Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Central Maine
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Funny, my very first thought was Hemingway's The Old Man and the Sea.
Is Life of Pi by Yann Martel too controversial? No sex and not a lot of violence, but lots of religion. It's very simple to read though and pretty engaging.
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime by Mark Haddon is another book that isn't difficult to read. It's an adult book, but I've seen it on some middle school curricula.
Nick Hornby's novels might appeal a lot to that age group. You'd have to preview for sexual content though. High Fidelity or About a Boy are both engaging reads. Songbook, his non-fiction essays about music might suit.
What about David Sedaris or Dave Barry? Short humorous essays -- I think they're both pretty easy to read.
I would also add in The Lottery by Shirley Jackson (I think that is the author) as a short story. I have read it in a few English/Lit classes starting in high school and it always inspired very interesting class discussion.
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