Great Expectations was one of the last works completed by Charles Dickens. It is the coming-of-age story about a young boy named Pip whose chance encounter with an escaped convict impacts his life and expectations. The story takes Pip from the countryside home of his harsh sister and her husband to the city of London. Pip’s journey is riddled with odd and eccentric characters and twists of fate.
This classic highlights the class distinctions of the mid-19th century as well as the ways in which different people handle life’s disappointments. I highly recommend the unabridged version of this story for high school readers and a more friendly abridged version for middle schoolers. Every student should become familiar with at least one of Charles Dickens’ works, as his characters are unforgettable and his themes enduring.
Dickens, Charles, et al. Great Expectations. Oxford University Press, 1996.