Thematic Text Set Ideas

These lists were started in one of the Saturday institutes at the 2010 provincial conference.

Please add more titles, ideas, authors, links etc.

Red = Cdn


Integrity, Agency, and discrimination

Gr. 5-6

War of the Eagles (Walters) (Japanese internment)

Inside Out & Back Again (Lai) (Vietnamese refugees)

Roll of Thunder, Hear my Cry  (Southern US, racism, depression)

Hoot (Hiaasen) (Environmental protection vs development)

White Jade TIger (Lawson) (Chinese labourers & CPR)

Fatty Legs & Stranger at Home (Jordan-Fenton)

Number the Stars (Lowery) (Holocaust)


Rebels and Outsiders

Speak (Anderson)  - gr. 8-10

Stuck in Neutral - gr. 7-10

Tribes - gr. 8 (reading level) gr.12 (characters)

Da Funk (music video) (Daft Punk/Jonze) gr. 9-12

The Gospel According to Larry  gr. 6-9

Hunter McIntyre Skud gr. 7-12

Firegirl  South Port CT gr. 5-8

Rebel Without a Cause (movie)

King of the Screwups (Going) gr. 8-10 maybe?

The Only Alien on the Planet gr. 8-10 



Love that Dog (Creech)  gr. 4-7

Crazy Man (Porter) gr. 4-7

Willow and Twig gr. 7-8

Boxing Gloves

Richmond Lawyers 

Family Lawyers Surrey 

car insurance quotes 

Randall's Wall 

Maniac Magee (Spinelli)

Firegirl  gr. 5-8



Power, Control and Empowerment

Speak (Anderson)

Canterbury Tales (Chaucer) "The Franklin's Tale" (?- the one about Griselda?)

The Hunger Games Trilogy (Catching Fire and Mocking Jay) (Collins)



Change and Revolution

Three Questions (picture book) (Muth) gr. 5

Wild Swans

Midnight is a Place

The Grave



Crispen (Avi)

Oliver Twist (Dickens)



Family Relationships


Flipped gr. 5-8

Stargirl (Spinelli) gr. 5-8

The Road

Glass Castle

The Uglies Trilogy (Pretties, and Specials) (Westerfeld)

"The Red Convertible" (short story) gr. 10-12

"Blood Red Barracuda" (short story) gr. 10-12

William Bell (Just Some Stuff I Wrote) and Chris Crutcher (Athletic Shorts) have several good short stories




In Search of April Raintree

Of Mice and Men

The Count of Monte Cristo


The Boy in Stripped Pyjamas

The City of Theives

The Book Thief

Maus (graphic novel)

The Cage

A Long Way Gone

Days of Terror


Aboriginal *needs more focused category title(s)?  We need to sort/annotate this list for aboriginal author/illustrator/content

Touching Spirit Bear and sequel (Mikaelson) gr. 5-9

Skeleton Man and  Return of Skeleton Man

Bear Walker

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian (Alexie) gr. 6-9

Walkabout (Australia)

We Are All Related

Island of the Blue Dolphins

War of the Eagles (Walters) gr. 5-8

Ragged Company (Wagamese) gr. 12

Three Day Road (Boyden) gr. 12

Monkey Beach (Robinson) gr. 12

Medicine River (King) gr. 10-12

if you are like me and have a mostly non-native EFP group, the video Redskins, Trickesters, and Puppy Stew along with Drew Hayden-Taylor's essay

"Laughing Till Your Face is Red" (? may be a word or two off) can be very helpful

Smokesignals (video) of course

White Girl - though not technically aboriginal, has an interesting perspective on "life on the rez"


Aboriginal Content Picture Books *same as above

Frog Girl 

Mush Hole

Shin-Chi's Cano

As Long as the River Flows



Stuck in Neutral gr. 6 (teenage characters)

Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime (Haddon)

Stoner and Spaz


Freak the Mighty gr. 5-9

Don't Laugh at Me (picture book)

Cruise Control gr. 6-8




Kiki's Delivery Service (novella and anime movie)

My Name is Sepeetza gr. 5-8

The tombs of Atuan

The Arrival (wordless) (Tan)

Autobiography of Malcolm X

Eva (Dickinson)



Multiple Personalities/ Perspectives

Ender's Game and Ender's Shadow (Card)

Heart of Darkness (Conrad)

Fight Club (Palaniuk)

The Matrix (movie) (Silverman)

Dr. Jeckel and Mr. Hyde (Stevenson)

Cruise Control gr. 6-8

Eyes of a .... (?- girl with autism, 1st person)

Flipped gr. 6-8



Other Worlds

Ender's Game and series (Card)

The Hunger Games Trilogy (Catching Fire and Mocking Jay) (Collins)



"August 2002: Night Meeting" (short story) gr. 10

The Left Hand of Darkness



Coming of Age (gr. 9)

The Bite of the Mango (Mariatu Kamara)

"Taste of Melon"

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian (Alexie) gr. 6-9

Will's Garden (Lee Maracle) 

Rushmore (movie)



Restitution (gr. 12)

Atonement (movie)


Touching Spirit Bear (Mikaelson)

Shattered (Walters)

"Taste of Melon" (short story) (Borden Deal)




Inventing Elliot gr. 6-10

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian (Alexie) gr. 6-9, 10-11


Glass Castle



Conflict (gr. 12)

Ender's Game (Card)

The Illiad (graphic novel)

The Memory Keeper's Daughter

Water for Elephants

My Sister's Keeper (Picoult)

Snow Falling on Cedars

The Wars (Findlay)

Three Day Road (Boyden)

Watchmen (Moore)

Maus I & II (Spiegelman)

Hatchet (Paulsen) gr. 9

Into Thin Air

The Golden Spruce (NF) (Vailent)



Growing Up

Parvana's Journey (Ellis)

Theories of Relativity

Fouling Out gr. 5-8




The Beckoners (Mac) gr. 9

Theories of Relativity gr. 9





Define Normal

Freedom Writer's Diary gr. 9-12

Glass Castle gr. 10-12

Old Man and the Sea (Hemingway)

Mixing It gr. 6-9




Rosa Parks

Malcolm X

Solder X gr. 8-9

Three Cups of Tea (NF) (Mortenson) multiple editions: diff ages

Keeper (Peet)

Touching Spirit Bear (Mikaelsen)

9/11 (comic or picture book)

We All Fall Down (Walters) gr. 5-12

Safe as Houses (Walters) 5-12

Me to We (NF)(Keilburger)



Risk Taking/ Adventure

Acceleration gr. 7-12 (gr.7 reading level; teenage characters)

Soldier X gr. 8-9




Shattered (Walters) gr. 7-10

Speak (Anderson)

A Long Way Gone (NF) (Beah) gr. 10-12

Soldier Boys gr. 8

Torn Pages gr. 5-8

The Arrival (wordless) (Tan)

Crazy Man (Porter) gr. 6-9




The Boy int he Stripped Pyjamas

Hana's Suitcase

Courage of the Blue Boy (picture book) (Neubecker)

How to Steal a Dog

Parvana's Journey (Ellis)

Number the Stars

Farewell speech

Teddy Bear (homelessness) (picture book)

Fly Away Home (homelessness) (picture book) (Bunting)

Mush Hole (residential schools) (picture book)

Baseball Saved Us (Japanese internment) (picture book)

The Harmonica (holocaust) (picture book) 

Luba (picture book)