What are the best Books to read before college?

asked by Anonymous
465 contributors
33 solutions
  1. 45

    #1To Kill a Mockingbird

    To Kill a Mockingbird
    To Kill a Mockingbird is Harper Lee's Pulitzer prize-winning masterwork of honor and injustice in the deep south and the heroism of one man in the face of blind and violent hatred. This was first published in 1960.
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    Liu Du
    Written on March 2, 2018
    "We read To Kill a Mockingbird for the first time in 8th grade, and I returned to it later in high school. In my opinion it is definitely on the list of the best books to read before college. It teaches compassion for people, and gives a good look at American history in the Jim Crow era. Great book. "
  2. 40

    #2Animal Farm

    Animal Farm
    Animal Farm is a short novel by George Orwell that tells the story of a farm that's taken over by its overworked, mistreated animals. They set out to create a paradise of progress, justice, and equality, but a revolution starts to show. 
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    Joyce Barnes
    Written on May 19, 2018
    "I read this novel after graduating high school. It taught me a good deal about people before I actually experienced life in society at large. The idealism and savagery of living things, organized movements, and governments is quite true to actual life."
  3. 37

    #3The Great Gatsby

    The Great Gatsby

    The Great Gatsby is a classic book written by F. Scott Fitzgerald which was first published in 1914. It tells the story of wealthy man Jay Gatsby who is in love with Daisy Buchanan from an old money family. This has two film adaptations. 

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    Joe Coleman
    Written on May 7, 2018
    "I dont see how this book pins into a certain age group. I read it in 11th grade and thought it was quite boring, never really caught my attention."
  1. 35

    #4Fahrenheit 451

    Fahrenheit 451

    Fahrenheit 451 is a dystopian novel wherein a totalitarian regime has ordered the burning of books in order to suppress the spread of subversive ideas. It preaches about the power and role of knowledge to see beyond the surface.

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    Joan Arnold
    Written on February 28, 2018
    "Can you imagine a world without books? And only TV for entertainment? Fahrenheit 451 brings 1984 to life on the Animal Farm. But of course those books won't exist in a world where book burning reigns. Why humans are so important to control is beyond me. Is it the collective mind power that TPTB fear? But who are those in control? Maybe this book sheds a light on that answer."
  2. 33

    #5The Giver

    The Giver

    The Giver is a book by Lois Lowry that tells the story of Jonas, a boy who lives in a very structured society where everyone has a role. He will soon discover what his role is meant to be, and it will change his life.

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    Marco Antonio Santillán
    Written on February 19, 2018
    "The Giver is a great book to read before college. It's about a dystopian society and it will make you feel better about the world we live in. "
  3. 31

    #6Lord of the Flies

    Lord of the Flies

    Lord of the Flies is classic fiction written by William Golding published first in 1954 which is about a group of English schoolboys who survived a plane crash and got stranded on an uninhabited island.

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    Justin Cunningham
    Written on February 16, 2018
    "A friend told me that before college I should read some material to expand my mind. I took him up on his offer and out of all the books that he gave me, Lord of the Flies was one of the best. This book had a lot of concepts that made me think and it was an overall interesting book. "
  4. 29

    #7The Book Thief

    The Book Thief
    The Book Thief is a young adult novel by Markus Zusak set in Germany during the height of the Nazi regime which centers on a young girl named Liesel who is close to her foster parents, friends, and a Jewish fist fighter.
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    Charlie Tian
    Written on May 17, 2018
    "didnt like it"
  5. 27

    #8The Hobbit

    The Hobbit

    The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien is a modern classic and the prelude to The Lord of the Rings. Bilbo Baggins is a hobbit who enjoys a comfortable life, but his contentment is disturbed when Gandalf and a group of dwarves arrive on his doorstep.

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    Matthew Jimenez
    Written on May 8, 2018
    "The Hobbit has to be one of the most amazing adventure story's ever wrote. I first read it forty years ago and still read it every few years. Follow Bilbo Baggins adventures far from home to fight evil and win friends."
  6. 25

    #9The Catcher in the Rye

    The Catcher in the Rye

    The Catcher in the Rye is J.D. Salinger's 1951 classic about teenager Holden Caulfield, who was used as an icon of teenage angst and rebellion. The controversial book has caused debates, mainly because of its vulgar language and themes.

