Suggested SAT Reading List

Students with excellent reading and comprehension skills find the verbal sections of the SAT much easier to attack. Classic literature offers you a chance to practice reading typical SAT passages and to expand your SAT vocabulary. Carry a book with you at all times, reading whenever you have a few spare minutes, such as during a break at work, in the doctor’s waiting room, or at the pool. While reading, mark any unfamiliar words and define them when you return home.

The College Board provides a long list of suggested reading on its website. Below is an abbreviated version of that list, based on the easiest and most interesting books as recommended by PowerScore instructors. We’ve also included the most recent movie version for you to view after completing the novel.

Book

Author

The Plot in 3 Words

Book

Movie

Starring...

Pride and Prejudice

Jane Austin

British romantic comedy

1797

2005

Keira Knightley

Wuthering Heights

Emily Bronte

Passionate love story

1847

1992

Juliette Binoche, Ralph Fiennes

The Awakening

Kate Chopin

Wife finds freedom

1899

   

The Red Badge of Courage

Stephen Crane

Civil War fear

1895

1951

Audie Murphy

Don Quixote

Miguel de Cervantes

A madman’s adventure

1605

2000

John Lithgow, Isabella Rossellini

The Three Muskateers

Alexandre Dumas

Historical French adventure

1844

1993

Charlie Sheen, Keifer Sutherland

The Great Gatsby

F. Scott Fitzgerald

Rags to riches

1925

1974

Robert Redford, Mia Farrow

The Great Gatsby

F. Scott Fitzgerald

Rags to riches

1925

2013

Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey McGuire

Lord of the Flies

William Golding

Deserted island boys

1954

1990

Balthazar Getty

The Scarlet Letter

Nathaniel Hawthorne

Punishment for adultery

1850

1995

Demi Moore, Gary Oldman

Catch-22

Joseph Heller

WWII satire

1961

1970

Alan Arkin

Brave New World

Aldous Huxley

Year 2540 utopia

1932

1998

Peter Gallagher, Leonard Nimoy

The Metamorphosis

Franz Kafka

Man becomes insect

1915

1987

Steven Berkoff, Tim Roth

To Kill a Mockingbird

Harper Lee

Deep South prejudice

1960

1962

Gregory Peck

The Call of the Wild

Jack London

Yukon sled dog

1903

1972

Charleton Heston

Beloved

Toni Morrison

Effects of slavery

1987

1998

Oprah Winfrey, Danny Glover

Animal Farm

George Orwell

Farm animals revolt

1945

1999

Kelsey Grammer, Julia Louis-Dreyfus

The Bell Jar

Sylvia Plath

Young woman’s depression

1963

2008

Julia Styles

The Catcher in the Rye

J.D. Salinger

A teenager’s alienation

1951

   

The Grapes of Wrath

John Steinbeck

Great Depression sharecroppers

1939

1940

Henry Fonda

Treasure Island

R.L. Stevenson

High seas adventure

1883

1990

Charleton Heston

Uncle Tom’s Cabin

Harriet Beecher Stowe

Cruelty of slavery

1852

1987

Avery Brooks, Bruce Dern

Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

Mark Twain

A runaway’s story

1885

1993

Elijah Wood

Candide

Voltaire

French adventure satire

1759

   

Slaughterhouse-Five

Kurt Vonnegut

WWII time travel

1969

1972

Michael Sacks, Ron Leibman

The Color Purple

Alice Walker

Southern women’s difficulties

1982

1985

Whoopi Goldberg, Danny Glover

The Picture of Dorian Gray

Oscar Wilde

Price of vanity

1890

2004

Josh Duhamel

Native Son

Richard Wright

Depression-era racism

1940

1986

Victor Love, Matt Dillon

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