Ch 12: Contemporary Fiction for 9th Grade

About This Chapter

Watch contemporary fiction video lessons and learn about the themes, characters and plots of recent major works of fiction. Make sure you're familiar with the subject matter by taking the self-assessment quizzes.

Contemporary Fiction for 9th Grade - Chapter Summary and Learning Objectives

Works of fiction from major writers of the last 50 years are explored in this chapter on contemporary fiction. Instructors who teach these lessons introduce several key authors and provide some biographical details on Barbara Kingsolver, Cormac McCarthy, Kurt Vonnegut and more. You'll get plot summaries, character introductions and analysis of major themes of books like The Joy Luck Club and The Kite Runner. Quotes from several books are used to help identify themes or provide context, and some lessons include discussions of multiple books written by a single author. This chapter is designed to teach you about:

  • Summary of Things They Carried
  • Works by Barbara Kingsolver and Amy Tan
  • Main themes from Things Fall Apart
  • Characters in The Kite Runner
  • Kurt Vonnegut's famous books

Video Objectives
Things They Carried: Summary, Characters & Themes Provides a general plot summary and introduces the characters in this novel. Examines the book's main themes and draws on quotes from the novel for support.
Barbara Kingsolver: Biography, Books & Quotes Introduces Kingsolver and discusses some critical biographical details. Depicts some of her most famous books that are appropriate for the 9th grade level. Uses quotes from the books throughout the lesson.
Things Fall Apart: Summary, Characters & Themes Summarizes the plot of the novel and describes the characters. Uses quotes from the novel to explain the main themes.
Cormac McCarthy: Biography, Novels & Quotes Presents biographical info about McCarthy and lists some of his most famous books. Describes some of these novels using quotes from the books.
The Joy Luck Club and other Amy Tan Novels Discusses Amy Tan and her book The Joy Luck Club. Examines some of her other relevant novels.
Elie Wiesel's Night: Summary, History & Quotes Describes Wiesel's book Night and offers historical context for the book. Includes some major quotes from the book.
Ian McEwan Novels: Saturday and Atonement Summarizes the plot, introduces the characters and analyzes the themes in Saturday and Atonement. Offers key biographical details about McEwan and lists some of his other works.
The Kite Runner: Summary, Characters & Themes Explains the main themes in this novel. Outlines the plot and provides sketches of the main characters. Uses quotes from the novel to enhance the discussion of the main themes and plot.
Kurt Vonnegut: Biography, Works & Quotes Offers a close-up look at Vonnegut with critical biographical details. Introduces some of his most famous books and interjects quotes from the books throughout the lesson.

9 Lessons in Chapter 12: Contemporary Fiction for 9th Grade
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
The Things They Carried: Summary, Characters & Themes

1. The Things They Carried: Summary, Characters & Themes

The Vietnam War was a long, controversial military conflict. In this lesson, you'll get a summary of Tim O'Brien's Vietnam War novel, including a breakdown of the main characters and major ideas.

Barbara Kingsolver: Biography, Books & Quotes

2. Barbara Kingsolver: Biography, Books & Quotes

In this lesson on American writer Barbara Kingsolver, you'll learn about her life, her major literary awards, and a couple of her best-selling books. You can test your understanding at the end with a short quiz.

Things Fall Apart: Summary, Characters & Themes

3. Things Fall Apart: Summary, Characters & Themes

Things Fall Apart tells the tragic story of a Nigerian tribesman who holds on to tradition in a changing world. In this lesson, you'll learn about the basic story and the characters involved, and you'll pick up on a few of the novel's major themes.

Cormac McCarthy: Biography, Novels & Quotes

4. Cormac McCarthy: Biography, Novels & Quotes

Cormac McCarthy has been called one of the greatest living American writers. In this lesson, you'll learn about his life and three of his most celebrated novels.

Amy Tan: The Joy Luck Club & Other Novels

5. Amy Tan: The Joy Luck Club & Other Novels

Amy Tan is known for writing books about Chinese immigrant mothers and their American daughters, but her books speak to larger issues that anyone can relate to. In this lesson you'll get an introduction to Tan, her most famous book, and a few of her other novels.

Elie Wiesel's Night: Summary, History & Quotes

6. Elie Wiesel's Night: Summary, History & Quotes

The Holocaust of World War II was one of the darkest times in recent history. In this lesson, you'll get an overview of one of the most famous Holocaust memoirs, along with the historical context and some biographical highlights of the author, Elie Wiesel.

Ian McEwan Novels: Saturday and Atonement

7. Ian McEwan Novels: Saturday and Atonement

In this lesson, you'll hit the highlights of two important novels by British writer Ian McEwan. You'll learn what happens in the books, who the main characters are, and which big ideas McEwan develops.

The Kite Runner: Summary, Characters & Themes

8. The Kite Runner: Summary, Characters & Themes

The Kite Runner is a contemporary novel set in Afghanistan that has drawn equal amounts of praise and controversy. In this lesson, you'll learn about the main characters, the main ideas, and get a summary of the crucial events.

Kurt Vonnegut: Biography, Works & Quotes

9. Kurt Vonnegut: Biography, Works & Quotes

Kurt Vonnegut's books are counted among the greatest novels ever written. In this lesson, you'll learn about the interesting life Vonnegut lived, and you'll be exposed to some of the big ideas in his most famous books.

Chapter Practice Exam
Test your knowledge of this chapter with a 30 question practice chapter exam.
Not Taken
Practice Final Exam
Test your knowledge of the entire course with a 50 question practice final exam.
Not Taken

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