7 Must-Read Books Like The Grapes of Wrath

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Reading the Grapes of Wrath during the Depression-era in America is like visiting an alternate universe. Set in a time where money was scarce and people were struggling just to make ends meet, Steinbeck’s novel takes us on a journey that is both terrifying and beautiful. The characters in this story are poor farmers who struggle to feed their families during the Great Depression.

If you’ve already read this book and are searching for books like The Grapes of Wrath, then take this books list. I have found seven books that share many similarities with The Grapes of Wrath.

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The Grapes of Wrath Summary

The Grapes of Wrath paints a picture of what life was like for many Americans during this time: unemployment, hunger, fear, and death were daily occurrences. Grapes of Wrath is a historical novel that takes place in the Great Depression. It tells the story of a family who emigrates from Oklahoma to California to look for work and better their lives. 

The Grapes of Wrath book
Image from @bookish.blueberry

The story highlights issues such as immigration, poverty, corporate influence, and the loss of human dignity during this period. Steinbeck has given readers an insightful look into life on the margins of society–a timely subject even today. Also, this is a great book for character development.

Books Like The Grapes of Wrath

These books similar to The Grapes of Wrath and written by some great authors like John Steinbeck.

Book NameAuthor/Authors NameGenre
Lord of the FliesWilliam GoldingAllegory
The Catcher in the RyeJ.D. SalingerBildungsroman,
First-person narrative
The Old Man and the SeaErnest HemingwayAllegory,
To Kill a MockingbirdHarper Leecoming-of-age story, Bildungsroman
The Adventures of Huckleberry FinnMark TwainAdventure fiction, Bildungsroman
One Hundred Years of SolitudeGabriel García MárquezMagical Realism,
Epic Fiction
The Adventures of Tom SawyerMark TwainSatire,
Adventure fiction

1. Lord of the Flies, by William Golding

You are probably familiar with the classic literary Lord of the Flies written by William Golding. Written in 1954, it tells the story of a group of British schoolboys stranded on an island where they must fight for survival. The novel is an allegory about humanity and its inevitable descent into savagery. 

This book shows a unique way to look at human nature and how society creates both monsters and saviors. Undoubtedly, this is one of the staple books to read after finishing The Grapes of Wrath .

2. The Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger

Everyone remembers The Catcher in the Rye. It was J.D Salinger’s first novel, published in 1951, and is often considered a “coming of age” story that captures the youthful angst of Holden Caulfield as he tries to find his place in life. This book is the perfect novel for someone who likes to read books about nostalgia and relatability, which it presents in a candid way. To read The Catcher in The Rye Similar Books, check this list.

3. The Old Man and the Sea, by Ernest Hemingway

The story follows Santiago’s journey of struggling against nature while also being confronted with the stresses of everyday life, death looming around every corner. 

This book will take you on a journey that starts with hope and ends with defeat, but along the way provides some powerful lessons on finding true meanings of our lives. If you like The Grapes of Wrath, this book will hook you till the end. if you’re looking for The Old Man And The Sea Similar Books, then you can check this list.

4. To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee

To Kill A Mockingbird has become not only one of the most well-known classic novels in American literature, but one that has sold over 30 million copies and been translated into 40 languages. 

It follows the trial of an innocent black man in a Southern town in 1935 in which racism prevails. The book explores racism, poverty, corruption, power struggles, and individual moral choices with honesty and heart.

5. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain

The book shows Hucks personal growth while struggling to survive on his own. He starts out as a naïve young boy who has led a sheltered life, but he matures into a compassionate young man that has learned what it means to be part of society. 

This is one of the best pieces of American literature and has been translated into many different languages all over the world. Without a doubt, this is one of the must-read books like Grapes of Wrath on this list.

6. One Hundred Years of Solitude, by Gabriel García Márquez

The story of a Buendia family over one hundred years in Latin America is told through many perspectives. But do not worry. This novel is easy to follow because each person shares information about what happened to them or their families. The family’s life is marked by many extraordinary events, including love, death, injustice, mystery, intrigue, and adventure. 

In that book, García Márquez paints a dark picture of life in Colombia during the early 20th century, when love, passion, ambition, and revenge ruled everything. Undoubtedly, one of the staple books similar to Grapes of Wrath in this list.

7. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, by Mark Twain

This is a fascinating story of the misadventures of young Tom Sawyer. The book also presents an interesting example of dealing with bullies and peer pressure in life. It also depicts some good habits and values, which could help readers make better decisions in their own lives. This book is appealing to many ages because it fits into the curriculum developed by educational institutes. 

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Final Words

The Grapes of Wrath is a book that has been widely acclaimed for its poignant portrayal of the plight of the farmers during the Great Depression. While it was written in 1939, it continues to be relevant today as many people are still struggling with economic hardship. 

This list aims to provide you with a selection of books like The Grapes of Wrath that will help you understand how different issues can affect your life. 

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