It’s Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by the wonderful blog at The Broke and the Bookish!
This week’s topic: Top Ten Books That You Wish Were Taught In Schools
Okay, so I’m going to go a bit off-topic (hey, what else is new) and combine two things: Books I Wish Were Taught as Required Reading (which some places they might actually already) and Books I Actually Enjoyed As Required Reading in School.
These may read as a list of some of my favorite books, yes, but I also think teens can get some really good messages & feelings from these books!
I also had a rant (over a year ago! Can you believe it!?) about how I did NOT do well with required reading in high school and how it really turned me off for reading until I got back into Harry Potter and yes, I admit it, Twilight. (See? You can judge Twilight all you want but it brought me back to reading! You can’t hate it that much.)
Also, I totally forgot about Code Name Verity!!! That should probably be number one. WHOOPS!
If I Stay (If I Stay #1) – Gayle Forman
Grave Mercy (His Fair Assassin #1) – Robin LaFevers
The Book of Broken Hearts – Sarah Ockler
45 Pounds (More or Less) – K.A. Barson
Confessions of an Angry Girl (Confessions #1) – Louise Rozett
And I also wanted to give a quick shout-out to pretty much the only books I enjoyed when I was in school… For some reason I enjoyed reading but the required books were ROUGH and I didn’t have an attention span for books I wasn’t into.
1. DON JUAN TENORIO was a book — a play, actually — that we read as part of one of my Spanish classes in college. We read it out loud IN SPANISH and it was actually kind of a blast. The language was a bit tricky at times because this is 1800s Spanish so the wording is a bit old, but.. Okay, think of Jose Zorilla as a Spanish Shakespeare. This play was actually really funny and a great comedy!
2. DECLINE AND FALL was another “fun” read, which is apparently key to me enjoying required reading books. It’s basically satire and making fun of the high society of the 1920s. It was actually a lot of fun… And I think this was part of my 20th Century British Writers class which was just a fun class because I had an awesome teacher.
3. WHOSE BODY is a mystery that may or may not have sparked the mystery reader in me. I don’t think I had read much before that and I’m pretty sure I went to go check out other mysteries after this book!
4. HEART OF DARKNESS. Not a book I think I would normally pick out for myself, but again… 20th Century British Writers, excellent professor, taught the book extremely well. I don’t remember much of what I actually “learned from it”, but hey, I came off with a positive outlook! That counts, right?
5. A SEPARATE PEACE is pretty much the only required reading book I remember liking aside from the ones I just mentioned from my 20th Century British Writers class. There were a couple others that were “okay” like The Great Gatsby, A Farewell to Arms (okay, that was actually more boring than I’m leading on…), Dandelion Wine, etc. But I actually enjoyed A SEPARATE PEACE. Do I remember what it’s about? Not a clue. Something about Finny, I think they were on a swim team? And I remember the OMG moment, but that’s about it. Maybe the OMG moment shocked me enough into bumping up its rating (I really tend to do that with books) but either way… About the only book I read in regular English classes that I remember enjoying!