estragon discuss their strangely monotonous lives while they wait for...
  7. The Grace YearKim Liggett
    Tierney James and the other sixteen-year-old girls who live in Garner County must venture into the dangerous woods for...
  8. The Dragonet ProphecyWings of Fire, Book 1Tui T. Sutherland
    Five young dragons are trained to fulfill a prophecy and end the wars among the dragon tribes.
  9. Nowhere BoyKatherine Marsh
    A fourteen-year-old Syrian refugee and a lonely thirteen-year-old American boy strike up a friendship when they...
  10. Crossing the WireWill Hobbs
    A fifteen-year-old boy makes the dangerous journey from Mexico to the United States in search of work.
  11. Truly DeviousMaureen Johnson
    When Stevie Bell is admitted to the exclusive Ellingham Academy, she hopes to solve the mystery of the famous crimes...
  12. City of BonesThe Mortal Instruments, Book 1Cassandra Clare
    In the first book of The Mortal Instruments series, fifteen-year-old Clary meets the Shadowhunters, a secret group...

Literature Vocabulary Lists:

"The Palace Thief" by Ethan Canin

In this story, a classics teacher at an elite prep school must interrogate his own ethics when he suspects that one of his privileged students is cheating.
45 Words

"The New Colossus" by Emma Lazarus

Emma Lazarus, a poet and Jewish activist, wrote this poem to raise money for a pedestal for the Statue of Liberty. The poem was then inscribed on a plaque on the pedestal.
10 Words

"Easter, 1916" by W.B. Yeats

In this poem by William Butler Yeats, the speaker reflects on the failed Irish uprising against the British in 1916. Here are links to our lists for other poems by Yeats: "The Song of Wandering Aengus", "The Second Coming"
16 Words

"Death of a Naturalist" by Seamus Heaney

The speaker of this poem remembers collecting frog's eggs as a child, but is repulsed by watching frog's spawn in a rotting field in the present day.
12 Words

"The Second Coming" by W.B. Yeats

In this modernist poem, Yeats uses apocalyptic imagery to characterize the state of the world after World War I.
10 Words

"The Bells" by Edgar Allan Poe

This poem by Edgar Allan Poe is notable for its masterful use of sound effects, including onomatopoeia, alliteration, and assonance.
25 Words

"The Railway Train" by Emily Dickinson

In this poem, the speaker imagines that a railway train is a living creature. Read the full text here.
15 Words

"When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom’d" by Walt Whitman

Whitman wrote this elegy, or poem of mourning, in response to the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. Here are links to our lists for other poems by Walt Whitman: Song of Myself, O Captain! My Captain!, A Noiseless Patient Spider
35 Words

"The Raven" by Edgar Allan Poe

The speaker of this poem, who is mourning a lost love, is visited in the night by a raven who speaks a single word: "Nevermore." Read the full text here. Here are links to our lists for other works by Edgar Allan Poe: The Black Cat, The Cask of Amontillado, The Fall of the House of Usher, The Pit and the Pendulum, The Purloined Letter, The Tell-Tale Heart, The Masque of the Red Death, The Murders in the Rue Morgue
35 Words

"The Old Man and the Sea" by Ernest Hemingway

Santiago is a luckless Cuban fisherman who struggles to land a giant marlin. In spare, searing prose, Hemingway transforms the story of one man's battle with nature into a heroic ordeal. Here is a link to our lists for A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway.
50 Words

"The Yellow Wallpaper" by Charlotte Perkins Gilman

Influenced by Charlotte Perkins Gilman's personal experiences, "The Yellow Wallpaper" tells the story of a woman who is forbidden from working due to "nervous depression" and begins to obsess over the unusual wallpaper in her room.
40 Words

"There Will Come Soft Rains" by Ray Bradbury

In this short story, science fiction writer Ray Bradbury imagines an eerie, desolate world in the aftermath of a nuclear explosion. Here are links to our lists for other works by the award-winning author: Fahrenheit 451, The Martian Chronicles, A Sound of Thunder, All Summer in a Day, August 2026, Marionettes, Inc., The Black Ferris, The Drummer Boy of Shiloh, The Flying Machine, The Pedestrian, The Veldt
25 Words

"Death, be not proud" by John Donne

This poem is one of John Donne's Holy Sonnets, a series of nineteen connected poems in which Donne explores his spiritual devotion. Read the poem here. Here are links to our lists for other poems by John Donne: "The Canonization", "The Flea", "A Valediction Forbidding Mourning", "Song: Go and catch a falling star", "The Sun Rising"
14 Words

"To an Athlete Dying Young" by A. E. Housman

This poem commemorates the early death of a young athlete. The speaker notes that, because the athlete died in the prime of his life, he will always be remembered as youthful and victorious.
14 Words

"Paul Revere's Ride" by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

This narrative poem, written in a meter that recalls the sound of a galloping horse’s hooves, tells the apocryphal story of Paul Revere warning colonial Americans of a looming British invasion. Read the poem here.
25 Words

"Still I Rise" by Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou's uplifting poem affirms the power of resilience, self-love, and joy in the face of oppression. Read the poem here. Here are links to our lists for other works by Maya Angelou: I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, Pulse of Morning
16 Words

"Digging" by Seamus Heaney

After watching his father digging outside, the speaker of this poem compares his father's labor to his own work as a writer. Read the text here.
16 Words

"Ulysses" by Alfred, Lord Tennyson

In Tennyson's poem, the hero Ulysses (Odysseus) has returned from his voyages but longs for new adventures. Read the text here.
32 Words

"Morning Song" by Sylvia Plath

This poem explores the alienation that the speaker feels after the birth of her baby. Read the text here.
15 Words

"A Noiseless Patient Spider" by Walt Whitman

The speaker of this poem observes a spider using its silk to explore its surroundings and then compares his soul to the title arachnid. Read the full text of the poem here.
12 Words

"Birches" by Robert Frost

The speaker of this poem recalls his childhood pastime of climbing and swinging from birch trees. Read the poem here. Here are our lists for other poems by Robert Frost: "The Death of the Hired Man", "After Apple-Picking", "Mending Wall", "Out, Out—"
22 Words

"The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County" by Mark Twain

In this entertaining yarn, a man who loves to gamble bets that his trained frog can out-jump any other. Here are links to our lists for other works by Mark Twain: The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, The Prince and the Pauper, Life on the Mississippi, A Story Without an End
30 Words

"Because I Could Not Stop for Death" by Emily Dickinson

The speaker of Dickinson’s poem imagines riding in a carriage with Death and viewing scenes out of the window. Read the text here.
15 Words

"A Modest Proposal" by Jonathan Swift

The author of this satirical essay presents a shocking solution to the problem of poverty in Ireland. Read the full text here. Here is a link to our lists for Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift.
60 Words

"The Weary Blues" by Langston Hughes

Langston Hughes was one of the leading poets of the Harlem Renaissance. The speaker of this poem describes listening to a musician play the blues. Read the full text here.
17 Words

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