Being in this class, I often think back to the novels I’ve had to read in grade school. The four that stood out to me (and that I actually remember) are The Hobbit, The Outsiders, And Then There Were None, and Fahrenheit 451.
Grade 8 English: The Hobbit and The Outsiders
I remember my teacher being pretty cool. Though looking back on it, reading The Hobbit was tough at that age, but nonetheless enjoyable! The Outsiders is a classic book to read around that age as it deals with interesting content. However, the only thing I actually remember from this book is Ponyboy (“stay golden Ponyboy…”).
Grade 9 English: And Then There Were None
This book is a murder mystery, and almost the whole class enjoyed it. Our teacher did a really good job in getting the students involved. For example, she got us to write predictions of who we thought the murderer was.
Grade 10 English: Fahrenheit 451
All I remember about the book is that it’s literally a book about burning books – the irony. I really did not enjoy this book and I remember thinking “I wish I could burn this book…”
Unfortunately I cannot remember the novels I read in grade 11 and 12, I only remember reading Shakespeare. Other than The Outsiders, the novels I read in middle and high school were not popular ones to read (as far as I’m aware). I never read The Catcher in the Rye, or Lord of the Flies, or Brave New World – all common books that are now brought up in English classes in University. The funny thing is, most of those who have read these common books remember them being dumb or pointless.
Is this really what teachers want their students to take from these novels? How much they hated reading it? While I’ll admit, I don’t remember much about the books I read in school, my point is that I remember which ones I enjoyed and which I’d rather have burned. I have enjoyed the books we have read so far in class, and from reading the backs of the rest, I feel the rest will be enjoyable as well. These are the types of books that teachers should being giving their students.
I guess what I’m trying to say is when teachers that make interesting books part of their curriculum, it makes a huge difference. I was lucky to have read some fun books in grade school.
Bradbury, Ray. Fehrenhiet 451. NY: Ballantine Books, 1953. Print.
Christie, Agatha. And Then There Were None. : Collins Crime Club, 1939. Print.
Golding, William. Lord of the Flies. Penguin Books, 1954. Print.
Hinton, S. E. The Outsiders. New York: Puffin, 1997. Print.
Huxley, Aldous. Brave New World. New York: Harper Perenial, 1969. Print.
Salinger, J D, E M. Mitchell, and Lotte Jacobi. The Catcher in the Rye. Boston: Little, Brown, and Company, 1951. Print.
Tolkein, J.R.R. The Hobbit. New York: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1973. Print.