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Back to School time! Create a reading list for the imaginary English Lit class you’ll be teaching this semester.
Okay, so I’ve said this a few times in other posts, but I’m not a real fan of assigned reading. I mean, I understand that it has to happen in school, but at the same time, I think it takes away the joy of reading; being told what to read, how much to read, when to read, and then knowing you’ll have to write and analyze that book to pieces. So, this isn’t a list of required reading, or anything. It’s just a list of books that I think high school teens would enjoy, and also books that I think teens could get something out of. Some of the books are issue novels, and others are just amazing stories. Also, I’m steering clear of the classics - those books that are on most literature class reading lists. These books are just recommendations.
1. Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
Of course, this is a good book for everyone to read because of what it is about, but moreover, it’s a wonderful book, and I think it helps people see that things aren’t always what they seem. Or actually, that they rarely are what they seem.
2. Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
This book shows how even things that you think are small, can mean so much to another person. And it’s an amazing story, as well.
3. Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein
I think this would be great for older high schoolers to read because not only is it a wonderful story, it shares a bit about history, and also shows some really strong women.
4. Charles and Emma: The Darwins’ Leap of Faith by Deborah Heiligman
This is a YA biography about the Darwins. This does talk a bit of history, and science, of course, but it also shows how two people with hugely different religious beliefs can not only get along, they can love each other, and make a life together.
5. Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli
So kids know they can embrace people for who they are. Different doesn’t mean bad, am I right?
6. Bomb: The Race to Build – and Steal – the World’s Most Dangerous Weapon by Steve Sheinkin
This book is a nonfiction story about the Atomic bomb. So the kids learn lots of history, but also this book is written how nonfiction should be written. History can be fun, and full of suspense.
7. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
There is so much to love about this one. Plus, it’s really funny at times, too. I think kids would love this.
Okay, so as I put together this list, I started to feel very preachy. I think it’s so important not to preach to kids (or anyone for that matter). I also chose these books because I think they are just amazing, and that they would really make readers think differently about things.
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