Student Interest/Novel Content Matching Page

A few of the public domain novels included in the drug free reading library

Interest Survey - Novel Content Matching
A Reading Comprehension Tool

Click here for Public Domain Interest/ Novel Matching Content Resources

Operational, Instructional, and Content Solutions

"How do you choose novels to match students` interests and abilities?"

The editors discussed the use of a questionnaire survey prior to sending students to the library to select a free reading novel. Recently, rather than having students randomly select a novel, the book Ethan Frome was selected for a class read. Reading the same novel presented value added with regard to exercises, vocabulary, and use of comprehension tools and resources not available based on student random novel selection. Reading the same novel also promoted a sense of community within the classroom.

The goal of the survey questionnaire was to match student interest to novel content, in the same fashion as before but to limit the selections in order to provide comprehension resources for each student's book. To that end genres of interest, i.e., a listing a public domain works was needed. Each could be offered on-line with corresponding exercises and vocabulary.

The same survey could be applied to the 12 author composed short stories at the bottom of the page. The wide variety of the stories matched many of the survey categories. If the student's selection resulted in increased interest, then, might not ultimate vocabulary and retention/comprehension results likewise improve?

However, a cursory on-line review of public domain content classics showed many too lengthy for a developmental project. A suitable abridged version was needed. (Such abridgement, i.e., placing the abbreviated version in the public domain would be a worthy endeavor. This might be an exercise akin to the open-source production of Linux software or Open Office, done by individuals whose only reward would be altruistic. Certainly, literature graduate students and others might be employed as abridgers, reviewers and editors of abridgements. The editors/authors might pursue abridging them for placement in the Developmental Educators' Handbook. Having such abridgements in the public domain would be a service to anyone wishing to use them as a developmental reading resource. and developed this concept and categorized content. After reviewing several classifications of novel content, the authors' list is below. The questionnaire is based on finding which of the 21 areas would most likely capture a student's interest. Once that determination is made, the instructor would do well to discuss the specific text selection with the student.

Click here to open the Novel Selection Questionnaire as an .html file and here for a printable .pdf version of the questions.

* * * * *

Interest Categories - Topical Novels

for brief sample sketches of famous Americans of diverse careers, race, and achievements..
Brief Biographies and other works from the VOICE OF AMERICA website.

(Suggestion: Today's developmental students often work full time jobs as well as are involved with family responsibilities. Their available time is limited. The DEH saves time in offering a digital DVD as well as a web-based library. Language Skills Instructors need not dispatch students to school libraries for an "on your own" novel selection. Both the on-line website or the DVD library of the DEH offer an alternate approach. The authors reviewed hundreds of "on-line" public domain novels [ficition and non-fiction], pulps, treatises, and other works. These are categorized for student review. Rather than a journey to the library, a single mouse-click opens a book for cursory review. The technique gleans books in less time and more thoroughly than the library visit.)

Interest Categories with Suggested Public Domain Works

Here are some of the categories of public domain novels and stories. Click on the work's name for an .htm version or on the .pdf link for an Adobe Acrobat version. (Note: Either click here or install the readability program "flesh.exe" by going to the flesh readability website to measure the difficulty of each novel.) (Note: The novels and other reading resources are public domain files. They can be freely distributed.)

1. Invention:Tom Swift's Electric Rifle, (.pdf) , 117 pp. (Victor Appleton); Tom Swift and His Electronic Hydrolung, (.pdf) , 73 pp. (Victor Appleton); Tom Swift and His Electric Runabout, (.pdf) , 85 pp. (Victor Appleton); Tom Swift and His Electric Runabout, (.pdf) , 85 pp. (Victor Appleton); Tom Swift and His Giant Telescope, (.pdf) , 140 pp. (Victor Appleton); Edison and His Inventions, (.pdf) , 356 pp. (Frank Dyer and Thomas Martin); Stories of Inventors, (.pdf) , 71 pp. (Russel Doubleday);

