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WV English Department

Teacher Recommendations


Don’t know what to read or where to start?

Here are some WV English teacher recommendations. Click on the title of the book to find a GoodReads review of the book. You can also find more information on the book’s content at 

Come back after summer and discuss the book with your current and/or future teachers!


Shaq Uncut 

Conversational writing style; it's his life's story. He's such a kind person. He's hilarious and is very honest about what goes on behind the scenes in the NBA. A must read for basketball fans.


'Salem's Lot 

 A terrifying novel about vampires taking over a small town in America. The good guys fight to take it back.


 The Surgeon

 The story of a killer who preys on women, until the forensic pathologist is challenged to stop the killer...spine tingling...a real page turner.



 It is a true story about the lives of two people and a horse. The book follows the interweaving of their stories, and it lets the reader in on a world and time that you and I did not know existed. To say it melts the time period with the underdog story of horse racing is not doing the book enough justice. This book builds and informs you from the ground up and does not let you get away without rooting for one, if not all three, of these incredibly interesting personalities (horse included).


Escape From Camp 14 

 "Escape from Camp 14" sheds light on a huge issue that is ongoing in our society.


Welcome to the Monkey House 

This is a collection of short stories that deal with all sorts of topics relevant to human life--war, love, technology development, governmental power, hypocrisy, etc.--but you have to have a darker sense of humor to appreciate some of the absurdities that Vonnegut points out in his satirical humor.  


Paper Towns 

 Quentin grows up thinking he knows his neighbor Margo, but soon realizes when she leaves town suddenly that there is more to her than he ever knew. Through a series of hidden clues Margo leaves behind, Quentin is able to track her down on her journey and discover the mysteries behind his lifelong crush. This is a quick read and is yet another masterpiece by John Green!


 American Gods

 Just released from prison, Shadow returns home to find that the love of his life, Laura, was killed in a car crash with his best friend Robbie the night before. Alone and confused, Shadow takes a job with an obscure con man named Mr. Wednesday, and as he tours America, he finds the world full of gods, old--Odin, Horus, Christ-- and new--Technical Boy, Media, and Mr. World--who wander the Earth attempting to gain more followers which give them strength. The old gods and the new gods, struggling to amass as many followers as they can in order to grow in power, are heading down the path to war, and Shadow has to choose the side he is on.


 The Little Prince

 A pilot crashes his plane in the desert. While repairing it, he meets a mysterious young boy from another planet. The little boy tells the pilot about the different planets he has visited and the people he has met on each. While on Earth, the little boy befriends a fox who teaches him about what is most essential in life. While "The Little Prince" is considered a "children's book" and is a short, simple read with pictures, it appeals to all ages as its lessons are universal. Moreover, once you learn about the author's real life, you see that the story is really about even more than you once thought. As you reread "The Little Prince," the older you get, the more you get from it.


A Confederacy of Dunces

Think of a pompous version of Holden Caufield, except instead of an episodic journey through New York, the story moves through New Orleans. Ignatius J. Reilly is a thirty year old Middle Ages scholar who lives with his mother. Much of the novel is made up of his interactions with local characters from New Orleans as he tries to find work, but off in the distance Ignatius true motivation is to reconcile an old relationship that went bad. Read to find out if he is successful. Try not to laugh too hard along the way! 


Left to Tell: Discovering God Amidst the Rwandan Holocaust 

 It’s a spiritual journey for the author during the Rwandan Holocaust. It’s extremely detailed and emotional, as the author barely survives and witnessed many loved ones die.



 The first book in a series about the Arthurian Legend, connecting it to the Lost City of Atlantis. Two romantic legends in one.


The Humane Economy: How Innovators and Enlightened Consumers Are Transforming the Lives of Animals 

 Written by the President and CEO of the Humane Society, The Humane Economy explores all the ways we can help save the world by promoting the welfare of ALL living creatures. This work focuses on simple, every day choices we can make as consumers to help benefit animals, the environment, and mankind. Pacelle's approach is informative and straightforward; he doesn't sugarcoat reality though and does provide realistic, graphic accounts when needed


On the Road

 Two jazz loving carefree hipsters adventurously road trip across mid 20th century America. The defining work of the postwar Beat generation.


The Book Thief

 Told from the perspective of Death, and taking place right before World War II, the story follows a young German girl named Liesel. Liesel has many secrets throughout the story, including the books she has stolen and what is hidden in her basement. There are many twists and turn throughout the book and the narrator Death will bring the most surprises.



 A women's memoir about growing up with her family on a strict, mormon Idaho farm. She knows nothing of the outside world other than what her father tells her about how "the end is near." No birth certificate, no modern technology, no EDUCATION. This story is about everything from family loyalty, mental illness, abuse, and yet personal strength in the face of adversity. I couldn't put it down. The fact that this was all true is amazing, gripping, and unbelievable!


The Kite Runner 

 Amir experiences growing up in war-torn Afghanistan. Eventually, the Soviets invade his homeland, and he is forced to leave his homeland a refugee. Amir eventually creates a new life for himself in the United States of America, but he continues to struggle with his past--to forgive himself and to love unconditionally. It provided me with a new perspective, as I further learned about the Taliban and its brutality. Despair is thick here, but there is still hope for a better life, for compassion, for love and for forgiveness if we can learn to forgive ourselves and our human frailty. 


 Chanda's Secrets

 A coming of age story set during the African AIDS epidemic where the protagonist deals with not only taking care of her family and friends due to the disease, but her desire to further her education in an impoverished community


Love, Hate & Other Filters

 Maya Aziz is the only Muslim at her high school in Batavia, IL. While she is caught between making her parents proud and following her movie-making dreams, a terrorist attack disrupts her life and shows the underlying bigotry that exists in her town.


How to Win Friends and Influence People

 Although this is an old book, it's one of the best selling books of all time. This book teaches people how to use their communication skills to connect with others and get them to think, feel, or act differently.


The Road 

 Cormac McCarthy’s novel about a boy and his father seeking safety in a post-apocalyptic world. 1984 lovers need this book. Some of the ideas that the book deals with are the idea of good and evil, death, apocalypse, cruelty, hope and hopelessness—all things that go along with the end of the world!



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