Is the American Dream possible? Or is it a vivid fantasy? John Steinbeck’s classic novel Of Mice and Men chronicles the friendship between two migrant workers and explores the bitter reality of poverty in Depression-era America. This gut-wrenching narrative questions notions about power and social mobility that are still relevant in America today.
John Steinbeck was a Pulitzer-prize-winning storyteller and a perceptive critic of life in 20th-century America. Published in 1937, Of Mice and Men recounts the lives of George Milton and Lennie Small, two migrant workers in California who are in search of a better life. An essential American text, this novel provides a window into the ongoing issue of poverty and its profound consequences throughout our country’s history.
In this online course, you’ll develop critical English language skills and bear witness to a story about working-class struggles, hardship, and personal sacrifice. Like every online Writer’s Desk course, our Of Mice and Men curriculum prepares students of all skill levels for college-level reading and writing at the world’s most prestigious universities. Explore the full curriculum below.
The Outsiders tells the story of the very true and dark struggle between two high school gangs: the working-class Greasers and their rivals, the rich Socials. Written by a teenager for teenagers, The Outsiders is as relevant today as it was when it first appeared in 1967. Master the English language while you enjoy this breakthrough novel that continues to inspire new generations of middle- and high-school readers.
Author S.E. Hilton was only 18 when she published The Outsiders. A coming-of-age story, the novel follows narrator Ponyboy Curtis and his working-class friends, who find themselves in the middle of a constant, violent conflict with their richer classmates. Despite glaring differences of wealth and background—and through painful experiences—Ponyboy comes to understand that he and his “enemies” have more in common than it seems.
In our newest Writer’s Desk online course, you’ll build essential skills in reading, vocabulary, critical thinking, and persuasive writing. This small-group online class provides structured lessons and personalized feedback, marrying the benefits of a classroom setting with the flexibility of online learning.
Reginald McKnight’s riveting short story “The Kind of Light That Shines on Texas” grapples honestly with America’s difficult racial history. This story about a Black boy coming to terms with his identity sits at the center of the American experience. Develop crucial reading, writing, and critical-thinking skills at your own pace in this self-guided Writer’s Desk course.
Reginald McKnight’s critically acclaimed short story “The Kind of Light That Shines on Texas” chronicles the struggles of Clint, the young, Black narrator who faces blatant racism from his teacher and peers in his sixth-grade class of mostly white students in Waco, Texas, in the mid-1960s. Through Clint’s journey, McKnight masterfully explores what it feels like to grow up Black in a racist country and presents a unique opportunity to reflect on your own values and stereotypes.
This self-guided, fully remote course provides the resources you need to flourish as an English language reader and writer. Improve your current skills or find inspiration for your own writing—it’s up to you. The flexibility of this remote course allows you to set the pace and learn on your own schedule. Explore the curriculum below.
Amy Tan’s powerful story “Rules of the Game” explores, with honesty and beauty, a mother-daughter relationship in a Chinese American family. As Waverly Jong, the story’s young narrator, reaches for independence as a young American, she grows up under the watchful eye of her strong mother who wants her children to respect their Chinese heritage and rise above their humble circumstances. Waverly’s emerging fame as a child chess prodigy tests this vital bond in new and, perhaps, insurmountable ways.Sign up for this course →
This self-guided, online course provides the resources you need to flourish as an English language reader and writer. Improve your current skills or find inspiration for your own writing—it’s up to you. The flexibility of this remote course allows you to set the pace and learn on your own schedule. Explore the curriculum below.
Young Meg Murry is an oddball at school and, what's more, her scientist father disappeared and hasn't been heard from in two years. Meg's search for her father takes her on an exotic and dangerous journey, guided by three mysterious spirits and accompanied by her wise younger brother and a courageous friend from school. Read all about Meg's journey—and what she learns about herself along the way—in Madeleine L'Engle's beloved novel.Sign up for this course →
Long before Star Wars or Hunger Games, Madeleine L'Engle broke new ground when her award-winning novel A Wrinkle in Time put a female character front and center in a work of science fiction. Meg Murry's quest to find and rescue her missing father tests her physically and emotionally, while also teaching her the true power of friendship and love. The novel's enduring popularity stems from its honest exploration of the many challenges of coming of age, earning it a spot on the Top 100 Chapter Books of All Time compiled by School Library Journal.
In this online course, you'll build important academic skills in reading, writing, vocabulary, and critical thinking, while also enjoying an engaging adventure story that will keep you entertained right to the final page.