Animals in Literature

The selections in this Collection explore the common motif of animals in literature. From classic novels to contemporary poetry and nonfiction, these titles delve into the relationships between humans and animals, shedding light on the profound impact animals have on our lives and exploring humanity's relationship with the natural world.

Publication year 2016Genre Poem, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Safety & DangerTags Animals

Publication year 1891Genre Poem, FictionThemes Natural World: Animals, Values/Ideas: Beauty, Natural World: EnvironmentTags Animals, Science / Nature

Publication year 2017Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Family, Self Discovery, Relationships: Siblings, Relationships: FriendshipTags Realistic Fiction, Disability, Animals

Publication year 1999Genre Poem, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Grief, Life/Time: Mortality & Death, Natural World: AnimalsTags Lyric Poem, Grief / Death, Animals, Religion / Spirituality, Relationships, Latin American Literature

Publication year 2010Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Family, Emotions/Behavior: MemoryTags Fantasy, Humor, Animals

A Dog’s Purpose: A Novel for Humans is a novel by Bruce W. Cameron and is the first in his A Dog’s Purpose series of novels. Written in 2010, the novel was a New York Times bestseller for 49 weeks. The novel is unique in that it is narrated by a dog. The dog lives four lives over the course of the novel, seeking a purpose for his life during each of his incarnations. In... Read A Dog's Purpose Summary


Publication year 1972Genre Autobiography / Memoir, NonfictionThemes Society: Community, Emotions/Behavior: LoveTags British Literature, Animals, Humor

All Creatures Great and Small is the first in a series of fictionalized memoirs by Yorkshire veterinarian James Alfred “Alf” Wight (1916-1995), writing under the name James Herriot. Originally published in the UK as two shorter volumes, If Only They Could Talk (1970) and It Shouldn’t Happen to a Vet (1972), the US publisher released them as a single volume in 1972 under a new title drawn from the Anglican hymn “All Things Bright and... Read All Creatures Great and Small Summary


Publication year 2021Genre Graphic Novel/Book, FictionThemes Relationships: Family, Emotions/Behavior: Fear, Emotions/Behavior: Loneliness, Emotions/Behavior: Gratitude, Life/Time: Childhood & Youth, Life/Time: Coming of AgeTags Realistic Fiction, Coming of Age / Bildungsroman, Animals, Health / Medicine, Education

Publication year 2017Genre Book, NonfictionThemes Natural World: Environment, Society: Politics & Government, Natural World: AnimalsTags Science / Nature, Animals, Journalism, Politics / Government

Publication year 1595Genre Play, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Love, Values/Ideas: Order & Chaos, Natural World: Appearance & RealityTags British Literature, Play: Comedy / Satire, Fantasy, Fairy Tale / Folklore, Arts / Culture, Love / Sexuality, Relationships, Animals

A Midsummer Night’s Dream is a comedic play by William Shakespeare that was likely first written and performed around 1600. The first certifiably recorded performance took place in 1604. Set in the Greek city-state of Athens, the play centers on an impending marriage. Before the wedding, the characters find themselves in a forest where a group of fairies manipulates and tricks them. A Midsummer Night’s Dream is one of Shakespeare’s most popular and most performed... Read A Midsummer Night's Dream Summary


Publication year 1766Genre Poem, FictionThemes Life/Time: Mortality & DeathTags Lyric Poem, Animals, Trauma / Abuse / Violence

Publication year 2009Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Family, Life/Time: Coming of Age, Society: War, Relationships: MothersTags Historical Fiction, Animals, WWII / World War II

Publication year 2010Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: ArtTags Animals, Historical Fiction, Fantasy, Action / Adventure

Publication year 1945Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Equality, Values/Ideas: Power & Greed, Society: CommunityTags Satire, History: European, Politics / Government, Philosophy, Animals, Post-War Era, Allegory / Fable / Parable, British Literature

Published in 1945, Animal Farm by George Orwell (1903-1950) achieved immediate success and remains one of Orwell’s most popular works. A political satire in the guise of a moving and whimsical animal fable, the novella is about a group of farm animals who overthrow their owner, Mr. Jones, and establish animal rule. Although the animals start with high hopes for Animal Farm as a harmonious and just utopia where “all animals are equal” (19), it... Read Animal Farm Summary


Publication year 2003Genre Poem, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Hate & AngerTags Animals, Trauma / Abuse / Violence, Social Justice

Publication year 1965Genre Poem, FictionThemes Identity: Gender, Life/Time: Mortality & Death, Identity: Femininity, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Emotions/Behavior: Love, Values/Ideas: Order & ChaosTags Free verse, Animals, Race / Racism, Gender / Feminism, Confessional

Publication year 2016Genre Novel, FictionThemes Identity: Masculinity, Emotions/Behavior: Guilt, Relationships: Siblings, Life/Time: Coming of AgeTags Race / Racism, Realistic Fiction, Coming of Age / Bildungsroman, Addiction / Substance Abuse, Animals, Anthropology

As Brave as You is a middle grade novel written by American author Jason Reynolds and published in 2016. It won several awards, including the Kirkus Award, the NCAAP Image award for children’s literature, and the Schneider Family Book Award, which recognizes superior depictions of disability in children’s literature. It was also chosen as a Coretta Scott King Honor book, awarded to African-American writers and illustrators for excellence in conveying the African-American experience in children’s... Read As Brave As You Summary


Publication year 1998Genre Autobiography / Memoir, NonfictionThemes Natural World: Place, Relationships: Friendship, Natural World: Animals, Natural World: Flora/plants, Natural World: Environment, Natural World: Appearance & Reality, Society: CommunityTags Travel Literature, Humor, Science / Nature, Animals, Anthropology, History: U.S., Relationships, Politics / Government, Sports

A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail is a 1998 travel book by American-British author Bill Bryson. The book was a New York Times bestseller, and a 2014 Cable News Network (CNN) poll named it the funniest travel book ever written. In addition, it inspired the 2015 film A Walk in the Woods starring Robert Redford as Bryson, Nick Nolte as Stephen Katz (his primary hiking companion), and Emma Thompson as... Read A Walk in the Woods Summary


Publication year 2019Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Family, Natural World: Environment, Natural World: AnimalsTags Animals, Action / Adventure, Survival Fiction

Publication year 1999Genre Book, NonfictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: courage, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Emotions/Behavior: Gratitude, Natural World: Animals, Natural World: Climate, Natural World: Environment, Values/Ideas: Safety & Danger, Values/Ideas: Science & TechnologyTags History: U.S., Health / Medicine, Animals, Action / Adventure

Publication year 2019Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Family, Relationships: Friendship, Life/Time: Coming of AgeTags Realistic Fiction, Coming of Age / Bildungsroman, Animals

Publication year 2010Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Power & Greed, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Natural World: AnimalsTags Mystery / Crime Fiction, Humor, Action / Adventure, Animals

Publication year 2009Genre Play, FictionTags Animals, Play: Historical

Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo is set in Baghdad in 2003 during the early days of the Iraq War. Written by Rajiv Joseph, the play was a Pulitzer Prize finalist in 2010 and made its Broadway debut in 2011. It explores themes of war, transcendence, religion and the afterlife, and sin and redemption. Plot Summary The play opens at a zoo in Baghdad, where two American soldiers, Kev and Tom, are standing guard by the Tiger’s... Read Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo Summary


Publication year 2004Genre Autobiography / Memoir, NonfictionThemes Values/Ideas: Fate, Values/Ideas: Safety & Danger, Self Discovery, Emotions/Behavior: courage, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Emotions/Behavior: Hope, Life/Time: Mortality & DeathTags Inspirational, Action / Adventure, Travel Literature, Animals, Arts / Culture, Philosophy, Relationships, Religion / Spirituality, Science / Nature, Music, Sports

Between a Rock and a Hard Place is a 2004 adventure and survival memoir by American mountain climber Aron Ralston. The narrative focuses on Ralston’s near-death experience when his arm became stuck under a boulder in a canyon in Utah, where he remained trapped for five days until he amputated his arm. Dealing with profound existential themes, the book garnered critical acclaim and became a New York Times bestseller. A 2010 film adaptation titled 127... Read Between a Rock and a Hard Place Summary


Publication year 1945Genre Novel, FictionThemes Life/Time: Coming of Age, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Natural World: Animals, Natural World: Place, Relationships: FriendshipTags Animals, Action / Adventure

Jim Kjelgaard’s novel Big Red (1945) traces the adventures of protagonist Danny Pickett after he befriends a unique Irish setter named Red. Danny has lived at the edge of the Wintapi wilderness with his father, Ross Pickett, for as long as he can remember. Although he loves his father, their life together, and the surrounding woods, Danny longs for a friend. Danny is thrilled when Mr. Haggin, the Pickett’s property owner and boss, hires Danny... Read Big Red Summary


