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Top Ten Books I Wish Were Taught In Schools
This week, we actually had a choice of pairing ten contemporary books with 10 classics, or ten books we wanted to see taught in schools. I decided to go for the books I wish were taught in schools…with a twist of course. I found that a lot of the books I went for could go well in a high school or a college classroom, depending on what you wanted to discuss and study. Also, I wish these books were required reading in school!
- Percy Jackson by Rick Riordan. I know he has a couple other mythology-inspired series, but I haven’t read them, so Percy Jackson will have to do. Because I think his books would be great for a unit on mythology.
- Harry Potter. Where do I even start with Harry Potter? Good and evil, family isn’t necessarily people you’re related to, the fact that J.K. Rowling drew from a lot of different things that have popped up in the series.
- A Mighty Long Way by Carlotta Walls LaNier and Warriors Don’t Cry by Melba Patillo Beals. I’m putting these two memoirs together because they highlight what it was like to be part of the Little 9 Rock. I know I would have loved reading their memoirs as a high school student, and to see what they had to fight for would totally bring the civil rights movement to life.
- The Hunger Games. I feel like there’s a lot to discuss here- like the difference between the districts and the capitol (to start). It’s also great to pair with a classic dystopian novel, but it works well on its own too. (And 1984, while pretty easy to understand, made a hell of a lot more sense after reading a bunch of YA dystopic novels).
- Delirium by Lauren Oliver. Another series that could generate some discussion. One of my favorite things about Delirium is the idea that love is considered an illness, and that could be a good starting point for how things can become a disease and the stigma attached to certain things (like mental illness). Also, it would be fun to read.
- Dystopic novels. I know I’ve mentioned a couple already, and that this pick is pretty broad. But generally speaking, there’s so much to talk about with them. Whether it’s in high school (in conjunction with 1984 or another book) or college (i mean, they are perfect for sociology classes, amongst others), they are just begging to be taught!
- Witch Child by Celia Rees. This book would be perfect for a unit on the Salem Witch Trials. Or anything where you’re talking about intolerance of others, but it really is a perfect tie-in to the Salem Witch Trials.
- Historical fiction. I know it’s pretty broad, and that I’ve already mentioned one or two historical-ish books, but it’s a great way to bring history to life. Also, I’m in a historical fiction kind of mood this week, and can’t decide on which books to pick. There are so many you go with, depending on what you’re teaching.
- Beauty Queens by Libba Bray. This is my fun pick. Not that the others aren’t fun to read, because they are, and I’m sure you could have some interesting/serious discussions about things in Beauty Queens, like pop culture.
- Cinder by Marissa Meyer. Cinder would be a great book for teaching fairy tales and how there are different versions of the same story.