High School Reading Material

If you read the blog last night, I bet you saw today’s lunch coming from a mile away.

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BBQ chicken salad!

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Such a delicious and easy salad to make.

White nectarine slices added sweetness to the meal.

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Sadie had negative interest in the fruit. She was all about the chicken and even managed to create a ring of drool while watching me eat.

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It’s a gift.

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High School Reading Material

Late this morning, I read an interesting article on MSNBC.com about the “10 books you really should have read in high school.”

The article admits to omitting “a lot of astonishing books,”  but the list of books included (in no particular order):

  1. Frankenstein
  2. The Scarlet Letter
  3. The Catcher in the Rye
  4. The Great Gatsby
  5. Pride and Prejudice
  6. Siddhartha
  7. Lord of the Flies
  8. Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
  9. To Kill a Mockingbird
  10. The Fountainhead

I was only assigned to read three of the books on this list. I read The Great Gatsby (loved it), The Catcher in the Rye (liked it a lot) and The Scarlet Letter (take it or leave it).

                    great gatsby

I read a lot of books not on the list and  remember absolutely loving Of Mice and Men (I sobbed like a baby) and absolutely hating Fahrenheit 451 in high school. I started reading Pride and Prejudice as an adult and then the movie was on television as I was about halfway through reading it, so I watched the movie… and then never picked up the book again. Oops.

Question of the Afternoon

  • What was the best book you were assigned to read in high school?
  • What book – classic or not – do you think high school students should be assigned to read? (Maybe we’ll make it the next PBF Book Club book!)


  1. says

    I looove Gatsby!!

    My favorite book from high school English would have to be Night by Elie Wiesel, an autobiographical account of his WWII internment camp experience. It really spoke to me, and touched my soul, even as the 15 year old that I was back then.


  2. says

    I’ve read all the books on the list, but not all in school. In middle school we read The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and To Kill a Mockingbird, in high school we read The Scarlett Letter, The Catcher in the Rye, Great Gatsby and Pride and Prejudice, and I read the rest on my own….I was obsessed with classic novels until college killed the concept of “pleasure reading” for me, haha!


  3. Jordan says

    From the list, I had to read The Scarlet Letter, The Great Gatsby, Pride and Prejudice, Lord of the Flies, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, and To Kill a Mockingbird.

    LOVED To Kill a Mockingbird…was pretty neutral about the rest. Did not read The Fountainhead but DID read another of Rand’s books, Anthem. Which was only 100 pages and super-intriguing. Also, Brave New World I really enjoyed.

    What I think should be assigned for high school students is THE BOOK THIEF. I read that for a literature project and it was SO good!


  4. E says

    I loved a LOT of the books we were assigned – favorites probably were To Kill a Mockingbird, Hamlet & Pride and Prejudice.

    Of the ones you listed…I was assigned:

    The Scarlet Letter – was OK
    The Catcher in the Rye – LOVED this one!
    The Great Gatsby – another really good one
    Pride and Prejudice – I’ve read multiple times!
    Lord of the Flies – this one was pretty good
    Adventures of Huckleberry Finn – never assigned, but I read it as a kid
    To Kill a Mockingbird – FAVORITE!

    I really enjoy classics & have read a lot of great one. I think we should read a Jane Austen book, maybe Emma?


  5. says

    The Fountainhead is amazing. We had to read Anthem in high school, which made me fall in love with Ayn Rand so much so that I ended up reading The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged on my own. They’re both really long but so great. Atlas Shrugged has been my favorite book ever since.


  6. says

    This post makes me SO happy because I’m a high school English teacher!

    I JUST finished reading Of Mice & Men with my 10th graders & they always love it! I teach 3 sections of the same class back to back & I NEVER get tired of discussing that book!

    I also LOVE Gatsby & teach that to my 11th graders. That’s my absolute favorite book of all time!

    Huck Finn & Catcher in the Rye are two other good ones! 🙂


  7. says

    We had to read:

    To Kill A Mockingbird
    Scarlet Letter
    Lord of The Flies
    Animal Farm

    I think my all time favorite book is To Kill A Mockingbird. I read it every 2 years or so as an adult. I LOVED Scarlet Letter though…it really was good. Lord of the Flies was good and so was 1984.


  8. Katie says

    During an autobiography unit, I read “The Color of Water” by James McBride. It was about him growing up as an African American with a white Jewish mom. Each chapter flips perspective between him and his mom. Really great book! Just checked it out of the library to reread.


  9. Lisa says

    My favorites in high school were the Great Gatsby and Black Boy. I also remember limit A Raisin in the Sun alot as well. I also really loved Night (and loved it even more when I had to reread it for a class in college-cried my eyes through the whole thing. My brother totally lucked out this year (he’s a sophomore in high school) and had to read The Hunger Games for summer reading! How cool is that?!?!


  10. Lindsey says

    I rebelled in high school against reading those books! I was really picky about the books I read (James Patterson) 🙂 and none of those ever appealed to me. The only one I actually read was Lord of the Flies. Just used spark notes for the others hehe. For some reason the wild boys in the island with the pigs head just was comical to me.


  11. says

    Of the list, I was only assigned To Kill a Mockingbird in 7th grade.

    Mice of Men was my most memorable from High School.

    One of my favorite books is from college: A Small Place – short but powerful.

    I want to read The Great Gabsy before it comes out on film!


  12. says

    I had to read a few of the books on the list, but I hated all of them. There is no faster way to get me to hate a book that to “assign” it to me and force me to read it. Maybe I would like them more now, but I’d much rather be reading non-fiction or thrillers.


  13. Morgan says

    Oh you need to pick that Pride and Prejudice right back up!! Unless you saw the 6 hour English version (with collin firth), the others don’t do the book justice. It’s one of my all time favorite books and have reread it multiple times.


  14. says

    I am a high school English teacher and was only assigned to read “Lord of the Flies” and the “Great Gatsby.” I, in turn, assigned them both to my students. I am currently interested in assigning “World War Z” about zombies. Yea, I’m that cool teacher =)


  15. Katie says

    You know what’s sad? I didn’t read any of those books until college, and I’m pretty sure it was only because I majored in English. My fave was Huckleberry Finn, but I loved them all. I had such aweome English professors that helped bring the books to life. 🙂


  16. Nicole says

    I read all of those except for Catcher in the Rye, Pride & Prejudice, and The Fountainhead, and enjoyed all of them! I was really lucky to have some great teachers who really got to the core of each book.

    My favorite book we had to read, though, was Brave New World. Absolutely amazing – 1984-esque, but almost more feasible in terms of what the future could look like. I highly recommend it!!


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