Jane Eyre

Penguin Classics. Aug. 2006. 624p. pap. $9. ISBN 9780141441146.
Gr 7 Up–The eponymous orphan survives an oppressive school experience to become a governess. When she becomes embroiled in a drama-filled romance with her charge’s brooding benefactor, Jane must decide whether she should abide by her morals or listen to her heart. The lush descriptions; magnetic protagonists; and discussions of class, duty, and feminism, make this a prime example of a classic that should continue as a curricular staple and be enjoyed as pleasure reading by teens. Contemporary readers may struggle with the roller-coaster quality of events in Jane’s life, though the sometimes intense first-person narration brilliantly focuses the attention on her moral and emotional development.
VERDICT An archetypal Gothic romance with a refreshingly modern air, this one is a shoo-in for libraries serving middle and high schoolers.

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