Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week was a Back To School Freebie! Since I’m in school for Secondary Education in English, I thought I’d try listing top ten books I feel like should be included in school curriculum that aren’t already (or at least I was never assigned them).
Top Ten Books Should be Read in School That I Never Did
- The Red Magician by Lisa Goldstein
This would be a great introduction for students beginning to study the Holocaust in history. It makes
- Of Bone and Thunder by Chris Evans
Though a fantasy novel, it is SO reminiscent of the Vietnam War that it would be a great book for students to read, not just alongside learning about the Vietnam War, but learning about Imperialism in general.
- Nest by Esther Ehrlich
A great coming of age novel for middle graders that shows how easily life can change and that they need to learn to adapt and that making friends outside of your comfort zone isn’t always a bad thing.
- A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness
This book is absolutely devastating and I think, though it has graphics, would be well suited for grades 8 and up. It deals with the harsh world of life and death and lets children know it’s okay that to be resentful and angry at unfair situations and people. You can’t control emotions and to do so only hurts you.
- The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
Now, I’ve read plenty of John Steinbeck in class, but had to read The Grapes of Wrath on my own. It is such a powerful book, this needs to be read as an accompaniment to any history course on the Dust Bowl and the Great Depression.
- Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
An exceptional book that would introduce critical thinking to an advanced class of readers on what makes a person a person. Are you human regardless of creation?
- The Sunlight Pilgrims by Jenni Fagan
I loved this one and included it in the list because it shows lgbtqia* inclusivity, while also having a bit of an American Gothic feel, even though it takes place in Scotland. It’s perfect to show questioning youth that they aren’t alone and that they aren’t “abnormal.”
- The Unhappening of Genesis Lee
A dystopian novel that opens up discussion as to whether memories are perfect, and whether perfection is a good thing, or if everything has its downfall.
- The Reader by Traci Chee
The review for this will be coming in September, but it is an AMAZING book to show students just how amazing the act of reading itself is, how reading can open up new worlds.
- Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
A tremendous novel to show students what the effects of war can be, actually depicting PTSD to those that have no idea what it is, and just how it effects everyone around the affected person.
What do you think of these choices? Any you would have preferred to read in school or think might be a little too inappropriate?