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I Have An 11th-Grade High School Student This School Year!
I’m absolutely amazed at the lack of required reading any more in the school system. I remember having read at least 3-4 award-winning books every year along with having to write at least a 5-page report for the books. Some of the books that my son has read over the past few years, I remember reading and actually ending up purchasing at library book sales, because they were that awesome. I wish schools would get back to that time again. Simple, reading, understanding, composition, and just overall great books!
I talked a couple weeks ago about how summer is creeping up on us and low and behold, summer vacation is officially here. At least for our school district.
I think I’ve already gained at least 30 new gray hairs in the past 2 weeks. My kids are at each other’s throats and I’m resisting the urge to grab them by theirs….totally kidding… I only think about doing that in my dreams… yeah, we’ll go with that.
Like I said in my previous post (15 Books for Your Middle Schooler to Read this Summer), we try to have our boys read at least one book each month from the back wall at our library. Most of the books back on the wall are classics that came out more than 25 years ago.
Yes, The Classics Are 25+ Years Old… I Guess That Makes Me A Classic Model!
There are so many books on that wall that I remember from high school as required reading. My oldest son for the past 2 years has probably only read 2 required books. Instead of reading the books now, they show the movie. Which I’m not 100% opposed to. Just watch the movies AFTER reading the books. Books always tell everything anyway. The movies tend to leave out the good parts, or important parts.
By the way, I am totally writing this as the boys are sitting on their butts on couches on their iPhone and Xbox One… Yay, parenting award does NOT go to me!
I’ve compiled a list of 15 Fantastic Books to Read Before Graduating from High School. Of course, you can pick and choose for your kids, but these are all great classics.
Insightful, bold, irreverent, and raw, The Fault in Our Stars is award-winning-author John Green’s most ambitious and heartbreaking work yet, brilliantly exploring the funny, thrilling, and tragic business of being alive and in love.
In its internalization of the action—the focus is on the gradual unfolding of Jane’s moral and spiritual sensibility, and all the events are colored by a heightened intensity that was previously the domain of poetry—Jane Eyre revolutionized the art of fiction. Charlotte Brontë has been called the ‘first historian of the private consciousness’ and the literary ancestor of writers like Joyce and Proust. The novel contains elements of social criticism, with a strong sense of morality at its core, but is nonetheless a novel many consider ahead of its time given the individualistic character of Jane and the novel’s exploration of classism, sexuality, religion, and proto-feminism.
Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives alone with her mother and younger sister, regards it as a death sentence when she is forced to represent her district in the Games. The terrain, rules, and level of audience participation may change but one thing is constant: kill or be killed.
Katniss Everdeen has won the annual Hunger Games with fellow district tribute Peeta Mellark. But it was a victory won by defiance of the Capitol and their harsh rules. Katniss and Peeta should be happy. After all, they have just won for themselves and their families a life of safety and plenty. But there are rumors of rebellion among the subjects, and Katniss and Peeta, to their horror, are the faces of that rebellion. The Capitol is angry. The Capitol wants revenge.
Katniss Everdeen, the girl on fire, has survived, even though her home has been destroyed. There are rebels. There are new leaders. A revolution is unfolding. District 13 has come out of the shadows and is plotting to overthrow the Capitol. Though she’s long been a part of the revolution, Katniss hasn’t known it. Now it seems that everyone has had a hand in the carefully laid plans but her.
The success of the rebellion hinges on Katniss’s willingness to be a pawn, to accept responsibility for countless lives, and to change the course of the future of Panem. To do this, she must put aside her feelings of anger and distrust. She must become the rebels’ Mockingjay – no matter what the cost.
Publicly disgraced and ostracized, Hester Prynne draws on her inner strength and certainty of spirit to emerge as the first true heroine of American fiction. Arthur Dimmesdale, trapped by the rules of society, stands as a classic study of a self-divided.