Publication year 1975Genre Poem, FictionThemes Natural World: Animals, Life/Time: Mortality & DeathTags Lyric Poem, Relationships, Animals

Publication year 1877Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Religion & Spirituality, Society: Class, Emotions/Behavior: courage, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Natural World: AnimalsTags Classic Fiction, Historical Fiction, Action / Adventure, Animals, Addiction / Substance Abuse, Class, History: European, Poverty, Religion / Spirituality, Social Justice, Trauma / Abuse / Violence, Urban Development, Victorian Period, Coming of Age / Bildungsroman

Black Beauty was written by English novelist Anna Sewell, and published in 1877. It quickly became extremely popular, and led to increased activism and public concern for the humane treatment of horses and other animals. It went on to become one of best-selling novels of all time, and has been adapted numerous times into films and theatre productions. Sewell used her novel to explore themes such as kindness and responsibility, and to critique social problems... Read Black Beauty Summary


Publication year 1923Genre Poem, FictionThemes Natural World: Appearance & Reality, Natural World: AnimalsTags Lyric Poem, Philosophy, Animals

Publication year 1988Genre Novel, FictionThemes Life/Time: Coming of Age, Natural World: Appearance & Reality, Values/Ideas: Win & Lose, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / PerseveranceTags Historical Fiction, Religion / Spirituality, Animals, Arts / Culture, Disability, Coming of Age / Bildungsroman

Boy of the Painted Cave is a 1996 middle-grade Historical Fiction novel by Justin Denzel set 18,000 years ago in prehistoric France. The novel is told in limited third person point of view and follows Tao, a 14-year-old boy with a disability, who longs to be a cave painter for his clan. Tao has difficulty walking with his right foot, and he compensates for this by using a spear as a crutch. The crutch allows... Read Boy of the Painted Cave Summary


Publication year 1996Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Beauty, Natural World: Environment, Life/Time: Coming of AgeTags Coming of Age / Bildungsroman, Realistic Fiction, Action / Adventure, Animals, Children's Literature

Brian’s Winter (1996), a young adult novel by Gary Paulsen, is the third book in the Hatchet series of survival stories. Brian’s Winter chronologically follows Hatchet, acting as an alternate ending to Hatchet in which Brian is not rescued, and must continue to survive in the woods through the winter. Paulsen uses his own firsthand knowledge of winter survival skills to create a vivid and realistic portrayal of winter in the Canadian woods.This guide refers... Read Brian's Winter Summary


Publication year 1940Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Fear, Life/Time: Coming of Age, Society: CommunityTags Classic Fiction, Action / Adventure, Coming of Age / Bildungsroman, Fairy Tale / Folklore, Education, Animals, Relationships, Religion / Spirituality, American Literature

Publication year 1945Genre Novel, FictionThemes Society: Community, Natural World: Place, Values/Ideas: Good & Evil, Values/Ideas: Truth & Lies, Values/Ideas: Beauty, Natural World: Environment, Relationships: FriendshipTags Historical Fiction, Classic Fiction, Arts / Culture, Anthropology, Animals, Class, Education, Philosophy, Poverty, Relationships, Science / Nature

Cannery Row by John Steinbeck was originally published in 1945. A Nobel Prize-winning writer, Steinbeck grew up in Salinas, California, which is near Monterey—the location of Cannery Row. Aside from a few years in Palo Alto, New York, and Los Angeles, Steinbeck spent most of his adult life living in Monterey County, and he drew on his personal experiences to write Cannery Row.Considered literary fiction or classic literature, Cannery Row is realistic and was written... Read Cannery Row Summary


Publication year 1925Genre Short Story, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Loneliness, Identity: Femininity, Relationships: MarriageTags Classic Fiction, African American Literature, Animals

“Cat in the Rain,” a short story by American author Ernest Hemingway, was first published in the 1925 collection In Our Time. Hemingway’s story, like much of his work, is semi-autobiographical and based on his experience as an expatriate in Europe after World War I. Hemingway and his first wife, Hadley, shared a love of cats, and it’s thought he wrote this story for her while they lived in Italy and France. The short story... Read Cat in the Rain Summary


Publication year 1987Genre Book, NonfictionThemes Values/Ideas: Order & Chaos, Natural World: Appearance & Reality, Natural World: Space & The Universe, Values/Ideas: Science & TechnologyTags Science / Nature, Philosophy, Business / Economics, Animals, Health / Medicine, Technology

Publication year 1952Genre Novel, FictionThemes Life/Time: Mortality & Death, Life/Time: Aging, Society: Community, Values/Ideas: Safety & Danger, Relationships: Friendship, Values/Ideas: Fate, Life/Time: Coming of Age, Natural World: Animals, Life/Time: Childhood & Youth, Emotions/Behavior: Love, Emotions/Behavior: Grief, Emotions/Behavior: Fear, Emotions/Behavior: Loneliness, Emotions/Behavior: GratitudeTags Classic Fiction, Allegory / Fable / Parable, Children's Literature, Coming of Age / Bildungsroman, Animals

Charlotte’s Web was written by E. B. White, illustrated by Garth Williams, and first published in 1952. It is considered a quintessential American children’s fiction novel and has been adapted into two films (1973, 2006) and a stage musical. Over the years, Charlotte’s Web has been awarded the Newbery Honor Award for children’s books, the George C. Stone Center for Children’s Books Recognition of Merit Award, the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award, and the Massachusetts Children’s... Read Charlotte's Web Summary


Publication year 2012Genre Novel, FictionThemes Life/Time: Coming of Age, Natural World: Animals, Natural World: Environment, Relationships: Family, Values/Ideas: Justice & InjusticeTags Mystery / Crime Fiction, Humor, Action / Adventure, Realistic Fiction, Animals

Written in 2012 by Carl Hiaasen, Chomp is a young adult novel set in Hiaasen’s native Florida (specifically, Everglades National Park). Hiaasen, who began his career as a journalist, is the author of six other books for young readers (as well as numerous adult novels). Because his work blends humor with grim realism, Chomp features characters who are just as “bizarre” as their Florida setting. Primarily known for his crime fiction, Hiaasen also crafts stories... Read Chomp Summary


Publication year 2004Genre Essay / Speech, NonfictionThemes Natural World: Food, Life/Time: Mortality & Death, Society: EconomicsTags Humor, Arts / Culture, Philosophy, Animals, Food

Publication year 2005Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Loyalty & Betrayal, Relationships: Teams, Natural World: Animals, Society: War, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / PerseveranceTags Military / War, Historical Fiction, Animals, Action / Adventure

Cynthia Kadohata’s Cracker!: The Best Dog in Vietnam is a work of historical fiction that centers around a dog, Cracker, and her handler, Rick Hanski, during their deployment in Vietnam. It is aimed at an audience of middle-grade readers but is also an enjoyable and educational read for adults. Told from the perspective of both the canine and human main characters, Kadohata reveals the vitally important work conducted by military dogs and their handlers during... Read Cracker Summary


Publication year 2015Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Truth & LiesTags Fantasy, Animals, Children's Literature

Crenshaw is Katherine Applegate’s 2015 middle grade novel about Jackson, a young boy whose family is struggling with financial instability, and his imaginary friend, Crenshaw, a human-sized cat with a fondness for bubble baths and doing cartwheels. Narrated by Jackson in the first person, the story explores the impact of poverty on family and community, the need to reconcile fact and fancy, and how to face the unknown and unpreventable productively. The novel is divided... Read Crenshaw Summary


Publication year 1981Genre Novel, FictionThemes Life/Time: Mortality & Death, Values/Ideas: Safety & Danger, Values/Ideas: Fate, Relationships: Daughters & Sons, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Relationships: FamilyTags Horror / Thriller / Suspense Fiction, Psychological Fiction, Animals

Cujo, a horror-thriller novel first published in 1981, is the 10th novel by the American “King of Horror,” Stephen King. It was inspired by a trip the author took to a mechanic in rural Maine whose St. Bernard nearly attacked King. Cujo received several accolades upon its release and won the British Fantasy Award for Best Novel in 1982. It was adapted into a film of the same name in 1983.The citations in this study... Read Cujo Summary


Publication year 2017Genre Novel, FictionThemes Life/Time: Coming of Age, Relationships: Family, Values/Ideas: Loyalty & BetrayalTags Fantasy, Action / Adventure, Children's Literature, Animals

Publication year 2014Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Friendship, Relationships: Family, Identity: Race, Emotions/Behavior: Hope, Emotions/Behavior: courage, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Values/Ideas: Justice & InjusticeTags Historical Fiction, WWII / World War II, Animals

