August 15, 2023
BEST 12th Grade Books – High School Seniors Reading Lists

BEST 12th Grade Books – High School Seniors Reading Lists


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If you are looking for a 12th grade reading list, you’ve come to the right spot! We’ve picked the best 12th grade books all in one place with a description of each 5 star books for seniors in high school.  Now you are ready to dive into some 12th grade reading whether you are homeschoolers, or just looking for some great literature for your children to read.

If you are looking for a 12th grade reading list, you've come to the right spot! We've picked the best 12th grade books all in one place with a description of each 5 star books for seniors in high school.  Now you are ready to dive into some 12th grade reading whether you are homeschoolers, or just looking for some great literature for your children to read.

12th grade books

Calling all high school seniors! As you embark on your last year of secondary education, it’s crucial to make the most out of every opportunity to broaden your horizons and expand your knowledge. Reading is not only a gateway to new worlds, but also a way to develop critical thinking skills, empathy, and a deeper understanding of the human experience. So, we’ve compiled a list of captivating books that will challenge your intellect and leave a lasting impact as you navigate this monumental year. These books not only offer rich literary experiences, but also serve as valuable conversation starters, potential essay material, and sources of personal growth. So, seize the opportunity to delve into these thought-provoking stories that will both entertain and challenge your mind.

12th grade reading list

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12th grade Reading

Invitation to the Psalms: A Reader’s Guide for Discovery and Engagement by Rolf A. Jacobson

Looking to deepen your understanding of the Psalms? Look no further! “Invitation to the Psalms: A Reader’s Guide for Discovery and Engagement” by Rolf A. Jacobson is a must-read for all spiritual seekers.  With this guide, you’ll embark on a fascinating journey through the beautiful and profound Psalms. Part devotional, part scholarly exploration, this book offers insightful commentary and practical tips for engaging with these timeless verses. Join the author as he explores the historical context, poetic techniques, and theological themes behind each psalm. From expressions of joy and gratitude to lamentations and cries for justice, you’ll gain a profound appreciation for the rich tapestry of human emotions within these ancient texts.

Mere Christianity by C. S. Lewis

Looking for some thought-provoking reading material? Look no further than “Mere Christianity” by C. S. Lewis! This timeless classic delves into the fundamentals of Christian faith, exploring the commonalities among different denominations. Lewis brilliantly presents his logical and insightful arguments, making this book a must-read for anyone seeking a deeper understanding of Christianity. Whether you’re a believer or simply interested in the subject, “Mere Christianity” promises to challenge your thinking and provide clarity on the core principles of this enduring faith. Don’t miss out on this brilliant work that has captivated readers for decades!

Theogony and Works and Days (Oxford World’s Classics) by Hesiod

Calling all mythology enthusiasts! Dive into the captivating world of ancient Greek tales with “Theogony and Works and Days” by Hesiod, brought to you by Oxford World’s Classics! Experience the mesmerizing journey through the birth of the gods and explore the wisdom shared in this timeless masterpiece. Immerse yourself in the poetic brilliance and eternal lessons woven into every page. Get ready for an epic adventure filled with myths, legends, and the wonders of ancient Greece! Don’t miss out on this literary gem, available now! Grab your copy today and unlock the mysteries of the divine tapestry that shaped the Greek pantheon.

The Iliad (Dover Thrift Editions: Literary Collections) by Homer

The Iliad by Homer is an epic tale that captivates readers with its riveting story and rich characters. This timeless classic, now available in the Dover Thrift Editions, offers a glimpse into the Trojan War and the heroic deeds of legendary warriors like Achilles and Hector. Dive into this literary masterpiece and immerse yourself in the epic battles, tragedies, and triumphs that have stood the test of time.

The Odyssey (Dover Thrift Editions: Literary Collections) by Homer

Looking for a captivating literary journey? Discover “The Odyssey” by Homer! This epic masterpiece tells the thrilling tale of Odysseus as he faces mythical creatures, treacherous temptresses, and battles to return home after the Trojan War. Immerse yourself in ancient Greek mythology, encountering gods and goddesses along the way! This Dover Thrift Edition offers an affordable and timeless classic for those seeking adventure and enlightenment. Jump into Odysseus’ unforgettable quest today!

The Aeneid (Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition) by Virgil

Introducing “The Aeneid” – an epic masterpiece by Virgil, now in the beautiful Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition! Get ready to embark on an unforgettable journey through ancient Rome as Aeneas, a hero who defies all odds to fulfill his destiny. This gripping tale of love, war, and destiny promises to captivate readers with its timeless themes and extraordinary storytelling. Don’t miss out on this timeless classic – it’s a must-read for all literature lovers!

