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English as a Second Language

Beginning Level Fiction
Learning Resource Center Bibliography

Bauer, Marion Dane. On My Honor. New York: Clarion Books, 1986.
PZ 7 B3262on
When his best friend drowns while they are both swimming in a treacherous river that they had promised never to go near, Joel is devastated and terrified at having to tell both sets of parents the terrible consequences of their disobedience. Joel discovers that he can trust his father as he confronts his horrible truth. 90 pages.

Hansen, Joyce. Which Way Freedom?. New York: Avon Books 1986.
PZ 7 H19825wh 1986
This book is based on historical facts about the African American participation in the Civil War. It includes information on slaves' intense desire for liberty and their willingness to risk their lives to help their people. Readers also learn about the difference between the lives of free coloreds and slaves, about the different attitudes toward slavery that existed during the Civil War years, and the social and family values of slaves. 120 pages

Le Guin, Ursula K. Very Far Away From anywhere Else. New York: Atheneum. 1976.
PZ7 L5215Ve
Seventeen year-old Owen Griffiths narrates this touching story of first love and intellectual goals. He wants to attend MIT; Natalie wants to be a musician and composer. These two young lovers find, through friendship and determination, that their dreams can be accomplished. 89 pages


MacLachlan, Patricia. Skylark. New York: Harper Trophy, 1994.
PZ, 7, M2225sk, 1994
This is a sequel to the award winning Sarah, Plain and Tall. Sarah and Jacob are married now, living on the prairie. When the drought becomes severe, Sarah takes the children, Anna and Caleb, to her home in Maine. They love the green and the ocean, but home is the prairie. They return with the hopeful news of rain and the promise of a new baby. 86 pages

MacLachlan, Patricia. Journey. New York: Delacorte Press, 1991.
PZ, 7, M2225Jo, 1991
Journey and Cat, two young children, were left with their grandparents when their mother abandoned them. They learn about their family through their grandfather's interest in photography. This is a tender story of the search for clues to the mysterious departure of their mother and the discovery of family love.

Paulsen, Gary. Nightjohn. New Youk: Delacorte Press, 1993.
PZ 7 P2843Nj 1993
Nightjohn escaped from slavery and went north where he learned to read and write. He could have enjoyed his freedom, but instead he returned to teach slaves to read. In the 1850's slaves are not allowed to know how to read. Teaching them to read and write was against the law. He accepted the torture he received after a young girl was discovered knowing letters, but he never gives up teaching. 92 pages.

Rylant, Cynthia. Missing May. New York: Bantam Doubleday Dell Books, 1992.
PZ 7 R982mj 1993
Aunt May and Uncle Ob became parents to Summer after her own parents died. Summer was twelve when Aunt May died. This is the touching and delightful story of grief and sorrow growing into acceptance and appreciation. 87 pages

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Taylor, Mildred D. Song of the Trees New York: Bantam Doubleday Dell, 1975
PZ, 7, T21723So
This story is based on the author's father's adventures growing up in rural Mississippi during the depression. The family is poor but they have giant trees that the lumbermen want to buy. Their love of the trees puts them is a difficult position because they also need money. 52 pages

English as a Second Language (ESL)

Marilyn Marquis
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Page last modified: May 30, 2009