Publication year 1933Genre Poem, FictionThemes Life/Time: Mortality & DeathTags Lyric Poem, Grief / Death, Modernism, Animals

Publication year 2016Genre Graphic Novel/Book, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Good & Evil, Relationships: Friendship, Life/Time: Childhood & YouthTags Humor, Fantasy, Animals

Publication year 2020Genre Graphic Novel/Book, FictionThemes Relationships: Family, Relationships: FathersTags Fantasy, Humor, Action / Adventure, Animals, Children's Literature

Publication year 2018Genre Graphic Novel/Book, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Love, Identity: Disability, Natural World: Appearance & Reality, Natural World: Nurture v. Nature, Relationships: FamilyTags Humor, Animals, Fantasy, Action / Adventure, Children's Literature

Publication year 2021Genre Graphic Novel/Book, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Joy, Emotions/Behavior: Love, Relationships: Friendship, Relationships: Fathers, Relationships: FamilyTags Humor, Fantasy, Action / Adventure, Children's Literature, Animals

Publication year 1985Genre Novel, FictionThemes Natural World: Animals, Natural World: Environment, Life/Time: Coming of AgeTags Action / Adventure, Animals, Realistic Fiction

Dogsong, first published in 1985, is a young adult novel by American author Gary Paulsen, who wrote Dogsong while he was training his dog sled team for his first Iditarod run. It was awarded the Newbery Honor Award in 1986. Paulsen, who was a popular author of young adult and children’s contemporary literature, is best known for books in the coming-of-age genre, often dealing with surviving the wilderness and embracing nature. He authored more than... Read Dogsong Summary


Publication year 2009Genre Book, NonfictionThemes Natural World: EnvironmentTags Food, Philosophy, Animals, Health / Medicine

Eating Animals is a nonfiction book written by Jonathan Safran Foer and published originally in 2009. Foer is an accomplished novelist, and Eating Animals is his first foray into long-form nonfiction writing. The book fits into a genre of criticism of the food industry, specifically factory farming and animal welfare. Eating Animals is a New York Times bestseller, though it met with mixed reviews regarding both the content and style of Foer’s writing. In 2018... Read Eating Animals Summary


Publication year 2020Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Family, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Natural World: Appearance & Reality, Self DiscoveryTags Historical Fiction, Action / Adventure, Poverty, Animals, Gender / Feminism, Relationships, Science / Nature, Great Depression, Coming of Age / Bildungsroman

Publication year 1986Genre Book, NonfictionThemes Society: ColonialismTags History: European, Science / Nature, Anthropology, Animals, Agriculture, History: World

Publication year 2014Genre Biography, NonfictionThemes Natural World: Animals, Society: CommunityTags WWII / World War II, Animals, History: World, Colonialism / Postcolonialism, Military / War, History: Asian

Publication year 2012Genre Novel, FictionThemes Society: War, Relationships: Mothers, Self Discovery, Natural World: AnimalsTags Coming of Age / Bildungsroman, Action / Adventure, Survival Fiction, Animals

IntroductionEliot Schrefer’s coming-of-age novel Endangered was published by Scholastic in 2012 and is the first book in The Ape Quartet. Set the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the story is written for a young adult audience and is a 2012 National Book Award finalist in Young People’s Literature. The novel follows Sophie Biyoya-Ciardulli’s journey as she navigates the perils of war-torn Congo in search of her mother, protecting a young, orphaned bonobo throughout her journey... Read Endangered Summary


Publication year 1990Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Love, Emotions/Behavior: Loneliness, Life/Time: AgingTags Children's Literature, Fantasy, Humor, Animals

Publication year 1970Genre Novel, FictionThemes Society: Community, Values/Ideas: Safety & Danger, Natural World: Animals, Emotions/Behavior: Shame & Pride, Values/Ideas: Power & GreedTags Animals, Children's Literature, Action / Adventure

Fantastic Mr. Fox (1970) is a children’s novel by British author Roald Dahl. One of Dahl’s most acclaimed and enduring titles, the novel follows an anthropomorphic fox—the titular Mr. Fox—and his animal friends, who live near three cruel farmers. Although the farmers continually attempt to kill the animals, Mr. Fox and his friends are able to outsmart them and steal all the food they want. Fantastic Mr. Fox, like many of Dahl’s works, is a... Read Fantastic Mr Fox Summary


Publication year 1933Genre Novel, FictionThemes Life/Time: Coming of Age, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Relationships: Family, Values/Ideas: Good & Evil, Self Discovery, Life/Time: Childhood & Youth, Natural World: Animals, Society: CommunityTags Classic Fiction, Children's Literature, Historical Fiction, Agriculture, Animals, History: U.S., Parenting, Religion / Spirituality, Science / Nature, Coming of Age / Bildungsroman

Publication year 1974Genre Poem, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Fear, Natural World: Nurture v. Nature, Natural World: AnimalsTags Lyric Poem, Free verse, Animals

Publication year 2013Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Family, Relationships: FriendshipTags Humor, Children's Literature, Fantasy, Action / Adventure, Animals

Flora and Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures is a middle-grade magical realism novel written by Kate DiCamillo, illustrated by K. G. Campbell, and originally published in 2013. DiCamillo is a renowned middle-grade author who also wrote Because of Winn-Dixie and The Tale of Despereaux, among other books. Flora and Ulysses was the recipient of the John Newbery Medal for the Most Distinguished Contribution to American Literature for Children in 2014. It was also adapted into a... Read Flora And Ulysses Summary


Publication year 2010Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Relationships: Friendship, Values/Ideas: Justice & InjusticeTags Mystery / Crime Fiction, Action / Adventure, Humor, Children's Literature, Realistic Fiction, Animals

Publication year 1999Genre Novel, FictionThemes Natural World: Environment, Life/Time: Coming of Age, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Natural World: AnimalsTags Action / Adventure, Animals

Publication year 2021Genre Book, NonfictionThemes Natural World: Environment, Natural World: Animals, Life/Time: Mortality & Death, Values/Ideas: EqualityTags Science / Nature, Animals, Crime / Legal, Humor

Publication year 2009Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Family, Emotions/Behavior: Conflict, Emotions/Behavior: courage, Emotions/Behavior: Forgiveness, Emotions/Behavior: Guilt, Emotions/Behavior: Hate & Anger, Emotions/Behavior: Loneliness, Identity: Language, Life/Time: Coming of Age, Natural World: Animals, Natural World: Appearance & Reality, Natural World: Environment, Natural World: Nurture v. Nature, Relationships: Fathers, Relationships: Siblings, Relationships: Teams, Values/Ideas: Justice & Injustice, Values/Ideas: Safety & Danger, Values/Ideas: Science & TechnologyTags Historical Fiction, Animals

Half Brother (2010) is a young adult novel by Kenneth Oppel. In the novel, Oppel combines and fictionalizes several experiments in which chimpanzees learned sign language to communicate. The story follows the Tomlin family as they adopt a baby chimpanzee to see if it can learn and use language. Through this experiment and its effect on the characters, the text explores the themes of family, belonging, animal rights, communication, individuality, and growing up. The novel... Read Half Brother Summary


Publication year 2014Genre Autobiography / Memoir, NonfictionThemes Natural World: Environment, Identity: Sexuality, Life/Time: Mortality & Death, Emotions/Behavior: GriefTags Animals, Science / Nature, Grief / Death

H Is for Hawk (2014) is British author Helen MacDonald’s award-winning memoir about her attempts to train a goshawk named Mabel in the wake of her father’s death. It is a memoir of grief, self-discovery, and the healing power of nature. MacDonald intersperses her descriptions of training Mabel with references to the memoirs of T.H. White, who writes about his own hapless attempts at falconry in the 1930s. The memoir was an instant bestseller and... Read H Is For Hawk Summary


Publication year 1891Genre Poem, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Determination / PerseveranceTags Lyric Poem, Philosophy, Romanticism / Romantic Period, Animals

Publication year 2022Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Art, Natural World: Animals, Life/Time: The PastTags Historical Fiction, Animals, Race / Racism, American Civil War, Sports

Publication year 2007Genre Novel, FictionThemes Society: Class, Natural World: Animals, Values/Ideas: Truth & LiesTags Realistic Fiction, Animals, Children's Literature, Class

Publication year 2013Genre Graphic Novel/Book, NonfictionThemes Identity: Mental Health, Life/Time: Childhood & Youth, Relationships: Mothers, Emotions/Behavior: Shame & Pride, Emotions/Behavior: FearTags Humor, Auto/Biographical Fiction, Mental Illness, Depression / Suicide, Animals

