9th Grade Reading List: Top Books for 9th Graders

Are you looking for books that you can share with your teenager? If you're putting together a reading list, read on for some suggestions on top books at the 9th grade level.

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Supplemental Reading for 9th Graders

By the time your son or daughter is in 9th grade, he or she may be able to read and discuss the same novels that you're reading. The following reading list contains classic and contemporary books that appeal to both teenagers and adults. Reading a novel together can encourage your son or daughter to finish the book and can inspire some interesting conversations.

9th Grade Level Books

1. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

Narrated by Death, The Book Thief tells the story of Liesel, a foster girl who is sent to live with a middle-aged couple outside of Munich during the Nazi Party's rise to power. As Germany heads into war, Liesel copes by stealing books. During bombing raids, these pilfered books bring comfort to Liesel, her neighbors and the young Jewish boxer that Liesel and her foster parents hide in the basement. The book includes discussion questions that will help your 9th grader think critically about the characters and themes.

2. The Lord of the Rings Trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien

If your teenager has already read The Hobbit, he or she might want to follow up with this classic trio of fantasy novels entitled The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers, and The Return of the King. The story is about a powerful ring created by Dark Lord Sauron, who plans to use the ring to take over Middle-earth. Thousands of years later, a young hobbit named Frodo Baggins inherits custody of the ring, unaware of its origin until Gandalf the wizard warns him of its history. Now Sauron is back, looking for the ring, and Frodo must set off on a journey to keep Sauron and his evil minions from seizing it.

3. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

This work of contemporary fiction provides insight into the culture and history of Afghanistan. Amir and Hassan grow up together, as close as brothers, and spend their childhood kite-fighting in Kabul. One day, Amir witnesses Hassan being victimized in a shocking act of violence, which leaves him riddled with guilt because he did nothing to help. Shortly afterwards, Amir and his father escape the Soviet invasion to make a life in the U.S. After the rise of the Taliban, Amir - now an adult - returns to Afghanistan to seek redemption by saving Hassan's son from a terrible fate.

4. Night by Elie Wiesel

This classic autobiography is an account of Wiesel's adolescent experience in Nazi concentration camps. Wiesel describes the final moments with his mother and sister before they were sent to the gas chambers. He recalls how he cared for his ailing father in Auschwitz and Buchenwald, only to witness his father being beaten to death one night. Throughout the book, the teenage Wiesel struggles with his faith in God and humanity. This book is part of a trilogy that includes the fictional works Dawn and Day.

5. The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd

This novel can give your 9th grader some insight into racial tensions in the South during the 1960s. When Lily - a 14-year-old white girl - runs away from her abusive father, she takes with her their black maid, Rosaleen, and a memento of the mother she barely knew. This memento leads Lily and Rosaleen to Tiburon, South Carolina, where they are taken in by the honey-producing Boatwright sisters. Unbeknownst to Lily, the sisters know secrets about Lily's mother. With their help, Lily learns about beekeeping, love and what really happened to her mother.

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