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A Guide to Books You’ll Probably (Never) Read!
A&E presents a guide of books if you’re interested in reading!
January 23, 2023
Remember before we had phones, tablets, and computers we had books to entertain us? Yeah, me neither. Anyhow, today we’re providing a list filled with suggestions on the top of the top books! Yup, just because books are “dead” doesn’t mean anyone (even you!) can’t enjoy them!
Suggestions from the “Best-Ever Teen Fiction” Poll
In August of 2012, NPR conducted a “Best-Ever Teen Fiction” poll that pulled in 75,220 votes. With these votes, they were able to gather the top 100 teen novels. And while this poll may be 10 years old, the novels are still classic and fresh! Here are a few of them.
Based on NPR’s list, the top 3 winners were the Harry Potter series in first, The Hunger Games series in second, and To Kill a Mockingbird in third, all books you have certainly heard of before.
The Harry Potter books follow the adventure of Harry Potter, his friends, and life at Hogwarts, and the journey to defeat the evil wizard Voldemort. The Hunger Games books take place in a dystopian future where a young girl is elected to battle to the death in these so-called “hunger games.” Thirdly, To Kill a Mockingbird has 6-year-old Scout Finch explore racial injustice, tensions, and treatment of African Americans. All of these are solid books that deserve their massive recognition.
(From Left to Right: Scholastic Press, Scholastic, J. B. Lippincott & Co.)
A couple of other books on the list I would like to mention are:
(#25) The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
By Mark Haddon
This is a story about an autistic boy named Christopher who chooses to investigate the murder of a neighbor’s dog. While doing so, he discovers some secrets about his own mother. Just the thought of it gives me chills!
(#56) It’s Kind of a Funny Story
By Ned Vizzini
In this story, Craig Gilner finds out that he is an average student in a pool of “brilliant” students at his new High School. This results in him dealing with increased anxiety and clinical depression that ends up with him in a psychiatric hospital. There he finds a group of patients who find themselves with their own problems.
It does most certainly, sound like a funny story to read.
Here is the NPR’s list to look at the rest of the list for any books if these don’t tickle your fancy.
In addition to the poll, we were fortunate enough to have our middle school English teacher, Mr. Wedeking, and our high school English teacher, Ms. Khadija, chime in about their book recommendations! As they are Literacy teachers they have a couple of books up their sleeves.
Mr. Wedeking Suggests
For his suggestions, Mr. Wedeking brought out The Hobbit by J.R.R Tolkien, The Outsiders by S.E Hinton, and The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S Lewis.
When asked how he came across these books he responded, “I came to know The Hobbit and The Chronicles of Narnia t
hrough movies…The Outsiders I came to know this through having to teach the book for sixth grade.” He suggested these books because The Hobbit and The Chronicles of Narnia “show the importance of stepping into the unknown to become a better version of yourself.” These books also highlight the need for good things like commitment, sacrifice, and friendship.
He suggests The Outsiders because it demonstrates “the impact socioeconomic inequality has on tribalism. So often, we are told who our enemies are based on the neighborhood we grow up in, or the culture of our family, rather than seeking to understand people with different backgrounds.”
To finish it off, Mr. Wedeking suggests focusing on the quality of reading/comprehension rather than the quantity of books you read.
Ms. Khadija Suggests
As a book lover, Ms. Khadija had quite a bit to tell. She said that for her, one of the greatest parts of reading is when you’re reading something and the author has a line that speaks directly to you; almost as if the writer knew how you felt. She also told me that rather than suggesting specific books, she thinks that students should think about what interests them and just follow that interest they have.
“Just try to find subjects that interest you or maybe that you could relate to and go from there,” Ms. Khadija said. However, if she had to recommend books, she suggests I Capture the Castle for those who have a big imagination or love writing, the Percy Jackson series, and A Series of Unfortunate Events.
“I always hear from kids that they hate reading or they just don’t see the appeal of books, and I wish I could let them experience reading something that really speaks to you. I think books have always been really powerful tools to help us change our minds about things and help us put ourselves in other people’s shoes and just have fun and grow your imagination,” she added.
Did any of these fine book choices tickle your fancy? If any did, make sure to check your local library or bookstore to grab a copy! And remember, next time you see a book, don’t just think that it’s a pile of dead trees. Think of it as big, imaginative, and impacting! Because, unlike your loved ones, books will actually open up to you. This is the A&E Department, checking out! (A book obviously.)
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