John Steinbeck’s fable of greed, envy, and corruption, The Pearl is essential reading for high school students. The Pearl is the tragic story of Kino, his mate Juana, and their child Coyotito, poor Indian inhabitants of a small Mexican town. A pearl diver, Kino finds a spectacular specimen that he imagines will secure treatment for Baby Coyotito, who has been stung by a scorpion. Unsuccessful when he tries to exact a fair price from unscrupulous pearl buyers, Kino is attacked by greedy villagers. Juana tries to throw the pearl back into the sea, but is forcibly prevented by Kino. Kino is later attacked by robbers, with deadly consequences, but manages to return to town, where he finds his home is on fire. Attempting to reach the capital city to sell the pearl, the family is eventually hunted down and attacked. A bullet kills Coyotito, and Kino finally recognizes the pearl’s evil symbolization. Kino and Juana throw the pearl back into the sea, returning to La Paz, mourning their son. This enduring fable and pointed social critique is beautifully written and timeless.