Okay! Back to books that are actually physically present in my own home and have been read by at least one member of my family. Part 2 will be the fiction books I bought for the high school library but haven't actually read myself (yet--you know I'm going to be reading most of the books I bought).
The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare--This is classified as a children's novel, but the main character is a 16-year-old girl. Children can read it, but I think teenagers would like it, too. I love it, and have read it many times.
Constance, a Story of Early Plymouth by Patricia C. Clapp--This is the imagined diary of the real Constance Hopkins, who was only 14 when she came with her father and stepmother as part of the original settlement of the Plymouth Colony. It's very historically detailed, and supposed to be quite accurate, although I know very little about Plymouth so I can't vouch for that. In fact, all I know about Plymouth I learned from this book, which I have read many times.
Down the Common: A Year in the Life of A Medieval Woman by Anne Baer--I picked this book up on a whim at my college bookstore and have read it several times in the many intervening years. It's another meticulously researched book that has engaging characters. What I love about it is that although the details of medieval life as obviously particular to the time, the author did a fantastic job of expressing the commonalities of a woman's life through every time period.
Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden--This book feels so real, it's hard to believe it's actually fiction. I have a copy that I've read many times, and I bought a copy for the high school library.
These Is My Words by Nancy E. Turner--Maybe I should have just titled this High School Historical Fiction. I do enjoy good historical fiction. This is good. Excellent, in fact. It is, again, a fictional diary of a real person, a woman who homesteaded in the Tucson area in the 1880s. There are a couple of intense scenes of sexual assault, so I would definitely recommend this for older teenagers, but the overall writing and story are just so engrossing.
Deathwatch by Robb Wright-- A. bought this for the boys. The blurb on the front of this book is, "In the desert without food, clothes, or water and hunted by a madman with a .358 Magnum." This did not spark my interest, but my boys LOOOOVE this book. They've each read it multiple times. And then I found several copies of it in the boxes of books that have been taught in classrooms at the school. It won a mystery award in the 1970s, too, so although I can't personally vouch for it, I think I can safely recommend it.
Alas, Babylon by Pat Frank--Written in 1959, this is described as the classic novel of a post-nuclear apocaplyse. Despite the scary subject, the story is actually quite optimistic in its portrayal of how the survivors, well, survive. It doesn't have anything really objectionable in it, either, and both my older boys have read my old copy so many times it fell apart and I bought a new one.
The Adventures of Robin Hood by Roger Lancelyn Green--There are, of course, many versions of the classic Robin Hood story. My boys like this one. It seems to have been first published in the 1950s, and the language is slightly old-fashioned but not unreadable.
I'll stop here. More to come, though!
What would you add to this list of high school fiction?