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    Phillip Parker
    Written on April 18, 2018
    "I had to read this in high school, but I decided to buy it again because I wanted to read it on my own time instead of making it feel like a chore. I love it and I can see hwy its such a classic."
  7. 24

    #10Jane Eyre

    Jane Eyre

    Jane Eyre is a novel by Charlotte Brontë that tells the story of Jane Eyre who is left under the care of cruel guardians as a young girl, and then goes to Thornfield Hall to work as a governess, under a harsh employer.

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    Mary Russell
    Written on February 13, 2018
    "Jane Eyre is a story of a girl who was born without fortune. Her parents died at a very young age and she was taken into the home of her uncle. After his death, her life gets really tough living with her aunt and cousins (who don't really care for her). This book is about how she made the best of what she is given in life and how she matures and grows. It's a story of love and strength"
  8. 21

    #11The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

    The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
    The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is a classic American novel by Mark Twain. Published in 1884, it tells the story of a naughty boy settled in the Mississippi Valley. Full of humor it's also considered a deep and complex work.
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    Stephanie May
    Written on February 20, 2018
    "The content of the book is great and educational. You can never go wrong with Twain. My only complaint is with the printing of this particular book. VERY tiny print :("
  9. 19

    #12Pride and Prejudice

    Pride and Prejudice
    Pride and Prejudice is a book written by Jane Austen with an introduction from Anna Quindlen, which follows the story of Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet as they venture into a series of courtship in the 18th century. 
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    Betty Alexander
    Written on April 28, 2018
    "Although this book is difficult to get through in the beginning, once you're in, you're IN. The characters and story line develop so perfectly it's hard to put down. "
  10. 17

    #13The Fault in Our Stars

    The Fault in Our Stars

    The Fault in Our Stars tells the love story of Hazel and August, cancer-afflicted patients who met in a support group and developed a deep relationship revolving their situation.

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    Ethan Cunningham
    Written on April 19, 2018
    "This book is totally out of touch, but I guess it's a feel good book that's why it's so unrealistic. The movie was even worse, I would advise someone going to college to read something more mind enhancing even the game of throne series would be a good read, it's too creative."
  11. 16

    #14Wuthering Heights

    Wuthering Heights

    Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë tells the story of Catherine and Heathcliff. After she rejects him for a boy from a better background he develops a lust for revenge that takes over his life. This tale of hauntings, passion, and greed remains unsurpassed in its depiction of the dark side of love.

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    Tyler Ross
    Written on February 20, 2018
    "This isn't the typical novel I would usually read, but it was one of the last books I read before going off to college, and I feel like it had a positive influence on the transition. The story might seem too dark to read before a life change, but without giving much away I have to say that it will really make you examine your values."
  12. 13

    #15Les Misérables

    Les Misérables
    Les Misérables is a French historical tale by Victor Hugo, which was published first in 1862. This novel follows the lives of several characters, especially that of Jean Valjean during the June Rebellion in Paris. 
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    Alan Fields
    Written on February 16, 2018
    "Les Miserables is a classic to read and especially before going to college. It helped me with some studies in college especially English literature."
  13. 8

    #16Perks of Being a Wallflower

    Perks of Being a Wallflower
    By Stephen Chbosky Read the cult-favorite coming of age story that takes a sometimes heartbreaking, often hysterical, and always honest look at high school in all its glory. Also a major motion picture starring Logan Lerman and Emma Watson, The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a funny, touching, and haunting modern classic
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    Danielle Wright
    Written on February 9, 2018
    "Perks of Being a Wallflower is a wonderful coming of age story, but it's really about high school. Although I'm sure it would be helpful for someone entering college, I wouldn't say it is a must read before college, when it's much more about capturing the time in high school."
  14. 7

    #17The Bell Jar

    The Bell Jar

    The Bell Jar is a book by Sylvia Plath that tells the story of Esther Greenwood, a young woman living in New York, and her descent into madness while trapped in the suffocating "bell jar" that is depression. 

