The reading level of the novel "A Lesson Before Dying" is between ninth and 12th grade, according to the California Learning Resource Center. The book meets many of the English language arts Common Core content requirements for eighth through 12th grade students.
Released in 1993, "A Lesson Before Dying" is Ernest J. Gaines' eighth novel. It revolves around the last days of Jefferson, a falsely imprisoned black man in the fictional town of Bayonne, Louisiana, during the Jim Crow era. The novel won the National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction in 1993 and was a 1997 Oprah's Book Club choice.