and wracking your brain for answers, then this is the meme for you!
Top Ten Books You Believe Should Be Required Reading For Teens:
1. Harry Potter (series) by J.K. Rowling: I'm not just mentioning them because they're some of my favorite books, but more because of the message that's in them. Not just about good vs. evil, but about seeing past what's in front of you and not giving up. And if a person gets hooked on them, well, there are worse things!
2. Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes: Oh, this book. It broke my heart into so many pieces, but the hope in this book is so startling and beautiful that it's worth the inevitable pain.
3. They Cage the Animals at Night by Jennings Michael Burch: This is a book that I read over and over again when I was younger. Partially because I couldn't believe it was possible, partially because I was extraordinarily happy every time I neared the ending.
4. Stay by Deb Caletti: When I told a friend about this book, we both agreed that it would be required reading for any children we might have. Stay is about freeing yourself from an abusive relationship and it it is more than okay to stand up for yourself when you are not being treated right.
5. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley: This is my absolute favorite book. It's more than just dystopian/utopian ideas, it's about potential and individuality and really what it means to be human. For me, this has to be on any list.
6. Unwind by Neal Shusterman: I'm curious to know if this is required reading for any school, although I reckon it would be challenged by people. The message in this book is so incredibly strong that I really can't stress enough that this be required reading for any person, not just teenagers.
7. L'étranger (The Stranger) by Albert Camus: To be honest, I haven't actually read this book in English, but the sentiment is the same in any language. A great introduction and example of existentialist literature.
8. Night by Elie Wiesel: This one speaks for itself.
9. A Journey to the Centre of the Earth by Jules Verne: Another book that I read over and over again. Pure adventure - I mean, come on, if you could, wouldn't you want to go to the centre of the Earth?
10. The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis: While I feel this one is often geared more toward younger readers, it would probably serve older students well to read it considering the ideas discussed are still relevant.
There are some other books that I left off that I'm going to toss at the bottom because I either didn't want to scare kids away or because I wanted to try and choose a different topic: Fahrenheit 451 (Bradbury), Crime and Punishment (Dostoevsky), Anna Karenina (Tolstoy, and another favorite of mine), The Scarlet Letter (Hawthorne)...so many. Books are vital and they don't stop at a list of 10.