As one of the oldest existing poems in the English language, Beowulf is important for its historical account and its poetry and themes. Although filled with monsters and dragons, the story of Beowulf's actions and deeds still comes alive today.
A multicultural perennial favorite by Robert Lipsyte, The Contender is a moral tale that emphasizes the importance of the fight rather than the prize, the quality of the struggle over the outcome. Hence, becoming a contender is what Alfred Brooks learns to do as he literally fights young boxers and figuratively braves the inner struggle of peer pressure.
Oscar Wilde's classic tale of narcissism is rife with symbolism and classic themes. Beyond the critical approach, the story can simply be enjoyed on its own as a well-written tale of suspense and surprise.