2. Adventure (Sea stories, mountain climbing, jungle settings): Tom Sawyer, (.pdf) - 185 pp. (Mark Twain); Life on the Mississippi, (.doc), (.pdf) - 273 pp. (Mark Twain); The Boy Scouts in Russia, (.pdf) - 64 pp. (Captain John Blaine); The Count of Monte Cristo, (.pdf) - 1116 pages (needs abridging) - (William Thackeray); Around the World in Eighty Days, (.pdf) – 248 pp. (Jules Verne); The Secrets of the Island, (.pdf) – 163 pp. (Jules Verne); Swiss Family Robinson – 298 pp. (Johann David Wyss); Robinson Crusoe, (.pdf) – 238 pp. (Daniel Defoe), Robinson Crusoe in One Syllable Words, (.pdf) - 54 pp. (Mary Godolphin) ; The Hunchback of Notre Dame, (.pdf) – 304 pp. (Victor Hugo); The Call of the Wild – 67 pp. (Jack London); To Build a Fire and other stories – 58 pp. (Jack London), (.pdf); The Lost World – 167 pp. (Sir Author Conan Doyle), (.pdf); King Solomon's Mines, (.pdf) - pp. 132 (H. Rider Haggard); Tarzan of the Apes – 277 pp. (Edgar Rice Burroughs), (.pdf); The Prince and the Pauper, (.pdf) - 170 pp. (Mark Twain); Bears I Have Met, (.pdf) - pp. 73 (Allen Kelly ); Blackbeard the Pirate - 34 pp. ( B. Barker, ESQ. ), (.pdf); Stories of Pirates - 231 pp. (Charles Ellms), (.pdf); Great Pirate Stories - 111 pp. (Joseph Lewis French), (.pdf); The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood - 159 pp. (Howard Pyle), (.pdf); The Jungle Book, (.pdf) - pp. 79 (Rudyard Kipling ); The Man Who Would Be King, (.pdf) - pp. 19 (Rudyard Kipling ); The Young Adventurer, (.pdf) - pp. 99 (Horatio Alger, Jr. ); The Three Musketeers, (.pdf) - pp. 451 (Alexandre Dumas [Pere] ); My Adventures as a Spy or The Spy Handbook, (.pdf) - pp. 50 (Sir Robert Baden-Powell);

3. Mystery: The Hound of the Baskervilles, (.pdf) – 157 pp. (Sir Author Conan Doyle), A Study in Scarlet, (.pdf) - 49 pp. (Sir Author Conan Doyle); The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, (.pdf) - 129 pp. (Sir Author Conan Doyle); A Double Barrelled Detective Story, (.pdf) - 49 pp. (Mark Twain); The Secret Agent , (.pdf) - 169 pp. (Joseph Conrad) ; The Rome Express, (.pdf) - 84 pp. (Arthur Griffiths); Murder at Bridge - 148 pp. (Anne Austin). (.pdf); The Insidious Dr. Fu Manchu - 144 pp. (Sax Rohmer). (.pdf); The Secret Adversary - 162 pp. (Agatha Christie). (.pdf); A Master of Mysteries (.pdf) - 82 pp. (L. T. Meade and Robert Eustace); Crime and Punishment (.pdf) - 320 pp. (Fyodor Dostoevsky); The Golf Course Mystery - 123 pp. (Chester K. Steele). (.pdf);

4. Romance: Summer , (.pdf) – 127 pp.(by Edith Wharton); The House of Mirth, (.pdf) – 285 pp. (Edith Wharton); Ethan Frome, (.pdf) – 67 pp. (Edith Wharton); The Age of Innocence. (.pdf) – 204 pp. (Edith Wharton); Persuasion, (.pdf) – 182 pp. (Jane Austen), Pride and Prejudice, (.pdf) – 192 pp. (Jane Austen); The Measure of a Man, (.pdf) - 154 pp. (Amelia E. Barr); Sense and Sensibility - 206 pp. (Jane Austen), (.pdf); A Vanished Hand - 65 pp. (Sarah Doudney), (.pdf); Wuthering Heights - 171 pp. (Emily Bronte), (.pdf); Rain (Short Story: Script for Movie MISS SADIE THOMPSON) - 39 pp. (Somerset Maugham), (.pdf); When Dreams Come True - 147 pp. (Ritter Brown), (.pdf); This Side of Paradise - 164 pp. (F. Scott Fitzgerald), (.pdf); Quo Vadis - 325 pp. (Henryk Sienkiewicz), (.pdf); Racehorse Romance - 77 pp. (W. B. M. Ferguson), (.pdf); Story of a War Marriage - 20 pp. (Hetty Hemenway), (.pdf); Skinner's Dress Suit - 70 pp. (Henry Irving Dodge), (.pdf); The Book of Romances - 190 pp. (Andrew Lang), (.pdf); Jane Eyre - 295 pp. (Charlotte Bronte), (.pdf); Tender is the Night - 318 pp. (F. Scott Fitzgerald), (.pdf); Lorna Doone - 373 pp. (R. D. Blackmore), (.pdf); Silas Marner - 152 pp. (George Eliot pen name for Mary Anne Evans), (.pdf); Adam Bede - 296 pp. (George Eliot pen name for Mary Anne Evans), (.pdf);

