"The Boy in the Striped Pajamas," Vocabulary from Introduction-Chapter 4

John Boyne refers to his story as a fable. But its primary setting is the real death camp of Auschwitz, and the main characters are two young boys whose friendship highlights the inhumanity around them. Keep an eye out for moral and painful truths in this list of words. Here are links to our lists for the novel: Introduction-Chapter 4, Chapters 5-8, Chapters 9-12, Chapters 13-16, Chapters 17-20
35 Words

"Twelfth Night," Vocabulary from Act 1

The twelfth night of Christmas marked the end of winter celebrations in 17th century England. Before stepping down, the Lord of Misrule presided over activities that, in the spirit of foolish fun, turned the kingdom upside down. Learn these words to find out how much William Shakespeare allowed his characters to do what they will. This list focuses on excess. Here are links to our lists for the play: Act 1, Act 2, Act 3, Act 4, Act 5 Here is a link to the full text: Twelfth Night
30 Words

"Legend," Vocabulary from Part One

According to the Republic, the United States never existed, and anybody who opposes its military regime should not continue to exist. From two first-person perspectives, Marie Lu shows how Day and June start off on opposite sides of those beliefs, yet end up discovering that what they have in common is worth risking everything for. Learn these words so that you can be a legend, prodigy, and champion. Here are links to our lists for the first book in the trilogy: Part One, Part Two
50 Words

"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
40 Words

"The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao," Vocabulary from Part I

Through a mix of English, Spanish, slang, neologisms, academic footnotes, and supernatural references, several narrators tell how members of a cursed Dominican family (including the title character) struggle to live and love. Learn this list of words to see why the multilingual author Junot Diaz won the Pulitzer Prize. Here are links to our lists for the novel: Part I, Part II, Part III
30 Words

"Silas Marner," Vocabulary from Chapters 1-5

In weaving her tale around a main character, George Eliot (Mary Anne Evans) shows how Marner's conflicts with fortune, family, and faith compare to those around him. Enrich your vocabulary with this list of words. Here are links to our lists for the novel: Chapters 1-5, Chapters 6-10, Chapters 11-15, Chapters 16-18, Chapter 19-Conclusion Here is a link to the full text: Silas Marner
40 Words

Beverly Cleary Turns 100!

Author Beverly Cleary turns 100 years old on April 12, 2016. Cleary's books are all about kids, but they are more specifically about what it feels like to be a kid -- especially what it feels like to grow up, awkward and confused about the world around you. One of the things that is special about the adventures of Cleary's creations -- like Ramona Quimby, and Beezus, and Ralph S. Mouse -- is that there are no real lessons in these books, no author's voice giving a lecture, and yet eventually, things get a little clearer and less awkward for the characters. And for the reader, too. Here are 10 vocabulary words drawn from Beverly Cleary talking about her life and her work.
10 Words

"Enrique's Journey," Vocabulary from Prologue-Chapter 3

The subtitle describes the story as "a boy's dangerous odyssey to reunite with his mother." Learn the words that helped the journalist Sonia Nazario earn the Pulitzer Prize for this touching work of nonfiction. Here are links to our lists for the nonfiction narrative: Prologue-3, Chapters 4-6, Chapter 7-Afterword
40 Words

"Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children," Vocabulary from Prologue-Chapter 4

In this first book of a series, realistic photos and a fictional narrator combine to depict a strange island where supposedly dangerous orphans were quarantined and killed. See the words Ransom Riggs used to chillingly bring his images to life. Here are links to our lists for the novel: Prologue-Chapter 4, Chapters 5-6, Chapters 7-9, Chapters 10-11
40 Words

"The Picture of Dorian Gray," Vocabulary from Preface-Chapter 4

In developing a main character who would trade his soul for the power that comes with eternal youth and beauty, Oscar Wilde outraged Victorian society. As you learn this list, beware of words that, despite censorship and revisions, nearly landed the author in jail. This list focuses on influence. Here are links to our lists for the novel: Preface-Chapter 4, Chapters 5-8, Chapters 9-12, Chapters 13-16, Chapters 17-20 Here is a link to the full text: The Picture of Dorian Gray
40 Words

"Booked," Vocabulary from "Gameplay"-"Not Cool"

Having warmed up readers to his poetic style with an award-winning tale of twin ballers, Kwame Alexander scores again with this story about a soccer-playing son of a linguistics professor. This list of words can assist your goal of improving your vocabulary. Here are links to our lists for the novel: Gameplay-Not Cool, Bad-Freedom Want more game? See this list: The Crossover
30 Words

"The Crossover," Vocabulary from Warm Up-Second Quarter

To capture the rhythms of life for twin twelve-year-old ballers, Kwame Alexander delivers his story in verse. How high can you score on this list of words that helped Alexander win the Newbery Medal? Here are links to our lists for the novel: Warm Up-Second Quarter, Third Quarter-Overtime
40 Words

"Hole in My Life," Vocabulary from Part 1

In a high school surrounded by a twelve-foot fence, Jack Gantos imagined what life behind bars would be like; after graduating, he landed in prison, where he was scared into focusing on writing. Check out this list of words that transformed him into an award-winning author. Here are links to our lists for the memoir: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 Here are links to our lists for his novels: Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key, Dead End in Norvelt
40 Words

