Vocabulary Lists

Literature

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  1. Anya and the NightingaleSofiya Pasternack
    Anya, Ivan, and the magical dragon set out on a mission to bring Anya's father home from war, but during their journey,...
  2. Anya and the DragonSofiya Pasternack
    While trying to capture a dragon to collect a reward and save her family's home, eleven-year-old Anya discovers that the...
  3. A Kind of SparkElle McNicoll
    After hearing a story about women in her Scottish village being tried as witches during the 16th century,...
  4. KaleidoscopeBrian Selznick
    Through an intricate series of short stories that span time and space, a young boy grieves over the death of his best...
  5. City of the Plague GodSarwat Chadda
    Thirteen-year-old Sikander Aziz must join forces with the legendary hero Gilgamesh to stop an ancient god from...
  6. Dog SquadChris Grabenstein
    Fred is your average, lovable dog who looks like his favorite hero, Duke, on the crime-fighting hit show Dog Squad. When...
  7. I, ClaudiaMary McCoy
    Based loosely on the classic I, Claudius by Robert Graves, this novel follows Claudia McCarthy's rise to power...
  8. The Tombs of AtuanUrsula K. Le Guin
    After wizard Ged Sparrowhawk arrives at the Tombs of Atuan to steal an ancient treasure, he meets Tenar, a young girl...
  9. Full of BeansJennifer L. Holm
    After taking a new job to help out his family during the Great Depression, ten-year-old Beans Curry learns that some...
  10. SeraphinaRachel Hartman
    After a member of the royal court is murdered, half-dragon musical prodigy Seraphina gets drawn into the investigation...
  11. Justin Morgan Had a HorseMarguerite Henry
    After Justin Morgan brings home a small colt named Little Bubb, his student Joel Goss trains the horse to become a...
  12. Each Little Bird That SingsDeborah Wiles
    Although ten-year-old Comfort Snowberger grew up in a family that runs a funeral parlor, she must learn to confront the...

Literature Vocabulary Lists:

"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

"The Hill We Climb," by Amanda Gorman

22-year-old Amanda Gorman became the youngest inaugural poet in American history when she read her poem "The Hill We Climb" at President Biden's inauguration on January 20, 2021. The poem conveys both optimism and realism, referring to the progress that the U.S. has made as a nation, and the work that remains to be done.
20 Words

"The Overcoat" by Nikolai Gogol

In this classic Russian short story, a low-level bureaucrat's life is upended when he attempts to purchase a new overcoat. Learn these words from the translation by Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky.
35 Words

"St. Lucy's Home for Girls Raised by Wolves" by Karen Russell

In this short story, the narrator and other girls raised by wolves try to adapt to life in human society.
45 Words

"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

"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

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