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Novels for ESL Students: Novels for Grades 6 - 10

This guide lists novels available in the Spokane Community College Library that are appropriate for English as a Second Language students

Novels for Grades 6 - 10

These books are in order by reading grade level.


The library call number (example: 823.912 BARRIE) is shown after the book title.  The call number will indicate where to find the book in the library.  Ask a librarian if you need help locating a book.

book cover for Peter Pan

Barrie, J.M., Peter Pan, 823.912 BARRIE, 155 pages, grade level 6.1

Peter Pan, the book based on J. M. Barrie's famous play, is filled with unforgettable characters: Peter Pan, the boy who would not grow up; the fairy, Tinker Bell; the evil pirate, Captain Hook; and the three children-Wendy, John, and Michael-who fly off with Peter Pan to Neverland, where they meet Indians and pirates and a crocodile that ticks.

book cover for The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe 

Lewis, C.S., The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, 823.912 LEWIS, 189 pages, grade level 6.1

Four English schoolchildren find their way through the back of a wardrobe into the magic land of Narnia and assist Aslan, the golden lion, to triumph over the White Witch, who has cursed the land with eternal winter.

book cover for The Red Pony 

Steinbeck, John, The Red Pony, 813.52 STEINBE, 100 pages, grade level 6.4

Raised on a ranch in northern California, Jody is well-schooled in the hard work and demands of a rancher's life. He is used to the way of horses, too; but nothing has prepared him for the special connection he will forge with Gabilan, the hot-tempered pony his father gives him. With Billy Buck, the hired hand, Jody tends and trains his horse, restlessly anticipating the moment he will sit high upon Gabilan's saddle. But when Gabilan falls ill, Jody discovers there are still lessons he must learn about the ways of nature and, particularly, the ways of man.

book cover for The Bean Trees 

Kingsolver, Barbara, The Bean Trees, 813.54 KINGSOL, 261 pages, grade level 6.5

When Taylor Greer hits the road she has no real destination, only to get as far from Kentucky as possible. By the time she ends up in Arizona, she has inherited a three-year-old Cherokee girl from an Indian woman she met in a bar.

book cover for Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince 

Rowling, J.K., Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, 823.914 ROWLING, 652 pages, grade level 6.5

Sixth-year Hogwarts student Harry Potter gains valuable insights into the boy Voldemort once was, even as his own world is transformed by maturing friendships, schoolwork assistance from an unexpected source, and devastating losses.

book cover for Chocolate War 

Cormier, Robert, Chocolate War, 813.54 CORMIER, 253 pages, grade level 6.7

A high school freshman discovers the devastating consequences of refusing to join in the school's annual fund raising drive and arousing the wrath of the school bullies.

book cover for L. Frank Baum’s The Wonderful Wizard of Oz 

Baum, L. Frank, L. Frank Baum’s The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, 813.4 BAUM, 268 pages, grade level 6.9

After a cyclone transports her to the land of Oz, Dorothy must seek out the great wizard in order to return to Kansas.

book cover for Just So Stories 

Kipling, Rudyard, Just So Stories, 823.8 KIPLING, 170 pages, grade level 6.9

The famous, funny and inspiring stories from one of the world's greatest storytellers. From the 'satiable curiosity of the elephant's child to the crab who played with the sea, from the ingenious invention of the alphabet to how the rhinoceros got his wrinkled skin, these stories of strange happenings in the High and Far-Off Times brim with life, humour and magic - a wonderful collection that will hold you spellbound!

book cover for A Wizard of Earthsea 

LeGuin, Ursula, A Wizard of Earthsea, 813.54 LE GUIN, 197 pages, grade level 6.9

A boy grows to manhood while attempting to subdue the evil he unleashed on the world as an apprentice to the Master Wizard.

book cover for The Little Prince 

Saint-Exupery, Antoine de, The Little Prince, 843.912 SAINT-E, 91 pages, grade level 7.1