Oedipus Rex (Dover Thrift Editions: Plays) by Sophocles

Looking for a riveting play to dive into? Look no further than “Oedipus Rex” by Sophocles! This classic tragedy follows the gripping journey of Oedipus, a young prince who unwittingly fulfills a dreadful prophecy. As he relentlessly searches for the truth, secrets are unveiled, curses are unleashed, and dark fates are sealed. Grab a copy of this timeless masterpiece and prepare to be swept away by its haunting tale of destiny and consequence!

Heroes of the City of Man by Peter J. Leithart

Looking to delve into ancient literature? “Heroes of the City of Man” by Peter J. Leithart is the perfect book for high school students! Leithart explores the great pagan classics like Homer and Virgil, offering a patient and critical examination. Discover deep symbolism and fascinating themes while never forgetting the importance of theology. Plus, this book includes review and discussion questions for educational use. Don’t miss out on this captivating read!

The Discoverers: A History of Man’s Search to Know His World and Himself (Book 2 of 3: Knowledge Series) by Daniel J. Boorstin

Discover the fascinating story of human progress with “The Discoverers” by Daniel J. Boorstin! This captivating history book takes you on a journey through pivotal moments of discovery and innovation that have shaped our world. From brave explorers like Prince Henry the Navigator, to great thinkers who challenged old beliefs, Boorstin sheds light on the human side of these breakthroughs, revealing the petty concerns and enlightened motivations behind them.

What makes this book truly eye-opening is how many aspects of our modern lives are connected to these human stories of discovery. It’s astonishing to see how much of our progress relied on escaping the limitations of mysticism, religion, racism, and dogma in order to find truth. Boorstin fearlessly confronts the colossal waste of lives and potential that occurred during Europe’s thousand-year rejection of knowledge in favor of religious cosmology.

Praying the Bible by Donald S. Whitney

Looking for a way to enhance your prayer life? Check out this must-read book by Professor Donald Whitney! It offers practical advice on how to pray through the words of the Bible, allowing God’s Word to guide your thoughts and words. Find hope, encouragement, and a simple yet profound method to deepen your connection with God.

God and Politics: Four Views on the Reformation of Civil Government : Theonomy, Principled Pluralism, Christian America, National Confessionalism by Gary Scott Smith

Curious about what the Bible says about civil justice and the role of civil government? This book brings together 16 contributors representing four different perspectives on these important topics. Each perspective is presented by a leading representative, followed by responses from the other viewpoints. The aim is to foster a robust discussion and provide insights to help us serve God better in the political arena. Join the conversation and gain a deeper understanding of these complex issues!

Miracles: What They Are, Why They Happen, and How They Can Change Your Life by Eric Metaxas

Miracles: What They Are, Why They Happen, and How They Can Change Your Life” by Eric Metaxas is a thought-provoking book that explores the concept of miracles. Metaxas delves into the meaning and purpose of miracles, discussing their occurrence, and their profound impact on our lives. This book is a captivating read that will make you ponder the extraordinary and inspire you to see the world through a new lens.

Are You Liberal? Conservative? Or Confused? (An Uncle Eric Book)

Hey there, political enthusiasts! Are you feeling overwhelmed by all the labels tossed around in politics? “Are You Liberal? Conservative? or Confused?” is here to break it down for you! Join us as we dissect the true meaning behind political ideologies like liberal, conservative, left, right, democrat, republican, moderate, socialist, libertarian, and even communist. It also goes beyond the labels and dive deeper into their economic policies and how they plan to handle your hard-earned money. Worried about being swayed by misinformation? Fear not! Get ready for clear and concise explanations, backed by facts and debunking those pesky fallacies!

Black Like Me by John Howard Griffin

Black Like Me” by John Howard Griffin is a powerful book that explores racial discrimination in America. The author, a white man, undergoes a transformative experience by darkening his skin and living as a black man in the segregated South during the 1950s. Through his firsthand encounters, Griffin exposes the harsh realities of racism, including prejudice, discrimination, and violence. This thought-provoking book sheds light on the importance of empathy, equality, and the need for social change. A must-read for anyone seeking a deeper understanding of racial issues in America.

