Tuesday, April 5, 2011

7 Great Coming of Age Stories

Yesterday I asked if you guys were fans of coming of age stories.  I thought today I would share my favorite coming of age books.

Boy's LifeBoy's Life by Robert McCammon
Zephyr, Alabama, is an idyllic hometown for eleven-year-old Cory Mackenson -- a place where monsters swim the river deep and friends are forever. Then, one cold spring morning, Cory and his father witness a car plunge into a lake -- and a desperate rescue attempt brings his father face-to-face with a terrible, haunting vision of death. As Cory struggles to understand his father's pain, his eyes are slowly opened to the forces of good and evil that surround him. From an ancient mystic who can hear the dead and bewitch the living, to a violent clan of moonshiners, Cory must confront the secrets that hide in the shadows of his hometown -- for his father's sanity and his own life hang in the balance....

To Kill a Mockingbird: 50th Anniversary EditionTo Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
A lawyer's advice to his children as he defends the real mockingbird of Harper Lee's classic novel—a black man charged with the rape of a white girl. Through the young eyes of Scout and Jem Finch, Harper Lee explores with rich humor and unswerving honesty the irrationality of adult attitudes toward race and class in the Deep South of the 1930s. The conscience of a town steeped in prejudice, violence, and hypocrisy is pricked by the stamina and quiet heroism of one man's struggle for justice—but the weight of history will only tolerate so much.

Where the Red Fern GrowsWhere the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls
A loving threesome, they ranged the dark hills and river bottoms of Cherokee country. Old Dan had the brawn. Little Ann had the brains, and Billy had the will to make them into the finest hunting team in the valley. Glory and victory were coming to them, but sadness waited too. Where the Red Fern Grows is an exciting tale of love and adventure you'll never forget.

Great Expectations (Penguin Classics)Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
Pip’s life as an ordinary country boy is destined to be unexceptional until a chain of mysterious events lead him away from his humble origins and up the social ladder. His efforts to become a London gentleman bring him into contact not just with the upper classes but also with dangerous criminals. His desire to improve himself is matched only by his longing for the icy-hearted Estella, but secrets from the past impede his progress and he has many hard lessons to learn.

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Adventures of Huckleberry FinnAdventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
Of all the contenders for the title of The Great American Novel, none has a better claim than The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Intended at first as a simple story of a boy's adventures in the Mississippi Valley-a sequel to Tom Sawyer-the book grew and matured under Twain's hand into a work of immeasurable richness and complexity. More than a century after its publication, the critical debate over the symbolic significance of Huck's and Jim's voyage is still fresh, and it remains a major work that can be enjoyed at many levels: as an incomparable adventure story and as a classic of American humor.

His Dark Materials Trilogy: Northern Lights, Subtle Knife, Amber SpyglassThe Amber Spyglass by Philip Pullman
The Amber Spyglass brings the intrigue of The Golden Compass and The Subtle Knife to a heart-stopping end, making the final volume of His Dark Materials the most powerful of the trilogy.

Along with the return of Lyra, Will, Mrs. Coulter, Lord Asriel, Dr. Mary Malone, and Iorek Byrnison the armored bear, come a host of new characters: the Mulefa, mysterious wheeled creatures with the power to see Dust; Gallivespian Lord Roke, a hand-high spymaster to Lord Asriel; and Metatron, a fierce and mighty angel. So, too, come startling revelations: the painful price Lyra must pay to walk through the land of the dead, the haunting power of Dr. Malone's amber spyglass, and the names of who will live--and who will die--for love. And all the while, war rages with the Kingdom of Heaven, a brutal battle that--in its shocking outcome--will uncover the secret of Dust. Philip Pullman deftly brings the cliff-hangers and mysteries of His Dark Materials to an earthshattering conclusion--and confirms his fantasy trilogy as an undoubted and enduring classic.
Read my review of the His Dark Materials trilogy


Before Leonora WakesBefore Leonora Wakes by Lee Thompson
Red Piccirilli is a runt, a dreamer, a naive boy with an imaginary friend and little else. But right before summer vacation starts he finds an albino girl trapped in a shed behind a local house. After Red frees her, the world he knew quickly unravels into something more mysterious—an unsteady reality where a man with silver teeth and buzz saw voice points him toward the true meaning of sacrifice.
Read my review of Before Leonora Wakes


Do you agree/disagree?  Do you have a favorite coming of age story?  I'd love to hear it!

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4 comments:

  1. Great list. Not sure if it's considered coming of age, but I loved the movie Brighton Beach. I haven't read anything that would be coming of age.
    Ann

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  2. Where the Red Fern Grows just came in from the library. I plan to read it with our 5 year old and am so excited!!!

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  3. Great list. I need to revisit some of these. It has been a long long time since I read them.

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  4. I enjoyed A Separate Peace.

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