As always, Top Ten Tuesday is brought to you by my other blog, The Broke and the Bookish, and the letter Z. Because I am rather fond of the letter Z.
For this list I’m envisioning books that I would want to see maybe required to read in a school setting where there could be some great discussion on some of these books that have some tougher issues or some easily discussable themes. I think that some of these would just be great additions to the required reading for the fact that they might just really be enjoyable for teen’s and keep their attention.
1. The Book Thief — I think everybody in the WORLD should read this but I especially this this would be a great addition to any required reading list and it would really be one that could grab reluctant readers. I’d also recommend I Am The Messenger.
2. The Outsiders– I loved this book when I read it in high school and again when I read it in college. I think that it explores a lot of issues despite how short it is. I’d love to maybe find a book similar to this that is a little more modern for teens but I think this still works well…although I think the culture of the greasers and what not would be lost on a lot of these teens who haven’t seen Grease. We all knew about Grease from our parents and watched it countless times….at least in my family.
3. Speak — Without a doubt, every teen should read this and talk about it. So many things to talk about and rape is something that tends to get pushed to the side. This book starts the discussion and I think it would be a valuable experience for teens.
4. Thirteen Reasons Why — This one would be ideal in a classroom setting where it could be discussed since it is pretty weighty and controversial. I think aside from the “think how you treat people” lesson there are numerous lessons to be learned from this book that could really help some teens.
5. To Kill A Mockingbird – This should never ever be taken off any curriculum. I want my kids to be required to read this and if they aren’t..I will read it with them at home. One of my favorite books that I read in school..and just in general.
6. The Curious Incident of Dog in the Night Time– I think this would be such a unique novel for teens to read in school. I don’t have any really concrete reasons why but I just think it would be. I thought that after the moment I read it.
7.Handmaid’s Tale/ 1984: Have to throw in a dystopian classic novel here. I read 1984 in school and DEVOURED it. I remember that the discussion was always interesting. Definitely a required reading selection that I will always agree with.
8. The Secret Life Of Bees– I think that this is definitely a crossover that would appeal to high school students. I think with the backdrop of this novel being the Civil Rights Movement it could be a good tie-in to those history lessons about that era and perhaps bring in some text from that time for them to sample. I remember we watched MLK’s speech in English class. I can’t remember what book we had to read that tied-in but I will always remember listening to that speech. Lots of great themes to explore and watching the movie could be an added bonus.
9. The Perks Of Being A Wallflower – I had been searching for this before to see if it was part of any curriculms after having a discussion with a friend about the teachability of the book and how we both could see it being a good one in a classroom. I had found a teacher who was teaching it in his sophomore English class and the discussion questions that he used were excellent! Definitely a controversial book but I remember so many of the books in high school being that way. Nothing wrong with a little thinking about tough issues that people don’t like to talk about. What a better way to have that discussion with a fictional story.
10. The Hunger Games — Not only do I think there are some kickass themes to talk about in this book, it would be appeal to guys and girls and has a plot that certainly doesn’t drag which was my complaint about some of the selections I had to read as a high schooler. I needed a mix of things that were just slow moving and beautiful to read and then something that wasn’t a major Snorezilla.
Others: Hamlet, Lucky by Alice Sebold, The Glass Castle, Cry! The Beloved Country, Crank
What about you? What books do you think teens should read or would be a great addition to a curriculum? What do you think makes a GOOD required reading book in a classroom setting?