This book is a response to a need for English language readings for classroom use that are both immediately interesting to students and more manageable for teachers who prefer to accomplish objectives in blocks of class time (approximately one hour) without unnecessary entensions that can jeopardize student interest and performance. The exercises and activities that accompany each literary text or excerpt herein are designed to be specific and efficient in generating the application and practice of the language skills being learned. The general educational objectives are rather straightforward and basic. This book is designed to be used with students of English at Advanced and Upper Intermediate levels. Intended as a learning tool, it contains short stories and excerpts from American literary works carefully chosen and presented in order to increasing difficulty. We expect this will foster early involvement and a growing appreciation of literature. The book is divided into two distinct sections, each with its own teaching focus; accordingly, two different heading styles are used.