Anna's 7th Grade Reading List

Anna's 7th grade reading list

I’ve just started on a suggested reading list for Anna’s 7th grade year. Here’s what we have on it so far.

Little Women, by Louisa May Alcott
The Secret Garden, by Frances Hodgenson
Understood Betsy, by Dorothy Canfield Fisher
Adventures of Tom Sawyer, by Mark Twain
Adam of the Road, By Elizabeth Janet Gray
Across Five Aprils, By Irene Hunt
The Hobbit, By J.R.R. Tolkien
The Witch of Blackbird Pond, By Elizabeth George Speare
The Diary of Anne Frank, By Anne Frank
Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH, by Robert C. O’Brien
Mara, Daughter of the Nile, By Eloise Jarvis McGraw
The Iliad of Homer, By Barbara Picard
Caddie Woodlawn, By Carol Ryrie Brink
Heidi, By Johanna Spyri
Sarah Plain and Tall, By Patricia MacLachlan
Anne of Green Gables, By Lucy Maud Montgomery
Pollyanna, By Eleanor Porter
The Story Of My Life, By Helen Keller

She’s reading The Secret Garden right now and really loves it.  I believe she’s read most of Little Women, too.  My Kindle is great for finding classic children’s books for free!

There’s a mix of fun and serious, historic and fantasy.  I still want to look into more lists online and talk to her about other books she’d like to add. I’d like to add more good books with boys as the main characters, more historic fiction and some modern classics.

She’s already well acquainted with all of the Harry Potter books, the 39 Clues books and several other modern anthologies.

She also reads constantly on her own for fun, including modern fiction and lots of mythology, so she’ll continue to read her own choices.

Any you’d suggest?

Victoria’s 9th Grade Plan

Victoria and I have been working on the plan for her 9th grade year. We’ve always been very informal homeschoolers but she’s set her sights on Harvard at the moment (she found out that with our income level it would be free for her to attend).  Who knows if she will feel the same in a couple of years, if she’ll get in or any of that, but it showed us that she should work on putting together a good plan for high school. Here’s the tentative plan.

Science: We plan to use Friendly Chemistry and a fair share of these free science books and textbooks for the Kindle, such as the CK-12 Chemistry one, Nature Cure and the psychology books.  She’ll continue to do her own interest-led reading and viewing of great science materials too, via programs like NOVA, online videos, library books and so on.

American Literature: I recently shared the reading list we came up with here.  She’ll also read additional books for enjoyment and keep track of those titles, as well.

World History: She’s already started reading a great world history book (I’ll post the title when I find it).  I’m doing A Little History of the World as a read-aloud again with all of the kids, so she’ll listen in on that.  She’ll also read H.G. Wells’ A Short History of the World (which is among the list of free Kindle history books I posted recently).  She is already very good at keeping up with world news and events (she’s the only teen I know who downloads news apps!), and she’ll continue to read National Geographic and relevant articles online.

Math: She’ll be doing algebra this year.  Math has always been the one subject Victoria loathes, so I don’t push it but I try to keep introducing it in different ways.  She’s actually good at it, but she freezes up when faced with sit-down math and we need to help her move past that this year.  We’ll be using Hands On Equations to get her up to speed on algebra.  I really like how simply it explains everything.  Then we’ll be using books and sites like Algebra I (Cliffs Study Solver), Khan Academy, CK-12 Flexbooks for Algebra and other resources.

Foreign Language: She’d like to take German again, but she would love to do a one-month immersion camp at Concordia Language Villages in Northern Minnesota.  One month counts as an entire year of foreign language credit and Concordia is world renowned for its wonderful programs.  That said, it’s $4k and scholarships only lower that to between $2k and $3k.  We’re really going to have to work to figure out a way to make that work for her, but it would be great if she could do it.

