Happy Read Across America Day! We may read for pleasure, for personal enrichment, or even for pure escapism. However, there will always be stories that linger with you long after you have turned the last page.
From learning delicate lessons of childhood to the more complex and intricate workings of life as a young adult, these books will always have the distinction of shaping me into who I am today. The following stories challenged me to become more self-aware, opened my eyes to diverse perspectives, and encouraged my growth of faith, confidence, imagination, and personal agency. More importantly, they often forced me to ask hard questions about society and the role I play within it.
Aren’t those the best kinds of stories?
This is by no means a comprehensive list, but I would love for you to have a look and share your own inspirational stories with us!
- Animalia by Graeme Base
- Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
- The Silmarillion by J.R.R. Tolkien (Also, The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings!)
- The Giver by Lois Lowery
- The Circle-Maker by Matt Batterson
- The Woman Warrior: Memoirs of a Girlhood Among Ghosts by Maxine Hong Kingston
- The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck
- Shadow Spinner by Susan Fletcher
- The Sneetches and Other Stories by Dr. Suess (The Sneetches in particular!)
- Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
- Number the Stars by Lois Lowry
- Julius Caesar by Shakespeare
- The Two Princesses of Bamarre by Gail Carson Levine
- Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants Series by Ann Brashares
- The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
- The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
- Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
- The Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling
- Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe
- The Hunger Games Series by Suzanne Collins
- To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
- Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans
- Getting Mother’s Body by Suzan-Lori Parks
- Night by Elie Wiesel
- The Wind Singer by William Nicholson
- Our Town by Thornton Wilder
- Heidi by Johanna Spyri
- She Stoops to Conquer by Oliver Goldsmith
- Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
- Inkheart by Cornelia Funke
- Hatchet by Gary Paulson
- A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett
- Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery
- Love Does by Bob Goff
- The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis
There you have it! I could have added about 50 more, but I would love to hear your stories instead. Please share with us via Twitter, Facebook, or in the comments!