Publication year 1977Genre Poem, FictionThemes Society: Politics & Government, Emotions/Behavior: Conflict, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / PerseveranceTags Lyric Poem, Philosophy, Science / Nature, Latin American Literature, Animals

Publication year 1971Genre Book, NonfictionThemes Natural World: Environment, Natural World: Animals, Natural World: Nurture v. Nature, Natural World: Place, Values/Ideas: Justice & Injustice, Emotions/Behavior: Conflict, Emotions/Behavior: ForgivenessTags Science / Nature, Animals, Anthropology

Published in 1971, In the Shadow of Man is the third and most famous book by British primatologist Dr. Jane Goodall. The work details Goodall’s groundbreaking study of chimpanzees in Tanzania’s Gombe Stream National Park and her unlikely journey from being a secretary in the UK to heading a major chimpanzee study in East Africa and becoming one of the world’s foremost primatology experts. Functioning as both a memoir and a scientific exploration of chimp... Read In the Shadow of Man Summary


Publication year 1994Genre Novel, FictionTags Historical Fiction, Animals, Latin American Literature

The novel is set in the Dominican Republic, in both 1994—the “present day”—and during the period of Trujillo’s regime. In 1994, Dedé Mirabal lives in the house where her three sisters—Minerva, Patria and María Teresa—and her family used to live. Her dead sisters are known as the “butterflies,” they are martyrs and national heroes. In 1994, Dedé talks to an interviewer about her sisters’ lives and deaths. Her narrative is interspersed with her own memories... Read In the Time of the Butterflies Summary


Publication year 2003Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: courage, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Life/Time: Coming of Age, Relationships: Friendship, Self Discovery, Society: Community, Values/Ideas: Loyalty & Betrayal, Values/Ideas: Power & GreedTags Fantasy, Animals, Action / Adventure, Relationships, Leadership/Organization/Management

Publication year 1961Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Friendship, Society: Community, Values/Ideas: Safety & Danger, Life/Time: Childhood & Youth, Relationships: Family, Emotions/Behavior: Love, Emotions/Behavior: Fear, Emotions/Behavior: Loneliness, Emotions/Behavior: Grief, Life/Time: Mortality & Death, Emotions/Behavior: Hope, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / PerseveranceTags Fantasy, Classic Fiction, Humor, Children's Literature, Magical Realism, Animals, Action / Adventure

James and the Giant Peach, by British author Roald Dahl was first published in 1961. This critically acclaimed children’s novel was made into an award-winning film in 1996. Dahl was born in 1916 in Wales and, in addition to writing both children and adult literature, he was a poet, screenwriter, and wartime fighter pilot. He is known as one of the 20th century’s greatest storytellers and has sold more than 250 million copies of his... Read James And The Giant Peach Summary


Publication year 1972Genre Novel, FictionThemes Natural World: Environment, Relationships: Fathers, Values/Ideas: Safety & DangerTags Action / Adventure, Animals, Science / Nature, Children's Literature

Jean Craighead George’s children’s novel Julie of the Wolves (1972), set in 20th-century Alaska, tells the story of a 13-year-old Inuit girl named Miyax who is lost in the wilderness after escaping a violent husband and a life that does not suit her. Miyax struggles to survive in a harsh environment as she attempts to make her way to San Francisco. A pack of wolves helps her, and she learns to deepen her appreciation of... Read Julie Of The Wolves Summary


Publication year 1990Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Science & Technology, Values/Ideas: Safety & Danger, Natural World: AnimalsTags Science-Fiction / Dystopian Fiction, Action / Adventure, Horror / Thriller / Suspense Fiction, Animals

Jurassic Park is a science-fiction thriller novel written by American author Michael Crichton and first published in 1990. It chronicles the story of an eccentric genetics CEO who builds an amusement park containing live dinosaurs cloned from ancient DNA. The book was followed by a sequel in 1995, The Lost World. Jurassic Park has been adapted into one of the most successful movie franchises of all time, with the first movie released in 1993 and... Read Jurassic Park Summary


Publication year 2021Genre Graphic Novel/Book, FictionThemes Relationships: Friendship, Life/Time: Coming of AgeTags Fantasy, Action / Adventure, Humor, Animals, Coming of Age / Bildungsroman, Relationships

Publication year 1998Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Fear, Emotions/Behavior: Forgiveness, Emotions/Behavior: Hate & Anger, Emotions/Behavior: Shame & Pride, Values/Ideas: Justice & Injustice, Values/Ideas: Religion & Spirituality, Relationships: Family, Life/Time: Childhood & Youth, Society: ColonialismTags Realistic Fiction, Coming of Age / Bildungsroman, Trauma / Abuse / Violence, Animals, Love / Sexuality, LGBTQ

Publication year 2001Genre Novel/Book in Verse, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Power & Greed, Natural World: Animals, Values/Ideas: LiteratureTags Realistic Fiction, Drama / Tragedy, Animals

Love That Dog is a Newbery Award-winning middle grade book by Sharon Creech. Published in 2001, the book combines comedy and tragedy in detailing young Jack’s journey to loving poetry—a journey that takes form via free verse journal entries. Though Jack initially scoffs at the idea of writing poems, he later learns the value of his own voice. This guide refers to the 2002 Bloomsbury Children’s Books paperback edition.Plot SummaryJack, a student in Miss Stretchberry’s... Read Love That Dog Summary


Publication year 2005Genre Autobiography / Memoir, NonfictionThemes Relationships: FamilyTags Animals

Marley and Me: Life and Love with the World’s Worst Dog (2005) is an autobiography by journalist John Grogan. This guide is based on the 2005 first edition. The story was inspired by the overwhelmingly positive reaction to Grogan’s obituary for his dog Marley.The book was adapted into a full-length film in 2008 and has also been adapted into a series of children’s stories about Marley. The title is borrowed from a chapter near the... Read Marley And Me Summary


Publication year 2008Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Friendship, Values/Ideas: Safety & Danger, Values/Ideas: Art, Emotions/Behavior: ConflictTags Fantasy, Mystery / Crime Fiction, Animals, Children's Literature

Publication year 1947Genre Novel, FictionThemes Natural World: Animals, Natural World: Environment, Relationships: FamilyTags Children's Literature, Classic Fiction, Historical Fiction, Animals

Publication year 1988Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Power & Greed, Society: CommunityTags Fantasy, Action / Adventure, Science-Fiction / Dystopian Fiction, Animals

Publication year 1946Genre Poem, FictionThemes Natural World: Nurture v. NatureTags Christian literature, Animals, American Literature

Publication year 1938Genre Poem, FictionThemes Natural World: AnimalsTags Lyric Poem, Animals, Modernism, Mythology

Publication year 1971Genre Novel, FictionThemes Society: Community, Values/Ideas: Science & Technology, Emotions/Behavior: Grief, Life/Time: Aging, Life/Time: Mortality & Death, Natural World: Place, Relationships: Friendship, Values/Ideas: Safety & Danger, Relationships: Mothers, Natural World: Animals, Relationships: Family, Life/Time: The Past, Life/Time: The Future, Society: Education, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Emotions/Behavior: Conflict, Emotions/Behavior: HopeTags Fantasy, Science-Fiction / Dystopian Fiction, Action / Adventure, Animals, Technology, Grief / Death, Agriculture, Parenting, Science / Nature, Philosophy, Sociology

Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH is a children’s science fiction novel written in 1971 by Robert C. O’Brien. It tells the story of a field mouse whose son becomes ill as moving day approaches, so she enlists the help of a group of highly intelligent experimental rats for help. Robert C. O’Brien was inspired to write the Rats of NIMH after a visit to the National Institute of Mental Health’s experimental rat compound... Read Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH Summary


Publication year 1948Genre Novel, FictionThemes Natural World: Animals, Life/Time: Childhood & Youth, Emotions/Behavior: courage, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / PerseveranceTags Fantasy, Action / Adventure, Children's Literature, Classic Fiction, Animals

In Ruth Stiles Gannett’s classic children’s adventure, My Father’s Dragon (1948), nine-year-old Elmer Elevator runs away to rescue a baby dragon held captive by the animals of Wild Island. Elmer must navigate a dense jungle and outwit fearsome adversaries, including tigers, a rhinoceros, and a lion in his expedition and, hopefully, realize his own dream of flying. As Elmer follows his quest, Gannett explores themes of courage, cleverness, and social sensitivity. My Father’s Dragon received... Read My Father's Dragon Summary


Publication year 1988Genre Autobiography / Memoir, NonfictionThemes Natural World: Animals, Natural World: Environment, Values/Ideas: Science & TechnologyTags Science / Nature, Animals