Eternity in Their Hearts by Don Richardson

Did you know that there is evidence of belief in the one true God in many different cultures around the world? Author Don Richardson has studied these cultures and shares his findings in his book, Eternity in Their Hearts. He provides fascinating examples of how different people groups have exhibited terms and concepts in their history that have prepared them for the gospel. One example is Pachacuti, the Inca king who founded Machu Picchu in Peru. He reached out and found a God greater than any “god” in his own culture. This book will amaze and show how God uses different ways to bring all people to Himself.

Up from Slavery (Dover Thrift Editions: Black History) by Booker T. Washington

Booker T. Washington is a remarkable figure in African American history. Born into slavery, he overcame incredible odds to become a leading advocate for his community. In his book, he shares his inspiring journey from poverty to worldwide recognition. Education was his guiding principle, and he dedicated his life to providing opportunities for African Americans. Although he faced opposition from some intellectuals who believed in civil-rights agitation, he is now regarded as a major player in the fight for equal rights. Washington founded numerous organizations and tirelessly worked to educate and unite his community. His story is truly inspiring and a testament to the power of education.

A Separate Peace by John Knowles

A Separate Peace, an American classic for over 30 years, offers a timeless portrayal of adolescence amidst the backdrop of World War II. Set in a boys’ boarding school during the early years of the war, this harrowing and enlightening story delves into the darker aspects of youth. Gene, an introverted intellectual, forms a complex friendship with Phineas, a charismatic and daring athlete. What unfolds between them during one summer mirrors the loss of innocence experienced by both the boys and the entire nation. Discover this captivating tale that explores the complexities of friendship and the impact of war.

Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston

Set in the early 20th century, this powerful story follows the journey of Janie Crawford, an African American woman striving for her independence and in search of love and self-discovery. Through Hurston’s beautifully poetic writing, we witness Janie’s profound experiences and witness her growth as she confronts societal expectations. This classic work explores themes of race, gender, and identity, and offers a unique perspective on the struggles and triumphs of African American women during this time period.

Ender’s Game (The Ender Saga Book 1 of 6) by Orson Scott Card

Looking for an action-packed read? Check out ‘Ender’s Game’ by Orson Scott Card, the first book in The Ender Saga! This thrilling sci-fi novel follows the story of Ender Wiggin, a young genius who is recruited by the military to save humanity from an alien invasion. As Ender undergoes intense training, he discovers his remarkable abilities and faces moral dilemmas that challenge his purpose. Dive into this gripping adventure filled with strategy, suspense, and the exploration of human nature. Get ready to be captivated from start to finish!

Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell

Hey bookworms! Have you ever wondered what makes people successful? Get ready to dive into “Outliers” by Malcolm Gladwell, where he explores the fascinating factors that contribute to extraordinary achievement. Success is not just about individual genius or talent, but it also relies heavily on external factors such as culture, upbringing, and opportunities. It takes a village! Gladwell challenges the notion of self-made success, arguing that even the most exceptional achievers are shaped by hidden advantages and fortunate circumstances. The “10,000-Hour Rule” posits that mastery in any field requires approximately 10,000 hours of dedicated practice. It’s the foundation for true expertise. Gladwell uncovers intriguing stories of famous outliers such as Bill Gates and The Beatles, revealing the hidden factors that played a significant role in their exceptional success.

Evidence Not Seen: A Woman’s Miraculous Faith in the Jungles of World War II by Darlene Deibler Rose

Evidence Not Seen” is an inspiring true story told by Darlene Deibler Rose about her faith and resilience during World War II. In this captivating memoir, she recounts her experiences as a missionary captured by the Japanese forces in the jungles of New Guinea. Despite enduring extreme hardships, including disease, torture, and loss, Darlene’s unwavering faith and trust in God sustained her throughout. This book is a powerful testimony of human resilience, courage, and the miracles that can happen when faith is put to the ultimate test. A must-read for anyone seeking inspiration and faith in the face of adversity.

Death Of A Salesman, Certain Private Conversations In Two Acts And A Requiem by Arthur Miller

Arthur Miller’s play, “Death of a Salesman,” dives into the depths of human emotions and complexities. Through the portrayal of Willy Loman, a troubled salesman, the play explores themes of the American Dream, identity, and the harsh realities of life. Miller’s thoughtful storytelling invites us to reflect on the deeper meaning of success and the toll it can take on one’s mental health. Prepare to be captivated by this timeless theatrical masterpiece that speaks to the heart of the human experience.

