Tuesday, 3 September 2013

TTT - Books I Wish Were Taught in School

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme created by The Broke and the Bookish
Each week a new topic is given and weeks topic is:

Top Ten Books I Wish Were Taught in School

The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games #1)

1. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
An obvious choice, but I’ve actually had this book show up in a couple of my women’s studies classes in the past year, and it’s definitely culturally relevant right now. It’s also a great discussion book. It’s really interesting to discuss all of the ways in which it critiques modern entertainment-culture. My class talked quite a bit about the transition from book to film and how a lot of the political statements in the book were dialled down and the love triangle was heightened for the movie.

Alanna: The First Adventure (Song of the Lioness, #1)

2. Alanna: The First Adventure by Tamora Pierce
I’m mostly putting this in because it was my first brush with feminist fiction as a child and I’m still totally in love with the world-building and the characters and just everything. I will ALWAYS love this series.

I Capture the Castle

3. I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith
It’s a beautiful coming-of-age book that fits a lot of the criteria of books that are currently taught in schools – it was written a long time ago – yet it isn’t difficult or boring to read (IMO). On a side note, look at that gorgeous new cover!

Tuck Everlasting

4. Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt
I think you get some really interesting discussions going about immortality and the price of eternal youth. I know that my opinions of the book have changed a lot since I first read it when I was like 8 or 9, so it would be interesting to see what kids now think of the topics at hand.

Noughts & Crosses (Noughts & Crosses, #1)

5. Noughts & Crosses by Malorie Blackman

Again, I think it would promote some great discussion. I love that it’s set in a society that so closely mirrors our own and actively points out major flaws we have.

Graceling (Graceling Realm, #1)  Fire (Graceling Realm, #2)  Bitterblue (Graceling Realm, #3)

6. Graceling or Fire or Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore

Fire is definitely my favourite of these books, but I think they would all have their own merit as teachable books. I just really want to see more fantasy on syllabi.

Holes (Holes, #1)

7. Holes by Louis Sachar

I just think it’s a cool book that a lot of kids enjoy and would like talking about.

The Importance of Being Earnest

8. The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde

I love this play so much. It gets funnier every time I read it. I was actually introduced to it in high school, when a friend and I were assigned a scene from it (the exchange between Cecily & Gwendolen when they first meet) for an acting class. I’ve read it twice more for two different college & university English classes.

King Lear

9. King Lear by William Shakespeare

Don’t get me wrong, I like Hamlet & Macbeth & Midsummer Night’s Dream (which I read in ninth grade because I was given the choice between it and Romeo and Juliet, which I abhor. I was the only person in my class who chose Midsummer), but King Lear has been my favourite Shakespeare play for as long as I can remember. I haven’t read his entire body of works, so this may be subject to change, but I think it’s just such a great play.

Full Frontal Feminism: A Young Woman's Guide to Why Feminism Matters

10. Full Frontal Feminism by Jessica Valenti
Okay, this one kind of feels like cheating because it’s non-fiction & it doesn’t really fit into any curriculum I can think of. It’s just such a reader-friendly “guide” to feminism. Yes, it has its share of problems, but on the whole I think it’s a book that does far more good than bad. I think a lot of high school kids could use this book in their lives.

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