The Top Classic Books Every High School Student Should Read
As a high school student, you might feel overwhelmed with your academic responsibilities. With all the homework, projects, and exams to prepare for, reading might be the last thing on your mind. However, reading great literature can help expand your mind, improve your writing and critical thinking skills, and make you more empathetic and culturally aware. Here are ten classic books that you should add to your reading list before graduation.
1. To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee
To Kill A Mockingbird is a Pulitzer Prize-winning novel that explores the racial tensions and injustices in the deep South in the 1930s. The story is told from the perspective of a young girl, Scout Finch, who learns about the adult world and the importance of standing up for what’s right.
2. 1984 by George Orwell
1984 is a dystopian novel that paints a chilling vision of a totalitarian society controlled by a ruling Party that suppresses individuality, freedom of expression, and independent thinking. The novel is a warning against the dangers of authoritarianism and the value of resisting tyranny.
3. The Catcher in The Rye by J.D. Salinger
The Catcher in The Rye is a coming-of-age novel that follows the misadventures of Holden Caulfield, a troubled teenager who struggles to find his place in the world. The novel deals with themes such as teenage angst, alienation, and the loss of innocence, making it a relatable and timeless classic.
4. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
The Great Gatsby is a novel that captures the decadence and excess of the Jazz Age in the 1920s, as seen through the eyes of the enigmatic millionaire Jay Gatsby. The novel explores themes such as love, wealth, social class, and the corruption of the American Dream.
5. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Pride and Prejudice is a romantic novel that follows the lives of the Bennet sisters and their quest for love and marriage in Georgian-era England. The novel mixes social satire, witty dialogue, and a compelling love story that has captured the hearts of readers for over two centuries.
6. Lord of The Flies by William Golding
Lord of The Flies is a novel that depicts the dark descent of a group of British schoolboys stranded on a deserted island. The novel explores themes such as human nature, power, and violence and shows how civilizational norms can erode in extreme situations.
7. The Diary of A Young Girl by Anne Frank
The Diary of A Young Girl is a memoir that chronicles the life of Anne Frank, a Jewish teenager who hid with her family in an attic in Amsterdam during the Nazi occupation. The diary is a testament to the strength and courage of the human spirit and a reminder of the horrors of the Holocaust.
8. Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe
Things Fall Apart is a novel that tells the story of Okonkwo, a respected leader in an Igbo village in Nigeria, who struggles to adapt to the changes brought by colonialism. The novel explores the clash of cultures, the effects of imperialism, and the resilience of traditional societies.
9. The Color Purple by Alice Walker
The Color Purple is a novel that follows the life of Celie, an African American woman who overcomes adversity and finds empowerment and self-discovery. The novel deals with themes of racism, sexism, homophobia, and domestic violence and shows the transformative power of love and community.
10. A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
A Tale of Two Cities is a historical novel that depicts the tumultuous events of the French Revolution and the impact on the lives of ordinary people in London and Paris. The novel explores themes such as sacrifice, redemption, and the power of love and friendship.
In conclusion, these classic books are not only great literary works but also valuable tools for personal growth and academic success. Whether you choose to read them for pleasure or for school assignments, they will expand your horizons, challenge your worldviews, and enrich your life. So, why not start with one today?