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    Leonardo Mata
    Written on May 18, 2018
    "I think this is an excellent choice for material that young adults should read before college. The years of college and the high school years which lead into them can be very taxing on a teenager. As I recent college graduate, I know of this firsthand. Reading material like Plath's, one rich with emotion, in an environment where I could critically process it was very beneficial. In a day where depression in Americans is rising across the board, The Bell Jar is a book I looked at so I could face and understand this. "
  15. 4

    #18Slaughterhouse-Five

    Slaughterhouse-Five
    Slaughterhouse-Five is a science fiction novel by Kurt Vonnegut that tells the story of the time-traveling American soldier Billy Pilgrim, who became devoutly anti-war after witnessing the bombing of Dresden.
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    Susan Freeman
    Written on April 27, 2018
    "I read slaughterhouse-five, like many people, when I was in high school. This is a good book to get your brain thinking in different ways. The WW2 setting may be unfamiliar to some high school students."
  16. 1

    #19The Importance of Being Earnest

    The Importance of Being Earnest

    The Importance of Being Earnest is a satirical play by Oscar Wilde. It tells the story of John Worthing, who pretends to have a brother named Earnest as part of an alter ego, and AlgernonMoncrieff, who pretends to be Earnest.

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    Ralph Martinez
    Written on April 21, 2018
    "This is a decent book to read, not necessary, but I did have to read it in high school. I think it gets you prepared for some more detailed writing, as well more detailed story telling and uses of literary devices. It's more of an example, than a great peace of literature. Read it if you want to read some common hallmarks of current books. "
  17. 0

    #20Sword Drill

    Sword Drill

    Sword Drill is a book written by David Epps. Sword Drill was published on November 26, 2002 by BookSurge Publishing. Sword Drill's paperback edition has 630 pages.

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    Justin Wood
    Written on May 1, 2018
    "I really could hardly put this book down once I started. The story is excellent, and I can personally identify with the main character on many levels. "
  18. 0

    #21In Glory's Shadow: Shannon Faulkner, The Citadel, and a Changing America

    In Glory's Shadow: Shannon Faulkner, The Citadel, and a Changing America

    In Glory's Shadow: Shannon Faulkner, The Citadel, and a Changing America is a book written by Catherine S. Manegold. In Glory's Shadow: Shannon Faulkner, The Citadel, and a Changing America was published on January 25, 2000 by Knopf.

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    Alexander Ramos
    Written on April 29, 2018
    "The content of this book is interesting to me, and likely should serve as a decent basis of knowledge on American culture, particularly in the military, during the changes of the 1970s. This would likely appeal to an incoming history major, particularly, but I can't see it being extremely useful for other college majors."
  19. 0

    #22Summer's End: Return of the Supermen

    Summer's End: Return of the Supermen

    Summer's End: Return of the Supermen is a book written by George Steffner. Summer's End: Return of the Supermen was published on January 29, 2016 by Drop Kick Publishing.

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    Christina Fields
    Written on April 19, 2018
    "This is an interesting novel. This is the second book in the series, so you have to read the first one first to understand what's going on. I don't think it has anything to do with college though."
  20. 0

    #23The Young Lions

    The Young Lions

    The Young Lions is a book written by James Lee Conrad. The Young Lions was published on July 1, 1997 by Stackpole Books. The Young Lions's hardcover edition has 198 pages.

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  21. 0

    #24Cadets in Gray: The Story of the Cadets of the South Carolina Military Academy and the Cadet Rangers in the Civil War

    Cadets in Gray: The Story of the Cadets of the South Carolina Military Academy and the Cadet Rangers in the Civil War

    Cadets in Gray: The Story of the Cadets of the South Carolina Military Academy and the Cadet Rangers in the Civil War is a book written by Gary R.Baker. The book was published on March 1, 1990 by Palmetto Bookworks.

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    Jonathan Butler
    Written on April 19, 2018
    "I bought my nephew this book the summer before he went to college. He wasn't all that keen on going until after he read the book. Then he was excited. "
  22. 0

    #25In the Company of Men: A Woman at the Citadel

    In the Company of Men: A Woman at the Citadel

    In the Company of Men: A Woman at the Citadel is a book written by Nancy L. Mace and Mary  Jane Ross. In the Company of Men: A Woman at the Citadel was published on September 1, 2002 by Simon Pulse.