Through their parallel experience of love—and its threatened loss—the sisters learn that sense must mix with sensibility if they are to find personal happiness in a society where status and money govern the rules of love.
The Ugly Duchess, the Mad Hatter, the weeping Mock Turtle, the diabolical Queen of Hearts, the Cheshire Cat–each more eccentric than the last–could only have come from that master of sublime nonsense, Lewis Carroll.
In penning this brilliant burlesque of children’s literature, Carroll has written a farcical satire of rigid Victorian society, an arresting parody of the fears, anxieties, and complexities of growing up.
He proceeds to exact a terrible revenge for his former miseries. The action of the story is chaotic and unremittingly violent, but the accomplished handling of a complex structure, the evocative descriptions of the lonely moorland setting and the poetic grandeur of vision combine to make this unique novel a masterpiece of English literature.
His millions made, Gatsby buys a mansion across Long Island Sound from Daisy’s patrician East Egg address, throws lavish parties, and waits for her to appear. When she does, events unfold with all the tragic inevitability of a Greek drama, with detached, cynical neighbor Nick Carraway acting as chorus throughout. Spare, elegantly plotted, and written in crystalline prose, The Great Gatsby is as perfectly satisfying as the best kind of poem. –This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
In 1942, with Nazis occupying Holland, a thirteen-year-old Jewish girl and her family fled their home in Amsterdam and went into hiding. For the next two years, until their whereabouts were betrayed to the Gestapo, they and another family lived cloistered in the “Secret Annex” of an old office building. Cut off from the outside world, they faced hunger, boredom, the constant cruelties of living in confined quarters, and the ever-present threat of discovery and death.
In her diary, Anne Frank recorded vivid impressions of her experiences during this period. By turns thoughtful, moving, and amusing, her account offers a fascinating commentary on human courage and frailty and a compelling self-portrait of a sensitive and spirited young woman whose promise was tragically cut short.
Compassionate, dramatic, and deeply moving, To Kill A Mockingbird takes readers to the roots of human behavior – to innocence and experience, kindness and cruelty, love and hatred, humor and pathos. Now with over 18 million copies in print and translated into forty languages, this regional story by a young Alabama woman claims universal appeal. Harper Lee always considered her book to be a simple love story. Today it is regarded as a masterpiece of American literature.
For Mr. Bilbo Baggins visited various notable persons; conversed with the dragon, Smaug the Magnificent; and was present, rather unwillingly, at the Battle of the Five Armies. This is all the more remarkable since he was a hobbit. Hobbits have hitherto been passed over in history and legend, perhaps because they, as a rule, preferred comfort to excitement. But this account, based on his personal memoirs, of the one exciting year in the otherwise quiet life of Mr. Baggins will give you a fair idea of the estimable people now (it is said) becoming rather rare. They do not like noise.”
Liesel scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can’t resist–books. With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, she learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement before he is marched to Dachau.
‘Civil Disobedience’, expressing his antislavery and antiwar sentiments, has influenced nonviolent resistance movements worldwide. Michael Meyer’s introduction points out that Walden is not so much an autobiographical study as a ‘shining example’ of Transcendental individualism. So, too, ‘Civil Disobedience’ is less a call to political activism than a statement of Thoreau’s insistence on living a life of principle.
Renowned literary critic and historian George Saintsbury in 1894 declared it the “most perfect, the most characteristic, the most eminently quintessential of its author’s works,” and Eudora Welty in the twentieth century described it as “irresistible and as nearly flawless as any fiction could be.”
No one can deny the novel’s hold on the imaginations of whole generations, or the power of its admonitions -a power that seems to grow, not lessen, with the passage of time.
I always find something that I didn’t understand the last time and understand it more each time I read one of these books. These are just a few of my favorite books that I’ve grown to love, hate and some I also have this love-hate relationship with.
Has Your High Schooler Read Any Of These Books Yet? Have You?
Which Are Their Favorites? Which Are Yours?