Literature List

People wonder why the novel is the most popular form of literature; people wonder why it is read more than books of science or books of metaphysics. The reason is very simple; it is merely that the novel is more true than they are. – G.K. Chesterton

The Power of Storytelling

It is no small matter that Christ chose the parable as his favorite method of instruction. Whether equipping (and at times perplexing) His disciples, rebuking the Pharisees, or consoling the lost, He knew that there’s something about a good story that connects to the human heart and reveals truth to the human mind like nothing else can. Christ’s knowledge of stories corresponds to His knowing us and finds reflection in our identity as His workmanship. He made us to love stories, and He made us in the image of Himself. In short, we love stories because Christ loves stories, and both in heaven and on earth, He tells them again and again.

At JECA, we hope to instill in our students a Christ-like love of stories. We long to see them cultivate a life-long habit of reading and a thorough appreciation of good books. We long to see them equipped with the ability to distinguish good stories—the sorts that nourish our hearts and draw our affections to the best sorts of things— from the bad ones. 

As such, while at JECA, students read a broad array of literature–from the heroic epics of classical antiquity, to the meandering and experimental prose of the twentieth century.

“There are perhaps no days of our childhood we lived so fully as those we believe we left without having lived them, those we spent with a favorite book.” ― Marcel Proust

Grammar School Reading List


  • Stuart Little by E.B. White
  • The Wizard of Oz by Frank Baum
  • The Cricket in Times Square by George Selden
  • Farmer Boy by Laura Ingalls Wilder
  • A Bear Called Paddington by Michael Bond
  • The Chronicles of Narnia: The Magician’s Nephew by C.S. Lewis
  • Mouse of My Heart by Margaret Wise Brown
  • The short stories of James Herriot and R.C. Sproul
  • Additional short fiction and poetry


1st Grade

  • Beatrix Potter: The Complete Tales by Beatrix Potter
  • Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder
  • The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
  • The Hundred Dresses by Eleanor Estes
  • The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams
  • Winnie-the-Pooh by A.A. Milne


2nd Grade

  • Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White
  • Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder
  • Little Pilgrim’s Progress by Helen Taylor
  • Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi
  • The Courage of Sarah Noble by Alice Dalgliesh
  • The Chronicles of Narnia: The Horse and His Boy by C.S. Lewis
  • The House at Pooh Corner by A.A. Milne
  • The Railway Children by Edith Nesbitt


3rd Grade

  • The Trumpet of the Swan by E.B. White
  • My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George
  • Black Beauty by Anna Sewell
  • The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian by C.S. Lewis
  • Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie
  • The Golden Goblet by Eloise Jarvis Mcgraw


4th Grade

  • The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C.S. Lewis
  • D’Aulaire’s Book of Greek Myths by Ingri and Edgar D’Aulaire
  • Vinegar Boy by Alberta Hawse
  • The Bronze Bow by Elizabeth George Speare
  • The Cay by Theodore Taylor
  • The Summer of the Monkeys by Wilson Rawls
  • Tales from Shakespeare by Charles and Mary Lamb


5th Grade

  • Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls
  • The Prince and the Pauper by Mark Twain
  • Robin Hood by Paul Creswick
  • The Chronicles of Narnia: The Silver Chair by C. S. Lewis
  • The Story of the Other Wiseman by Henry Van Dyke
  • Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson
  • The Taming of the Shrew by William Shakespeare


6th Grade

  • The Chronicles of Narnia: The Last Battle by C.S. Lewis
  • The Rules of Civility and Decent Behavior in Company and Conversation by George Washington
  • Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe
  • The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway
  • “A Christmas Memory” by Truman Capote
  • Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare
“There is no surer foundation for a beautiful friendship than a mutual taste in literature.” ― P.G. Wodehouse

Logic School Reading List

7th Grade

  • Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift
  • Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe
  • The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass by Frederick Douglass
  • A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle
  • The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
  • The Call of the Wild by Jack London
  • A Comedy of Errors by William Shakespeare


8th Grade

  • Emma by Jane Austen
  • The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
  • The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane
  • To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  • The Endless Steppe by Esther Hautzig
  • Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare
“I suggest that the only books that influence us are those for which we are ready, and which have gone a little further down our particular path than we have yet gone ourselves.” ― E.M. Forster

Rhetoric School Reading List

9th Grade

  • The Iliad by Homer
  • The Odyssey by Homer
  • The Aeneid by Virgil
  • The Epic of Gilgamesh
  • Till We Have Faces by C.S. Lewis
  • The Republic by Plato
  • On Poetics and On Rhetoric by Aristotle
  • Oedipus Rex by Sophocles
  • Othello by William Shakespeare
  • The Ancient Poets


10th Grade

  • The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
  • The Song of Roland, Trans. Dorothy Sayers
  • The Saga of the Volsungs
  • Beowulf, Trans. Seamus Heaney
  • Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Trans. J.R.R. Tolkien
  • Selections from The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer
  • The Divine Comedy: Inferno by Dante Alighieri
  • Paradise Lost by John Milton
  • Henry V by William Shakespeare
  • Macbeth by William Shakespeare
  • The Metaphysical Poets


11th Grade

  • Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
  • A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
  • Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
  • The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson
  • War in Heaven by Charles Williams
  • The Power and the Glory by Graham Greene
  • The Thirty-Nine Steps by John Buchan
  • The Man Who Was Thursday by G.K. Chesterton
  • The Forged Coupon by Leo Tolstoy
  • Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
  • King Lear by William Shakespeare
  • The Romantic Poets


12th Grade

  • The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
  • The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
  • The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  • The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway
  • The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner
  • All the King’s Men by Robert Penn Warren
  • Short Stories of Edgar Allen Poe, Stephen Crane, Jack London, and Flannery O’Connor
  • The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky
  • Hamlet by William Shakespeare
  • The Modern Poets
“No man can be called friendless who has God and the companionship of good books.” – Elizabeth Barrett Browning