"Between the World and Me," Vocabulary from Section 1

As a father, Ta-Nehisi Coates wants his son to understand that the world is not always kind, especially to black males. Through letters that combine personal memories with reflections on historical events, he shares insights and advice. Learn this list to see why his words won the National Book Award. Here are links to our lists for the nonfiction text: Section 1, Section 2, Section 3
40 Words

"Freakonomics," Vocabulary from Introduction-Chapter 2

This book's subtitle sheds light on its strange title: "A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything." Collaborating with the journalist Stephen J. Dubner, Steven D. Levitt calculates the incentives that affect behavior, which leads him to surprising points about people with seemingly different lives. If you want to think like a freak, study this list of words. Here are links to our lists for the nonfiction text: Introduction-Chapter 2, Chapters 3-4, Chapter 5-Epilogue
45 Words

"Woman Hollering Creek," Vocabulary from the short story

The actual creek in Texas was likely named after the Spanish legend of an abandoned wife who, after drowning her newborn, hollers with pain throughout time. But Sandra Cisneros gives her main character a different connection to the creek. Learn this list of words to understand more about the woman's life.
35 Words

"We Were Liars," Vocabulary from Part One

Something terrible happened two summers ago, but Cadence Sinclair Eastman cannot remember what it was. As you learn this list of words from E. Lockhart, keep in mind that the first-person narrator is struggling with truths about herself and her family. Here are links to our lists for the novel: Part One, Part Two, Part Three, Part Four, Part Five
30 Words

"The Kill Order," Vocabulary from Prologue-Chapter 13

This prequel by James Dashner takes place 13 years before the horrors of a dying world are swiped from the memories of chosen subjects. Proceed with extreme caution: this list might infect your head with words that will lead you straight into a maze. Here are links to our lists for the novel: Prologue-Chapter 13, Chapters 14-26, Chapters 27-40, Chapters 41-54, Chapter 55-Epilogue Here is a link to the first book of the original trilogy: The Maze Runner
35 Words

"The Whipping Boy," Vocabulary from Chapters 1-10

A young prince misbehaves, and an orphan boy gets whipped for it. Bored by castle life, the prince decides to run away and orders the orphan to follow and serve him. Learn this list of words to find out how their adventures changed them and earned Sid Fleischman the Newbery Medal. Here are links to our lists for the novel: Chapters 1-10, Chapters 11-20
30 Words

"Red Queen," Vocabulary from Chapters 1-6

In the world created by Victoria Aveyard, people are divided by the color of their blood. Then one day, a Red servant publicly discovers a magical ability that should belong to a higher-ranked Silver. Who will rise to the challenges found within this list of words? Here are links to our lists for the novel: Chapters 1-6, Chapters 7-12, Chapters 13-18, Chapters 19-24, Chapter 25-Epilogue
35 Words

"The Girl on the Train," Vocabulary from Rachel (July 5, 2013)-Megan (February 8, 2013)

Nothing is what it seems, especially when seen through eyes that are drunken, restless, or suspicious. Sort through this list of words by Paula Hawkins to piece together how the lives of three women intersect and derail. Here are links to our lists for the novel: Rachel (July 5, 2013)-Megan (February 8, 2013), Rachel (July 16, 2013)-Anna (July 20, 2013), Rachel (July 21, 2013)-Megan (June 13, 2013), Rachel (August 3, 2013)-Anna (August 13, 2013), Anna (August 14, 2013)-Rachel (September 10, 2013)
40 Words

"The Martian," Vocabulary from Chapters 1-9

Despite realizing the hopelessness of his situation, the astronaut Mark Watney is determined to survive as long as possible on Mars. Explore this list of words from Andy Weir to learn how one man uses his scientific ingenuity to make sure his life is not wasted. Here are links to our lists for the novel: Chapters 1-9, Chapters 10-15, Chapters 16-21, Chapters 22-26
40 Words

"The Tempest," Vocabulary from Act 1

Produced in 1611, this play was filled with magical and musical moments to appeal to audiences of royalty and commoners. It was also William Shakespeare taking his final bow on stage. Study this list of words and lines that continue to be memorized and performed long after the 17th century. This list focuses on storms. Here are links to our lists for the play: Act 1, Act 2, Act 3, Act 4, Act 5 Here is a link to the full text: The Tempest
35 Words

"The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde," Vocabulary from Chapters 1-3

Examine this list of words to find out how the characters created by Robert Louis Stevenson became synonymous with a horrifying split personality. This list focuses on seeking Hyde. Here are links to our lists for the novella: Chapters 1-3, Chapters 4-7, Chapters 8-10 Here is a link to the full text: The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
35 Words

"Allegiant," Vocabulary from Chapters 1-11

In the final book of the trilogy by Veronica Roth, Tris and Tobias both have a voice. Sift through this list to find words used in capturing the lies and truths that threaten their relationship and everything they have ever known. Here are links to our lists for the novel: Chapters 1-11, Chapters 12-22, Chapters 23-33, Chapters 34-44, Chapter 45-Epilogue Here are links to our lists for the first two books: Divergent, Insurgent
40 Words