59 Sci-Fi Classics for the Ages (Science-fiction books from HG Wells, Jules Verne, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Mary Shelley, Philip K Dick, Isaac Asimov, Harry Harrison, Voltaire, Robert Luis Stevenson, Joseph Conrad, Kurt Vonnegut, Ben Bova)
Since his debut in 1951 as The Catcher in the Rye, Holden Caulfield has been synonymous with "cynical adolescent." Holden narrates the story of a couple of days in his sixteen-year-old life, just after he's been expelled from prep school, in a slang that sounds edgy even today and keeps this novel on banned book lists. It begins, "If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you'll probably want to know is where I was born and what my lousy childhood was like.
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, by Mark Twain. My grade teacher, Miss Smith read this book to us mid-afternoon as our energy levels dropped off. I was mesmerized. Read it on my own soon thereafter, and several times more.