SuperSummary New Releases

We're dedicated to expanding our library of Study Guides across modern fiction, classic literature, nonfiction, YA and middle grade reads, plays, poetry, short stories, essays, and more. Whether you’re a student, teacher, or book club organizer, our New Releases Collection will help you expand your literary horizons with an ever-growing Study Guide library of the newest books to hit shelves and classroom reading lists. Our Study Guide library holds thousands of titles to ensure that you’re always getting the most value from your subscription. Though the selection of high-quality, in-depth Guides in this Collection will change regularly, all will consistently offer an ideal mix of plot summary, detailed chapter-by-chapter analysis, literary insights, important quotes, discussion and essay prompts, and more.

Publication year 2009Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Love, Values/Ideas: Truth & Lies, Identity: GenderTags Science-Fiction / Dystopian Fiction, Magical Realism, Mystery / Crime Fiction, Trauma / Abuse / Violence, Japanese Literature

1Q84 is a novel written by the Japanese author Haruki Murakami. The book was first published in Japanese in three volumes and released in 2009 and 2010, ahead of an English translation published in 2011. Set in 1984 in Tokyo, the story concerns an assassin who stumbles upon an alternate world she refers to as 1Q84. There, she becomes embroiled in a conspiracy involving an abusive religious cult.This study guide refers to the 2011 edition... Read 1Q84 Summary

Publication year 2018Genre Autobiography / Memoir, NonfictionThemes Society: Immigration, Relationships: Family, Life/Time: Coming of AgeTags Immigration / Refugee, Auto/Biographical Fiction, Coming of Age / Bildungsroman, Parenting, Arts / Culture

A Dream Called Home is a memoir published in 2018 by the award-winning Mexican American author, Reyna Grande. The book is the sequel to her bestselling 2012 memoir, The Distance Between Us, which addresses Reyna’s experiences crossing the US-Mexico border as a child. The title alludes to the American dream while also gesturing to varied concepts of home. This summary refers to the 2018 English-language edition published by Atria Books.Plot SummaryReyna divides her memoir into... Read A Dream Called Home Summary

Publication year 1959Genre Short Story, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Science & Technology, Values/Ideas: Order & Chaos, Emotions/Behavior: ForgivenessTags Science-Fiction / Dystopian Fiction, Technology

First published in Fantasy and Science Fiction magazine, the classic science fiction short story “All You Zombies—” (1959) explores an unusual paradox involving transsexual time travel: What if you undergo sexual reassignment surgery, go back in time, have an affair with your younger self, and become your own parent? The story became an award-winning 2014 science fiction film, Predestination. The 2012 eBook edition of the original story is the basis for this study guide. The... Read All You Zombies Summary

Publication year 2018Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Family, Values/Ideas: Religion & Spirituality, Relationships: FriendshipTags Auto/Biographical Fiction, Race / Racism, September 11 Attacks

A Very Large Expanse of Sea by Tahereh Mafi is a 2018 semi-autobiographical young adult novel set in America one year after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Sixteen-year-old Shirin, a Muslim girl born in America to Persian immigrant parents from Iran, experiences intolerance and hatred in her school and the outside world. Shirin tries to maintain emotional distance from peers to protect herself, but the hesitant romance that develops between Shirin and Ocean... Read A Very Large Expanse of Sea Summary

Publication year 2020Genre Novel, FictionThemes Society: Community, Relationships: Fathers, Identity: Race, Relationships: Daughters & SonsTags Race / Racism, Poverty, African American Literature

Deacon King Kong was published in 2020 and written by American author James McBride. It is an example of near-historical fiction written about American cities and social issues. McBride’s 1995 memoir about growing up in a mixed-race family in Brooklyn, The Color of Water, was both a commercial and critical success, and his own life experience aligns with some of the narratives and issues in Deacon King Kong. McBride’s novel The Good Lord Bird won... Read Deacon King Kong Summary

Publication year 1969Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Religion & Spirituality, Values/Ideas: Fate, Society: Politics & GovernmentTags Science-Fiction / Dystopian Fiction