5. Fantasy/Science Fiction: Gulliver’s Travels, (.pdf) – 272 pp. (Jonathan Swift), A Connecticut Yankee in King Authur’s Court, (.pdf) – 298 pp. (Mark Twain), The Island of Dr. Moreau (.pdf) – 112 pp. ( H.G. Wells), The Phantom of the Opera (.pdf) – 153 pp. ( Gaston Leroux), The First Men in the Moon (.pdf) – 166 pp. ( H.G. Wells), Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (.pdf)– 74 pp. (Lewis Carroll); Alice in Wonderland Illustrated 214 pp. (Lewis Carroll); Alice in Wonderland in One Syllable Words 53 pp. (Lewis Carroll), (.pdf); Through the Looking Glass (.pdf)– 60 pp. (Lewis Carroll); Journey to the Center of the Earth, (.pdf) – 272 pp. (Jules Verne), From the Earth to the Moon, (.pdf) – 120 pp. (Jules Verne), Around the Moon (.pdf) – 206 pp. (Jules Verne), The Road to Oz, (.pdf) – 81 pp. (L. Frank Baum); The Wizard of Oz, (.pdf) – 112 pp. (L. Frank Baum); The Mysterious Island , - 337 pp. (Jules Verne) (.pdf) ; Off on a Comet - 175 pp. (Jules Verne), (.pdf); Tom Corbett Sabotage in Space - 107 pp. (Carey Rockwell) (.pdf); Tom Corbett Space Cadet: Stand By for Mars - 216 pp. (Carey Rockwell) (.pdf); Tom Corbett Space Cadet: The Revolt on Venus - 117 pp. (Carey Rockwell) (.pdf); Tom Corbett - Treachery in Outer Space - 108 pp. (Carey Rockwell) (.pdf); Tom Swift and the Visitor from Planet X, (.pdf) , 85 pp. (Victor Appleton); The War of the Worlds - 82 pp. (H.G. Wells) (.pdf); The Invisible Man - 82 pp. (H.G. Wells) (.pdf); The Time Machine - 70 pp. (H.G. Wells) (.pdf); The Voyages of Doctor Dolittle - 127 pp. (Hugh Lofting) (.pdf); The Short Life - 38 pp. (Francis Donovan) (.pdf); The Aliens - 28 pp. (Murray Leinster) (.pdf); The Vortex Blaster - 21 pp. (E.E. Smith, Ph.D.) (.pdf); .Island of Space - 111 pp. (John W. Campbell) (.pdf); .The Crowded Earth - 70 pp. (Robert Bloch) (.pdf); Invaders From the Infinite - 105 pp. (John Wood Campbell) (.pdf); Space Platform, (.pdf) pp. 96 (Murray Leinster); (.pdf); Edisons Conquest of Mars, (.pdf) pp. 139 (Garrett P. Serviss); Anderson Fairy Tales, (.pdf) pp. 84 (Hans Christian Andersen); Brigands of the Moon, (.pdf) pp. 138 (Ray Cummings); The Skylark of Space, (.pdf) pp. 148 (Edward Elmer Smith and Lee Hawkins Garby); The Sky is Falling, (.pdf) pp. 66 (Lester Del Rey); The Planet Strappers, (.pdf) pp. 120 (Raymond Z. Gallun);

