Vocabulary Lists

Literature

"The Sound and the Fury" by William Faulkner, List 1: April Seventh, 1928

A fragmented history of the Compson family, this novel plays with language, chronology, and perspective. Here are links to our lists for the novel: April Seventh, 1928; June Second, 1910; April Sixth, 1928; April Eighth, 1928 Here are links to our lists for other works by William Faulkner: A Rose for Emily, Absalom, Absalom!, As I Lay Dying
30 Words

"Lucky Broken Girl" by Ruth Behar, Parts I and II

Recent immigrants from Cuba, Ruthie and her family are just learning to adjust to life in New York City when Ruthie is severely injured in a car accident. This novel, based in part on the author's childhood experiences, won the 2018 Pura Belpré Award. Here are links to our lists for the novel: Parts I and II, Part III, Parts IV and V
40 Words

"When I Was the Greatest" by Jason Reynolds, Chapters 1–3

In his debut novel, award-winning writer Jason Reynolds tells the story of Ali, a teenager who tries to stay out of trouble in his gritty Brooklyn neighborhood. But when one of his friends is attacked, Ali is drawn into a real fight – with real consequences. Here are links to our lists for the novel: Chapters 1–3, Chapters 4–6, Chapters 7–9, Chapters 10–12, Chapters 13–16 Here are links to our lists for other books by Jason Reynolds: All American Boys, The Boy in the Black Suit, Long Way Down, Ghost, Patina
30 Words

"The Cuckoo's Calling" by Robert Galbraith, List 1

In this mystery by Robert Galbraith (a pen name for J.K. Rowling), detective Cormoran Strike investigates the suspicious death of a supermodel. This list includes vocabulary from the Prologue and Part One. Here are links to our lists for the novel: List 1, List 2, List 3, List 4, List 5, List 6
40 Words

"Dread Nation" by Justina Ireland, Prologue–Chapter 4

The American Civil War ends abruptly when fallen soldiers begin to rise from the dead and attack the living. Like many Native American and African American children, Jane is conscripted into a combat school to learn to fight these so-called "shamblers." But when Jane heads to the West to search for a missing girl, she encounters dangers even more perilous than zombies. Here are links to our lists for the novel: Prologue–Chapter 4, Chapters 5–9, Chapters 10–15, Chapters 16–23, Chapters 24–29, Chapters 30–38
35 Words

"Frankenstein" by Mary Shelley, Letter 1–Chapter 4

In this groundbreaking novel, Dr. Victor Frankenstein works feverishly to bring an inanimate creature to life — but when he finally succeeds, he is horrified by what he has unleashed. Read the full text here. Here are links to our lists for the novel: Letter 1–Chapter 4, Chapters 5–9, Chapters 10–14, Chapters 15–19, Chapters 20–24
30 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

"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 poem here.
35 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

"Ready Player One" by Ernest Cline, Chapters 0027-0039

In this science fiction novel, gamer Wade Watts goes on a quest for riches in a virtual reality simulation called the OASIS. To find the prize hidden by the eccentric creator of the OASIS, Wade must solve a series of puzzles based on 80s pop culture. Here are links to our lists for the novel: Chapters 0000-0002, Chapters 0003-0008, Chapters 0009-0017, Chapters 0018-0026, Chapters 0027-0039
45 Words

"Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda" by Becky Albertalli, Chapters 1-7

In this funny and heartwarming novel, sixteen-year-old Simon Spier finds himself in the middle of a real-life drama when a classmate threatens to expose his secrets. Learn these words from Becky Albertalli's award-winning debut. Here are links to our lists for the novel: Chapters 1-7, Chapters 8-14, Chapters 15-21, Chapters 22-28, Chapters 29-35 Here is a link to our lists for Leah on the Offbeat by Becky Albertalli.
35 Words

"Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" by Lewis Carroll, Chapters 1–3

Alice falls asleep in a meadow and wakes in a surreal world inhabited by characters such as the White Rabbit, the Red Queen, and the Cheshire Cat. Learn these words from Lewis Carroll's delightful and witty novel. Here are links to our lists for the novel: Chapters 1–3, Chapters 4–8, Chapters 9–12 Here is a link to our lists for Through the Looking-Glass by Lewis Carroll.
35 Words

"A Wrinkle in Time" by Madeleine L'Engle, Chapters 1-3

Madeleine L'Engle's classic novel details the adventures of the precocious Murry children as they travel across space and time to track down their missing father. Here are links to our lists for the novel: Chapters 1-3, Chapters 4-6, Chapters 7-9, Chapters 10-12
25 Words

"The Hunger Games" by Suzanne Collins, Chapters 20-27

Katniss Everdeen must fight for her life in a televised survival competition. Learn these words from the first book of Suzanne Collins's dystopian trilogy. Here are links to our lists for the novel: Chapters 1-6, Chapters 7-12, Chapters 13-19, Chapters 20-27 Here are links to our lists for other books by Suzanne Collins: Catching Fire, Mockingjay
40 Words

"The Hunger Games" by Suzanne Collins, Chapters 13-19

Katniss Everdeen must fight for her life in a televised survival competition. Learn these words from the first book of Suzanne Collins's dystopian trilogy. Here are links to our lists for the novel: Chapters 1-6, Chapters 7-12, Chapters 13-19, Chapters 20-27 Here are links to our lists for other books by Suzanne Collins: Catching Fire, Mockingjay
40 Words

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