Originally serialized in Galaxy magazine, Dune Messiah (1969) is the sequel to Frank Herbert’s epic science fiction novel Dune (1965) and the second novel in Herbert’s six-book Dune Chronicles series. Taking place in the distant future, the novel continues the saga of Paul Atreides, a powerful messianic figure who overcame a plot against his family to become Emperor of the Known Universe. As Paul endeavors to ensure the survival of humanity across the galaxy, the... Read Dune Messiah Summary

Publication year 1988Genre Poem, FictionThemes Life/Time: Mortality & Death, Emotions/Behavior: GriefTags Lyric Poem, History: U.S., Vietnam War

The poem “Facing It” by Yusef Komunyakaa is a meditation on the first time Komunyakaa visited the US Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington DC. Komunyakaa served in the Vietnam War as an Army journalist for the military newspaper, Southern Cross, until he was discharged in 1966. He began writing about the war approximately 14 years after coming home from Vietnam.Prior to this, he had only written one poem about his experience in the war, and... Read Facing It Summary

Publication year -1Genre Poem, FictionThemes Identity: Gender, Emotions/Behavior: Love, Values/Ideas: Loyalty & BetrayalTags Lyric Poem, Gender / Feminism, History: European, Ancient Greece

Sappho wrote “Fragment 31” centuries ago in her Greek homeland with the intention of performing her poetry as songs. Contemporary readers should therefore remember two important details. First, readers who do not read Greek experience Sappho’s poetry through the words of a translator who adds unique interpretations and impressions to Sappho’s original version. This study guide uses the Christopher Childers translation of “Fragment 31” which first appeared in Boston University’s literary magazine AGNI, volume 83... Read Fragment 31 Summary

Publication year 2018Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Justice & Injustice, Life/Time: Childhood & YouthTags Historical Fiction, Race / Racism, Social Justice, Children's Literature

Ghost Boys is a middle-grade novel by Jewell Parker Rhodes, an award-winning writer on the Black experience. Set in contemporary Chicago, the novel is a first-person narrative about the life and death of 12-year-old Jerome Rogers, a boy Officer Moore kills one afternoon as Jerome plays with a toy gun near his neighborhood. A popular and critical success that taps into the modern civil rights movement that is Black Lives Matter, this novel is a... Read Ghost Boys Summary

Publication year 1580Genre Poem, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Love, Values/Ideas: LiteratureTags Lyric Poem, Renaissance, Elizabethan Era

Along with his contemporary Philip Sidney, Edmund Spenser is one of the most important literary figures from the English Renaissance (c. 1550-1660), also known as the Early Modern Period. Spenser’s work was greatly influenced by his studies of Classical and Italian Renaissance poets, including Virgil, Ludovico Ariosto, and Torquato Tasso. His faith and study of Christianity also informed his work. With Sidney, who was also an influence, and his friend Gabriel Harvey, Spenser belonged to... Read Iambicum Trimetrum Summary

Publication year 1973Genre Essay / Speech, NonfictionThemes Identity: Race, Life/Time: The FutureTags Race / Racism, Civil Rights / Jim Crow

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have a Dream'' speech is one of the most celebrated oratory pieces in American history. King delivered the speech from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., on August 28, 1963 as the final speech of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. A. Philip Randolph and Bayard Ruston organized the march to advocate for civil and economic rights for Black Americans, which was among the... Read I Have A Dream Speech Summary

Publication year 2012Genre Novel, FictionThemes Identity: RaceTags Historical Fiction

Nayomi Munaweera was born in Sri Lanka in 1973 as ethnic tensions on the island nation were rising. Island of a Thousand Mirrors (2012) is her first novel and a work of fiction built upon real events leading up to and during the Sri Lankan Civil War that lasted from 1983 to 2009. The story explores cyclical ethnic tension and the impacts of civil war from the perspectives of two female narrators, one from the... Read Island of a Thousand Mirrors Summary

Publication year 1864Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Science & Technology, Natural World: PlaceTags Science-Fiction / Dystopian Fiction, Classic Fiction, French Literature