6. War Stories: The Red Badge of Courage, (.pdf) – 127 pp. (Stephen Crane); The Sun Also Rises, (.pdf) - 260 pp. (Ernest Hemingway); Illustrated War News (WWI - Fascinating), (.pdf) – 106 pp. (Various Authors and Articles); The War and the Wierd, (.pdf) - 73 pp. (Forbes Phillips and R. Thurston Hopkins); The Roughriders, (.pdf) - 111 pp. (Theodore Roosevelt); WWI German Aviator Diary, (.pdf) - 49 pp. (German Aviator Oswald Bφlcke); I Was There - WWI War Sketches, (.pdf) - 141 pp. (C . Leroy Baldridge - PVT. A.E.F.);

7. Horror: Frankenstein, (.pdf) - 159 pp. (Mary Shelley), A Christmas Carol, (.pdf) – 117 pp.(Charles Dickens), Humorous Ghost Stories (.pdf) - 211 pp. (Editor: Dorothy Scarborough); Famous Ghost Stories (.pdf) - 142 pp. (Editor: Dorothy Scarborough); The Works of Edgar Allan Poe (Vol. 1) (pdf.) – 159 pp. (Edgar Allan Poe). The Works of Edgar Allan Poe (Vol. 2) (pdf.) – 207 pp. (Edgar Allan Poe), The Works of Edgar Allan Poe (Vol. 3) (pdf.) – 202 pp. (Edgar Allan Poe), The Works of Edgar Allan Poe (Vol. 4) (pdf.) – 178 pp. (Edgar Allan Poe), The Works of Edgar Allan Poe (Vol. 5) (pdf.) – 217 pp. (Edgar Allan Poe); Dracula, (.pdf) - 229 pp. (Bram Stoker); The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, (.pdf) – 68 pp. (Robert Louis Stevenson); The House of the Seven Gables, (.pdf) – 183 pp. (Nathaniel Hawthorne); Dracula's Guest, (.pdf) – 212 pp. (Bram Stoker); The Lair of the White Worm, (.pdf) – 83 pp. (Bram Stoker);

8. Plays: An Ideal Husband, (.pdf) – 108 pp. (Oscar Wilde); The Hairy Ape, (.pdf) - 24 pp. (Eugene O'Neill);

9. History: The True Story of Christopher Columbus, (.pdf) - 187 pp. (Elbridge S. Brooks);; Christopher Columbus and the New World, (.pdf) - 238 pp. (Filson Young); My Bondage and My Freedom , (.pdf) - 296 pp. (Frederick Douglass); Up From Slavery , (.pdf) - 102 pp. (Booker T. Washington); Early Airplane History , (.pdf) - 29 pp.; The Johnstown (Flood) Horror Valley of Death , (.pdf) - 312 pp. (James Herbert Walker) ; Andersonville Prison, (.pdf) - 404 pp. (John McElroy); Hot Air Ballooning - 81 pp. (F. Marion), (.pdf); The True Story of the American Flag- 22 pp. (John H. Fow), (.pdf); Donner Party High Sierra Tragedy, (.pdf) - 131 pp. (C. F. McGlashan); (.pdf); The Great Galveston Disaster (Hurricane of 1900) - .pdf version, - 606 pp. (Paul Lester); The History of Plymouth Colony , (.pdf) - 312 pp. (William Bradford); Standish of Standish, the Pilgrims' Story - 210 pp. (Jane G. Austin), (.pdf); The Monitor and Merrimac - 16 pp. (Lt. J.L. Worden, U.S.N. Lt. Greene, U.S.N. of the Monitor and H. Ashton Ramsay, C.S.N. of the Merrimac)(.pdf); The Mutiny of the Bounty - 145 pp. (Sir John Barrow), (.pdf);

10. Satire and Political: Common Sense, (.pdf) – 53 pp. (Thomas Paine); Eve's Diary, (.pdf) – 63 pp. (Mark Twain); Adam's Diary, (.doc), (.pdf) – 11 pp. (Mark Twain);

11. Westerns: The Ridin’ Kid from Powder River , (.pdf) - 257 pp.(Henry Herbert Knibbs) The Virginian (.pdf) -326 pp. (Owen Wister); The Sheriff's Son , (.pdf), (.txt); - 187 pp. (Harold Cue); A Texas Ranger - 215 pp. (William MacLeod Raine), (.pdf); Way of the Lawless West - 139 pp. (Max Brand), (.pdf); Texas Ranger - 191 pp. (William MacLeod Raine), (.pdf);