Publication year 1963Genre Autobiography / Memoir, NonfictionThemes Natural World: Environment, Society: Politics & Government, Identity: Indigenous, Natural World: AnimalsTags Science / Nature, Animals, Action / Adventure

Farley Mowat published Never Cry Wolf in 1963. The book is a non-fiction memoir of the 18 months he spent in the Barrens, a treeless area of tundra, studying arctic wolves for the Dominion Wildlife Service. Told that these wolves killed caribou for sport, Farley was surprised to discover that wolves never attacked humans and only culled the deer herds of unhealthy animals. Farley also encountered rampant inefficiency among his government colleagues, which he reports... Read Never Cry Wolf Summary


Publication year 2014Genre Autobiography / Memoir, NonfictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Natural World: Environment, Natural World: Place, Self Discovery, Values/Ideas: BeautyTags Sports, Action / Adventure, Animals

No Summit out of Sight (2014) is a young adult memoir written by Jordan Romero and Linda LeBlanc. Jordan Romero is the youngest person to ever climb the Seven Summits. The novel explores themes including The Power of Setting and Achieving Goals, Focusing on a Personal Best, and The Value of Teamwork.This guide uses the 2014 Simon & Schuster edition of the memoir.SummaryFourth grader Jordan Romero gazes at a mural of the Seven Summits (the... Read No Summit Out Of Sight Summary


Publication year 2022Genre Novel/Book in Verse, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: courage, Emotions/Behavior: Conflict, Natural World: Animals, Natural World: Environment, Natural World: Appearance & Reality, Natural World: Place, Values/Ideas: Beauty, Values/Ideas: Safety & DangerTags Animals, Science / Nature, Realistic Fiction, Action / Adventure

Publication year 1957Genre Poem, FictionTags Lyric Poem, Animals, Science / Nature, Grief / Death, Latin American Literature, Food

Publication year 1686Genre Poem, FictionThemes Natural World: Animals, Natural World: Environment, Natural World: Place, Emotions/Behavior: NostalgiaTags Asian Literature, Lyric Poem, Japanese Literature, Animals

Many scholars agree that “Old Pond” (1686) by Matsuo Bashō is one of the most—if not the most—famous haiku of all time. The term “haiku” translates as “play verse,” and though “Old Pond” appears whimsical and simple—a frog jumping into water and the subsequent splash—Bashō utilizes various literary devices such as key words and onomatopoeia to ensure this three-line poem is both didactic and enjoyable. “Old Pond” is instructional, especially for its use of common... Read Old Pond Summary


Publication year 2021Genre Novel, FictionThemes Natural World: Environment, Relationships: Siblings, Values/Ideas: Safety & Danger, Natural World: Animals, Relationships: FamilyTags Mystery / Crime Fiction, Horror / Thriller / Suspense Fiction, Animals, Trauma / Abuse / Violence

Publication year 1990Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Friendship, Natural World: Animals, Natural World: EnvironmentTags Action / Adventure, Survival Fiction, Realistic Fiction, Animals

Publication year 2017Genre Novel, FictionThemes Society: Community, Relationships: Family, Life/Time: Coming of Age, Self Discovery, Life/Time: Childhood & Youth, Emotions/Behavior: courage, Values/Ideas: Safety & Danger, Values/Ideas: Order & Chaos, Values/Ideas: Loyalty & Betrayal, Natural World: Flora/plants, Natural World: Animals, Natural World: FoodTags Fantasy, Magical Realism, Coming of Age / Bildungsroman, Children's Literature, Animals, Food, Relationships

Publication year 1961Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Family, Natural World: Animals, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / PerseveranceTags Relationships, Children's Literature, Science / Nature, Animals

Publication year 2008Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Religion & Spirituality, Relationships: Family, Emotions/Behavior: Apathy, Emotions/Behavior: Conflict, Emotions/Behavior: Guilt, Self Discovery, Society: CommunityTags Historical Fiction, Vietnam War, Animals

Publication year 2011Genre Novel, FictionThemes Identity: Disability, Life/Time: Childhood & Youth, Values/Ideas: Truth & LiesTags Fantasy, Children's Literature, Action / Adventure, Disability, Trauma / Abuse / Violence, Animals, American Literature

Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes is a middle grade novel by Jonathan Auxier originally published in 2011. The novel encompasses a variety of genres: fantasy, the heroic quest, and even some Dickensian orphan flourishes, for good measure. It was a BookPage Magazine Best Book of the year, an ABA New Voices selection (2011), and a finalist for the Monica Hughes Award for science fiction and fantasy.This study guide references the edition published by Amulet... Read Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes Summary


Publication year 2021Genre Novel, FictionThemes Life/Time: Coming of Age, Life/Time: Mortality & Death, Life/Time: The Past, Natural World: Animals, Natural World: Appearance & Reality, Relationships: Family, Society: Colonialism, Values/Ideas: Religion & SpiritualityTags Historical Fiction, Fantasy, Animals, Action / Adventure

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Publication year 1995Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: courage, Emotions/Behavior: Fear, Natural World: Animals, Natural World: Appearance & Reality, Values/Ideas: Power & Greed, Relationships: Family, Relationships: FriendshipTags Children's Literature, Fantasy, Action / Adventure, Animals

Publication year 2018Genre Novel, FictionThemes Identity: Disability, Relationships: Family, Life/Time: Coming of AgeTags Realistic Fiction, Coming of Age / Bildungsroman, Animals, Disability

Rain Reign is a work of middle-grade contemporary fiction written by American author Ann M. Martin and published in 2014. The novel was chosen for the 2014 New York Times Notable Children’s Books list. Martin is the original author of the best-selling Baby-Sitters Club series of books and has written over 100 books for young readers. She has received numerous awards over the course of her career, including the Newbery Medal in 2013 and a... Read Rain Reign Summary


Publication year 1982Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Conflict, Emotions/Behavior: Loneliness, Relationships: FriendshipTags Animals, Fantasy, Children's Literature

Publication year 1986Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Good & Evil, Society: Community, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / PerseveranceTags Fantasy, Animals, Action / Adventure

Redwall is a middle-grade fantasy novel by British author Brian Jacques. It is the first book in a series of the same name that spans 22 volumes. The initial book was originally published in 1986, while the final installment, entitled Rogue Crew, wasn’t published until 2011, after the author’s death. Redwall was named to Time Magazine’s 100 Best Fantasy Books of All Time. Aside from the Redwall Series proper, Jacques also published a three-book series... Read Redwall Summary


Publication year 2022Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Grief, Relationships: Family, Relationships: Friendship, Natural World: Animals, Emotions/Behavior: Loneliness, Self Discovery, Life/Time: Aging, Relationships: MothersTags Animals, Grief / Death, Parenting, Relationships

Publication year 2021Genre Novel/Book in Verse, FictionThemes Relationships: Family, Society: Community, Relationships: Grandparents, Emotions/Behavior: Love, Natural World: Animals, Identity: IndigenousTags Animals, Health / Medicine

Publication year 1894Genre Short Story, FictionThemes Natural World: Animals, Relationships: Family, Emotions/Behavior: courageTags Classic Fiction, Fantasy, Action / Adventure, Animals

“Rikki-tikki-tavi” is one of Rudyard Kipling’s most famous short stories and was animated into a children’s film in 1975. This children’s story, originally published in 1894, follows a young mongoose named Rikki-tikki-tavi who protects a British family from the snakes in their garden. It is especially known for its themes of Courage as Action and Family Loyalty and Legacy, as well as for its overarching connections to colonialism; Rudyard Kipling, who lived in British colonial... Read Rikki Tikki Tavi Summary


Publication year 2019Genre Autobiography / Memoir, NonfictionThemes Natural World: Animals, Self Discovery, Society: Community, Identity: Mental HealthTags Action / Adventure, Animals, Sports, Trauma / Abuse / Violence, Science / Nature

Publication year 2019Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Safety & Danger, Values/Ideas: Good & Evil, Life/Time: Coming of Age, Relationships: Family, Identity: Disability, Natural World: AnimalsTags Horror / Thriller / Suspense Fiction, Fantasy, Action / Adventure, Animals, Trauma / Abuse / Violence

Publication year 1999Genre Book, NonfictionThemes Values/Ideas: Loyalty & BetrayalTags Animals, Sports

Seabiscuit is a 1999 nonfiction book written by Laura Hillenbrand about the rise to fame and racing glory of an American racehorse named Seabiscuit. In the depths of the Great Depression, Seabiscuit rose from obscurity to international fame, and became a symbol of hope for many Americans. Born in 1933, he was owned by the Wheatley Stable, which had the famous James “Sunny Jim” Fitzsimmons as its trainer. Fitzsimmons found Seabiscuit to have speed, but... Read Seabiscuit Summary


