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Reading Lists

The CTY reading lists represent the recommendations of staff, program participants, and friends of CTY.

Recently added:

CTY's traditional reading lists:

Even highly able students sometimes overlook literary classics when they select books for recreational reading. Outstanding short stories, novels, and humorous essays both entertain and tell us a great deal about ourselves and our world, whether they were written yesterday or a hundred years ago. Thus, many classics are included, but these lists are by no means complete. We suggest that you balance your reading by sampling books from a number of categories. Finally, we suggest that you develop your own personal reading list; some ways to do that follow.

  • Try a category of literature, called a genre, which you have not tried before. If you tend to concentrate on fantasy or science fiction, try historical fiction or a novel of protest.
  • Look for biographies and autobiographies of famous scientists, mathematicians, or writers, depending on your particular interests. It is both interesting and useful to know how someone who shared your interests proceeded through his or her life and career.
  • Ask teachers, librarians, and your parents to direct you to books related to your interests. Ask older friends which books they have particularly enjoyed reading. Scan the book review section of your weekend newspaper for new books that might interest you. Browse the shelves at your local library and bookstore.
  • Discuss books you read with your friends; sharing insights and reactions makes reading more fun. Join a book review group in your community, or contact the Great Books Foundation at 800-222-5870 or for information on its programs.
  • Visit online bookstores and go to their “Award Winners” section for a variety of highly acclaimed books written throughout the years.
  • Consult reading lists compiled by other organizations such as the American Library Association:
    Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), which provides a variety of book award categories and other selected booklists: