Best Assigned Reading High School and Middle School Books
Yep, I was forced to read these books as a kid too. Must be a rite of passage. A few I read on my own, but many of these were assigned. Check out this list from Time Magazine online by Gilbert Cruz to see if you had to read them too! And more importantly, will you make your kids read them too?!! Really do check out the article; it has descriptions for all the books.
10. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Thumbs up from me! Love this book, love the movie!
9. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
Yep, this is a keeper but I am biased because my husband grew up in Monterey, California so Steinbeck is steeped in his blood. But truly The Grapes of Wrath is his finest work.
8. A Separate Peace by John Knowles
A teacher will force your child to read this book but it’s a good one.
7. The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger
A rite of passage for every rebel without a cause (a.k.a. middle schooler). Let your child “discover” this book on their own and prepare for rebellion.
6. Animal Farm by George Orwell
Did not love this book. Isn’t the cold war over? Can’t we all get along?! Let your child get this assigned in class.
5. The Lord of the Flies by William Golding
Every middle schooler kind of knows this reality so let someone else assign it unless your kid is a bully. Then make him or her read it. And then really discuss it.
4. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
I liked F. Scott as much as the next person, but what was all the fuss about this book? It’s not a bad book but I think there are better, more relevant books out there.
3. A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway
Hemingway: you either love him or you don’t. Men tend to love him. Women, not so much, myself included.
2. The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
I’d let my kids’ teachers assign this one.
1. MacBeth by William Shakespeare
Does any kid read Shakespeare on their own? Not any kid I ever knew.
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