outstanding books for young adults

Albee, Edward.
Three Tall Women. 1994.

A frustrated ninety-two year old woman reveals three arduous and painful stages of her life.

Beckett, Samuel.
Waiting for Godot. 1952.

Two tramps wait eternally for the elusive Godot in this first success of the Theater of The Absurd.

Bernstein, Leonard.
West Side Story. 1957.

The Jets and Sharks battle it out in song and dance as Tony and Maria fall in love in this musical based on Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet.

Christie, Agatha.
Mousetrap. 1954.

Stranded in a boarding house during a snowstorm, a group of strangers discovers a murderer in their midst.

Coward, Noel.
Blithe Spirit. 1941.

A ghost troubles a novelist's second marriage.

Fugard, Athol.
Master Harold and the Boys. 1982.

Hally, a precocious white South African teenager, lashes out at two older black friends who are substitute figures for his alcoholic father.

Hansberry, Lorraine.
Raisin in the Sun. 1959.

The sudden appearance of money tears an African American family apart.

Hellman, Lillian.
Little Foxes. 1939.

Members of the greedy and treacherous Hubbard family compete with each other for control of the mill that will bring them riches in the post-Civil War South.

Ibsen, Henrik.
A Doll's House. 1879.

Nora, one of feminism's great heroines, steps off her pedestal and encounters the real world.

Ionesco, Eugene.
Rhinoceros. 1959.

The subject is conformity; the treatment is comedy and terror.

Kushner, Tony.
Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes. Pt.1, Millennium Approaches (1992); Pt.2, Perestroika (1993).

Kushner chronicles AIDS in America during the Reagan era.

Larson, Jonathan.
Rent. 1996.

This award-winning musical depicts life, death, passion, and loyalty among AIDS-stricken artists.

RENT - a new American musical (official site)]

Miller, Arthur.
Death of a Salesman. 1949.

When an ordinary man faces his failure as husband, father, and human being, the only solution he sees is suicide.

O'Neill, Eugene.
Long Day's Journey into Night. 1956.

This painful autobiographical play reveals the illusions and delusions of the Tyrone family.

Sartre, Jean Paul.
No Exit. 1944.

In this existential drama, we learn that hell is other people.

Shakespeare, William.
King Lear. 1605.

An arrogant old man goes insane after his daughters strip him of every dignity and possession.

Shaw, George Bernard.
Pygmalion. 1913.

Professor Higgins bets a friend he can turn common Eliza Doolittle into a duchess.

Stoppard, Tom.
Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead. 1966.

Two bit players from Shakespeare's Hamlet are thrust into a terrifying new situation.

Uhry, Alfred.
Driving Miss Daisy. 1988.

Over the years, the Southern and headstrong Miss Daisy and her black chauffeur Hoke develop a deep and abiding friendship.

Vogel, Paula.
How I Learned to Drive. 1998.

Li'l Bit learns about more than driving when her relationship with Uncle Peck moves from friendship to betrayal.

Wilde, Oscar.
Importance of Being Earnest. 1895.

Can a baby, abandoned at Victoria Station, grow up to find love, romance, identity, and the importance of being earnest?

Wilder, Thornton.
Our Town. 1938.

Love and death in a small town are seen through the eyes of the Stage Manager.

Williams, Tennessee.
Glass Menagerie. 1945.

A brother is haunted by the memory of his teenage sister who takes refuge from the world in her collection of glass animal figurines.

Wilson, August.
Fences: A Play. 1986.

A garbageman recalls his career as a Negro League baseball star.