The texts listed below are considered to be of literary merit and suitable for study at NCEA Level 3 and level 8 of the curriculum because they allow the students to respond critically:

3.1 Extended Texts
Text Title
Text Author

A Child Called It
Dave Pelzer

Angela’s Ashes
Frank McCourt

Desert Flower
Waris Dirie

Dibs in Search of Self
Virginia Axline

Girl Interrupted
Susanna Kaysen

If This is a Man
Primo Levi

In Cold Blood
Truman Capote

Rachel’s Tears
Mark Scotts

The Chosen
Chaim Potok

The Color of Water
James McBride

To The Is-Land
Janet Frame

Tuesdays With Morrie
Mitch Albom


A Clockwork Orange
Antony Burgess

A Dangerous Vine
Barbara Ewing

A Farewell to Arms
Ernest Hemingway

A Gathering of Old Men
Ernest Gaines

A Handmaid’s Tale
Margaret Atwood

A Map of the World
Jane Hamilton

A Room With A View
E M Forster

A Thousand Splendid Suns
Khaled Hosseini

As I Lay Dying
William Faulkner

Ian McEwan

Beatrice and Virgil
Yann Martel

Sebastian Faulks

Black Swan Green
David Mitchell

Maurice Gee

Brave New World
Aldous Huxley

Briar Rose
Jane Yolen

Cat’s Eye
Margaret Atwood

Tim Winton

Cold Mountain
Charles Frazier

Cry The Beloved Country
Alan Paton

Jane Austen

Enduring Love
Ian McEwan

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
Jonathan Sarfan Foer

Fight Club
Chuck Palahniuk

Fugitive Pieces
Annie Michaels

Gallagher Girls
Ally Carter

Bernard Beckett

How To Stop a Heart From Beating
Danielle Ballantyne

In My Father’s Den
Maurice Gee

Islands of Silence
Martin Booth

Jane Eyre
Charlotte Bronte

Peter Goldsworthy

Mr Pip
Lloyd Jones

Mrs Dalloway
Virginia Woolfe

No Country For Old Men
Cormac McCarthy

Once Were Warriors
Alan Duff

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
Ken Kesey

Owls Do Cry
Janet Frame

Patrick Suskind

Jane Austen

Patricia Grace

Pride and Prejudice
Jane Austen

Emma Donoghue

Satisfied With Nothing
Ernest Hill

Sense and Sensibility
Jane Austen

Shades of Grey
Jasper Fforde

Slaughterhouse 5
Kurt Vonnegut

Small Island
Andrea Levy

Snow Falling on Cedars
David Gutterson

Toni Morrison

Sonya Hartnett

Talking About O’Dwyer
C K Stead

Tess of the D’Urbervilles
Thomas Hardy

The Bell Jar
Sylvia Plath

The Book Thief
Markus Zusak

The Color Purple
Alice Walker

The Comfort of Strangers
Ian McEwan

The Five People You Meet in Heaven
Mitch Albom

The God of Small Things
Arundhati Roy

The Grass is Singing
Doris Lessing

The Great Gatsby
F Scott Fitzgerald

The Kite Runner
Khaled Hosseini

The Last Ride
Thomas Eidson

The Lovely Bones
Alice Sebold

The Messengers
Marcus Zusak

The Miracle Life of Edgar Mint
Brady Udall

The New Girl
Emily Perkins

The Poisonwood Bible
Barbara Kingsolver

The Power and the Glory
Graham Greene

The Outsider
Albert Camus

The Reader
Bernhard Schlink

The Road
Cormac McCarthy

The Shipping News
Annie Proulx

The Things They Carried
Tim O’Brien

The Wall
Jean Paul Satre

Things Fall Apart
Chinua Achebe

Scott Anderson

Whanau II
Witi Ihimaera

What Becomes of the Broken Hearted?
Alan Duff

Wide Sargasso Sea
Jean Rhys

Laurie Lalse Anderson

Wuthering Heights
Emily Bronte


A Doll’s House
Henrik Ibsen

Death and the Maiden
Ariel Dorfman

Death of a Salesman
Arthur Miller

Dr Faustus
Christopher Marlowe

Foreskin’s Lament
Greg McGee

King Lear

Lady Windermere’s Fan
Oscar Wilde

Master Harold and the Boys
Athol Fugard

Much Ado About Nothing

Ophelia Thinks Harder
Jean Betts


Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead
Tom Stoppard

The Crucible
Arthur Miller

The Glass Menagerie
Tennessee Williams

The History Boys
Alan Bennett

The Kid
Michael Gow

The Laraime Project
Moises Kaufman

Whose Afraid of Virginia Woolfe?
Edward Albee

3.1 Short Texts


Tusiata Avia

James K Baxter

William Blake

Emily Dickenson

Gerald Manly Hopkins

Kapka Kassoabova

John Keats

Sylvia Plath

Edgar Allan Poe

Shakespearean sonnets

Hone Tuwhare

Short Stories

Ray Bradbury

Raymond Carver

Janet Frame

Yellow Wallpaper
Charlotte Perkins Gilman

The Cold Equations
Tom Godwin

Ernest Hemingway

Alex La Guma

Katherine Mansfield

Owen Marshall

The Wall
Jean Paul Satre

The Dark Room
Rachel Sieffert

Hone Tuwhare

Back to Text Suggestions