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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.
-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
Histories...-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
Nonfiction...-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