American Literature Texts

In American Literature, students will study nine full-length works of fiction and associated context resources. Students who choose the Honors option will read eighteen full-length works of fiction, including prose, poetry, drama, and more. A brief chapter in the study guide provides instructions for the additional writing that will round out the honors grade.

Each of the American Literature texts below is linked to my preferred edition at Amazon (you can read my criteria for a good edition). These are affiliate links, of course — that means I get a few cents from each book purchase, but it doesn’t change your cost at all. You can learn more about the entire curriculum at the Excellence in Literature curriculum home page.

Texts for American Literature

Module 1: Autobiography by Benjamin Franklin

Honors: The Autobiography of Thomas Jefferson
Letters From An American Farmer by J. Hector St. John De Crèvecoeur

 

Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Other Stories by Washington Irving (Penguin Classics) Module 2: Rip Van Winkle and The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving

and selected works by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow  (Most of the assigned Longfellow material is included in Henry Wadsworth Longfellow: Poems & Other Writings and the rest can be found on our website.)
Honors: The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent., The Life of George Washington, or Tales of the Alhambra by Washington Irving (these texts included in the focus text)

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The Last of the Mohicans by James Fenimore Cooper

Module 3: The Last of the Mohicans by James Fenimore Cooper

The Last of the Mohicans by James Fenimore Cooper (Modern Library)
Honors: The Pioneers by James Fenimore Cooper

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The House of the Seven Gables by Nathaniel HawthorneModule 4: The House of the Seven Gables by Nathaniel Hawthorne

Honors: The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
Walden by Henry David Thoreau (if you didn’t read it in English II)

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Moby Dick by Herman MelvilleModule 5: Moby Dick by Herman Melville

Honors: Billy Budd by Herman Melville

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The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain Module 6: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain

Honors: Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass by Frederick Douglass
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain

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The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton (Oxford World's Classics)Module 7: The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton

(Oxford World’s Classics edition or other; NOT Modern Library)

Honors: The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton
Daisy Miller by Henry James

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott FitzgeraldModule 8: The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Honors: My Antoniå by Willa Cather

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The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest HemingwayModule 9: The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway

Honors: A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway
Visit my blog to read about how I chose the literature for Excellence in Literature. This link will open in a new tab, so you don’t have to worry about losing your place here.
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Additional Suggested Resources

Handbook for Writers from Excellence in LiteratureExcellence in Literature Handbook for Writers

The Excellence in Literature Handbook for Writers is a reference book that includes instructions on how to construct logical arguments (theses), write essays, and work with grammar, punctuation, and style. 420 pages, paperback.

Evaluate Writing the Easy Way

Janice Campbell

Janice Campbell writes and speaks about homeschooling, using lifestyle of learning approach influenced by Charlotte Mason, classical learning, and the Thomas Jefferson method. Her books and resources, including Excellence in Literature, Transcripts Made Easy, and Get a Jump Start on College, reflect Janice’s focus on twaddle-free, active learning (she did have boys, after all!).

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