"Outside a dog a book is man's best friend, inside a dog it is too dark to read!" -Groucho Marx========="The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid." -Jane Austen========="I don’t believe in the kind of magic in my books. But I do believe something very magical can happen when you read a good book."-JK Rowling========"I spend a lot of time reading." -Bill Gates=========“Ahhh. Bed, book, kitten, sandwich. All one needed in life, really.” -Jacqueline Kelly=========

Monday, July 18, 2011

Books that Should Be Required Reading for Teens

Hosted by the Broke and Bookish
Books that Should Be Required Reading for Teens

On Overcoming Racism...
-To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee...even though this book has been on the required reading list for most high schools for the past fifty years, it deserves its spot on the list.
-The Help by Kathryn Stocket...set in the deep South during the Civil Rights era
-The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian by Sherman Alexie...a Native American student leaves the reservation to attend school and doesn't really fit in either world.

On technology...
-Feed by M.T. Anderson...this book is all about consumerism and technology run amok. It is an important topic for teens to consider and discuss together.
-1984 by George Orwell paired with its modern retelling, Little Brother by Cory Doctorow, for a look at current technology uses that are really "big brother-ish".
-The Hitch-hiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams...just because it is hilarious!

On censorship and book banning...
-Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury...book banning to its extreme
-Sledding Hill by Chris Crutcher...a modern look at censorship

Dystopian Societies...(Cautionary tales!)
-The Handmaids Tale by Margaret Atwood
-Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

-The Book Thief by Markus Zusak...set during WWII
-The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver...the detriments of colonialism in Africa

-The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain...the great American Novel!!!
-The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald...the beginning of the Jazz era
-Casey at the Bat by Ernest Thayer...poem about baseball... http://youtu.be/X-2lXQQcXb8

On Growing Up...
-Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson or 13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher...books on dealing with tough topics.
-Lord of the Flies by William Golding...disturbing look at negative peer pressure.
-Staying Fat for Sarah Brynes by Chris Crutcher...accepting people who are different
-The Summer of My German Soldier by Bette Green...belonging and acceptance
-The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton...finding one self

-Night by Ellie Weisel...WWII holocaust
-The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass: An American Slave by Frederick Douglass

-Odyssey and Iliad by Homer
-The Divine Comedy by Dante
-Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen...not as a required read for school, "but just so that girls can see that romantic men existed before Edward Cullen." -quote from my daughter, Carly


  1. You have a fantastic list there and I love the way you have split it up. I have read most of these books and loved them. A few are on my TR list.

  2. Wow wonderful list. I have some of the same books on mine. I have not read The Sledding Hill but am a huge fan of Chris Crutcher and almost added Crazy Horse Electric Game, which is one of my favs by him. Also thought about Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes.

  3. Love your lists and categories! We really need to pick up The Help. Movie's coming out soon!

  4. Awesome book choices. I am having a great time reading this particular list on various blogs! I also will include Speak, Hunger Games, and Sherman Alexie!

  5. Great categories (I did a similar thing)! I loved The Handmaid's Tale as a teen- I can't believe I don't own it.

  6. This is great list! I have a few on my TBR that I need to get to. Looking forward to it!

    Thanks for sharing :)

  7. I haven't read some of these so I can't voice an opinion on some but I agree with you on most of them. All but Lord of the Flies. Sorry, it wasn't a favorite. I love what you're daughter says about Austen. LOL. So true.

  8. I love how you've organized your list and that you've come up with more than 10 again. We have some of the same books, but your list is definitely more exhaustive. :)

  9. +JMJ+

    Your daughter Carly is very smart! But you already knew that, right? ;-)

    And I'm so pleased to see Homer, Dante and Shakespeare on your list! =D

  10. I like how you grouped your list. I need to catch up reading some of these titles myself! Definitely love hitchhiker!

  11. What a wonderful, wonderful list, Anne! And I love the way you've organized it. It's obvious you're a librarian - this is such an exhaustive list! I was intrigued by the topic but didn't have the energy to make my own list, so I am enjoying yours.

    I agree with all of your list that I am familiar with, and I must look into the few I haven't heard of before!


  12. I read several of these in high school for classes. 1984 scared the tar out of me, and pretty much cemented my dislike of dystopian literature. Great mix of old and new books, nice list. Happy reading!

  13. Well thought out. I like that you divided it into categories. Impressive list. My high school English teacher had a list of 100 books every high school student should read. At once point I was working my way through them (a mimeographed hand written list...I know, I'm dating myself.) I know I still have that list somewhere. For a long time I carried it in my wallet. Some day I'll find it...

  14. I like the categories. I think some of them overlap a little. I really loved dystopian books as a teenager myself. I think that teens get really into thinking about the different possible futures.

    Come visit me at The Scarlet Letter.

  15. You wowed me! Excellent list. Love the categories, too!

  16. I am so incredibly glad to see Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes on this list--I read it last fall semester for my YA class and fell in love. It is an important book...and I think instead of being banned, it ought to be required!

  17. Good call on The Poisonwood Bible. Definitely a good read for teenagers trying to learn about the world (and I loved it too!)

  18. Good call on The Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy. That is my favorite series of all time and it is sad how many people do not know it!


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