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Novels for ESL Students: Novels Without Lexile Measures

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

Novels Without Grade Levels

The following books have not been assigned a Lexile Measure number but still may be of interest to ESL students.


To find a book in the library, look for the library call number (example: 813.54 BLUME) shown after the book title. Books are arranged in the library by call number and then by author last name. Ask a librarian if you need help locating a book.

book cover for Summer Sisters

Blume, Judy, Summer Sisters, 813.54 BLUME, 399 pages.

A poor girl overcomes temptation and succeeds in life. It happens when she befriends a rich girl whose father offers to pay her college tuition. It is not easy, the rich one, now turned playgirl, tempting her away from studies with boys.

book cover for The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency 

McCall Smith, Alexander, The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency, Paperbacks MYS/MCCALL SMITH, 235 pages.

This first novel in Alexander McCall Smith's widely acclaimed The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series tells the story of the delightfully cunning and enormously engaging Precious Ramotswe, who is drawn to her profession to help people with problems in their lives.

 book cover for The Ancient Child 

Momaday, N. Scott, The Ancient Child, 813.54 MOMADAY, 313 pages.

Returning to the land of his ancestors for his grandmother's funeral, Set is drawn to the fabled bear-boy whose story absorbs him. Then he meets a young medicine woman, and his world is turned upside down.

book cover for Mutant Message Down Under 

Morgan, Marlo, Mutant Message Down Under, 813.54 MORGAN, 187 pages.

An American woman's fictionalized account of her life with the Aborigines of Australia. The novel's message is that Western culture is in trouble because it has divorced itself from nature. The author is a practitioner of alternative health.

book cover for Wild Cat Falling 

Narogin, Mudrooroo, Wild Cat Falling, 823.914 NAROGIN, 131 pages.

The story of an Aboriginal youth who grows up on the ragged outskirts of a country town, falls into petty crime, goes to jail, and comes out to do battle once more with the society that put him there.

book cover for Coraline 

Russell, P. Craig, Coraline, 741.5973 RUSSELL, 186 pages.

Looking for excitement, Coraline ventures through a mysterious door into a world that is similar, yet disturbingly different from her own, where she must challenge a gruesome entity in order to save herself, her parents, and the souls of three others.

book cover for Tortilla Flat 

Steinbeck, John, Tortilla Flat, 813.52 STEINBE, 207 pages.

The adventures and experiences of Danny, his friends, and his house set in Monterrey, California just before World War II.

book cover for Gulliver's Travels 

Swift, Jonathan, Gulliver’s Travels, 823.5 SWIFT, 219 pages.

Considered one of English literatures first and greatest satirists, Jonathan Swift possessed a timeless genius for pointing out the foibles of human nature that still has the power to provoke, amuse, and, at times, even outrage our modern sensibilities. The voyages of an Englishman carry him to such strange places as Lilliput, where people are six inches tall; Brobdingnag, a land of giants; an island of sorcerers; and a country ruled by horses.

book cover for The Hundred Secret Senses 

Tan, Amy, The Hundred Secret Senses, 813.54 TAN, 358 pages.

The story of two sisters, one brought up in the U.S., the other in China. The American sister is contemptuous of the other's belief in ghosts until events cause her to understand what they can do.

book cover for The Ginger Tree 

Wynd, Oswald, The Ginger Tree, 813.54 WYND, 294 pages.

In 1903, a 20-year-old Scots girl sails to China to marry a British attache, but soon horrifies the British community by having an affair with a young Japanese count.