12.Humor/Jokes: The Death at the Excelsior (.pdf) – 110 pp. (P.G. Wodehouse), A Tramp Abroad (.pdf) - 336 pp. (Mark Twain), The $30,000 Bequest and other Stories, (.pdf) 237 pp. (Mark Twain), A Dog’s Tale, (.pdf) – 9 pp. (Mark Twain), Eve's Diary , (.pdf) - 16 pp. (Mark Twain), The Stolen White Elephant, (.pdf) – 21 pp. (Mark Twain); The Book of Snobs, (.pdf) – 99 pp. (William Peace Thackeray); The Jest Book, – 283 pp. (Mark Lemon), (.pdf) ; The Book of Nonsense, – 33 pp. (Edward Lear), (.pdf) ;

13. Sports: One Nation Under God, (.pdf), - 160 pp. (Jerry Woodfill); School, Church, Home Games, (.pdf) - 87 pp. (George O. Draper); Games for the Playground, Home, School and Gymnasium, (.pdf) - 445 pp. (Jessie H_ Bancroft); Book of Sports and GamesSELF.htm The Book of Sports and Games, (.pdf) - 69 pp. (William Martin); The High School Freshman, (.pdf) - 113 pp. (H. Irving Hancock); Baseball Joe, (.pdf) - 97 pp. (Lester Chadwick); Behind the Line, (.pdf) - 105 pp. (Ralph Henry Barbour,);

14. Coming of Age Novels: The Eagle Has Landed (.pdf) - 160 pp. (Jerry Woodfill); Great Expectations, (.pdf) – 436 pp.(Charles Dickens); The Hoosier Schoolboy - 258 pp. (Edward Eggleston), (.pdf); Tom Brown's School Day - pp. (Thomas Hughes), (.pdf); Black Beauty - 89 pp. (Anna Sewell), (.pdf); Oliver Twist - 284 pp. (Charles Dickens), (.pdf); Phil the Fiddler - 93 pp.(Horatio Alger, Jr.), (.pdf); Heidi - 182 pp.(Johanna Spyri.), (.pdf); Little Women - 306 pp.(Louisa May Alcott), (.pdf); Little Men - 169 pp.(Louisa May Alcott), (.pdf); Anne of Green Gables - 157 pp.(Lucy Maud Montgomery), (.pdf); Anne of Avonlea - 141 pp.(Lucy Maud Montgomery), (.pdf);

15. Hobbies: Amusements in Mathematics, (.pdf) – 555 pp. (Henry Ernest Dudeney); The Blue Book of the Chess Game, (.pdf) - 292 pp. (various chess players); The Canterbury Puzzles 184 - pp. (Henry Ernest Dudeney), (.pdf); The Study of Insects, (.pdf) - 59 pp. (Leonard Haseman); Woodblock Printing, (.pdf) - 75 pp. (A. W. Seaby); Popular Astronomy 250 - pp. (Cecil G. Dolmage), (.pdf);

16. Self-Help: Using a Sliderule , (.pdf) 53 pp.; Bird Houses Boys Build, (.pdf) - 60 pp. (Albert F. Siepert); Fowler's Household Helps (1916) - 40 pp. (A.L. Fowler), (.pdf); How to Speak and Write Correctly- 76 pp. (Joseph Devlin, M.A..), (.pdf); Phrases for Public Speakers 39 - pp.(Grenville Kleiser), (.pdf); Toaster's Handbook 444 - pp.(Peggy Edmund and Harold Workman Williams), (.pdf); Confessions of a Book Lover 78 - pp. (Maurice Francis Egan ), (.pdf); Popular Mechanics for Boys 770 - pp., (.pdf); The Bachelor's Handbook 70 - pp., (.pdf); The Plattsburg Military Training Manual, (.pdf) - 164 pp. (O. O. Ellis and E. B. Garey); The Cookbook of 1910, (.pdf) - 90 pp. (Rufus Estes); Kitchen Science, (.pdf) - 345 pp. (Mrs. E. E. Kellogg); How to Teach, (.pdf) - 144 pp. (George Drayton Strayer and Naomi Norsworthy); How To Write Special Feature Articles, (.pdf) - 236 pp. (Willard Grosvenor Bleyer, Ph.D.); The Art of Writing and Other Essays, (.pdf) - 29 pp. (Robert Louis Stevenson); How to Say Nothing in 500 Words, (.pdf) - 11 pp. (Paul Roberts); The Girl Scout Handbook, (.pdf) - 365 pp. (Juliette Low); The University of Hard Knocks, (.pdf) - 79 pp. (Ralph Parlette); A Catalogue of Play Equipment, (.pdf) - 35 pp. (Jean Lee Hunt);

