To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Young Scout and Jem Finch explore the adult attitudes toward race and class in the Deep South of the 1930s as their attorney father defends a black man accused of raping a white woman. The hardcover version, which won a Pulitzer Prize, has been translated into more than 40 languages, and went on to be made into a major motion picture starring Gregory Peck.
Alas Babylon by Pat Frank
When a nuclear holocaust ravages the United States, a thousand years of civilization are stripped away overnight, and tens of millions of people are killed instantly. But for one small town in Florida, miraculously spared, the struggle is just beginning, as men and women of all backgrounds join together to confront the darkness.
Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
Guy Montag was a fireman whose job it was to start fires. . . to burn books, along with the houses in which they were hidden. He had been a fireman for 10 years, and he had never questioned the pleasure of the midnight runs nor the joy of watching pages consumed by flames . . . never questioned anything until he met a 17-year-old girl who told him of a past when people were not afraid. Then Guy met a professor who told him of a future in which people could think, and Guy Montag suddenly realized what he had to do . . . .
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith
When Johnny Nolan dies leaving his wife pregnant, young Francie, smart and hoping for something better, cannot believe that life can carry on as before. But with her own determination, and that of her mother behind her, Francie moves toward the future of her dreams, completing her education and heading off to college, always carrying the beloved Brooklyn of her childhood in her heart.
Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman Capote
Darling socialite Holly Golightly makes her way through the world attending ritzy parties, escorting wealthy men, and living a life of glamour. Aspiring writer Paul Varjak moves into her apartment building, and is being kept by a wealthy older woman. The two become fascinated with each other, but is there any room in their non-committed lives for love?