Fidelity: Five Stories by Wendell Berry

Fidelity: Five Stories by Wendell Berry is an enchanting collection that reminds us of the beauty and significance of our relationships with people and the land. In this thought-provoking book, Berry masterfully weaves together five captivating tales that explore themes of loyalty, love, and devotion. Each story transports the reader to rural Kentucky, where characters face life’s challenges with resilience and determination. Through the timeless narratives, Berry highlights the importance of staying true to our commitments, whether to our partners, our community, or the environment. With his unique style and lyrical prose, Wendell Berry delves deep into the complexities of human connection and the impacts of our actions on the world around us. Fidelity serves as a poignant reminder to cherish these relationships and honor our responsibilities to both others and the Earth.

Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (Dover Thrift Editions: Classic Novels) by Mark Twain

Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” is a timeless classic by Mark Twain, now available in the affordable Dover Thrift Editions. Set in the 19th century, the story follows a young boy named Huck as he embarks on thrilling adventures down the Mississippi River with a runaway slave named Jim. This novel explores themes of race, society, and morality in a thought-provoking way. Join Huck and Jim on their unforgettable journey through this unforgettable American literary masterpiece!

Brave Companions: Portraits In History by David McCullough

Brave Companions: Portraits In History” by David McCullough is a must-read! McCullough takes us on an incredible journey through historical figures who had the courage to make a difference. From explorers to engineers, from aviators to artists, this book explores the lives of remarkable individuals who shaped our world. Join me in discovering these inspiring stories that will leave you feeling inspired and enlightened. Trust me, you don’t want to miss this captivating book!

The Best Short Stories of O. Henry  by O. Henry

This collection of O. Henry’s stories is a treasure trove for readers! With over 600 stories to choose from, the compilers carefully selected 38 tales that are highly regarded by anthologists and perfectly showcase America’s beloved storyteller. These stories capture O. Henry’s mellow, humorous, and ironic moods, giving readers a taste of his brilliance. Known worldwide as one of the greatest masters of the short story, O. Henry’s work is not to be missed!

The Chosen Book 1 of 2: Reuven Malther Series | by Chaim Potok

The Chosen, Book 1 of 2: Reuven Malther Series by Chaim Potok is a captivating story. Set in the 1940s, it explores the friendship between two young boys from different Jewish sects. Reuven and Danny come from very different backgrounds and have differing beliefs, but their unexpected connection defies their differences. This thought-provoking novel delves into themes of friendship, religion, and personal growth. Don’t miss out on this compelling read!

The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck

The Grapes of Wrath” by John Steinbeck is a powerful novel that tells the story of the Joad family’s struggle during the Great Depression in the United States. Set in the 1930s, the book follows the Joads as they leave their drought-ridden land in Oklahoma and head to California in search of a better life. However, they soon face immense challenges, including poverty, exploitation, and discrimination. Steinbeck’s masterpiece sheds light on the hardships faced by migrant workers and highlights themes of social injustice, unity, and resilience. This gripping tale reminds us of the importance of compassion and empathy in the face of adversity.

Jacob Have I Loved  by Katherine Paterson

Jacob Have I Loved” is a captivating novel by Katherine Paterson that tells the story of two twin sisters, Louise and Caroline. Set on the Chesapeake Bay during World War II, the book explores themes of jealousy, identity, and the struggle for self-discovery. Louise feels overshadowed by her beautiful and talented sister Caroline, causing her to resent the attention bestowed upon her sibling. As they grow older, Louise must navigate the challenges of finding her own path and finding her voice, ultimately learning the importance of self-acceptance and embracing her uniqueness. Paterson’s powerful storytelling will keep you hooked until the very end!

My Antonia by Willa Cather

This incredible novel takes you on a journey through the American prairie and tells the compelling story of Antonia Shimerda and her enduring friendship with Jim Burden. Set in the 19th century, Cather masterfully captures the challenges and triumphs of immigrant life, the beauty of the land, and the complexities of human relationships. ‘My Antonia’ is a must-read for anyone who loves rich character development and vivid descriptions. Get ready to be transported to a different time and place!

100 Best-Loved Poems (Dover Thrift Editions) by Philip Smith

Looking for some poetic inspiration? Look no further! “100 Best-Loved Poems” by Philip Smith is a delightful collection that will captivate your heart and mind. This beloved Dover Thrift Editions book features a curated selection of the most beautiful and meaningful poems of all time. Get ready to immerse yourself in the world of artistry, emotions, and the power of words. Whether you’re a poetry enthusiast or just starting your journey, this book is a must-read. Don’t miss out on this treasure trove of timeless masterpieces!