17. Societal Issues; Cultural Analysis (Fiction and Non-Fiction) The Sound and the Fury and As I Lay Dying, (.pdf) 552 pp. (William Faulkner); Uncle Tom's Cabin, (.pdf) 301 pp. (Harriet Beecher Stowe); Babbitt, (.pdf) 294 pp. (Sinclair Lewis); In His Steps: Fiction Based on Biblical Ethical Practices, (.pdf) 142 pp. (Charles Shelton); Vanity Fair, (.pdf) 436 pp. (William Makepeace Thackeray); Utopia, (.pdf) 50 pp. (Thomas More); The Scarlet Letter, – 258 pp. (Nathaniel Hawthorne) (.pdf); Hard Times, (.pdf) – 154 pp. (Charles Dickens) ;

18.Biographies: (For brief diverse public domain biographies from the Voice of America, click here.); (The following biographies are book-length.) From Canal Boy to President: The James Garfield Story, (.pdf) - pp. 111 (Horatio Alger, Jr. ); The Presidents' Lives in One Syllable Words, (.pdf) - pp. 111 (Horatio Alger, Jr. ); David Crockett, (.pdf) - pp. 113 (John S.C. Abbott ); The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin - 137 pp. (Edited by Charles W. Eliot), (.pdf); Buffalo Bill Autobiography, (.pdf) - pp. 127 (Colonel W.F. Cody ); Amerigo Vespucci - 99 pp. (Frederick A. Ober), (.pdf); Prince Henry, the Navigator - 161 pp. (C. Raymond Beazley), (.pdf); The True George Washington - 209 pp. (Paul Leicester Ford), (.pdf); The Life of Phineas Barnum - 330 pp. (Joel Barton), (.pdf); A Short Life of Abraham Lincoln - 286 pp. (John G. Nicolay), (.pdf); Life of Abraham Lincoln (Brief Biography) - 25 pp. (John Hugh Bowers, Ph.D., LL.B.), (.pdf); The Life and Voyages of Christopher Columbus. - 422 pp. (Washington Irving), (.pdf); The Life of George Washington. - 25 pp. (Washington Irving), (.pdf); Helen Keller Autobiography - The World I Live In - 45 pp. (Helen Keller), (.pdf); Sam Woodfill, World War One Hero - 9 pp. (Space Acts Web Site), (.pdf);

19.Short Stories: (Virtually all of the Brantwoodian selections below are short stories. Among those works listed above are a few short stories. Simply review the page lengths listed to find them. Additionally, below are links to still more short stories. Rather than categorizing them, a single descriptive word is listed with them, i.e., mystery, sci-fi, adventure, etc.) Test Rocket (Science Fiction Short Story), (.pdf) pp. 4 (Jack Douglas); Solomons Orbit (Science Fiction Short Story), (.pdf) pp. 7 (William Carroll); The Best British Short Stories of 1922, (.pdf) pp. 92 (Edited By Edward J. O'Brien And John Cournos); Egocentric Orbit (Science Fiction Short Story), (.pdf) pp. 3 (John Cory); Options (Short Stories), (.pdf) pp. 153 (O. Henry); The Legend of Sleepy Hollow (Classic Horror Short Story), (.pdf) pp. 18 (Washington Irving); In The Year 2889 (Science Fiction short story), (.pdf) pp. 11 (Michel Verne - Jules Verne's son); The Invaders, a Science Fiction short story, (.pdf) pp. 14 (Benjamin Ferris); The Thirty-Nine Steps, (.pdf) pp. 63 (John Buchan); Shooting an Elephant, (.pdf) pp. 6 (George Orwell); Short Stories of F. Scott Fitzgerald, (.pdf) pp.261 (F. Scott Fitzgerald); The Curious Case Benjamin Button, (.pdf) pp.21 (F. Scott Fitzgerald);

20. Pulps Page (Public Domain Pulp Books, Articles, and Comic Publications)

21.The Brantwoodian Library: Coming of Age Stories

Below are the short stories used in the listening skills reading comprehension study.
Each is identified with one of the 14 interest categories revealed by the survey.

