Book Recommendations from a Book Lover


JohnPaul Pascale

Some Novels

As an avid book lover since the age of three, I have over the years compiled quite the list of novels I have read and enjoyed. If you are ever wondering which book you might read next, or maybe you have a bit of free time, I suggest looking over this list and seeing whether any books here spark your attention.

The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway

Though a short read and simply written, this incredible story of an old, poor Cuban fisherman and his exhausting battle against a giant marlin exemplifies courage despite constant defeat, and triumph despite loss. A great read for eighth through eleventh graders.

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

Arguably the greatest and most loved fantasy epic of our time, this tale of a small hobbit and his fabulous adventures through Middle-earth is a must read. Sixth through ninth graders should read it, but the novel will be enjoyed by all ages.

Manalive by G.K. Chesterton

This novel expresses the joy of living through the life of Innocent Smith, who one day after being taken up in a great wind and having landed on the lawn of a boarding house, begins his life there and in doing so rejuvenates the other inhabitants living there. In areas it is a challenging read; I might suggest this for high-schoolers and onwards.

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

Full of laughter, sadness, joy, and triumph, this novel about a family of four girls and their mother and father tells about their lives in a truly wonderful way. Little Men and Jo’s Boys are also valuable additions to this story. I recommend this book for sixth through tenth graders.

Children of the Last Days Series by Michael D. O’Brien

A collection of seven apocalyptic Catholic novels about the end times and the moral and spiritual difficulties of our current times. A mature read and often philosophically deep, I would suggest this for tenth graders and onwards.

Will Wilder Series by Raymond Arroyo

A thrilling set of novels about the adventures of a Catholic boy and his growth in virtue, the evil of the devil, and the power of relics. Suspenseful at parts, this novel is ideal for fifth through eighth graders.

The Ball and the Cross by G.K. Chesterton

In an unbelieving world, two men are forced to run away together after trying to duel for their respective beliefs, but soon grow to value each other’s company and become close friends. Challenging at parts, this novel is a wonderful read for high-schoolers and beyond.

The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton

The story of three lower class orphaned brothers and the difficulties of their life as a part of a gang. Tragic and mature at parts, I would not recommend this book for anyone under the age of fifteen.

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

The comical story of the five Bennet sisters and of their romances, values, virtues, and sorrows, this novel is one of the most acclaimed works of fiction ever written and has characters who are sure to engage readers for all time. This novel could be read as young as seventh or eighth grade, but high-schoolers and older would probably be better benefited by it.

The Grand Fenwick Series by Leonard Wibberly

A series of political satires that tell of the hysterical yet important exploits of the Duchy of Grand Fenwick, the smallest sovereign nation in the world, fifteen square miles large, located in the Alps. Depending on reading comprehension, these novels can be read as young as seventh grade and are humorous even for adults.

The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown

The true and incredible story of the University of Washington rowing team’s journey to winning gold in the 1936 Olympics in Germany, and especially of the fascinating life of Joe Rantz, and of the difficulties he had to overcome in his life. I recommend this book for eighth graders and onwards.

The Green Ember Series by S.D. Smith

A series about the adventures of Heather and Picket Longtreader and the other animals of the forest full of war, excitement, danger, mystery, and suspense. I would suggest these books for fifth through seventh grade.

The Great Brain Series by John D. Fitzgerald

The incredibly comical stories of Tom Fitzgerald, otherwise known as the Great Brain, and his money making schemes. Although these books are ideal for fifth through eighth graders, I myself still find them incredibly humorous and enjoyable.

The Inferno by Dante Alighieri

The first part of Dante’s masterpiece, The Divine Comedy, this canticle gives one a fascinating depiction of hell and the levels of sinners in hell as well as an interesting analysis of the punishments merited by certain sins. Very complex, I would suggest this book for tenth or eleventh graders and up.

Ranger’s Apprentice Series by John Flanagan

A set of novels about the incredible adventures of a mysterious and skilled group of warriors known as the Rangers, and of how they defend the kingdom of Araluen. I would recommend these books for sixth through ninth graders.

The Father Brown Mysteries by G.K. Chesterton

For anyone who loves mysteries, these stories will be sure to please. G.K. Chesterton, in his witty writing style, creates fabulous scenarios that will definitely leave you wishing for more. I would recommend these books for high-schoolers.

Guts and Glory Series by Ben Thompson

Unlike most history books, the Guts and Glory books display history in a new, comical, and incredibly interesting light. If you like history, you will be sure to enjoy these, and even if you are not particularly a history fan, I would still give them a shot. I recommend these for seventh through tenth graders.

Animal Farm by George Orwell

A political satire written on Stalinist Russia, this book about the animals of the Manor Farm gives people today a strikingly clear image of the evils of communism and the injustices that will always result from it. To be truly understood, I would read this book as a high-schooler.

I hope you enjoy this list and are able to use it to further your love of books! Please feel free to comment with some of your favorite books as well!