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The Golden Fleece and the Heroes Who Lived Before Achilles

by Padraic Colum

Enter a world where harpies torment mortals, the Argonaut Orpheus sings, the mighty god Zeus wages war on the Titans, and Prometheus steals fire. <P><P> Author Padraic Colum weaves the tales of Jason and his Argonauts with classic Greek mythology to create this captivating epic about life, war, and astounding beings who lived in a time long past. Poetically written and wonderful for reading aloud, this collection of ancient stories will captivate modern readers.<P> Newbery Honor book

The Secret Garden

by Frances Hodgson Burnett

[This text is listed as an example that meets Common Core Standards in English language arts in grades 4-5 at]

A Falcon Flies

by Wilbur Smith

A single ball came through at deck level. It struck a burst of sparks from the steel hull, like Brocks Fireworks at Crystal Palace, brilliant Orange even In the strong sunlight, and the holeIt tore through Black Joke's plating was fringed With Bare jagged tongues of metal like the petals of a silver sunflower. In search of the father they barely remember, Zouga- and Dr. Robyn Ballantyne board Mungo St. John's magnificent clipper to speed them to Africa. But long before they sight that mighty Continent. Robyn knows that she and Mungo will Battle with all the fury of natural enemies - and Love with all the desperation of those unable to evade the commands of fate. For if she can bring hope and healing to Africa's fever-ridden shores, he, a lawless trader in human cargo, will possess any man - or woman - he chooses.

Great Expectations

by Charles Dickens

An abridged version of Great Expectations. The engrossing epic of murder, mystery and money.

Heart of Darkness

by Joseph Conrad

Loosely based on Conrad's firsthand experience of rescuing a company agent from a remote station in the heart of the Congo, the novel is considered a literary bridge between the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.


by Johanna Spyri

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

by Mark Twain

Mark Twain's sequel to Adventures of Tom Sawyer. A modern masterpiece of American fiction.

The Story of Mankind

by Hendrik Van Loon

WHEN I was twelve or thirteen years old, an uncle of mine who gave me my love for books and pictures promised to take me upon a memorable expedition. I was to go with him to the top of the tower of Old Saint Lawrence in Rotterdam. And so, one fine day, a sexton with a key as large as that of Saint Peter opened a mysterious door. "Ring the bell," he said, "when you come back and want to get out," and with a great grinding of rusty old hinges he separated us from the noise of the busy street and locked us into a world of new and strange experiences. For the first time in my life I was confronted by the phenomenon of audible silence. When we had climbed the first flight of stairs, I added another discovery to my limited knowledge of natural phenomena—that of tangible darkness. A match showed us where the upward road continued. We went to the next floor and then to the next and the next until I had lost count and then there came still another floor, and suddenly we had plenty of light. This floor was on an even height with the roof of the church, and it was used as a storeroom. Covered with many inches of dust, there lay the abandoned symbols of a venerable faith which had been discarded by the good people of the city many years ago. That which had meant life and death to our ancestors was here reduced to junk and rubbish. The industrious rat had built his nest among the carved images and the ever watchful spider had opened up shop between the outspread arms of a kindly saint. Then darkness once more and other ladders, steeper and even more dangerous than those we had climbed before, and suddenly the fresh air of the wide heavens. We had reached the highest gallery. Above us the sky. Below us the city—a little toy-town, where busy ants were hastily crawling hither and thither, each one intent upon his or her particular business, and beyond the jumble of stones, the wide greenness of the open country. History is the mighty Tower of Experience, which Time has built amidst the endless fields of bygone ages. It is no easy task to reach the top of this ancient structure and get the benefit of the full view. There is no elevator, but young feet are strong and it can be done. Here I give you the key that will open the door. When you return, you too will understand the reason for my enthusiasm. HENDRIK WILLEM VAN LOON.<P><P> Newbery Medal Winner (the first one!)

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