The Great American Read

The Great American Read is an eight-part series that explores and celebrates the power of reading, told through the lens of America’s 100 best-loved novels (as chosen in a national survey). It investigates how and why writers create their fictional worlds, how we as readers are affected by these stories, and what these 100 different books have to say about our diverse nation and our shared human experience. 

This LearningMedia collection highlights books from The Great American Read that find their ways into classrooms and onto summer reading lists. It includes additional resources across PBS partners that contextualize the authors and the impact these books have had on specific readers and throughout history.

Books by grade band:


Alice in Wonderland
Anne of Green Gables
Charlotte’s Web
Chronicles of Narnia
The Giver
Harry Potter
Where the Red Fern Grows 

Middle School

Little Women
Looking for Alaska
The Outsiders
To Kill A Mockingbird
Tom Sawyer

High School

Another Country
The Book Thief
Call of the Wild
The Catcher in the Rye
Color Purple
Count of Monte Christo
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time
Gone With the Wind
Grapes of Wrath
Great Expectations
The Great Gatsby
The Handmaid’s Tale
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
Invisible Man
Jane Eyre
Lord of the Rings
One Hundred Years of Solitude
Pilgrim’s Progress
Ready Player One
Pride and Prejudice
A Separate Peace
Sirens of Titans
The Stand
The Sun Also Rises
Their Eyes Were Watching God
Things Fall Apart
War and Peace