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Coming-of-Age Classics

Here's a list of beloved time-tested novels and often-controversial classics that have become reading rites of passage.
 
Cover image for The Giver
The Giver
by Lois Lowry

Jonas's world is perfect. Everything is under control. There is no war or fear of pain. There are no choices. Every person is assigned a role in the community.

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Paperbacks : $8.99

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Cover image for The Yearling
The Yearling
by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings Illustrated by Edward Shenton
No novel better epitomizes the love between a child and a pet than "The Yearling." Young Jody adopts an orphaned fawn he calls Flag and makes it a part of his family and his best friend.
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Cover image for Where the Red Fern Grows
Where the Red Fern Grows
by Wilson Rawls

Billy Colman roams the Ozarks of northeastern Oklahoma with his bluetick hound and his precious coonhound pup trying to "tree" the elusive raccoon. In time, the inseparable trio wins the coveted gold cup in the annual coon-hunt contest, captures the wily ghost coon, and bravely fights with a mountain lion.

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Paperbacks : $6.50

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Cover image for Holes
Holes
by Louis Sachar

This winner of the Newbery Medal and the National Book Award features Stanley Yelnats, a kid who is under a curse. A curse that began with his no-good-dirty-rotten-pig-stealing-great-great-grandfather and has since followed generations of Yelnats.

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Paperbacks : $6.29

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Cover image for Stargirl
Stargirl
by Jerry Spinelli

Stargirl. From the day she arrives at quiet Mica High in a burst of color and sound, the hallways hum with the murmur of "Stargirl, Stargirl." She captures Leo Borlock's heart with just one smile. She sparks a school-spirit revolution with just one cheer. The students of Mica High are enchanted. At first.

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Paperbacks : $8.95

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Cover image for Waves
Waves
by Sharon Dogar

* "Skillfully narrated through Hal and Charley's alternating voices and thoughts, Dogar frequently and seamlessly shifts between time and place to create a haunting mystery packed with suffering, hope and personal growth. Riveting." — Kirkus Reviews, starred review

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Cover image for The Secret Garden
The Secret Garden
Series: Apple Classics
by Frances Hodgson Burnett

Wonderful. Magical. Secret.

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Paperbacks : $4.99

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Cover image for To Kill a Mockingbird
To Kill a Mockingbird
by Harper Lee

Set in a small Southern town during the Depression, this funny, heartbreaking coming-of-age novel follows three years in the life of Scout Finch, her brother Jem, and her attorney father, Atticus, who risks everything to defend a black man wrongly accused of raping a white woman.

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Paperbacks : $7.19

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Cover image for The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
by Mark Twain

This irresistible tale of the adventures of two friends growing up in frontier America is one of Mark Twain's most popular novels.

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Paperbacks : $4.99

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Cover image for The Catcher in the Rye
The Catcher in the Rye
by J. D. Salinger

The hero-narrator of The Catcher in the Rye is an ancient child of sixteen, a native New Yorker named Holden Caulfield. Through circumstances that tend to preclude adult, secondhand description, he leaves his prep school in Pennsylvania and goes underground in New York City for three days.

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I Capture the Castle
by Dodie Smith

Seventeen-year-old Cassandra lives in not-so-genteel poverty in a crumbling ruin of an old English castle.

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Cover image for The Perks of Being a Wallflower
The Perks of Being a Wallflower
by Stephen Chbosky

This is the story of what it's like to grow up in high school. More intimate than a diary, Charlie's letters are singular and unique, hilarious and devastating. We may not know where he lives. We may not know to whom he is writing. All we know is the world he shares.

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Cover image for Looking for Alaska
Looking for Alaska
by John Green

Before.

Miles Pudge Halter is done with his safe life at home. His whole life has been one big non-event, and his obsession with famous last words has only made him crave the Great Perhaps even more (Franois Rabelais, poet).

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Paperbacks : $8.99

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Cover image for A Tree Grows In Brooklyn
A Tree Grows In Brooklyn
by Betty Smith
As she comes of age in Brooklyn in the early 1900s, Francie and her family experience hard times, good times, change, and renewal.
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Cover image for Speak
Speak
by Laurie Halse Anderson

Melinda Sordino busted an end-of-summer party by calling the cops. Now her old friends won't talk to her, and people she doesn't even know hate her from a distance. The safest place to be is alone, inside her own head. But even that's not safe.

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Cover image for The Graveyard Book
The Graveyard Book
by Neil Gaiman Illustrated by Dave McKean

Nobody Owens, known to his friends as Bod, is a normal boy. He would be "completely" normal if he didn't live in a sprawling graveyard, being raised and educated by ghosts, with a solitary guardian who belongs to neither the world of the living nor of the dead.

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Cover image for Lord of the Flies
Lord of the Flies
by William Golding
William Golding's classic novel about a group of English schoolboys who are stranded on a deserted island remains as relevant today as it was when it was first published in 1954.
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