Top Ten Books I Wish Were Taught In Schools


Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. Each week they will post a new Top Ten list that one of the bloggers there at The Broke and the Bookish will answer. Everyone is welcome to join!

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday post is actually two different topics that you could choose from. In typical form, I’ve sort of switched it up to suit my needs, coming away with something that’s a mishmash of both topics: the Top Ten Books I Wish Were Taught in Schools that could ALSO be paired up with with your usual Required Reading title. But that’s so long-winded that I just went with the first part. Of course, I didn’t match ALL of the books up – and some of them aren’t related to a specific “classic” title, but rather a subject – so just bear with me here. I did the best I could. :)


These are possibly a little off the wall, but I think The Book Thief by Markus Zusak would be really good paired with a unit about the Holocaust (you could probably also do Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein, if you just wanted to talk about WWII). Any of Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson & the Olympians books would be a good fit for a Greek Mythology unit (The Sea of Monsters in particular would be perfect for a class reading Homer’s Odyssey), although obviously it’s best to start with the first book in a series, and In the Shadow of Blackbirds by Cat Winters would be good to detail the Spanish Influenza outbreak of 1918. While Percy could be read in middle school, the other two are books that I think most high schoolers would thoroughly enjoy.


I think it’s important to talk to teens about topics that are relevant to their lives. That’s why I think incorporating a book like If I Lie by Corrine Jackson – wherein the main character is socially shunned because of a lie she’s keeping to herself – would be something that could garner a lot of conversation in the classroom. A book like OCD, the Dude, and Me by Lauren Roedy Vaughn is likewise a good one to sort of put teens into the brains of people that don’t fit in. I know it certainly made me look at things a bit differently, and both of these books had me thinking about them for a long time after I finished reading.


Okay, so I haven’t read either of the retellings here. But since Romeo and Juliet is STILL a required title for most Freshman English classes, why not spice things up a bit? When You Were Mine by Rebecca Serle would be a good “girl” book, and boys (or girls) could entertain themselves with Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion. I think that would definitely liven things up, plus give ample opportunities for comparison writings. Sign me up!


I haven’t read The Island of Dr. Moreau, and can’t really say if it graces schools’ required reading lists or not, but I HAVE read The Madman’s Daughter by Megan Shepherd. If the famous classic title is on the list, why not include a horror-filled, gothic read as a companion?


Okay, so neither A Wounded Name nor Ophelia scream “boys will love me”, but I still think reading things from Ophelia’s point of view would be interesting!


I didn’t read Frankenstein until I was out of school, and still need to read This Dark Endeavor, but considering the subject matter I know they’d be good paired together. Plus it’s nice to find a retelling that’s from a male’s point of view!


You could also add Splintered by A.G. Howard to this list, I guess, but I didn’t really like that book all that much (although the ACTUAL retelling bits were good). I don’t know if people still read Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland in high school – I personally didn’t – but this retelling that takes place in historical London would make things even more fun!

So that’s what I came up with this week! What books did you decide to use? Please link me!

And while you’re here, do stop by and enter for your chance to win a CROAK Prize Pack from Gina Damico to celebrate the release of the final book in her series! The giveaway ends September 10th. Click the banner below to enter!



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13 Responses to Top Ten Books I Wish Were Taught In Schools

  1. The Book Thief would make an excellent read for high school: unique writing, interesting way of storytelling, not to mention a bit of history thrown in there! Great list :)

    My TTT

  2. Anne says:

    You and I share many similar pairings, so obviously I like your list.

  3. I haven’t finished The Book Thief so I don’t feel right about adding it to my list, but I know if I had, it would be there. I love your pairings and haven’t read most of the ‘modern’ books, and I’ve added a few to my read list. :)

    My TTT

  4. ChrissiReads says:

    Great list! :-) I have The Book Thief on mine too. I think it would work well in schools.

  5. Lanaia says:

    I thought about adding The Lightning Thief on my list, they could learn about Greek Mythology through this story! I have The Book Thief on my list, it’s a really great book. I still need to read most of these, especially The Madman’s Daughter and This Dark Endeavor, they look so gothic :) Nice list!

    My Top Ten Tuesday.

  6. I wasn’t a huge fan of Splintered either. I thought it was awful, aside from the descriptions of Wonderland. I need to hurry up and pick up The Looking Glass Wars, because it sounds amazing and I’ve owned it for ages!

  7. I have The Lightning Thief too! I keep seeing The Book Thief in most lists, but I haven’t read it yet. I haven’t read Warm Bodies yet, but I really enjoyed the movie. New follower on Twitter :)
    My Top 10 Tuesday
    Review: All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill

  8. Warm Bodies as an accompaniment to R&J – so clever! I really hope that teachers do start doing things like this. It would make things so much fun. I’m even using reading as a way of making medical school more interesting.

  9. Andi ABCs says:

    I LOVE When You Were Mine and that would be a GREAT book to have required in school. People would understand Romeo and Juliette in a whole new way.

    My TTT List

  10. Tiffany says:

    I never thought of Warm Bodies and Romeo and Juliet. That makes so much sense! Great list!

  11. I love all the retellings you listed!

  12. Love your take on this Top Ten list! Some of these I haven’t read and now really want to check out…like the Ophelia one. Cool! I also have really wanted to read Warm Bodies ever since I saw the movie; I totally forgot it was a retelling haha. Definitely an interesting take on one.

  13. Pingback: September in Review | Read and Reviewed

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