Journey to the Center of the Earth was written by the French writer Jules Gabriel Verne (1828–1905), who is best known for Extraordinary Voyages, a series of science fiction adventure stories that includes Journey to the Center of the Earth (1864) as well as Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea (1870) and Around the World in Eighty Days (1872). Verne was born in the French port city of Nantes and from a young age was... Read Journey To The Center Of The Earth Summary

Publication year 2014Genre Book, NonfictionThemes Society: War, Values/Ideas: Power & GreedTags Military / War, History: European, History: World

Killing Patton is a 2014 historical nonfiction work by American authors and journalists Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard. It explores the final months of World War II in Europe from an American perspective—specifically the role iconic General George S. Patton played in securing eventual Allied victory. The book also explores Patton’s death after a motor vehicle accident, floating the conspiracy theory that this death was no accident. Investigating the motives of Stalin, Eisenhower, and others... Read Killing Patton Summary

Publication year 2021Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Guilt, Life/Time: Childhood & Youth, Society: ClassTags Science-Fiction / Dystopian Fiction, Allegory / Fable / Parable, Class, Parenting, Science / Nature, Relationships, Futurism

Publication year 2020Genre Novel, FictionThemes Identity: Race, Emotions/Behavior: Fear, Values/Ideas: Order & ChaosTags Horror / Thriller / Suspense Fiction, Realistic Fiction, Information Age, Race / Racism, Class, Black Lives Matter, American Literature

Rumaan Alam’s Leave the World Behind (2020) is a work of apocalyptic fiction that examines the relationship between race and class during an unspecified disaster that cuts off all communication, forcing two families together. The book uses omniscient narration and interpersonal conflict to heighten the fear of disconnection in the Information Age, treating the apocalypse as an event that happens on a human scale. Published to great acclaim, it has been longlisted for the National... Read Leave the World Behind Summary

Publication year 1818Genre Poem, FictionThemes Natural World: Environment, Life/Time: Aging, Identity: FemininityTags Lyric Poem, British Literature, Science / Nature

“Meg Merrilies” (sometimes titled “Old Meg she was a gipsy” or simply “old Meg”) is a short, playful ballad by the English Romantic poet John Keats. It was written on Keats’s walking tour of northern England and Scotland in 1818. At the time, Keats was worried about the health of his brother, Tom, and about his own health; the tuberculosis that would soon kill Tom had already begun to manifest in Keats. While his doctor... Read Meg Merrilies Summary

Publication year 2021Genre Novel, FictionThemes Identity: Indigenous, Life/Time: Coming of Age, Values/Ideas: Safety & Danger, Values/Ideas: Religion & SpiritualityTags Horror / Thriller / Suspense Fiction, Mystery / Crime Fiction, New Adult, Trauma / Abuse / Violence

Publication year 2016Genre Book, NonfictionThemes Society: Economics, Values/Ideas: Power & Greed, Relationships: TeamsTags Business / Economics, Self Help

Never Split the Difference: Negotiating as If Your Life Depended on It is a 2016 nonfiction book cowritten by Chris Voss, an international hostage negotiator turned business consultant and professor, and journalist Tahl Raz. In this book, which straddles the line between the business and self-help genres, Voss shares principles gleaned from decades of experience in high-stakes negotiations. Citations in this guide correspond with the first edition published by Harper Collins. Although Raz is credited... Read Never Split the Difference Summary

Publication year 2017Genre Book, NonfictionThemes Society: Class, Society: Community, Society: GlobalizationTags Travel Literature, Sociology, Poverty, Class, American Literature

Publication year 1976Genre Poem, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Grief, Life/Time: The PastTags Lyric Poem

Throughout her life, Elizabeth Bishop (1911-1979) suffered many losses. Her father died before her first birthday and her mother entered a mental institution when Bishop was only five, leaving her to the guardianship of maternal and paternal grandparents. Later, Bishop’s lover committed suicide in Brazil, prompting Bishop’s return to the US. “One Art” (1976) alludes to several of these prominent losses, though the poem objectively approaches loss. “One Art” defines loss as a special form... Read One Art Summary

Publication year 2008Genre Book, NonfictionThemes Society: Economics, Society: Education, Values/Ideas: FameTags Psychology, Business / Economics

