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!
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