Publication year 1900Genre Poem, FictionTags Lyric Poem, Children's Literature, Modernism, Animals

Publication year 2015Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Family, Life/Time: Coming of Age, Values/Ideas: Good & EvilTags Fantasy, Mystery / Crime Fiction, Horror / Thriller / Suspense Fiction, Coming of Age / Bildungsroman, Animals

Serafina and the Black Cloak is a middle-grade mystery/fantasy by Robert Beatty. First published in 2015, the novel is set in 1899 at the historic Biltmore Estate near Asheville, North Carolina. The story features 12-year-old Serafina, a girl of mysterious origins and many unusual skills who lives secretly in the mansion’s basement. When some of the Biltmore guests’ children go missing, Serafina discovers that an evil intruder—the Man in the Black Cloak—is responsible. Serafina sets... Read Serafina and the Black Cloak Summary


Publication year 2006Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: courage, Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Life/Time: Coming of Age, Natural World: Animals, Self Discovery, Values/Ideas: Trust & DoubtTags Realistic Fiction, Action / Adventure, Animals

Publication year 1997Genre Novel, FictionThemes Natural World: Animals, Relationships: Teams, Emotions/Behavior: Fear, Emotions/Behavior: Shame & Pride, Values/Ideas: Good & EvilTags Fantasy, Action / Adventure, Animals, Relationships

Kenneth Oppel’s 1997 award-winning middle-grade novel Silverwing is a high-fantasy work that follows a young bat’s journey to find his colony. The novel has sold over a million copies and been adapted for television as an animated children’s series. This book is the first of four in The Silverwing Book Series.Plot SummaryThe novel is divided into three parts, and it shifts point of view between Shade, a runt newborn Silverwing bat, and Goth, a cannibalistic... Read Silverwing Summary


Publication year 2019Genre Novel, FictionThemes Identity: Disability, Life/Time: Childhood & Youth, Relationships: FriendshipTags Realistic Fiction, Allegory / Fable / Parable, Children's Literature, Inspirational, Disability, Relationships, Animals

Publication year 2011Genre Poem, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Love, Values/Ideas: Beauty, Life/Time: Mortality & DeathTags Lyric Poem, Grief / Death, Animals, Philosophy, American Literature

Publication year 2023Genre Autobiography / Memoir, NonfictionThemes Relationships: Family, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Emotions/Behavior: Conflict, Emotions/Behavior: Grief, Emotions/Behavior: Hope, Emotions/Behavior: Loneliness, Emotions/Behavior: Love, Emotions/Behavior: Shame & Pride, Emotions/Behavior: courage, Self Discovery, Society: Class, Society: Colonialism, Society: Politics & Government, Values/Ideas: Truth & Lies, Values/Ideas: Trust & Doubt, Values/Ideas: Loyalty & Betrayal, Values/Ideas: Justice & Injustice, Values/Ideas: Power & Greed, Values/Ideas: Safety & DangerTags History: European, Politics / Government, British Literature, Animals, Grief / Death, Depression / Suicide, Class, Relationships, Journalism, Bullying

Publication year 2018Genre Novel, FictionThemes Natural World: Animals, Relationships: Fathers, Relationships: Family, Values/Ideas: Justice & InjusticeTags Action / Adventure, Realistic Fiction, Humor, Mystery / Crime Fiction, Animals

Publication year 2022Genre Book, NonfictionThemes Natural World: Space & The Universe, Society: Education, Values/Ideas: Truth & Lies, Values/Ideas: Science & Technology, Values/Ideas: Order & Chaos, Society: Community, Identity: GenderTags Science / Nature, Philosophy, History: World, Politics / Government, Animals, Education, Diversity, Disability, Food, Health / Medicine, Internet Culture / Social Media, Military / War, Race / Racism, Religion / Spirituality, Social Justice, Technology

Publication year 2023Genre Novel, FictionThemes Natural World: Animals, Society: Class, Values/Ideas: Good & Evil, Values/Ideas: Loyalty & Betrayal, Values/Ideas: Power & GreedTags Science-Fiction / Dystopian Fiction, Fantasy, Humor, Animals

Publication year 2021Genre Novel, FictionThemes Life/Time: Mortality & Death, Relationships: Friendship, Natural World: AnimalsTags Realistic Fiction, Animals, Health / Medicine, Grief / Death, Trauma / Abuse / Violence, Children's Literature

Publication year 1945Genre Novel, FictionThemes Life/Time: Coming of Age, Life/Time: Childhood & Youth, Self DiscoveryTags Children's Literature, Classic Fiction, Fantasy, Animals, Action / Adventure

Stuart Little (1945) is E. B. White’s first children’s book—the collected stories of Stuart, a mouse-boy born into a human family. White was a journalist and humorist who wrote for the United Press, the Seattle Times, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, The New Yorker, and Harper’s Magazine. He received the Laura Ingalls Wilder Prize in 1970 for contributions to children’s literature for the much beloved Charlotte’s Web, and in 1973, The Trumpet of the Swan won the Sequoyah... Read Stuart Little Summary


Publication year 1976Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Life/Time: Coming of Age, Relationships: FriendshipTags Historical Fiction, Animals, Action / Adventure

Summer of the Monkeys by Wilson Rawls is a middle grade historical novel first published in 1976. Set in rural Oklahoma’s Ozark Mountains in the late 1800s, the story follows 14-year-old Jay Berry Lee as he tries to capture a group of monkeys that escaped from their circus train. The monkeys, and especially the chimpanzee who leads them, prove themselves wily adversaries for Jay Berry, who desperately wants the reward money that will accompany their... Read Summer of the Monkeys Summary


Publication year 2011Genre Biography, NonfictionThemes Identity: Disability, Natural World: Animals, Values/Ideas: EqualityTags Disability, Animals, Inspirational, Agriculture

Author and naturalist Sy Montgomery’s Temple Grandin: How the Girl Who Loved Cows Embraced Autism and Changed the World (2012) is a biography of the animal behaviorist, animal rights advocate, and autism activism Temple Grandin. The biography is intended for young adult readers and discusses Grandin’s life from early childhood to the present day. It explores the challenges she faced with autism, the development of her creativity and her passion for animals, and the persistence... Read Temple Grandin Summary


Publication year 1979Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Siblings, Life/Time: Coming of Age, Relationships: Fathers, Life/Time: Childhood & Youth, Relationships: Family, Relationships: Friendship, Society: ClassTags Realistic Fiction, Relationships, Animals

In small town Oklahoma during the 1970s, a rough-and-tumble teenager learns to navigate the world with his older brother and a mostly absent father in S. E. Hinton’s young adult fiction novel Tex. Published in 1979, the book was subsequently made into a popular movie starring young Matt Dillon in the title role. Hinton herself has written that Texas McCormick is the favorite of all her iconic characters, so good natured and even tempered that... Read Tex Summary


Publication year 2008Genre Novel, FictionThemes Life/Time: Mortality & Death, Life/Time: Birth, Values/Ideas: Loyalty & BetrayalTags Philosophy, Animals

Published in 2008, The Art of Racing in the Rain is a New York Times bestselling novel by Garth Stein. It follows the life of race car driver Denny Swift and is told from the perspective of his dog, Enzo. Stein was inspired to write the book after watching the 1998 Mongolian documentary State of Dogs about a dog who is reincarnated as a human after death, and after seeing the poet Billy Collins read... Read The Art of Racing in the Rain Summary


Publication year 2008Genre Novel, FictionThemes Life/Time: Childhood & Youth, Natural World: Environment, Relationships: TeamsTags Mythology, Fantasy, Coming of Age / Bildungsroman, Animals, Arts / Culture, Climate Change, History: European, American Literature

The Battle of the Labyrinth is a fantasy-adventure novel inspired Greek mythology and written in 2008 by Rick Riordan. It is the fourth in the Percy Jackson series.The novel begins with Percy Jackson is at his freshman orientation at Good High School. Rachel Elizabeth Dare helps him fight two empousai, spectres who were disguised as cheerleaders. Percy flees to Camp Half-Blood, but Rachel remains. Percy is reunited with Annabeth, and they learn Grover is in... Read The Battle of the Labyrinth Summary


Publication year 1988Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Emotions/Behavior: courage, Emotions/Behavior: Fear, Emotions/Behavior: Hope, Emotions/Behavior: Love, Relationships: Family, Relationships: Friendship, Relationships: Daughters & Sons, Natural World: Nurture v. Nature, Natural World: Flora/plants, Society: Community, Self DiscoveryTags Realistic Fiction, Relationships, Animals, Depression / Suicide, Diversity, Immigration / Refugee, Parenting, Poverty, Politics / Government, Race / Racism, Science / Nature, Social Justice, Trauma / Abuse / Violence