The nonfiction book Outliers: The Story of Success is Malcolm Gladwell’s third book, published in 2008. Gladwell is a prolific writer for the New Yorker, where he has been on staff since 1996. His writing often incorporates research from the social sciences, as in Outliers, in which he makes the case that the way we understand and portray success is wrong. Before joining the staff of the New Yorker, Gladwell was a reporter for the... Read Outliers Summary

Publication year 1991Genre Novella, FictionThemes Natural World: Animals, Values/Ideas: Justice & Injustice, Values/Ideas: Truth & Lies, Life/Time: Coming of AgeTags Children's Literature, Coming of Age / Bildungsroman, Realism

Eleven-year-old Marty Preston fights to save an abused beagle from its cruel owner in Shiloh (1991). Marty bonds with the dog, Shiloh, and learns more about himself and others as he struggles to reconcile the letter of the law with what he knows in his heart is right. Acclaimed children’s author Phyllis Reynolds Naylor based Shiloh on a poignant, personal encounter with a mistreated dog. Marty’s character struggles with the same issues that troubled Naylor... Read Shiloh Summary

Publication year 1969Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Good & Evil, Values/Ideas: FateTags Science-Fiction / Dystopian Fiction, Satire, Military / War, Surrealism, American Literature

Slaughterhouse-Five is a 1969 science fiction novel written by the American author Kurt Vonnegut Jr. The novel deals with anti-war themes and time travel while centering its narrative around the bombing of Dresden, Germany during World War II. Slaughterhouse-Five is considered one of the most important anti-war and science fiction novels of the 20th century and has been adapted into films, theatre productions, and radio plays. Plot SummaryThe narrative of Slaughterhouse-Five is told in a... Read Slaughterhouse-Five Summary

Publication year 1609Genre Poem, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Love, Values/Ideas: Beauty, Natural World: EnvironmentTags Romance, Arts / Culture, Elizabethan Era

William Shakespeare is the best-known author of the English Renaissance—also known as the Early Modern Period and the Elizabethan Age. Though readers’ attention tends to be more riveted toward his plays, Shakespeare published 154 sonnets during his exceptionally prolific career, in addition to the longer-form poems Venus and Adonis (1593), The Rape of Lucrece (1594), and The Phoenix and the Turtle (1601). Fifteen editions of Venus and Adonis—a poem in the form of 199 six-line... Read Sonnet 18 Summary

Publication year 1979Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Loneliness, Emotions/Behavior: Regret, Society: Class, Society: CommunityTags Auto/Biographical Fiction, Humor, Southern Gothic

Suttree by Cormac McCarthy is a piece of Southern Gothic fiction published in 1979. Considered a modern classic of American literature, it exemplifies McCarthy’s characteristic use of imagery, existentialist exploration, and societal criticism. McCarthy is the author of 12 novels, including bestsellers Blood Meridian (1985), All the Pretty Horses (1992), and the Pulitzer-prize-winning novel The Road (2006). The Road and his novel No Country for Old Men (2005) were adapted into celebrated films. McCarthy was... Read Suttree Summary

Publication year 1989Genre Book, NonfictionThemes Life/Time: The FutureTags Self Help, Business / Economics

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People (Aug 1989) by Stephen R. Covey is one of the most influential self-help books of the late twentieth century. To date, the title has sold over 40 million copies and has been a New York Times bestseller. Covey was named as one of Time Magazine’s 25 Most Influential Americans of 1996. His book is classified under the categories of Business Management, Organizational Behavior, and Personal Success in Business... Read The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People Summary

Publication year 1998Genre Book, NonfictionTags Self Help

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens by Sean Covey was first published in 1998 but was revised in 2014 to meet the changing needs of its audience of tech-savvy teenagers. (This study guide refers to the 2019 Simon and Schuster trade paperback edition.) While the genre is self-help, the book’s focus on young adult readers is evident from Covey’s informal tone, which he uses to narrate entertaining stories about teenagers, as well as the... Read The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens Summary

Publication year 1884Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Good & Evil, Values/Ideas: Equality, Life/Time: Coming of AgeTags Action / Adventure, American Literature, Children's Literature

