LISTEN to the audiobook:
Read by Ray Hagen
(another link to the same reading)

J. D. Salinger Information
A clear and short biography of Salinger in found on a "Books and Writers" page.

German Catcher-lover Bernd Wahlbrinck's dense website devoted to the novel has just about everything you need in a study guide, including a robust list of Catcher-related websites.

The Catcher in the Rye Book Index is a terrific resource that lists the page numbers for each character, idea, theme, or topic mentioned in the novel.

“Slight Rebellion Off Madison”--the 1946 New Yorker short story where the character Holden first appears (digital view of the 12/21/46 issue)

Read “I’m Crazy”--which appeared in Colliers in December, 1945, a story that was reworked to become part of Catcher

Go to JSTOR , then type in the username and password (obtained from the school library) before you search for any topics of interest. 

“Get a Life, Holden Caulfield” (Jennifer Schuessler)--NY Times article on Holden’s loss of relevance to today’s readers.

 Slate Magazine’s Audio Book Club
on Catcher.  (Good to listen to after reading the novel.)

Louis Menand (in The New Yorker), 
“Holden at Fifty--The Catcher in the Rye and What It Spawned”

Bernard S. Oldsey, “The Movies in the Rye”

Clinton Trowbridge, “The Symbolic Structure of The Catcher in the Rye”

Helen Frangedis, “Dealing with the Controversial Elements in The Catcher in the Rye.” (this essay can’t be viewed fully yet)

Tim Aubrey’s, “The Catcher in the Rye:  The Voice of Alienation”

Edwin Haviland Miller’s “In Memoriam:  Allie Caulfield in The Catcher in the Rye”

The Internet Public Library Online page has some online criticism, but some of the links require passwords or are no longer active.

The Articles Page from has links to reviews and articles about the novel and the author.

The Digested Classic:  The Catcher in the Rye in five minutes--an interesting British summary of the novel--in 5 minutes

Yale Professor Amy Hungerford lectures
on Salinger’s Franny and Zooey

[Francis Church’s response to Virginia]

J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye


Pre-reading Webquest (doc)

Letter to Virginia (doc)

Two examples (Reinstein)

Reading Questions  (doc)


Creative Pictures from Chs. 5-8 (2015-16)




Digital Quotation Index Cards (docx)

Pre-writing:  Brainstorm/Freewrite

Steps toward a Thesis (doc)

[Contains thesis templates and model paragraphs]

Thesis Templates (doc)

Outline Examples (doc)

Quotation Index Cards (doc) (2013-2014)

Presenting Quotations


        Graphic Organizer (doc)

        Step-by-Step Essay Format (doc)

[Reinstein’s Letters to Virginia]


[All of the attached essays are protected by Turnitin.  Read them for organization, style, and/or content.  If there is content from any essay that you use in your own writing--be sure to cite the paper in a parenthetical comment.]

Sample Introductions ( doc )

Seven sample essays

More Sample Essays (including teacher comments)

A      Jane

A-     the ducks

B+     taxis/transportation

B       Adulthood

B-      Jane

From Previous Years

Catcher Vocabulary

(plus some Romeo and Juliet words)

BoardNotes (2013-2014)


Creative Writing

Final Analytical Essay Assign. (2013-14) (doc)

Final Essay (2012-2013)

The Catcher in the Rye Essential Questions
More than fifty years after its publication, does The Catcher in the Rye still speak to contemporary teenagers?

What do you think of Holden’s voice in his telling the story?  Is it authentic?  How can an author succeed in creating an authentic voice?

What do you make of all of Holden’s seemingly unrelated digressions in his story?

What does it mean to “come of age”? And what is the significance of the following statement?  “The mark of the immature man is that he wants to die nobly for a cause, while the mark of the mature man is that he wants to live humbly for one.”  (Austrian psychologist, Wilhelm Stekel, noted student of Sigmund Freud)  What is Holden’s cause?

What is the role of symbolism in literature?

Learning Goals--Big Ideas:  Students will be able to
make a persuasive argument for or against the relevance of The Catcher in the Rye to today’s teenagers;

identify and create aspects of unique voice in the telling of a story by a first-person narrator;

analyze in discussion and writing seemingly unrelated narratives (digressions) for their thematic value to the story.  (While the narrator may digress, the author may not:  everything must work to serve the story.);

identify specific events in the narrative that lead to Holden’s personal growth in the novel;

identify and discuss symbols and motifs significant to the story.
Listen to Ed Miller’s version of Robert Burns’s “Comin’ Thro the Rye.”