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    Eric Gardner
    Written on April 24, 2018
    "In the Company of Men: A Woman at the Citadel is a book written by Nancy L. Mace and Mary Jane Ross. In the Company of Men: A Woman at the Citadel was published on September 1, 2002 by Simon Pulse. A very interesting book to read. "
  23. 0

    #26Long Gray Lines: The Southern Military School Tradition, 1839-1915

    Long Gray Lines: The Southern Military School Tradition, 1839-1915
    Long Gray Lines: The Southern Military School Tradition, 1839-1915 is a book written by Rod Andrew Jr. Long Gray Lines: The Southern Military School Tradition, 1839-1915 was published on April 2, 2001 by University of North Carolina Press.
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    Janice Wong
    Written on April 21, 2018
    "Gives info about book to see if you would read"
  24. 0

    #27The Boo

    The Boo

    The Boo is a book written by Pat Conroy. The Boo was published on December 1, 1983 by Old New York Book Shop Press. The Boo was first published in 1970 and its hardcover edition has 174 pages.

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    Verónica Reséndiz
    Written on April 20, 2018
    "I thought this book was just kind of average. It could be boring at times."
  25. 0

    #28No One Can Escape the 4 Laws

    No One Can Escape the 4 Laws

    No One Can Escape the 4 Laws is a book by Eloy Rodrigo Colombo that tells how economic works in just four ways. This four ways will help the readers figure out how to reach wealth even if you are born poor.

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    Patrick Willis
    Written on March 21, 2018
    "No One Can Escape the 4 Laws by Eloy Rodrigo Colombo is an interesting read about economics. I recommend it to anyone interested in business or anyone who wants to escape poverty. I think it was a brilliant piece that could really help some folk."
  26. 0

    #29Macroeconomics

    Macroeconomics

    Macroeconomics is a book by Paul Anthony Samuelson. This book is all about the different economic theories combined and explained in one book. It offers a step-by-step explanation that will make the topics clear. 

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    Andrew Garrett
    Written on March 31, 2018
    "Like most books on economics this is a bit painful t read. That being said, it is clear and makes the concepts easier to digest than most other books on the subject."
  27. 0

    #30New Ideas from Dead Economists

    New Ideas from Dead Economists

    New Ideas from Dead Economists is a book by Todd Buchholz. It compiles all the economic studies of the economists who already passed away. It proves how their knowledge can still help future economists. 

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    Kenneth Morgan
    Written on March 19, 2018
    "As I prepared to move away for college I really thought that I should crack down on some reading. I came across New Ideas from Dead Economists on a reading list though can't say that I actually learned much from it. I am not studying this field."
  28. 0

    #31My Losing Season

    My Losing Season
    My Losing Season is a book written by Pat Conroy. My Losing Season was published on May 15, 2002 by Nan. A. Talese. My Losing Season was first published on January 1, 2002.
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    Russell Peterson
    Written on April 21, 2018
    "Coming of age stories are always great for those who are coming of age in their own life. This book is no exception as it recounts the story of Pat Conroy as he joins a team destined to lose and moves away from his controlling father. The story is a memoir that tells of his journey on the team and how they came together to stand above the rest."
  29. 0

    #32Spin-Free Economics

    Spin-Free Economics

    Spin-Free Economics is a book by Nariman Behravesh that gives a non-biased explanation about the different economic approaches there is. He gives evidences that will prove his statements in order to inform the readers fairly. 

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    Ann Cruz
    Written on March 20, 2018
    "I read this book before I started my fall semester of freshman year. It was a great book to really prepare me for all of the different spin-free economics there are. "
  30. 0

    #33Aquamarine Blue 5

    Aquamarine Blue 5

    Aquamarine Blue 5: Personal Stories of College Students with Autism is a book by Dawn Prince-Hughes. It was published in 2002. It contained personal stories from students with autism. It was rated Outstanding by AASL.

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    Phillip Walsh
    Written on April 20, 2018
    "I think this book is decent but at the same time it's not really for everyone either. The book covers Autism so anyone that is just not interested in this most likely wont enjoy it at all. I personally think this is good for people with similar issues and can learn a lot from this book."

Summary

Best What are the best Books to read before college
RankSolutionsTypeVotesPrice
1To Kill a MockingbirdBooks 45 Paid
2Animal FarmBooks 40 Paid
3The Great GatsbyBooks 37 Paid
4Fahrenheit 451Books 35 Paid
5The GiverBooks 33 Paid
6Lord of the FliesBooks 31 Paid
7The Book ThiefBooks 29 Paid
8The HobbitBooks 27 Paid
9The Catcher in the RyeBooks 25 Paid
10Jane EyreBooks 24 Paid
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