what are good american literature books to be taught and why?

what are good american literature books to be taught and why?
i need to write an essay showing a good american literature book to be taught for a course. im not really into american literature so i dont really know any good ones that would engage college students and be a good candidate to be taught in a amlit class…

so what and why? thanks in advance!

The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne is one of my favourites. (Although the 42 page prologue was completely unnessicary. It makes perfect sense without it!)
I find it really interesting because the novel centres around a young woman, Hester Prynne, during the time of Puritan society in Boston. Hester has commited the crime of having a child with a man whom is not her husband. (adultery.) Instead of being put to death, which is the usual punishment, she has to wear a “scarlet” A upon her bosom and stand upon a scaffold for all to see. For this crime and the letter’s announcing it, she and her child, Pearl, are scorned by the public. And, through it all, Hester protects the man who commited the act with her. That’s the reason why I like it so much. Hester is such a strong character; willing to protect someone, even though all it will get her is trouble.
It’s overall a great book and even if you don’t do it for your class, you should read it. Although, it takes some thought to actually like it. After I first finished it, I wasn’t crazy about it, but after reading a bit about it and talking about it, it became very likeable to me. (That’s why it would be so good in a class in my opinion.)