Classic American Novels for High School Students
High school is the perfect time to introduce timeless American literature to students. Classics are not only enjoyable but offer essential insights into American culture, history, and society that students can relate to today. Here are five classic American novels that high school students should not miss.
“To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee
“To Kill a Mockingbird” is a literary classic that tackles sensitive themes of prejudice and social inequality. The novel is a must-read for high school students because of its relevance to America’s past and present. Set in 1930s Alabama, the story follows Scout, a young girl coming of age, as she witnesses her father, a lawyer, defend a black man in court.
“The Catcher in the Rye” by J.D. Salinger
“The Catcher in the Rye” is another classic novel that high school students should read. The novel explores the loss of innocence and disillusionment through the eyes of a teenage protagonist, Holden Caulfield. The story resonates with high school students because it touches on themes of identity, belonging, and rebellion.
“The Great Gatsby” by F. Scott Fitzgerald
“The Great Gatsby” is a favorite among high school students because of its beautiful prose, characters, and glamorous setting. The novel is set in the 1920s during the Jazz Age and explores themes of love, obsession, and the American Dream. The story follows the mysterious Jay Gatsby as he tries to win back his lost love, Daisy Buchanan.
“Of Mice and Men” by John Steinbeck
“Of Mice and Men” is a novella that follows two migrant workers, George and Lennie, as they move from job to job during the Great Depression in California. The story explores themes of friendship, loneliness, and the American Dream. The novella is a must-read for high school students because it teaches important lessons on empathy and compassion.
“Their Eyes Were Watching God” by Zora Neale Hurston
“Their Eyes Were Watching God” is a novel that details the life of Janie Crawford, a black woman in the early 20th century. The novel explores themes of identity, race, and gender while showcasing the beauty of the southern language and culture. The novel is a must-read for high school students as it offers important insights into the history of black women’s experiences.
In conclusion, the above classic American novels are essential reading for high school students. These novels offer valuable insights into American culture, history, and society that can help students understand various aspects of modern America. As an educator or parent, ensure your high school student reads these classic novels as they offer valuable life lessons.
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