Electives: Victoria is still a prolific artist and photographer, so she’ll keep busy with those.  She’ll also keep attending the horse program she attends, plus take part in conferences and workshops that are available in the area.  For PE, she likes solitary activity like running, hiking and doing Wii exercise programs.  She’ll keep doing archery for fun and may take further classes or join an archery league.  She may spend a month in Oregon this fall, where she’ll be taking part in lots of field trips and opportunities.  Our family will probably travel together, too.  She just finished her 8th year acting in the Wilder Pageant and she may take part in other acting projects that come up.

I’m going to use one of these templates for compiling her high school transcripts.  I like the fact that some are very unschool-friendly and that so many colleges gave examples of alternative formats for transcripts for homeschoolers. I have some high school resources and ideas pinned on my High School Homeschooling board on Pinterest, too.  There are some really great ideas by other HS moms there, plus some neat sites (and some of the articles I’ve written of high school resources).  I love how easy the web has made homeschooling! It’s exciting, planning for the high school years with Victoria.  In a way, it reminds me of when we first started this journey.  There’s a sense of newness and adventure.  I’ll let you know how it goes!

Victoria’s 9th Grade Reading List

We’ve finished up our 9th grade suggested reading list for Victoria for next year, with input from various friends online, web sites, my own suggestions and Victoria’s requests.

She does not plan to read all of these, just a good portion.  We’ll discuss them as she goes and she may write reviews for sites like and write a few essays throughout the year comparing one to another, analyzing the meanings, etc.  I’m sure she’ll read many more besides the list and she’s got a log started to keep track.  These are the ones that seemed like good ones to focus on, though.

9th Grade American Literature Reading List:

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Angelou)

Farenheit 451 (Bradbury)

The Red Badge of Courage (Crane)

Nineteen Eighty Four (Orwell)

The Great Gatsby (Fitzgerald)

Animal Farm (Orwell)

The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin (Franklin)

The Scarlet Letter (Hawthorne)

Carrie (King)

To Kill a Mockingbird (Lee)

Something Wicked This Way Comes (Bradbury)

Main Street (Lewis)

On the Road (Kerouac)

Lord of the Flies (Golding)

Uncle Tom’s Cabin (Stowe)

The Catcher in the Rye (Salinger)

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (Twain)

The Joy Luck Club (Tan)

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (Twain)

The Secret Life of Bees

Saving CeeCee Honeycutt

A Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass (Douglass)

Little Women (Alcott)

The Help (Stockett)

The Old Man and the Sea (Hemingway)

The Giver (Lowry)

Slaughterhouse Five (Vonnegut)

The Handmaid’s Tale (Atwood)

Short stories and poems by: Edgar Allen Poe, Steven King, Ray Bradbury, Roger Zelazny, Robert Frost, Emily Dickinson, Ezra Pound, Gwendolyn Brooks, Anne Sexton, Langston Hughes, e. e. cummings, Longfellow, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Sylvia Plath, Adrienne Rich, Nikky Giovanni, James Wright, Ogden Nash, Walt Whitman, Maya Angelou, Elizabeth Bishop, Phillis Wheatley

Short stories: The Yellow Wallpaper The Lottery The Telltale Heart Gift of the Magi Flowers for Algernon

I also suggested anything by Steven King if Carrie wasn’t available and we found a book in the library that she’s already devoured — The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon.  As an added plus, it had random pen marks about every third page after (or sometimes in) certain words, so we spent some time trying to crack the code and figure out what some library patron was trying to communicate.  🙂

She also already read Farenheit 451 (in less than a day, she was so caught up in it) and absolutely fell in love with the book.  She now wants a copy of her own and has dubbed it one of the best books ever.

The Higgs Boson, With Cute Cartoons

Victoria has been asking us about the Higgs Boson and she unfortunately knew more about it than I did.  I stumbled on this cute little video where a physicist explains it.  It still is only slightly clearer than sewage sludge to me, but I thought it was well done nonetheless!

What do you think of the Higgs Boson?  Have you talked about it with your kids?  Any good resources to share, to help make it more accessible?