Vocabulary Lists


CollectionCircle of FriendsAmicable Reads for National Best Friends Day
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CollectionFallen HeroesTales of Courage to Commemorate Memorial Day
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CollectionJewish American Heritage Month
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  • 15 WordsEnglish Words Derived from Yiddish
  • 15 WordsMore English Words Derived from Yiddish
  • 10 Words"The New Colossus" by Emma Lazarus
  1. My Fine FellowJennieke Cohen
    In this twist on the musical My Fair Lady that was inspired by George Bernard Shaw's play Pygmalion, Helena Higgins and...
  2. I Kissed Shara WheelerCasey McQuiston
    High school senior Chloe Green has been working hard to become the valedictorian of Willowgrove Christian Academy, so...
  3. High SpiritsCamille Gomera-Tavarez
    In eleven interconnected stories inspired by her family in the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Spain, and the United...
  4. When the Angels Left the Old CountrySacha Lamb
    When all the young people of their tiny Polish village emigrate to America, Ashmedai the demon eventually convinces...
  5. FreewaterAmina Luqman-Dawson
    Running away from the slave-owning Southerland Plantation, twelve-year-old Homer and his seven-year-old sister Ada head...
  6. In the Key of UsMariama J. Lockington
    Twelve-year-old Zora Lee Johnson and Andrea Byrd meet at a summer camp in Michigan and discover they have more in common...
  7. Burn Down, Rise UpVincent Tirado
    When people mysteriously disappear and her mother is attacked by an infectious patient, sixteen-year-old Raquel Celestin...
  8. Muggie MaggieBeverly Cleary
    Third-grader Maggie Schultz decides she does not want to learn how to read and write cursive.
  9. I Survived the Great Molasses Flood, 1919Lauren Tarshis
    In this nineteenth book of the historical fiction I Survived series, twelve-year-old Carmen Grasso finds her horse...
  10. The Boxcar ChildrenGertrude Chandler Warner
    This first book of the series introduces the orphaned siblings Henry, Jessie, Violet, and Benny Alden, who try to make a...
  11. Absolutely AlmostLisa Graff
    Having almost done this and almost been that his whole life in New York City, fifth-grader Albin Schaffhauser wants to...
  12. TroublemakerJohn Cho
    When riots break out in Los Angeles, sixth-grader Jordan Park decides he must go to his family's store to protect his...

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. Read the full poem here. Click here to explore other works by Edgar Allan Poe.
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. Click here to explore other works by Edgar Allan Poe.
35 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.
15 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

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