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Top 10 Novels for American Literature Classes

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Every school system and teacher has a different method for choosing the novels that students read each year of high school. Here is a list detailing some of the most frequently taught American Literature novels in classrooms today.

1. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

Mark Twain's (Samuel Clemen's) classic novel is a must for all students studying American humor and satire. While banned in some school districts, it is a widely read and appreciated novel.
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2. The Scarlet Letter

Hester Prynne was marked in scarlet for her indiscretions. Students connect with this classic novel by Nathaniel Hawthorne.
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3. To Kill a Mockingbird

Harper Lee's awesome novel of the deep south in the midst of the Depression is always an excellent choice for high school students.
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4. The Red Badge of Courage

Henry Fleming struggles with bravery and courage during the Civil War in this excellent book by Stephen Crane. Great for integrating history and literature.
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5. The Great Gatsby

Can anyone think of the 'flapper' era of the 1920s without thinking of F. Scott Fitzgerald's "The Great Gatsby?" Students and teachers alike find this era in history fascinating.
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6. The Grapes of Wrath

John Steinbeck's tale of Dust Bowl victims travelling west for a better life is a classic look at life during the Great Depression.
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7. Call of the Wild

Told from Buck the dog's point of view, "Call of the Wild" is Jack London's masterpiece of self reflection and identity.
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8. Invisible Man: A Novel

Ralph Ellison's classic novel about racial prejudice should not be missed. Many of the problems that his narrator faces throughout the novel sadly are still present in America today.
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9. A Farewell to Arms

One of the best novels of World War I, Ernest Hemingway tells of the war as a backdrop to a love story between an American ambulance driver and an English nurse.
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10. Fahrenheit 451

Ray Bradbury's classic 'novelette' portrays a futuristic world where firemen start fires instead of putting them out. They burn books. Students enjoy this quick read that packs a huge psychological punch.
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