Yeahhhh, it´s Wednesday again…my second post for YA Highway Road Trip Wednesday does not make me a pro yet but I´m getting there one week at a time 🙂 This week’s topic: In high school, teens are made to read the classics – Shakespeare, Hawthorne, Bronte, Dickens – but there are a lot of books out there never taught in schools. So if you had the power to change school curriculums, which books would you be sure high school students were required to read?
My first thought was “Wow! So many books to choose from!” My eyes were shining and my fingers were itching to type away…until my second thought stopped me cold “Wow, so many books to choose from…”, my heart started beating faster, my fingers could not find their way to the keyboard…
This is indeed quite an important task. A reading list is not just about reading, it’s about learning, developing critical and social skills (yes I went as far as saying social skills) and to find out more about oneself.
I started to think about the novels on the curriculum in High School for me …more than 12 years ago and I found myself clearly remembering the one I disliked the most: Confessions of Jean-Jacques Rousseau (a clear hint for the poll on where I am from which you can find here :-))
I hated it, I hated the fact he was trying to find excuses for his mistakes (society was at fault). And then, it hit me. Yes I hated it but I had feelings towards it, I remember passionate discussions in class or with friends over a cup of coffee. It did fulfil its goals but it was more painful than with the ones I had true passion towards. This is what high school students should read: books they either love or hate but which get them talking and coming back for more.
So how about the reading list I would choose? I wish students everywhere could discover the joys of classics which open up the mind so there would be some of those (including my favourites: Victor Hugo, Albert Camus, Shakespeare, Homer, Arthur Miller).
Now trying to limit myself to just a very few including some not conventional 🙂
Anne Frank Diary (this one is a must I think)
High school students should be encouraged to discover other worlds and themselves through literature, not only how the word itself is constructed…
What would be YOUR list?