I love to see students really engaged in a great novel! Please share any novels or any other great reads(other than the classics) that you have used with your students. Include why you think the novel is great.
Two factors I look for in a novel is relevancy and/or the ability to strongly connect to another content area. Below is a list of some novels that I have used with significant success.
Feed by M.T. Anderson: About teenagers in the future that have internet "feeds" implanted in their head. High school level, students loved it.
House of the Scorpion by Nancy Farmer: We used this book at the h.s. level and connected it to our science classes when they covered cloning and genetics.
A few at the middle school level with great relevancy (these were used in an urban school district with great success!):
The Skin I'm In by Sharon Flake; Forged by Fire by Sharon Draper; and Freak the Mighty by Rodman Philbrick.
Lastly, a great resource to find similar books is teenreads.com. This site has what they call the ultimate reading list that gives a brief paragraph description of tons of great novels. There is also a kidsreads.com