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A booklist of awarding winning adult and teen fiction.

Wharton, Edith
The age of innocence

1921 Pulitzer Prize Deeply moving study of the tyrannical and rigid requirements of New York high society in the late 19th century and the effect of those strictures on the lives of 3 people.

Atwood, Margaret
The handmaid's tale

1985 Governor General's Award In a future world where the birth rate has declined, fertile women are rounded up, indoctrinated as "handmaids," and forced to bear children to prominent men.

MacLennan, Hugh
Two solitudes

1945 Governor General's Award A powerful saga of Athanase Tallard, the son of an aristo-cratic French-Canadian tradition, of Kathleen, his beautiful Irish wife, and of their son Paul, who struggles to establish a balance in himself and in the country he calls home. Set mostly in the time of the First World War, Two Solitudes is a classic novel of individuals working out the latest stage in their embroiled history.

Hill, Lawrence
The book of Negroes

2007 Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize/2008 Commonwealth Writers' Prize Kidnapped at the age of 11 by British slavers, Aminata survives the Middle Passage and is reunited in South Carolina with Chekura, a boy from a village near hers. Her story gets entwined with his, and with those of her owners: nasty indigo producer Robinson Appleby and, later, Jewish duty inspector Solomon Lindo. During her long life of struggle, she does what she can to free herself and others from slavery, including learning to read and teaching others to, and befriending anyone who can help her, black or white.

Buck, Pearl S.
The good earth

1932 Pulitzer Prize When O-lan, a servant girl, marries the peasant Wang Lung, she toils tirelessly through four pregnancies for their family's survival. Reward at first is meagre, but there is sustenance in the land - until the famine comes. Half-starved, the family joins thousands of peasants to beg on the city streets. It seems that all is lost, until O-lan's desperate will to survive returns them home with undreamt of wealth. But they have betrayed the earth from which true wealth springs, and the family's money breeds only mistrust, deception - and heartbreak for the woman who had saved them.

Martel, Yann.
Life of Pi

2011 Man Booker Prize One boy. One boat. One tiger. After the tragic sinking of a cargo ship, a solitary lifeboat remains bobbing on the wild, blue Pacific. The only survivors from the wreck are a sixteen-year-old boy named Pi, a hyena, a zebra (with a broken leg), a female orangutan--and a 450-pound Royal Bengal tiger. The scene is set for one of the most extraordinary and beloved works of fiction in recent years.

Lee, Harper.
To kill a mockingbird

1961 Pulitzer Prize A gripping, heart-wrenching, and wholly remarkable tale of coming-of-age in a South poisoned by virulent prejudice, it views a world of great beauty and savage inequities through the eyes of a young girl, as her father--a crusading local lawyer--risks everything to defend a black man unjustly accused of a terrible crime.

Steinbeck, John
The grapes of wrath

1940 Pulitzer Prize Steinbeck's epic of the Great Depression chronicles the Dust Bowl migration of the 1930s and tells the story of one Oklahoma farm family, the Joads, driven from their homestead and forced to travel west to the promised land of California.

Walker, Alice
The color purple ;

1983 Pulitzer Prize The Color Purple is the moving story of a young woman's endurance of shame and suffering to become whole and to know God.

Haddon, Mark.
The curious incident of the dog in the night-time

2003 Boeke Prize/2003 Whitbread Book of the Year Christopher Boone, an autistic person, discovers his neighbour's dog, Wellington, impaled on a garden fork and after being accused of the crime, he becomes determined to find the real killer. Ultimately, the investigation leads him down some unexpected paths and face to face with the dissolution of his parents' marriage.

Acevedo, Elizabeth.
The poet X

2019 Michael L. Printz Award Xiomara Batista feels unheard and unable to hide in her Harlem neighborhood. When she is invited to join her school's slam poetry club, she doesn't know how she could ever attend without her mami finding out. But she still can't stop thinking about performing her poems. Because in the face of a world that may not want to hear her, Xiomara refuses to be silent.