Top Novels for American Literature Classes

Every school system and teacher have different methods for choosing the novels that students read each year of high school. Here is a list detailing some of the most frequently taught American Literature novels in classrooms today.

1
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
Courtesy of Amazon.com

Mark Twain's (Samuel Clemen's) classic novel is a must for all students studying American humor and satire. While banned in some school districts, it is a widely read and appreciated novel. Buy from Amazon »

2
The Scarlet Letter

The Scarlett Letter
Courtesy of Amazon.com

Hester Prynne was marked in scarlet for her indiscretions. Students connect with this classic novel by Nathaniel Hawthorne. Buy from Amazon »

3
To Kill a Mockingbird

To Kill a Mockingbird
Courtesy of Amazon.com

Harper Lee's awesome novel of the deep south in the midst of the Depression is always an excellent choice for high school students. Buy from Amazon »

4
The Red Badge of Courage

The Red Badge of Courage (Dover Thrift Editions)
Courtesy of Amazon.com

Henry Fleming struggles with bravery and courage during the Civil War in this excellent book by Stephen Crane. Great for integrating history and literature. Buy from Amazon »

5
The Great Gatsby

The Great Gatsby
Courtesy of Amazon.com

Can anyone think of the 'flapper' era of the 1920s without thinking of F. Scott Fitzgerald's "The Great Gatsby?" Students and teachers alike find this era in history fascinating. Buy from Amazon »

6
The Grapes of Wrath

The Grapes of Wrath (Centennial Edition)
Courtesy of Amazon.com

John Steinbeck's tale of Dust Bowl victims ‚Äčtraveling west for a better life is a classic look at life during the Great Depression. Buy from Amazon »

7
The Call of the Wild

The Call of the Wild (Global Classics)
Courtesy of Amazon.com

Told from Buck the dog's point of view, "The Call of the Wild" is Jack London's masterpiece of self-reflection and identity. Buy from Amazon »

8
Invisible Man: A Novel

Invisible Man
Courtesy of Amazon.com

Ralph Ellison's classic novel about racial prejudice should not be missed. Many of the problems that his narrator faces throughout the novel sadly are still present in America today. Buy from Amazon »

9
A Farewell to Arms

A Farewell to Arms
Courtesy of Amazon.com

One of the best novels of World War I, Ernest Hemingway tells of the war as a backdrop to a love story between an American ambulance driver and an English nurse. Buy from Amazon »

10
Fahrenheit 451

Fahrenheit 451
Courtesy of Amazon.com

Ray Bradbury's classic 'novelette' portrays a futuristic world where firemen start fires instead of putting them out. They burn books. Students enjoy this quick read that packs a huge psychological punch. Buy from Amazon »