Some of us are already planning to spend more time at home this winter, as gatherings and outings are discouraged at this time. As with other challenges in life, those who see opportunities for change and growth (rather than limitations) will conquer their obstacles successfully. If you’ll be hanging out at home, why not use this time to diversify your exposure to classic literature?
Other than keeping you entertained, these relatable stories are also considered staples of high school and college education. Edutopia compiled this list of 20 “indispensable” books for high schoolers:
- To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee
- 1984 – George Orwell
- Lord of the Flies – William Golding
- Animal Farm – George Orwell
- Catcher in the Rye – J.D. Salinger
- The Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck
- Invisible Man – Ralph Ellison
- The Alchemist – Paulo Coelho
- Slaughterhouse-Five – Kurt Vonnegut
- The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood
- The Great Gatsby – F. Scott Fitzgerald
- The Bluest Eye – Toni Morrison
- Of Mice and Men – John Steinbeck
- Macbeth – William Shakespeare
- Brave New World – Aldous Huxley
- The Road – Cormac McCarthy
- Their Eyes Were Watching God – Zora Neale Hurston
- The Perks of Being a Wallflower – Stephen Chbosky
- Persepolis – Marjane Satrapi
- Night – Elie Wiesel
You might notice that several novels on this list address the themes of utopia versus dystopia, social justice, totalitarianism, and other topics that remain relevant today. Some of them have also been adapted into film formats. And while no movie or television show can replace the original book that inspired them, they can certainly help the novel to feel more relevant to modern readers. So, you might wish to read the book and then check out the film version in order to gain a deeper understanding of the subject material.
Sometimes the books we are assigned in English class don’t necessarily match our own interests. But by choosing your own reading material, you can work toward becoming a well-rounded and well-read student, while also exploring topics that inspire you. Give it a shot!