No story is more beloved by children and grown-ups alike than this wise, enchanting fable. One day, the author reminisces, when his plane was forced down in the Sahara, a thousand miles from help, he encountered a most extraordinary small person. "If you please, " said the stranger, "draw me a sheep." And thus begins the remarkable history of the Little Prince.

book cover for The Invisible Man 

Wells, H.G., The Invisible Man, 823.912 WELLS, 161 pages, grade level 7.1

With his face swaddled in bandages, his eyes hidden behind dark glasses, and his hands covered even indoors, Griffin—the new guest at the Coach and Horses—is at first assumed to be a shy accident victim. But the true reason for his disguise is far more chilling: he has developed a process that has made him invisible and is locked in a struggle to discover the antidote. Forced from the village and driven to murder, he seeks the aid of an old friend, Kemp. The horror of his fate has affected his mind, however, and when Kemp refuses to help, he resolves to wreak his revenge.

book cover for The Time Machine 

Wells, H.G., The Time Machine, 823.912 WELLS, 218 pages, grade level 7.1

A classic novel of the future follows the Time Traveller as he hurtles one million years into the future and encounters a world populated by two distinct races, the childlike Eloi and the disgusting Morlocks who prey on the Eloi.

book cover for The Call of the Wild 

London, Jack, The Call of the Wild, 813.54 LONDON, 128 pages, grade level 7.3

The story of a house dog sold to Alaska as a sled dog for the gold rush of 1898. Through various owners and experiences he becomes a tougher and smarter animal, and after his favorite owner dies he becomes leader of a wolf pack.

book cover for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows 

Rowling, J.K., Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, 823.914 ROWLING, 759 pages, grade level 7.4

Burdened with the dark, dangerous, and seemingly impossible task of locating and destroying Voldemort's remaining Horcruxes, Harry, feeling alone and uncertain about his future, struggles to find the inner strength he needs to follow the path set out before him.

book cover for Montana 1948 

Watson, Larry, Montana 1948, 813.54 WATSON, 175 pages, grade level 7.5

David 12, comes of age during 1948 when his uncle is accused of molesting and murdering Native Americans in his small Montana town.

book cover for Ellen Foster 

Gibbons, Kaye, Ellen Foster, 813.54 GIBBONS, 126 pages, grade level 8.1

Having suffered abuse and misfortune for much of her life, a young child searches for a better life and finally gets a break in the home of a loving woman with several foster children.

book cover for Lord of the Flies 

Golding, William, The Lord of the Flies, 823.914 GOLDING, 243 pages, grade level 8.1

Classic study of human nature which depicts the degeneration of a group of schoolboys marooned on a desert island.

book cover for The Old Man and the Sea 

Hemingway, Ernest, The Old Man and the Sea, 813.52 HEMINGW, 140 pages, grade level 8.1

Santiago is a Cuban fisherman who encounters a giant marlin in the Gulf Stream and the battle for his catch becomes one of survival against a band of marauding sharks.

book cover for To Kill a Mockingbird 

Lee, Harper, To Kill a Mockingbird, 813.43 LEE, 323 pages, grade level 8.1

The explosion of racial hate in an Alabama town is viewed by a little girl whose father defends a black man accused of rape.

book cover for The Heart is a Lonely Hunter 

McCullers, Carson, The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, 813.52 MCCULLE, 273 pages, grade level 8.1

With its profound sense of moral isolation and its compassionate glimpses into its characters' inner lives, the novel is considered McCullers' finest work. At its center is the deaf-mute John Singer, who becomes the confidant for various types of misfits in a Georgia mill town during the 1930s.

book cover for Franny and Zooey 

Salinger, J.D., Franny and Zooey, 813.54 SALINGE, 201 pages, grade level 8.1

The volume contains two interrelated stories. The stories concern Franny and Zooey Glass, two members of the family that was the subject of most of Salinger's short fiction. Franny is an intellectually precocious late adolescent who tries to attain spiritual purification by obsessively reiterating the "Jesus prayer" as an antidote to the perceived superficiality and corruptness of life. She subsequently suffers a nervous breakdown. In the second story, her next older brother, Zooey, attempts to heal Franny by pointing out that her constant repetition of the "Jesus prayer" is as self-involved and egotistical as the egotism against which she rails.