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain was published in 1884 as a companion to The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, written in 1876. While the story of Tom Sawyer is lighthearted and adventurous in the style of juvenile fiction of its day, Huck Finn’s adventure is darker and more satirical. Huckleberry Finn often finds himself in physical danger, yet the greatest danger he faces are threats to his morality and character. As he navigates... Read The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn Summary

Publication year 92Genre Novel/Book in Verse, FictionThemes Society: Politics & Government, Emotions/Behavior: Hate & AngerTags Classic Fiction, Mythology, Narrative / Epic Poem, Military / War, Ancient Rome

Publication year 2021Genre Biography, NonfictionThemes Values/Ideas: Science & Technology, Identity: Gender, Relationships: TeamsTags Science / Nature, Gender / Feminism, Health / Medicine, Technology, Women's Studies (Nonfiction)

Publication year 1996Genre Autobiography / Memoir, NonfictionThemes Identity: Race, Values/Ideas: Religion & Spirituality, Society: ClassTags Coming of Age / Bildungsroman, Race / Racism, Civil Rights / Jim Crow, Religion / Spirituality, Parenting, African American Literature, Great Depression, American Literature

The Color of Water is a nonfiction autobiography published in 1996 by the American author and musician James McBride. Subtitled A Black Man’s Tribute to His White Mother, The Color of Water chronicles the author’s challenges growing up in the 1960s and 1970s as a child with a white Jewish mother and Black father. Interspersed with the author’s recollections are interview transcripts describing his mother’s abusive upbringing as an Orthodox Jewish woman living in the... Read The Color of Water Summary

Publication year 1982Genre Novel, FictionThemes Identity: Femininity, Values/Ideas: Religion & Spirituality, Society: ColonialismTags Gender / Feminism, American Literature, African American Literature, Modern Classic Fiction, Historical Fiction, Race / Racism

The Color Purple is an epistolary novel—a novel told in letter form—in which Alice Walker traces the gradual liberation of Celie, a poor, Black woman who must overcome abuse and separation from her beloved sister Nettie. Set in the South and an unnamed African country during the 1930 to 1940s, the novel is a study in the ways in which Black women use their faith, relationships, and creativity to survive racial and sexual oppression. The... Read The Color Purple Summary

Publication year 2020Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Family, Relationships: Marriage, Relationships: Siblings, Natural World: Appearance & Reality, Life/Time: The PastTags Mystery / Crime Fiction

The Guest List by Lucy Foley is a contemporary murder mystery novel published in 2020. Foley, an English author, weaves a tale of intrigue, secrets, and betrayal upon the backdrop of an isolated island in West Ireland. Often likened to Agatha Christie, Lucy Foley’s novel is a slow-burn, whodunit.Plot SummaryMany perspectives compose The Guest List; each chapter jumps from character to character and through time from past to future. The novel is set on a... Read The Guest List Summary

Publication year 2020Genre Novel, FictionThemes Society: Colonialism, Identity: Gender, Identity: FemininityTags Historical Fiction

The Henna Artist is a novel by Alka Joshi, a native of India who moved to America with her family at the age of nine. After a successful career running her own advertising agency, Joshi broke into fiction writing in her sixties. The author based the central character in her debut novel on her mother, who never got to choose her own path in life but was determined that her children should have that option... Read The Henna Artist Summary

Publication year 2008Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Good & Evil, Natural World: Appearance & Reality, Values/Ideas: Justice & InjusticeTags Science-Fiction / Dystopian Fiction

The Hunger Games is a best-selling young adult novel, the first in Suzanne Collins’s Hunger Games trilogy. It details the life of teenage heroine Katniss Everdeen as she fights to the death for the entertainment of her fascist government. Since its publication in 2008, the trilogy has sold more than 65 million copies in the United States alone and, in 2019, was listed as one of 100 most influential novels by BBC News. The Hunger... Read The Hunger Games Summary

Publication year 2020Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Good & Evil, Identity: Gender, Life/Time: Mortality & DeathTags Fantasy, Gender / Feminism, Trauma / Abuse / Violence, Religion / Spirituality, LGBTQ, Age of Enlightenment

The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue is a historical fantasy novel by the American author V.E. Schwab published in 2020. It chronicles the story of Addie LaRue, an 18th-century Frenchwoman who gains eternal life through a bargain with a demonic entity. However, the deal comes at a great cost: Everybody who meets Addie immediately forgets her. A New York Times bestseller, The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue received a 2020 Goodreads Choice Award nomination for... Read The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue Summary

Publication year 2003Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Guilt, Society: Class, Values/Ideas: Religion & Spirituality, Values/Ideas: Loyalty & BetrayalTags Historical Fiction, September 11 Attacks, Middle Eastern Literature

Khaled Hosseini’s debut novel, The Kite Runner, was published in 2003, two years after the events of the September 11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in New York and the US invasion of Afghanistan. Hosseini, the son of a diplomat for the Afghan Foreign Ministry, was born in Kabul, Afghanistan, and relocated to France as a child. When Afghanistan was thrown into turmoil by the Soviet occupation at the height of the Cold... Read The Kite Runner Summary

Publication year 1100Genre Novel/Book in Verse, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Love, Relationships: Marriage, Relationships: SiblingsTags Classic Fiction, Romance, Medieval Literature / Middle Ages, Fairy Tale / Folklore, Religion / Spirituality, History: European, French Literature

The Lais of Marie de France is a collection of 12 romantic narratives—known as Breton Lais—composed in the late 12th century and credited to the French-English poet Marie de France. The lay or lai is a short tale of octosyllabic rhyming couplets which is generally 600–1000 lines long. It can be accompanied by music and is typical of Brittany, a Northern French region with strong Celtic influences. Themes of love, chivalry and the supernatural are... Read The Lais of Marie de France Summary

Publication year 2005Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Family, Relationships: Friendship

The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan, published in 2005, is the first installment in Percy Jackson and the Olympians, a five-book fantasy series for young readers. The books draw heavily on Greek mythology and follow Percy (Perseus) Jackson and his friends on a quest to find and return Zeus’s stolen lightning bolt. The book was named School Library Journal’s Best Book of 2005, an American Library Association Notable Book (2006), and a New York Times... Read The Lightning Thief Summary

Publication year 1984Genre Biography, NonfictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Values/Ideas: Religion & Spirituality, Values/Ideas: Art, Society: Globalization

Jonathan D. Spence’s The Memory Palace of Matteo Ricci (1984) is a biography of 16th-century Jesuit priest Matteo Ricci. Spence is a former professor of history at Yale University and a specialist in Chinese history. The biography is a study of cross-cultural exchange between Ming China and Counter-Reformation Europe. It charts Ricci’s attempts to teach a mnemonic device called the memory palace to scholarly elites in Ming China and his experiences as a missionary in... Read The Memory Palace Of Matteo Ricci Summary

Publication year 2019Genre Novel, FictionThemes Identity: Sexuality, Values/Ideas: Religion & Spirituality, Society: ColonialismTags Asian Literature, Historical Fiction, Chinese Literature

The Night Tiger by Yangsze Choo was published in 2020. It’s a mixture of genres, including mythology and historical fiction, and it is a New York Times bestseller. The Night Tiger chronicles the period between May and July of 1931. The setting is colonial-era Malaysia, or “Malaya.” Plot SummaryChinese house servant Ren, is a 10-year-old orphan who’s mourning the death of his master, Dr. MacFarlane. Dr. MacFarlane was a weretiger who changed into a tiger... Read The Night Tiger Summary

Publication year 2020Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Grief, Natural World: Appearance & Reality, Values/Ideas: Truth & LiesTags Historical Fiction, Auto/Biographical Fiction, History: U.S., Grief / Death, Love / Sexuality, Politics / Government, American Literature

Publication year 1886Genre Novella, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Science & Technology, Values/Ideas: Good & EvilTags Horror / Thriller / Suspense Fiction, Classic Fiction, Science-Fiction / Dystopian Fiction, Gothic Literature, Victorian Period, British Literature