The Bean Trees (first published in 1988) is the first novel by Barbara Kingsolver. Kingsolver is an American novelist, essayist, and poet who holds degrees in ecology and evolutionary biology, and her work often addresses biodiversity, social justice, communities, and people’s interactions with their environment. The Bean Trees is a work of realistic adult fiction that follows Taylor Greer as she leaves her rural upbringing in Kentucky, drives across the country to Tucson, Arizona, and... Read The Bean Trees Summary


Publication year 1942Genre Short Story, FictionThemes Life/Time: Coming of Age, Natural World: Environment, Values/Ideas: Justice & InjusticeTags Historical Fiction, Coming of Age / Bildungsroman, Animals, Science / Nature, Civil Rights / Jim Crow, Southern Gothic, Reconstruction Era

“The Bear” is a work of short fiction by William Faulkner, first published in The Saturday Evening Post in May 1942. Faulkner subsequently expanded the story and included it in Go Down, Moses, a collection of related short stories sometimes considered a novel, published later that year. An abbreviated version also appears in his 1955 anthology, Big Woods. As historical fiction set in an imagined Mississippi county, “The Bear” traces a young man’s development in... Read The Bear Summary


Publication year 1952Genre Short Story, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Fear, Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Society: WarTags Horror / Thriller / Suspense Fiction, Animals, Cold War

Daphne du Maurier’s short story “The Birds” was first published in her 1952 collection, The Apple Tree: A Short Novel and Several Long Stories. It is a Gothic horror story about a man who must protect his family from the brutal and inexplicably organized attacks perpetrated by the birds. Du Maurier’s tale evokes the social isolation of individuals in 1950s England, the British civilians’ memories of helplessness during the Blitz, and the fear of destructive... Read The Birds Summary


Publication year -1Genre Play, FictionThemes Society: Community, Values/Ideas: Religion & Spirituality, Values/Ideas: Power & Greed, Natural World: AnimalsTags Animals, Play: Comedy / Satire, Politics / Government, Ancient Greece, Classical Period, Fantasy

Publication year 1941Genre Novel, FictionThemes Life/Time: Mortality & Death, Values/Ideas: Loyalty & Betrayal, Natural World: Animals, Values/Ideas: Safety & Danger, Life/Time: Childhood & Youth, Emotions/Behavior: Fear, Values/Ideas: Trust & Doubt, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / PerseveranceTags Classic Fiction, Children's Literature, Action / Adventure, Realism, Animals

Walter Farley was only 26 years old when he published The Black Stallion, the fictional adventure story of the friendship between a boy and a majestic, powerful horse. Farley’s book, first available in 1941, was an instant bestseller. The Black Stallion and its 20 sequels have sold more than 12 million copies. The novel won the 1944 Young Reader’s Choice Award and inspired three Black Stallion movies and a TV series. At the heart of... Read The Black Stallion Summary


Publication year 1872Genre Poem, FictionTags Allegory / Fable / Parable, Philosophy, Animals, Religion / Spirituality

Publication year 2014Genre Novel, FictionThemes Society: Colonialism, Self Discovery, Emotions/Behavior: Conflict, Emotions/Behavior: courage, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Life/Time: Coming of Age, Life/Time: Mortality & Death, Natural World: Place, Emotions/Behavior: HopeTags Fantasy, Mythology, Action / Adventure, Leadership/Organization/Management, Coming of Age / Bildungsroman, Animals, History: European, Ancient Greece, Ancient Rome

Originally published in 2014, The Blood of Olympus is the fifth and final book in Rick Riordan’s young adult fantasy series The Heroes of Olympus, inspired by Greek and Roman mythologies. The series follows seven demigods—children of one divine and one mortal parent—as they try to stop the earth goddess, Gaea, from rising to power. The novel won several awards, including the Goodreads Choice Award for Best Middle Grade and Children’s Book of 2014. The... Read The Blood of Olympus Summary


Publication year 2005Genre Poem, FictionThemes Relationships: FamilyTags Lyric Poem, Relationships, American Literature, Animals

Publication year 1891Genre Short Story, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Grief, Emotions/Behavior: Fear, Natural World: EnvironmentTags Historical Fiction, Horror / Thriller / Suspense Fiction, Western, Grief / Death, Animals, American Literature, Gothic Literature

Not far from Cincinnati in 1830 lies a “great forest” occupied by the scattered homes of early settlers. Among them is an old, neglected cabin with a front door and boarded-up window. For decades, a white-haired man named Murlock has lived there; he looks 70 but is really 50. He lets his yard grow wild and provides for himself by selling animal skins.Murlock is found dead at his cabin, apparently of natural causes. He’s buried... Read The Boarded Window Summary


Publication year 1903Genre Novel, FictionThemes Natural World: Animals, Society: Community, Values/Ideas: Power & GreedTags Action / Adventure, American Literature, Animals, Naturalism

Originally serialized in 1903, Jack London’s The Call of the Wild is an adventure story about Buck, a dog from the Santa Clara Valley who finds himself living the life of a sled dog in the Arctic wilderness. Through Buck’s adventure, the novel addresses what it takes to survive in the natural world, contemplates the connection of life and death, and demonstrates the power of respect and love. The Call of the Wild was immediately... Read The Call of the Wild Summary


Publication year 2020Genre Novel/Book in Verse, FictionThemes Relationships: Family, Identity: Mental Health, Emotions/Behavior: courage, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Emotions/Behavior: Fear, Emotions/Behavior: Grief, Emotions/Behavior: Guilt, Values/Ideas: Good & Evil, Values/Ideas: Safety & Danger, Self DiscoveryTags Survival Fiction, Realistic Fiction, Action / Adventure, Animals, Grief / Death, Mental Illness, Parenting, Natural Disaster, Science / Nature, Trauma / Abuse / Violence

Genre Novel/Book in Verse, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Truth & LiesTags Religion / Spirituality, Classic Fiction, Narrative / Epic Poem, Animals

Considered widely as a masterpiece of Persian literature, Farid ud-Din Attar’s epic poem, The Conference of the Birds, tells the story of thirty birds on a journey to find their ideal Sovereign, the Great Simorgh, the mythical bird that dwells on Mount Qaf, a legendary mountain that encompasses the earth. First published in 1077 CE and consisting of more than 4,500 lines, the central concern of the poem is Sufism, a mystical doctrine of Islam... Read The Conference of the Birds Summary


Publication year 1843Genre Poem, FictionThemes Life/Time: Mortality & DeathTags Lyric Poem, Horror / Thriller / Suspense Fiction, Romanticism / Romantic Period, Animals

Publication year 1960Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Friendship, Values/Ideas: Equality, Values/Ideas: Music, Emotions/Behavior: Nostalgia, Values/Ideas: Beauty, Values/Ideas: Truth & Lies, Self Discovery, Natural World: Animals, Natural World: PlaceTags Children's Literature, Fantasy, Action / Adventure, Animals, Diversity, Science / Nature

Trapped in a picnic basket, Chester Cricket travels from his peaceful Connecticut home to the bustling Times Square subway station in George Selden’s classic children’s novel, The Cricket in Times Square (1960). There, Chester makes three good friends who help him navigate—and enjoy—his new city life: Mario Bellini, a young boy whose parents run a struggling newsstand; Tucker, a sociable mouse; and Tucker’s best friend, the cultured Harry Cat. Mishaps in the newsstand set Mama... Read The Cricket In Times Square Summary


Publication year 2003Genre Novel, FictionThemes Identity: Disability, Values/Ideas: Safety & DangerTags Mystery / Crime Fiction, Coming of Age / Bildungsroman, Animals, Disability, British Literature

In the novel The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, Christopher Boone, a brilliant teenage boy with Autism, sets out to solve the murder of his neighbor’s dog. Written by Mark Haddon and published in 2003, the book has become a prize-winning bestseller translated into three-dozen languages. Already considered a classic, the work has been adapted as a stage play and is performed internationally. The e-book edition is the basis for this study... Read The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time Summary


Publication year 1900Genre Poem, FictionThemes Natural World: AnimalsTags Animals

Publication year 1942Genre Essay / Speech, FictionThemes Life/Time: Mortality & Death, Natural World: Animals, Natural World: Environment, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / PerseveranceTags Grief / Death, Animals

Publication year 1999Genre Autobiography / Memoir, NonfictionThemes Natural World: Animals, Relationships: Teams, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Society: CommunityTags Animals, Science / Nature