Click the story name below for a printed narrative. Click the corresponding time to listen to an .mp3 audio narrative of the story. A .wav audio file is accessed by clicking the word .wav after the listed time for the .mp3 audio version. The .wav file may be copied onto an audio cdrom for playing the story in class on an inexpensive portable audio CD player.

Below are the listed test story candidates employed in the study as .htm files:
Story . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Audio Play Time (download may take several minutes)
1. The Nurse’s Office. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23:56 .mp3, .wav file
2. The Across the Tracks Girl . . . . . . . . . . . . 17:51 .mp3,.wav file
3. The Dirty, Disgusting and Diseased . . . . . . 27:57 .mp3 .wav file
4. What Dad Never Taught Me . . . . . . . . . . 30:28 .mp3, .wav file
5. He’ll Blow His Fingers Off . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9:51 .mp3, .wav file
6. The Ledger. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20:33 .mp3, .wav file
7. The Spalding 7 and Titleist 3:23 . . . . . . . . 16:58 .mp3, .wav file
8. The Brantwoodian Villain . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12:55 .mp3, .wav file
9. The Rock and Roll Hall of Shame . . . . . . . 11:15 .mp3, .wav file
10. The Town Theater . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17:50 .mp3, .wav file
11. Battle of the Alimentary Canal . . . . . . . . . 10:58 .mp3, .wav file
12. The Report Card . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25:17 .mp3, .wav file

Printable Resources for Class Use

Table of Contents

The files which follow can be displayed with a class on-line computer then video projected for the students

Below are the public domain files chosen for the Retention/Comprehension Study.

NOTE: Answers to the comprehension questions are not listed on the website but can be obtained by request to the e-mail address: In order to avoid students obtaining answers without reading the stories, this is the approach being taken. The answers will be e-mailed as a WORD attachment to the e-mail address of those instructors requesting the comprehension question answer key.

  • Story Title . . . . .Comprehension Questions . . . . . . Vocabulary Test/Answer Sheets.....Audio Play File

  • (audio mp3 file downloads may take several minutes)

    (Click to choose: The italicized printed narrative, Comprehension Questions, Answer Sheet and Vocabulary Test or the .mp3 audio narrative download file. Note: The content is directly printable on 8.5' x 11" notebook size paper, i.e., the files are in the .htm format unlike the printable WORD format files used above for three copies per sheet on legal size printer paper.)

  • 1. The Nurse’s Office: Comprehension Questions: Answer Sheet with Vocabulary Test: 25:56
  • 2. The Across the Tracks Girl: Comprehension Questions: Answer Sheet with Vocabulary Test: 17:51
  • 3. The Dirty, Disgusting and Diseased:: Comprehension Questions, Answer Sheet with Vocabulary Test: 27:57
  • 4. What Dad Never Taught Me: Comprehension Questions: Answer Sheet with Vocabulary Test: 30:28
  • 5. He’ll Blow His Finger Off: Comprehension Questions: Answer Sheet with Vocabulary Test: 9:51
  • 6. The Ledger: Comprehension Questions: Answer Sheet with Vocabulary Test: 20:33
  • 7. The Spalding 7 and Titleist 3:23: Comprehension Questions: Answer Sheet with Vocabulary Test: 16:58
  • 8. The Brantwoodian Villain: Comprehension Questions: Answer Sheet with Vocabulary Test: 12:55
  • 9. The Rock 'n Roll Hall of Shame: Comprehension Questions: Answer Sheet with Vocabulary Test: 11:15
  • 10. The Town Theator: Comprehension Questions:
  • Answer Sheet with Vocabulary Test: 17:50
  • 11. Battle of the Alimentary Canal: Comprehension Questions: Answer Sheet with Vocabulary Test: 10:58
  • 12. The Report Card: Comprehension: Questions: Answer Sheet with Vocabulary Test: 25:17

  • Introduction of the Developmental Reader to a Novel

    (with comprehensive reading exercises)

    The Eagle Has Landed (html version), (.pdf version) - 100 pp.

    (answers to comprehensive questions available by emailing


    E-Mail Address for Questions: