Grade 11 – Reading List

Month 1: Modern Classics

“The Catcher in the Rye” by J.D. Salinger – Follow the rebellious and introspective Holden Caulfield as he navigates adolescence and grapples with the complexities of authenticity and identity.

“To the Lighthouse” by Virginia Woolf – Delve into Woolf’s experimental narrative style as she explores the inner thoughts and emotions of characters during a family trip to a lighthouse.

“Invisible Man” by Ralph Ellison – Experience the journey of an unnamed African-American narrator as he confronts racial prejudice and searches for his own identity in a racially divided society.


Month 2: Postcolonial Literature

“Things Fall Apart” by Chinua Achebe – Witness the tragic story of Okonkwo, a respected warrior in a Nigerian village, as he confronts the collision of traditional Igbo culture with colonialism.

“Wide Sargasso Sea” by Jean Rhys – Enter the world of Bertha Mason, the “madwoman in the attic” from Charlotte Brontë’s “Jane Eyre,” as Rhys reimagines her story and gives her a voice.

“Midnight’s Children” by Salman Rushdie – Embark on a magical realism-infused journey through the history of India, following the lives of children born at the stroke of midnight on the country’s independence day.


Month 3: American Classics

“The Grapes of Wrath” by John Steinbeck – Experience the plight of the Joad family as they migrate to California during the Great Depression, grappling with poverty, injustice, and the search for a better life.

“Beloved” by Toni Morrison – Dive into Morrison’s haunting exploration of the legacy of slavery through the story of Sethe, a former slave haunted by the ghost of her deceased daughter.

“The Sound and the Fury” by William Faulkner – Enter the tumultuous world of the Compson family, as Faulkner employs multiple perspectives and stream-of-consciousness narration to depict the decline of a Southern aristocratic family.


Month 4: Poetry and Verse

“The Waste Land” by T.S. Eliot – Delve into this modernist masterpiece, exploring themes of disillusionment and the fragmented nature of modern society.

“Leaves of Grass” by Walt Whitman – Immerse yourself in Whitman’s expansive and celebratory collection of poems, capturing the spirit of America and embracing themes of democracy, individuality, and nature.

“Selected Poems” by Langston Hughes – Explore the powerful and influential poetry of Hughes, delving into themes of identity, racial pride, and the African-American experience.


Month 5: Historical Fiction

“The Book Thief” by Markus Zusak – Follow Liesel Meminger’s journey as she discovers the power of words and finds solace in books during World War II.

“Alias Grace” by Margaret Atwood – Step into the world of Grace Marks, a convicted murderess in 19th-century Canada, as Atwood weaves a tale of crime, psychology, and societal expectations.

“All the Light We Cannot See” by Anthony Doerr – Experience the lives of a blind French girl and a young German soldier during World War II as their paths eventually intersect.


Month 6: Shakespearean Plays

“Hamlet” by William Shakespeare – Delve into the complex psyche of Hamlet as he seeks to avenge his father’s murder, grappling with themes of revenge, madness, and mortality.

“Othello” by William Shakespeare – Witness the tragic consequences of jealousy and manipulation as Iago plots against the noble Moorish general Othello.

“The Tempest” by William Shakespeare – Explore themes of power, forgiveness, and the nature of art as Prospero, a magician and rightful Duke, seeks revenge and redemption on a remote island.


Month 7: Science Fiction and Dystopian Fiction

“Brave New World” by Aldous Huxley – Enter a dystopian society where individuality and emotions are suppressed, and explore themes of technological advancement, social control, and the price of happiness.

“Fahrenheit 451” by Ray Bradbury – Enter a future where books are banned, and firemen burn them, as Guy Montag questions the society’s values and fights against conformity.

“Neuromancer” by William Gibson – Immerse yourself in the world of cyberspace and follow a washed-up computer hacker on a dangerous mission in this pioneering cyberpunk novel.


Month 8: Contemporary Fiction

“The Handmaid’s Tale” by Margaret Atwood – Enter the dystopian Republic of Gilead, where Offred fights for survival and freedom in a society that has subjugated women.

“The Road” by Cormac McCarthy – Accompany a father and his young son as they journey through a post-apocalyptic landscape, facing harrowing challenges and questioning the essence of humanity.

“Never Let Me Go” by Kazuo Ishiguro – Explore the lives of Kathy, Ruth, and Tommy as they grow up in a seemingly idyllic English boarding school, gradually discovering the dark truth behind their existence.


Month 9: Non-Fiction and Memoirs

“The Autobiography of Malcolm X” by Malcolm X and Alex Haley – Follow the transformation of Malcolm X, from his troubled youth to his influential role in the Civil Rights Movement, as he reflects on race, identity, and activism.

“The Diary of Anne Frank” by Anne Frank – Gain insight into the life of Anne Frank, a Jewish girl in hiding during the Holocaust, through her poignant and intimate diary entries.

“Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind” by Yuval Noah Harari – Explore the history of humanity from the emergence of Homo sapiens to the present day, examining the development of civilizations, religions, and scientific progress.