book cover for Cannery Row 

Steinbeck, John, Cannery Row, 813.52 STEINBE, 196 pages, grade level 8.1

This is a segment of the underworld on the California coast near Monterey. A group of rootless men, who took jobs only as a last resort, lived contentedly in an old warehouse; nearby Dora ran her house of prostitution with business efficiency, and in his marine laboratory Doc prepared the specimens he collected along the shore. Love for Doc was the sentiment that all Cannery Row shared, and the climax was the fearful birthday party given for him.

book cover for Of Mice and Men 

Steinbeck, John, Of Mice and Men, 813.52 STEINBE, 107 pages, grade level 8.1

Tells a story about the strange relationship of two migrant workers, who are able to realize their dreams of an easy life until one of them succumbs to his weakness for soft, helpless creatures and strangles the farmer's wife. This is the tragic tale of a retarded man and the friend who loves and tries to protect him.

book cover for The Hobbit 

Tolkien, J.R.R., The Hobbit, 823.912 TOLKIEN, 317 pages, grade level 8.1

The adventures of the well-to-do hobbit, Bilbo, Baggins, who lived happily in his comfortable home until a wandering wizard granted his wish.

book cover for The Lord of the Ring: The Fellowship of the Ring 

Tolkien, J.R.R., The Lord of the Ring: The Fellowship of the Ring, 823.912 TOLKIEN, 423 pages, grade level 8.1

This is the first volume of The Lord of the Rings.  Frodo the hobbit and his companions set out to destroy the Ring of Power before the evil Sauron grasps control.

book cover for King of the Mild Frontier 

Crutcher, Chris, King of the Mild Frontier, 813.54 CRUTCHE, 260 pages, grade level 8.2

Crutcher's autobiography is full of heartbreak, poignancy, and hilarity. Candid and casual, Crutcher shares stories from his childhood and adolescence in Cascade, Idaho.

book cover for The Wind in the Willows 

Grahame, Kenneth, The Wind in the Willows, 823.912 GRAHAME, 244 pages, grade level 8.3

The escapades of four animal friends who live along a river in the English countryside--Toad, Mole, Rat, and Badger.

book cover for Animal Dreams 

Kingsolver, Barbara, Animal Dreams, 813.54 KINGSOL, 342 pages, grade level 8.3

Hallie Nodine fights for justice in Nicaragua while her sister, Codi, returns to Arizona to confront her dying father, as myths, dreams, and flashbacks blend to examine life's commitments.

book cover for The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers 

Tolkien, J.R.R., The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, 823.912 TOLKIEN, 352 pages, grade level 8.4

This is the second volume of The Lord of the Rings. Frodo and his Companions of the Ring have been beset by danger during their quest to prevent the Ruling Ring from falling into the hands of the Dark Lord by destroying it in the Cracks of Doom.

book cover for Animal Farm 

Orwell, George, Animal Farm, 823.912 ORWELL, 128 pages, grade level 9.0

A satire on totalitarianism in which farm animals overthrow their human owner and set up their own government.

book cover for The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King 

Tolkien, J.R.R., The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, 823.912 LEWIS, 440 pages, grade level 9.0

This is the third volume of The Lord of the Rings.  It is a chronicle of the great War of the Ring between the hobbits and the Enemy who made the One Ring.

book cover for Life on the Mississippi 

Twain, Mark, Life on the Mississippi, 813.4 TWAIN, 312 pages, grade level 9.0

An account of Twain's experiences as an apprentice riverboat pilot in the days of the great Mississippi steamboats.

book cover for Fahrenheit 451 

Bradbury, Ray, Fahrenheit 451, 813.54 BRADBUR, 179 pages, grade level 10.0

A novel set in the (perhaps near) future when "firemen" burn books forbidden by a totalitarian "brave new world" regime.