Freedom Homeschooling

High School Reading List

by | May 28, 2022 | curriculum, reading | 2 comments

Are you looking for reading material for your high schooler? This list has numerous books to choose from. There is also at least one free lesson for each book included on the list. These lessons vary from book to book. Some are comprehensive unit studies or novel guides, while others are simply a set of discussion questions.

All of the lessons below are free, but many of the corresponding books are not. You can borrow them from the library, purchase them used, or click/tap on a book’s cover to buy it on Amazon. For the older books, which are now in the public domain, I have included links to free eBooks.


You’ll find that I’ve included links to SparkNotes for several of the books on this list. SparkNotes provides a full book quiz and section quizzes for each book. They also offer chapter summaries, character descriptions, and other information. Unfortunately, students sometimes use resources like SparkNotes to avoid reading the book. The chapter summaries can be beneficial if your teen is having trouble understanding a challenging novel. However, the summaries should only be read after reading that section of the book, not as a substitution for reading the book.

Glencoe Literature Library

Glencoe Literature Library is another resource that I’ve linked to for many of the books on this list. Their study guides include vocabulary, comprehension questions, active reading worksheets, writing assignments, and more. These guides were written for Glencoe’s edition of the novels, but they may be used with any edition. Other editions just won’t include the additional reading selections referenced at the end of the guides. You can skip these additional readings, or you might be able to find some of them from other sources.

This page contains affiliate links. See our complete disclosure here.

How the High School Reading List is Organized

Because recommendations vary, I have not attempted to organize the high school reading list into grade levels. Instead, I’ve divided the high school reading list into three sections based on reading level difficulty. There is nothing wrong with a senior reading books from the easier reading level or a freshman reading books from the challenging reading level. Within each section, the books are listed in alphabetical order by title. For additional book options, also check out our lists for 3rd through 8th grades. If you are looking for resources for teaching Shakespeare, you can find those in a separate post here.

Please note: As values, beliefs, and standards vary widely by family, I have not attempted to screen these books for appropriateness. I recommend that you read several reviews before choosing books for your teen to read. This post lists several resources you can use to help ensure the books you choose are appropriate for your family.


High School Reading List: Easier Reading Level


All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque

The Chosen by Chaim Potok

Cry, the Beloved Country by Alan Paton

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck

The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom

A House for Mr. Biswas by V. S. Naipaul

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

My Ántonia by Willa Cather

Nectar in a Sieve by  Kamala Markandaya

Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway

One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

The Pigman by Paul Zindel

A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry

A Separate Peace by John Knowles

Shabanu: Daughter of the Wind by Suzanne Fisher Staples

Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee


High School Reading List: Intermediate Reading Level


1984 by George Orwell

Animal Farm by George Orwell

Around the World in Eighty Days by Jules Vern

Cyrano de Bergerac by Edmond Rostand

Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton

Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad

Hound of the Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

The Invisible Man by H. G. Wells

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

Les Miserables by Victor Hugo

Lord of the Flies by William Golding

A Passage to India by E. M. Forster

The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane

The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Orczy

The Screwtape Letters by C. S. Lewis

The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson

A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens

Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe


Up From Slavery by Booker T. Washington


High School Reading List: Challenging Reading Level


The Aeneid by Virgil

Beowulf by Unknown

The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky

The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer

The Epic of Gilgamesh by Unknown

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift

The Last of the Mohicans by James Fenimore Cooper

The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka

Moby Dick by Herman Melville

The Odyssey by Homer

Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens

Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe

The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne

The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas

Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë

I hope your high schooler enjoys reading these books!

More Free Reading Curriculum & Resources

Grade Level Reading Lists – These are our reading lists for 3rd grade through high school. There is a free lesson or novel study for each listed book.

Free Language Arts Curriculum – Here you’ll find curriculum for reading, literature, phonics, book guides, and poetry. There are also options for grammar, composition, spelling, vocabulary, and handwriting. There is something for every grade, from preschool through high school.

Free eBooks – This post tells where to find free eBooks for the entire family.

Free Audiobooks – This post shares where to find free audiobooks for all ages.

How to Choose Age Appropriate Books – If you need help choosing appropriate books for your children, this post includes several free resources you can use.

High School Reading List

Note: This post was originally published on June 20, 2021, and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.


Freedom Homeschooling