20 Classic Books for High School Students

October 25, 2020
Posted in Student Tips
October 25, 2020 ACS

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:

  1. To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee
  2. 1984 – George Orwell
  3. Lord of the Flies – William Golding
  4. Animal Farm – George Orwell
  5. Catcher in the Rye – J.D. Salinger
  6. The Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck
  7. Invisible Man – Ralph Ellison
  8. The Alchemist – Paulo Coelho
  9. Slaughterhouse-Five – Kurt Vonnegut
  10. Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte
  11. The Great Gatsby – F. Scott Fitzgerald
  12. A Tale of Two Cities – Charles Dickens
  13. Of Mice and Men – John Steinbeck
  14. Macbeth – William Shakespeare
  15. Brave New World – Aldous Huxley
  16. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer – Mark Twain
  17. Moby Dick – Herman Melville
  18. The Perks of Being a Wallflower – Stephen Chbosky
  19. Persepolis – Marjane Satrapi
  20. 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!



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