Our Masterpieces...Err, Our Novels

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

RTW: Required Reading List

Reading Song of the Day: "Part of the List" by Ne-Yo

It's Wednesday...and we are counting down the day until the freaking weekend! But, in the mean time, we're going road tripping with our budding from YA Highway.

This week they want us to discuss books! We couldn't be any more excited. The topic is:

In high school, teens are made to read the classics - Shakespeare, Hawthorne, Bronte, Dickens - but there are a lot of books out there never taught in schools. So if you had the power to change school curriculums, which books would you be sure high school students were required to read?

*Squee* We could talk about this alllll day. In fact, we did a post about creating our own YA Master Class and what books we'd have students read here. But, we digress. Back on topic, if we could create our own list of required reading for teens, this is what we'd include:

* Crank by Ellen Hopkins

WHY? Because she merges two great styles of literature: poetry and prose. And she does it BRILLIANTLY. This book can be used to teach units on effective fiction techniques, as well as poetry techniques. Winning!

* Looking for Alaska by John Green

WHY? Because the novel is a great tool for teaching climax and character development. As a matter of fact, all of Green's books are great for teaching these concepts. Can't go wrong with Green!

* Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson

WHY? This book is all about the teenage struggle of finding their voice and using it. We think teens can learn a lot of valuable life lessons from this novel.

* The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins

WHY? To make students better understand plot and pacing. Collins is PERFECT at these two aspects of writing.

* The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger

WHY? There's no better book to use for teaching voice. Seriously.

* Divergent by Veronica Roth

WHY? This novel is probably THE best book to use to teach all of the important elements of literature: plot, character, climax, pacing, etc. BUT at the same time, it's a fun and exciting read. It's guaranteed to have boys just as interested as the girls.

* And we'd keep: To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe, Lord of the Flies by William Golding, and All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque

WHY? Because some classics are still relatable and they stand the test of time. We feel that modern teens can still gain insight from reading these novels and each one can teach an aspect of studying literature.

DONE! You tell us, what else would you add to a required reading list??


Jaime Morrow said...

Such a great list! Hunger Games is on my (and almost everyone else's too) list as well :)

Sara McClung said...

What a good list! There are some common themes in today's posts--lots of reminders about books I've wanted to read for a long time, but haven't done yet! (Crank, Looking for Alaska!)

Rebecca B said...

I should've added some Salinger to my list.
And I agree that Hunger Games and Looking for Alaska would be great in the classroom.

Katy said...

Awesome choices, ladies! Glad you included Divergent... one of my favorites of this year!