A Letters About Literature Reading List

The Letters About Literature contest invites each student in grades 4-12 to write to an author—living or dead—whose work influenced the student’s life. It’s not a formal report where someone picks a book the child or teen “should” read. Instead, the students themselves pick the books that touched their hearts. If a fourth grader found inspiration in War and Peace, so be it. If a high school senior turned his or her life around after reading Captain Underpants, we welcome their letter. What matters most is that a connection was made.

With that in mind, we thought it would be fun this year to compile a reading list of  all the titles our Wyoming Letters About Literature participants chose. Some are newer, some are classics, some might be surprises, but all touched the lives of at least one young reader. Enjoy.

Level 1 (grades 4-6)

  • Who Was Alexander the Great? by Kathryn Waterfield and Robin Waterfield
  • The View from Saturday by E.L. Konigsburg
  • Lincoln’s Last Days by Bill O’Reilly and Dwight Jon Zimmerman
  • Dancing in the Wings by Debbie Allen
  • Long Haul (Diary of a Wimpy Kid series) by Jeff Kenney
  • Angela’s Wings by Eric Jon Nones
  • The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster
  • A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket
  • Out of the Dust by Karen Hesse
  • Letters from Rifka by Karen Hesse
  • The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery
  • Harry Potter (series) by J.K. Rowling
  • Hatchet by Gary Paulsen

Level 2

  • Harry Potter (series) by J.K. Rowling
  • A Child Called “It” by Dave Pelzer
  • Left Behind by Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins
  • To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  • The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
  • Divergent by Veronica Roth
  • The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
  • The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton
  • A Child Called “It” by Dave Pelzer
  • Frozen by Robin Wasserman
  • All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven
  • Inheritance Cycle (series) by Christopher Paolini
  • Letters for Emily by Camron Wright
  • The Shining by Stephen King

Level 3

  • Yassmin’s Story by Yassmin Abdel-Magied
  • Skate by Michael Harmon
  • Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli
  • Michael Vey (series) by Richard Paul Evans
  • I Am the Messenger by Markus Zusak
  • The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey
  • Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz
  • Booked by Kwame Alexander
  • Mark of the Grizzly by Scott McMillion
  • Twilight by Stephenie Meyer
  • A Child Called “It” by Dave Pelzer
  • Tyrell by Coe Booth
  • One Summer by David Baldacci
  • Divergent by Veronica Roth
  • 70 x 7 and Beyond by Monty Christensen
  • Solitary by Travis Thrasher
  • Two by Two by Nicholas Sparks
  • Writing My Wrongs by Shaka Senghor
  • Black and White by Paul Volponi
  • Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

Letters About Literature is a program of the Center for the Book at the Library of Congress, with support from the Dollar General Foundation.

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