The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, by Robert Louis Stevenson, is a novella published in the 1880s that deals with the duality of human nature. The story is told from the point of view of Mr. Gabriel John Utterson. Utterson is a lawyer and friend of Dr. Jekyll’s. The book opens with Utterson walking and conversing with Mr. Enfield, who is a businessman and distant cousin. Mr. Enfield recounts to Mr. Utterson... Read The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde Summary

Publication year 2019Genre Novel, FictionThemes Life/Time: Childhood & Youth, Relationships: Mothers, Life/Time: Coming of AgeTags Mystery / Crime Fiction, Science-Fiction / Dystopian Fiction, Technology, American Literature, Children's Literature

The Strangers is a young adult mystery novel published in 2019 by the American author Margaret Peterson Haddix. It tells the story of the three Greystone children who seek to unravel a kidnapping mystery. It is Volume 1 in the Greystone Secrets series, which Haddix returned to in 2020 with Volume 2, The Deceivers. Haddix is the author of more than 40 books for kids and teens, including the Shadow Children series, the Missing series... Read The Strangers Summary

Publication year 2007Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Friendship, Society: War, Life/Time: Coming of Age, Relationships: FamilyTags Historical Fiction, History: U.S., Vietnam War, Children's Literature

Gary Schmidt’s middle-grade novel, The Wednesday Wars, follows seventh grader Holling Hoodhood as he navigates the difficulties of junior high in the late 1960s. Published in 2007, Schmidt’s novel blends historical fiction with a coming-of-age theme, and was given the Newbery Medal in 2008. This guide refers to the Clarion Books 2009 reprint edition. Plot SummaryHolling begins his seventh-grade school year at Camillo Junior High in Long Island, New York. From day one, Holling can... Read The Wednesday Wars Summary

Publication year 1832Genre Short Story, FictionThemes Natural World: Appearance & Reality, Relationships: Marriage, Emotions/Behavior: GriefTags Colonial America

“The Wives of the Dead,” a short story published in 1832 by American dark-romantic author Nathaniel Hawthorne, tells of sisters-in-law in colonial Massachusetts whose husbands die at the same time and details their attempts to help each other cope with the loss. The eerily surreal story touches on several of Hawthorne’s literary obsessions, including Gothic horror, Puritan guilt, love and devotion, Early American history, and feminism. The story later appeared in an 1851 collection, The... Read The Wives of the Dead Summary

Publication year 1853Genre Autobiography / Memoir, NonfictionThemes Identity: Race, Society: Class, Values/Ideas: Equality, Values/Ideas: Truth & Lies

Twelve Years a Slave is a memoir by Solomon Northup, a black man who was born free in New York and kidnapped by two men who sold him into slavery. Northup spent 12 years as a slave in the Deep South, encountering slave markets in Washington, DC and New Orleans and working on numerous cotton and sugar plantations throughout Louisiana. Northup narrated his memoir to American lawyer and writer David Wilson, who then edited Northup’s... Read Twelve Years a Slave Summary

Publication year 1852Genre Essay / Speech, NonfictionThemes Values/Ideas: EqualityTags Race / Racism, History: U.S., Politics / Government, American Civil War

In “What to the Slave Is the Fourth of July?”, otherwise known as “The Meaning of July Fourth for the Negro,” Frederick Douglass outlines a careful argument against the institution of slavery and more specifically the Fugitive Slave Act. Weaving together ethical, religious, and sociopolitical threads of argument, Douglass points out the ironies of American values, particularly regarding the existence of an economic system based on slavery. Originally drafted and given as a speech in... Read What to the Slave Is the Fourth of July? Summary

Publication year 1176Genre Novel/Book in Verse, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Love, Relationships: Friendship, Values/Ideas: Justice & InjusticeTags Classic Fiction, Romance, Mythology, Narrative / Epic Poem, Medieval Literature / Middle Ages, French Literature

Completed in the year 1181, Yvain, Or the Knight of the Lion is an epic poem by Chrétian De Troyes that tells the story of Yvain, one of King Arthur’s knights, and the many great deeds he performs as he attempts to earn the love of the Lady Laudine. One of the founding stories of the Arthurian legend, Yvain paints a vivid picture of the knightly code of chivalry during the Middle Ages. Its high... Read Yvain, or the Knight With the Lion Summary