English Language Arts Standards » Standard 10: Range, Quality, & Complexity » Texts Illustrating the Complexity, Quality, & Range of Student Reading 6-12

Literature: Stories, Drama, Poetry Informational Texts: Literary Nonfiction and Historical, Scientific, and Technical Texts
  • Little Women by Louisa May Alcott (1869)
  • The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain (1876)
  • “The Road Not Taken” by Robert Frost (1915)
  • The Dark Is Rising by Susan Cooper (1973)
  • Dragonwings by Laurence Yep (1975)
  • Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred Taylor (1976)
  • “Letter on Thomas Jefferson” by John Adams (1776)
  • Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave by Frederick Douglass (1845)
  • “Blood, Toil, Tears and Sweat: Address to Parliament on May 13th, 1940” by Winston Churchill (1940)
  • Harriet Tubman: Conductor on the Underground Railroad by Ann Petry (1955)
  • Travels with Charley: In Search of America by John Steinbeck (1962)
  • The Tragedy of Macbeth by William Shakespeare (1592)
  • “Ozymandias” by Percy Bysshe Shelley (1817)
  • “The Raven” by Edgar Allen Poe (1845)
  • “The Gift of the Magi” by O. Henry (1906)
  • The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck (1939)
  • Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury (1953)
  • The Killer Angels by Michael Shaara (1975)
  • “Speech to the Second Virginia Convention” by Patrick Henry (1775)
  • “Farewell Address” by George Washington (1796)
  • “Gettysburg Address” by Abraham Lincoln (1863)
  • “State of the Union Address” by Franklin Delano Roosevelt (1941)
  • “Letter from Birmingham Jail” by Martin Luther King, Jr. (1964)
  • “Hope, Despair and Memory” by Elie Wiesel (1997)
  • “Ode on a Grecian Urn” by John Keats (1820)
  • Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë (1848)
  • “Because I Could Not Stop for Death” by Emily Dickinson (1890)
  • The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald (1925)
  • Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston (1937)
  • A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry (1959)
  • The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri (2003)
  • Common Sense by Thomas Paine (1776)
  • Walden by Henry David Thoreau (1854)
  • “Society and Solitude” by Ralph Waldo Emerson (1857)
  • “The Fallacy of Success” by G. K. Chesterton (1909)
  • Black Boy by Richard Wright (1945)
  • “Politics and the English Language” by George Orwell (1946)
  • “Take the Tortillas Out of Your Poetry” by Rudolfo Anaya (1995)


Given space limitations, the illustrative texts listed above are meant only to show individual titles that are representative of a range of topics and genres. (See Appendix B for excerpts of these and other texts illustrative of grades 6–12 text complexity, quality, and range.) At a curricular or instructional level, within and across grade levels, texts need to be selected around topics or themes that generate knowledge and allow students to study those topics or themes in depth.