High School Reading List

Recommended by educators at top U.S. gifted and talented schools


  • To Kill a Mockingbird, 50th Anniversary Edition
  • The Great Gatsby
  • Of Mice and Men
  • 1984
  • Animal Farm
  • The Catcher in the Rye
  • The Outsiders
  • The Fault in Our Stars
  • A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
  • Looking For Alaska
  • The Giver (1994 Newbery)
  • The Giver Quartet boxed set
  • Lord of the Flies
  • Fahrenheit 451

Historical Fiction

  • All the Light We Cannot See
  • The Book Thief
  • The Nightingale: A Novel
  • Chains (The Seeds of America Trilogy)
  • Forge (The Seeds of America Trilogy)
  • Ashes (The Seeds of America Trilogy)
  • Salt to the Sea

Fantasy and Science Fiction

  • Steelheart (The Reckoners)
  • The Emperor's Soul (Hugo Award Winner - Best Novella)
  • Brave New World
  • Stardust


  • The Pleasure of Finding Things Out: The Best Short Works of Richard P. Feynman
  • "Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!": Adventures of a Curious Character
  • "What Do You Care What Other People Think?": Further Adventures of a Curious Character
  • Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln
  • The Glass Castle: A Memoir (Scribner Classics)


  • What If?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions
  • Thing Explainer: Complicated Stuff in Simple Words
  • The Universe in Your Hand: A Journey Through Space, Time, and Beyond
  • Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything
  • Dog Company: A True Story of American Soldiers Abandoned by Their High Command
  • Bomb: The Race to Build—and Steal—the World’s Most Dangerous Weapon (2013 Newbry Honor)