High School Core Literature

Our high school core literature list allows students to be exposed to authors who represent a variety in writing style, themes, and perspectives.

Core Literature List by Grade

  • The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (Mark Twain)
  • The Aeneid (Virgil)
  • The Analects of Confucius
  • Beloved (Toni Morrison)
  • The Boxer Rebellion, 1900 (Fei Ch’i-hao)
  • Civil Disobedience (Henry David Thoreau)
  • The Communist Manifesto (Karl Marx)
  • Discourse on the Origin and Basis of Inequality Among Men (Jean-Jacques Rousseau)
  • The Epic of Gilgamesh
  • The Federalist Papers (Jay, Hamilton, Madison)
  • First and Second Inaugural Addresses (Abraham Lincoln)
  • Frankenstein (Mary Shelley)
  • The Histories (Herodotus)
  • The History of the Peloponnesian War (Thucydides)
  • The Iliad (Homer)
  • Letter from Birmingham Jail (Martin Luther King, Jr.)
  • The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven (Sherman Alexie)
  • Macbeth (William Shakespeare)
  • Magna Carta
  • Marbury v. Madison (John Marshall)
  • The Metamorphosis (Franz Kafka)
  • Meno (Plato)
  • Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass (Frederick Douglass)
  • The New Nationalism (Theodore Roosevelt)
  • Notes of a Native Son (James Baldwin)
  • The Odyssey (Homer)
  • One Hundred Years of Solitude (Gabriel Garcia Marquez)
  • Parallel Lives (Greek and Roman) (Plutarch)
  • Plessy v. Ferguson (Henry Brown)
  • The Republic (Plato)
  • Rugged Individualism (Herbert Hoover)
  • Satyagraha: The Power of Nonviolence (Mahatma Gandhi)
  • The Second Treatise of Civil Government (John Locke)
  • A Tale of Two Cities (Charles Dickens)
  • United Nations Charter
  • United States Constitution
  • United States Declaration of Independence
  • A Vindication of the Rights of Woman (Mary Wollstonecraft)
  • Walden (Henry David Thoreau)
  • The Wealth of Nations (Adam Smith)
  • White Teeth (Zadie Smith)
  • The Yellow Wallpaper (Charlotte Perkins Gilman)

This list is not exhaustive, as we also believe strongly in guarding the autonomy of teacher-chosen readings. We think of our core literature not so much as a canon, but as a conversation, and a conversation in which all members of our community are encouraged to participate.