Our Town: A Play in Three Acts by Thornton Wilder

This captivating play takes us on a journey through the daily lives of the folks in Grover’s Corners. Within three acts, Wilder beautifully captures the essence of small-town America, emphasizing the eternal beauty hidden in our ordinary routines. Brace yourself for an emotional rollercoaster that celebrates love, life, and the inevitability of death. Dive into this timeless classic that reminds us to appreciate the simple moments. Get ready for an unforgettable experience!

The Scarlet Letter (Dover Thrift Editions: Classic Novels) by Nathaniel Hawthorne

This classic novel tells the story of Hester Prynne, a young woman who lives in Puritan New England and is forced to wear a red letter “A” on her clothing to symbolize her adultery. Set in the 17th century, Hawthorne explores themes of sin, guilt, and redemption. Dive into this riveting tale and uncover the secrets of Hester’s life in a society filled with judgment and hypocrisy. Available now in the Dover Thrift Editions: Classic Novels. Enjoy the captivating world of Puritan America with this timeless piece of American literature!

Money, Possessions, and Eternity: A Comprehensive Guide to What the Bible Says about Financial Stewardship, Generosity, Materialism, Retirement, Financial Planning, Gambling, Debt, and More by Randy Alcorn is a comprehensive guide to understanding the Bible’s teachings on financial stewardship. It covers important topics like generosity, materialism, retirement, financial planning, gambling, debt, and much more. If you’re seeking wisdom on how to handle money in a way that aligns with God’s principles, this book is for you. Gain insights and guidance to help you make wise financial decisions and live a life that honors God.


To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee – Explore the timeless story of ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ by Harper Lee! This renowned novel delves into themes of racial injustice, empathy, and the loss of innocence. Set in the 1930s, young Scout narrates her father’s legal defense of an innocent black man accused of a crime he didn’t commit. Join Scout on this remarkable journey as she learns valuable lessons about compassion, equality, and the power of standing up for what’s right.

1984 by George Orwell – Set in the year 1984, the story follows the protagonist, Winston Smith, as he rebels against the oppressive regime known as the Party. This totalitarian government controls every aspect of people’s lives, manipulating history, suppressing individuality, and constantly monitoring its citizens through oppressive surveillance. Winston’s journey opens our eyes to the power of psychological manipulation and the dangers of absolute control. “1984” is a thought-provoking and chilling reminder of the importance of freedom, privacy, and the fight against oppressive regimes.

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald: Step into the opulent world of the Jazz Age and explore themes of wealth, love, and the American Dream through the lives of complex and unforgettable characters.

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley: Brave New World by Aldous Huxley is a thought-provoking novel that explores a futuristic society where technology and science rule. Set in a world where babies are genetically engineered, emotions are suppressed, and social conformity is valued above all, Huxley challenges us to question the price of happiness and the true meaning of a life well-lived. This dystopian masterpiece is a must-read for those seeking a deeper understanding of society, individuality, and the consequences of a world driven solely by pleasure and control. Dive into this classic today and embark on a journey that will leave you contemplating the delicate balance between freedom and happiness.

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen: Enter the enchanting world of Regency England, where manners, social status, and misconceptions shape the lives of witty and spirited characters in pursuit of love and happiness. Pride and Prejudice” is a classic novel written by Jane Austen that captures the essence of society in 19th century England. The story revolves around the Bennet family, particularly the witty and independent-minded Elizabeth Bennet. We follow her journey as she navigates through societal expectations, romance, and her own personal growth. With unforgettable characters and brilliant social commentary, “Pride and Prejudice” remains a timeless tale that explores themes of love, prejudice, and the pursuit of happiness. If you’re seeking a captivating read that combines romance and societal critique, this novel is a perfect choice!

Beloved by Toni Morrison: Set during the aftermath of slavery, the novel explores the haunting effects of this dark period on individuals and society as a whole. With brilliant storytelling and richly developed characters, Morrison sheds light on the enduring legacy of slavery and the importance of confronting and healing from the past. This powerful and thought-provoking masterpiece is a must-read for anyone interested in exploring the complexities of history, identity, and the human spirit.



Calling all high school seniors! As you embark on your last year of secondary education, it's crucial to make the most out of every opportunity to broaden your horizons and expand your knowledge. Reading is not only a gateway to new worlds, but also a way to develop critical thinking skills, empathy, and a deeper understanding of the human experience. So, we've compiled a list of captivating books that will challenge your intellect and leave a lasting impact as you navigate this monumental year. These books not only offer rich literary experiences, but also serve as valuable conversation starters, potential essay material, and sources of personal growth. So, seize the opportunity to delve into these thought-provoking stories that will both entertain and challenge your mind.

12th grade books to read

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