Teen Read Week: Read Beyond Reality

College Bound Reading List

Teen Read Week 2009 will be celebrated October 18-24! This year’s theme is “Read Beyond Reality @ Your Library,” which encourages teens to read something out of this world, just for the fun of it. The following books in the genre of science fiction, fantasy, and alternate realities are recommended reading for college bound students.


A Wrinkle in Time, by Madeleine L’Engle. (The story of the adventures in space and time of Meg, Charles Wallace, and Calvin O’Keefe as they go in search of Meg’s father, a scientist who disappeared while engaged in secret work for the government.)

Alice‘s Adventures In Wonderland, by Lewis Carroll. (A fantasy in which Alice follows the White Rabbit to a dream world.)

Animal Farm, by George Orwell. (Animals turn the tables on their masters in this fable that has a simple plot with a much deeper, darker message.)

Chronicles of Narnia, by C.S. Lewis. (Four children travel to a world in which they are far more than mere children and everything is far more than it seems.)

Dark is Rising, by Susan Cooper. (This series covers a broad continuum of time and space, where the conflict between good and evil reaches epic proportions.)

Dragon King Trilogy, by Stephen R. Lawhead. (A colorful and action-filled fantasy saga in which young Quentin confronts the power of evil, climaxing in an ultimate challenge at the end of the final volume.)

Dragonflight, by Anne McCaffrey. (This magical story of humans and their flying dragon companions is one of the most memorable worlds in science fiction and fantasy.)

Eragon, by Christopher Paolini. (Eragon, a young farm boy, finds a beautiful blue stone in a mystical mountain place and discovers that it’s a dragon egg, fated to hatch in his care.)

Gulliver’s Travels, by Jonathan Swift. (Gulliver encounters dwarfs and giants and has other strange adventures when his ship is wrecked in distant lands.)

The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien. (Bilbo Baggins accompanies a group of dwarves on a journey to reclaim a stolen fortune. Along the way, they encounter giant spiders, hostile elves, ravening wolves, the dragon Smaug, and a subterranean creature named Gollum.)

Prydain Chronicles, by Lloyd Alexander. (Set in the mythical land of Prydain, this story draws together the elements of the hero’s journey from unformed boy to courageous young man.)

Redwall, by Brian Jacques. (As the inhabitants of Redwall Abbey bask in the glorious Summer of the Late Rose, all is quiet and peaceful. But things are not as they seem.)

Sword of Shannara, by Terry Brooks. (The supposedly dead Warlock Lord is plotting to destroy the world. The sole weapon against his Power of Darkness is the Sword of Shannara.)

Time Machine, by H.G. Wells. (A scientist invents a machine that transports him into the future.)

20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, by Jules Verne. (An imaginative adventure describing a voyage that’s easily a hundred years ahead of its time.)

Watership Down, by Richard Adams. (Fleeing man and the certain destruction of their home, a band of rabbits encounters various trials and tribulations posed by predators and other hostile rabbits.)


A Canticle for Leibowitz, by Walter Miller. (Following a cloister of monks in their Utah abbey over some six or seven hundred years, this post-apocalyptic science fiction novel questions whether humanity can ever hope for more than repeating its own history.)

Beowulf, by Unknown Author. (A great epic in poem form that takes place in a feudal world of heroes and monsters, blood and victory, life and death.)

Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley. (A bitter satire of the future, in which civilization is controlled by advances in scientific and psychological engineering, and where people are genetically designed to be useful to the ruling class.)

The Children’s Story, by James Clavell. (A chilling tale of what could have happened in America if we had lost a world war. However, the book’s theme of indoctrination in the schools is just as relevant and scary today.)

Dune, by Frank Herbert. (Dune is one of the most famous science fiction novels ever written, and deservedly so. Dune is to science fiction what The Lord of the Rings is to fantasy.)

Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury. (The masses have become so hedonistic in this futuristic society that critical thought is outlawed, and firemen burn books for the “good” of humanity.)

Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley. (A gothic tale of terror in which Frankenstein creates a monster from corpses.)

The Giver, by Lois Lowry. (In the utopian world into which Jonas was born, there is no poverty, no crime, no war, no sickness, and no unemployment – but there is genetic engineering, forced conformity, infanticide, suicide, and euthanasia.)

The Invisible Man, by H.G. Wells. (A scientist invents a way to become invisible and tries the formula on himself – but he is unable to make himself visible again.)

Left Behind, by LaHaye & Jenkins. (A gripping thriller in which those who are left behind after the rapture must choose between joining the forces of Christ or the forces of the Anti-Christ.)

Lord of the Rings Trilogy, by J.R.R. Tolkien. (Tolkien’s lengthy fantasy with its underlying theme of good vs. evil features action, suspense, adventure, humor, and unique characters.)

Midsummer Night’s Dream, by William Shakespeare. (This antics of mischievous fairies on a magical evening, with a play-within-a-play that remains one of the great scenes in English comedy.)

1984, by George Orwell. (The futuristic novel is famous for its portrayal of pervasive government surveillance and control. Many of its phrases, such as “Big Brother is watching you,” “thoughtcrime,” and “Newspeak,” have entered the popular vernacular.)

Odyssey, by Homer. (An enthralling epic of classical Greece told in lyrical poetry that relates the mythical adventures of Odysseus as he makes his way home after a war.)

Screwtape Letters, by C.S. Lewis. (Wormwood, a junior tempter, has been given his first earthly assignment. He seeks the advice of an experienced demon, his Uncle Screwtape. Their correspondence discloses the psychology of temptation from the other side.)

Space Trilogy, by C.S. Lewis. (This celebrated science fiction adventure by the author of the Narnia series is a story of discovery and facing the truth about human nature.)

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