February 19th, 2011

green leaves

High school reading assignments.....

I'm currently hacking my way through the comments to a post about The Fountainhead being assigned in a high school honors class, and as might be expected, there's plenty of complaints about the books people hated having to read in high school.

So, are there any assigned books which people liked in high school? Hated but now believe it was a good thing you read those books then? Books you'd recommend as part of a high school curriculum?

Offhand, I'd recommend Westerfeld's Uglies. Readable, and plenty to discuss.

ETA:A comment by inge
Good point. I always got the impression that the creators of curriculae and textbooks tended to overestimate teenagers' understanding of human nature, yet consistently underestimated their ability to make sense of a tale. I found that the books which went over best in school were the ones where the students could relate to the character's motivation. Having adventure, defying authority, saving the world, fighting for what's yours, gain understanding of the world and of yourself, all fine. Deal with complicated nets of responsibility, retain your social standing, get grind down by society, cope with futility, have sex with your daughter, not so much.

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