This Year's Book Lists

I’m not doing much homeschool planning right now because the baby will be coming in early October (October 10th is the official date!) and I’m not naive enough to think I’m going to stick to a rigorous homeschool schedule with an impending birth or new baby.

That said, I’m doing up some general goals for the kids and that includes a reading list for the girls.

You know I’m not really the drill sergeant kind of homeschooler and these are flexible.  In the past, there have been a few times that I’ve suggested books and they haven’t been well received by the kids.  If that happens, they’re welcome to substitute other books or come back to those books later.  There are so many great books to read that I’m not going to force a dud on any of my kids.  🙂

Having been forced through Heart of Darkness in college didn’t do anything to change my life for the better, and I want to keep my kids passionate about reading.  There are enough books that they have loved that I don’t mind if they occasionally veto one or two.

That said, here’s my tentative list for each of the girls.

Victoria (13, 8th grade):

  • 1984
  • Animal Farm
  • The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
  • Huckleberry Finn
  • The Diary of Anne Frank (I’m not sure if she’s read it completely yet)
  • Atlas Shrugged
  • Romeo and Juliet
  • To Kill a Mockingbird
  • The Catcher in the Rye

Short stories:

  • Bernice Bobs Her Hair
  • The Yellow Wallpaper
  • The Lottery


  • Anne Sexton
  • Sylvia Plath
  • Emily Dickinson
  • Survey of modern American poets

Anna (11, 6th grade)

  • Caddie Woodlawn
  • Little Women
  • Everything I Need to Know in Life I Learned in Kindergarten
  • The Little Prince
  • The Witch of Blackbird Pond
  • The Castle Corona
  • A Little Princess
  • The Diary of Anne Frank
  • Black Beauty
  • The Chronicles of Narnia


  • Mythology
  • Fairy tales from other cultures
  • Short story collections


  • Survey of modern American poets
  • Emily Dickinson
  • Edgar Allen Poe (Anna shares a birthday with EAP and likes his poems like Annabel Lee)

For the boys, I just want them to continue to read lots of books (or be read to) and love books.  I’ll pick out books from the library to strew as much as possible, too.

I’m also planning on teaching a poetry writing unit to the kids for much of the year.  I was a poet in my younger years and both girls have shown a recent interest in writing poetry.  I really like pulling out books and journals to show the girls my poems published long ago, and I miss my days of teaching poetry.  I think we’ll have a lot of fun with it.

Do you have any plans for books for your kids this year?  Any titles that are on your must-read list for kids?  I’d love to hear some more suggestions!

6 thoughts on “This Year's Book Lists

  1. I’d never read The Little Prince until we watched Eloise and her friend told her the story as told to him by his mother. It was a poignant scene and made me want to run out and read the book. (We hadn’t read the Eloise books until we watched the movie either)


  2. I like your list! 🙂 We’re going to try to finish Lord of the Rings (at least The Fellowship of the Ring) and Peter Pan this year. The Prince and the Pauper too if we can make it. I don’t dare suggest more than that for now. He’ll of course read anything else that strikes his fancy on his own.

    Wow, less than 2 months to go eh? 🙂 All the best!


  3. That a great list of books for my children as well.
    I took your list and added some, for my children:
    *the alchemist
    *Make Lemonade


  4. I’m a 23 year old former homeschooler who grew up in a house where reading was always encouraged (my parents, aunts and cousins taught me when I was 4) and trips to the library were a monthly treat. I would fill up a duffel bag of books on whatever topic I was interested in at the time and read them all.
    I stumbled upon this thread and it reminded me of the books that I was reading when I was your daughter Anna’s age. It was fun to compile a list and remember how much I enjoyed reading them.

    Skellig by David Almond
    The Folk Keeper by Franny Billingsley
    The Wanderer by sharon creech
    Our Only May Amelia by Jennifer L Holm
    Esperanza Rising by Pam Munoz Ryan
    Lillys Crossing by Patricia Reilly Giff
    A Girl Named Disaster by Nancy Farmer
    The Moorchild by Eloise Mcgraw
    The Midwives Apprentice and Catherine,Called Birdy by Karen Cushman
    The Confessions of Charlotte Doyle by Avi
    Yolanda’s Genius by Carol Fenner
    The Eye the Ear and the Arm by Nancy Farmer
    The Giver by Lois Lowry
    Growing Wings by Laurel Winter
    A Wrinkle In Time: Madeleine L’engle
    Island of the blue dolphins: Scott O’Dell
    Anne of Green Gables series: LM Montgomery


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