The Elephant Whisperer: My Life With the Herd in the African Wild (2009) is a memoir by Lawrence Anthony, detailing his experiences with rehabilitating a traumatized herd of elephants on his game reserve in South Africa. The book explores themes of bonding and communicating with animals, the inherent interconnectedness of nature, and the challenges of conservation efforts.Anthony was an internationally renowned conservationist and environmentalist. He was the co-owner and head of conservation at the Thula... Read The Elephant Whisperer Summary


Publication year 2018Genre Book, NonfictionThemes Natural World: Animals, Natural World: Appearance & Reality, Values/Ideas: Art, Values/Ideas: Justice & Injustice, Values/Ideas: Power & GreedTags Crime / Legal, History: European, Science / Nature, Animals

The Feather Thief by American author, screenwriter, and journalist Kirk Wallace Johnson is about the 2009 heist of the British Natural History Museum at Tring. It retraces the background of the 20-year-old American thief, professional flautist, and master fly-tier, Edwin Rist, who stole 299 rare bird skins from the museum. Johnson first heard about the heist while fly-fishing on a river in New Mexico. Living with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after years of aid work... Read The Feather Thief Summary


Publication year 1985Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Friendship, Emotions/Behavior: JoyTags Fantasy, Animals, Classic Fiction, Humor

Publication year 159Genre Novel, FictionThemes Identity: Sexuality, Life/Time: Coming of Age, Values/Ideas: ArtTags Fantasy, Mythology, Humor, Allegory / Fable / Parable, Relationships, Animals, History: European, Ancient Rome

Publication year 1926Genre Short Story, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Beauty, Emotions/Behavior: Joy, Emotions/Behavior: Love, Emotions/Behavior: Nostalgia, Life/Time: Coming of Age, Self Discovery, Values/Ideas: ArtTags Animals, Japanese Literature

Publication year 2021Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Family, Identity: Indigenous, Life/Time: Coming of Age, Natural World: Animals, Natural World: Environment, Self Discovery, Society: CommunityTags Fantasy, Action / Adventure, Animals

Publication year 1894Genre Short Story Collection, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: courage, Natural World: Animals, Society: ColonialismTags Fantasy, Classic Fiction, Action / Adventure, Animals, Allegory / Fable / Parable

The Jungle Book is a collection of stories by Rudyard Kipling first published in 1894. Rudyard Kipling was born to a British family living in India and spent the first six years of his life there before being sent to England for schooling. Kipling’s works reflect his colonialist upbringing and support for British imperial rule over India, as well as ideas of European racial and cultural superiority developed in the Victorian Era. While the seven... Read The Jungle Book Summary


Publication year 1789Genre Poem, FictionTags Lyric Poem, Romanticism / Romantic Period, Animals

Publication year 2018Genre Novel, FictionThemes Self Discovery, Life/Time: Coming of Age, Relationships: Friendship, Society: Politics & GovernmentTags Fantasy, Action / Adventure, Animals

Publication year 1995Genre Poem, FictionThemes Natural World: Nurture v. NatureTags Lyric Poem, Animals

Publication year 2017Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: courage, Emotions/Behavior: Fear, Emotions/Behavior: Hate & Anger, Emotions/Behavior: Loneliness, Emotions/Behavior: Love, Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Identity: Disability, Life/Time: Coming of Age, Natural World: Animals, Natural World: Place, Relationships: Mothers, Self Discovery, Society: Class, Values/Ideas: Beauty, Values/Ideas: Fame, Values/Ideas: Loyalty & Betrayal, Values/Ideas: Power & GreedTags Historical Fiction, Mystery / Crime Fiction, Play: Drama, Animals

Publication year 1999Genre Novella, FictionThemes Natural World: Food, Values/Ideas: Science & Technology, Natural World: AnimalsTags Philosophy, Animals

Publication year 2018Genre Novel, FictionThemes Life/Time: Coming of Age, Values/Ideas: Literature, Values/Ideas: Truth & LiesTags Animals, Mystery / Crime Fiction, Fantasy

Publication year 1995Genre Novel, FictionThemes Natural World: Environment, Natural World: Climate, Values/Ideas: Beauty, Values/Ideas: Science & Technology, Natural World: AnimalsTags Horror / Thriller / Suspense Fiction, Science-Fiction / Dystopian Fiction, Action / Adventure, Animals

The Lost World (1995) is a sequel to Michael Crichton’s techno-thriller Jurassic Park, a 1990 bestseller. The original novel focuses on an ambitious business plan to hatch live dinosaurs through genetic engineering and then display them in a family-friendly theme park on Isla Nublar off the coast of Costa Rica. The plan goes awry when the great animals take over the island and compel the company that initially bankrolled the park, In-Gen, to destroy the... Read The Lost World Summary


Publication year 1966Genre Novel, FictionTags Fantasy, Classic Fiction, Humor, Animals, Allegory / Fable / Parable

Publication year 1965Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: FriendshipTags Fantasy, Animals, Coming of Age / Bildungsroman, Action / Adventure

Publication year 2021Genre Novel, FictionThemes Society: Community, Relationships: Friendship, Natural World: Environment, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Identity: Mental Health, Self Discovery, Natural World: Animals, Natural World: Flora/plants, Values/Ideas: Beauty, Society: Politics & Government, Emotions/Behavior: courage, Emotions/Behavior: HopeTags Animals, Science / Nature, Disability, Coming of Age / Bildungsroman, Agriculture, Education, Health / Medicine, Grief / Death, Depression / Suicide, Mental Illness, Social Justice

Publication year 1996Genre Novel, FictionThemes Life/Time: Childhood & Youth, Natural World: Nurture v. Nature, Natural World: AnimalsTags Animals, Fantasy, Realistic Fiction, Action / Adventure

Publication year 2020Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Trust & Doubt, Emotions/Behavior: Forgiveness, Emotions/Behavior: GuiltTags Animals, Fantasy, Action / Adventure

Publication year 2023Genre Novel/Book in Verse, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: MemoryTags Children's Literature, Fantasy, Coming of Age / Bildungsroman, Animals

Publication year 2005Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Siblings, Relationships: Friendship, Emotions/Behavior: courage, Relationships: Family, Self Discovery, Life/Time: Coming of Age, Life/Time: Childhood & Youth, Values/Ideas: Literature, Values/Ideas: Loyalty & Betrayal, Values/Ideas: Music, Natural World: AnimalsTags Realistic Fiction, Action / Adventure, Children's Literature, Coming of Age / Bildungsroman, Animals, Relationships, Class, Music, Parenting

Publication year 1842Genre Poem, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Truth & Lies, Values/Ideas: Power & Greed, Values/Ideas: Loyalty & Betrayal, Values/Ideas: Justice & Injustice, Values/Ideas: Art, Society: CommunityTags Narrative / Epic Poem, Children's Literature, Fairy Tale / Folklore, British Literature, Victorian Period, Animals, Class, Grief / Death

Publication year 1845Genre Poem, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: MemoryTags Horror / Thriller / Suspense Fiction, Narrative / Epic Poem, Classic Fiction, Animals, Grief / Death

Influenced by the English Romantic poets Samuel Taylor Coleridge, “Lord” George Gordon Byron, and Percy Shelley, Edgar Allan Poe represents one of the essential American Romantic poets of the nineteenth century. Romanticism here refers to a literary movement of the late 1700s and 1800s which focused on the emotional life of the individual and curiosity about the self. This movement complemented a larger geopolitical and ideological shift in the United States. As a young nation... Read The Raven Summary


Publication year 1933Genre Novella, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Conflict, Emotions/Behavior: Fear, Emotions/Behavior: Forgiveness, Emotions/Behavior: Shame & Pride, Identity: Masculinity, Life/Time: Aging, Life/Time: Childhood & Youth, Life/Time: Coming of Age, Natural World: Environment, Natural World: Flora/plants, Natural World: Place, Relationships: FathersTags Classic Fiction, Coming of Age / Bildungsroman, Animals, American Literature

The Red Pony by John Steinbeck was published in installments from 1933 to 1936, as a novella in 1937, and in a short story collection, The Long Valley, in 1945. Steinbeck drew upon his experience living in the Salinas Valley. The four stories that make up The Red Pony are considered works of classic literature and bildungsroman, or coming-of-age stories. Steinbeck also wrote the screenplay for the 1949 film adaptation of The Red Pony, and... Read The Red Pony Summary


Publication year 2019Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Friendship, Values/Ideas: Safety & Danger, Values/Ideas: Fate, Natural World: Appearance & Reality, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / PerseveranceTags Mystery / Crime Fiction, Horror / Thriller / Suspense Fiction, Action / Adventure, Animals, Education, Arts / Culture, Natural Disaster, Philosophy, Trauma / Abuse / Violence, Sports, Relationships, Science / Nature

Publication year 2007Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Friendship, Life/Time: Childhood & Youth, N