Clean Reads discussion

Assigned Reading

Comments Showing 1-10 of 10 (10 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Sari (new)

Sari Mayer Hi! I'm new to this group, and am so glad I found it. I am an English teacher and have recently been hired as the English chair at a religious private school (high school). I am trying to devise a reading list, and am pretty much done but having a hard time thinking of enough titles that are considered "good literature" (like Dickens, Austen, Fitzgerald etc.) that are appropriate for my students (no bad language, or references to drugs, sex, or alcohol. No references to secular music, tv, or movies). If there are only a few instances of bad language, which can be easily censored, that's okay too. I appreciate any and all suggestions but am particularly interested if anyone has suggestions for contemporary (20th-21st century) American literature--novels or plays.

message 2: by April (new)

April | 2 comments "The Hiding Place" is by far one of the best books I've ever read. It takes place in WWII and is a true story about a family who hid Jews.

message 3: by Tracy (new)

Tracy | 6 comments Agree with above by Corrie Ten Boom - Forr American contemporary consider Laura Hillenbrand (seabiscuit/Unbroken) amazing and so much to discuss/write about and possibly Barbara Kingsolver's Poisonwood Bible ?

message 4: by Abigail (last edited Dec 13, 2017 07:30PM) (new)

Abigail (handmaiden) | 185 comments Wit, a play by Margaret Edson. It was first performed in the mid-90’s, so would fit your request for contemporary. You can read about it here: and here: I have seen the movie version with Emma Thompson and it is very moving. There is a lot of food for thought—stuff that would make for great discussions. [Later note: I had not read the play at the time I wrote this comment--still haven't in fact--but in quickly flipping through the book of the play, there are several instances of language (including at least one instance of the f-bomb, on the last page), most of which seems to be in the last scene (view spoiler) and the others seem mainly in the context of the main character's extreme nausea from cancer treatment or pain from the cancer itself. I don't recall the f-bomb being in the movie, but it's been some time since I've seen the movie.]

Flannery O'Connor—she wrote mostly short stories, but also two novels. Anything by her is worthwhile, though some of her stories may not work for your purpose. If you want specific suggestions of stories of hers that would fit your criteria, let me know.

To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee (The movie starring Gregory Peck is also excellent.)

message 5: by Therese (new)

Therese | 2 comments Tracy wrote: "Agree with above by Corrie Ten Boom - Forr American contemporary consider Laura Hillenbrand (seabiscuit/Unbroken) amazing and so much to discuss/write about and possibly Barbara Kingsolver's Poison..."

Poisonwood Bible is clean as far as I can remember and it was a page turner for me. Absolutely loved it! I also loved her new book Animals, Miracle, Vegetables or something like that.

message 6: by Sari (new)

Sari Mayer Thanks so much for all your suggestions. Unfortunately the nature of the court case (being accused of rape) prevents me from assigning to Kill a Mockingbird, although it is my all time favorite book.

message 7: by Marla (new)

 Marla | 45 comments I'm a volunteer librarian at a Catholic grade school for 10 years. I have a with-reservations note at the end of many of my reviews to describe what I remember to be objectionable or questionable.

I like the IL caudill award nominees. Most of them are clean and interesting topics geared for middle schoolers or high schoolers.

Also, there is a book rating site that might help you: Compass Book Ratings

message 8: by Lora (new)

Lora (lorabanora) What about Ray Bradbury? I'm coming late to the discussion, I know. But I'm thinking of "Dandelion Wine" in particular.

message 9: by MaryBliss (new)

MaryBliss | 59 comments I read Dandelion Wine a number of years ago. I recall it being a good, clean read.

message 10: by Tara (new)

Tara Ellis | 9 comments Hi there! I am new to this group, and also a newly published author.

I would love to recommend my first two books, from a trilogy that I am currently writing the third book for. They are young adult, science fiction novels. While I kept them current and (hopefully) interesting enough for today's teen, I also made them very clean. You might find them particularly suited for your students because there is a subtle, religious undertone. There is a positive message intertwined through the suspense.

I hope it's okay to provide a link here. They are available in both e-book and paperback format, through multiple vendors.

The books are; 'Bloodline', and 'Heritage'. They are Part of the 'Forgotten Origins Trilogy'.

For the younger reader (9-12), I also have a children's mystery story:

back to top