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High School Literature Book

Leon Said:

the best novels for a high school literature class?

We Answered:

I suggest

7th Grade:
The Boys of San Joaquin
By D. James Smith
Atheneum/Richard Jackson, Ages 10-13
Set in Orange Grove, California in 1951, this is the story, of twelve-year-old Paolo, his six-year-old brother, and his cousin Billy in their pursuit of the source of a half-eaten $20 bill, stolen money, which creates matters of conscience along the way.

8th Grade:
13 Little Blue Envelopes
By Maureen Johnson
HarperCollins, Ages 12 and up
Ginny’s beloved Aunt Peg dies from brain cancer and sends Ginny on a mysterious excursion from beyond the grave. There are 13 little blue envelopes to guide her on her mission across Europe. Armed only with a backpack, Ginny undertakes a life transforming scavenger hunt.

9th Grade:
Autobiography of My Dead Brother
By Walter Dean Myers HarperCollins/Amistad, Ages 14 and up Jesse and Rise are childhood friends and blood brothers who are trying to make their mark on the world or at least survive their tough Harlem neighborhood. One turns to his art, sketching and writing, while the other turns to the streets.

10th Grade:
Naughts & Crosses
By Malorie Blackman
Simon & Schuster, Ages 14 and up
In a world where the pale-skinned Naughts are discriminated against by the politically and socially powerful dark-skinned Crosses, teenagers Callum—a Naught—and Sephy—a Cross—test whether their love is strong enough to survive their society’s racism.

11th Grade:
Who Am I Without Him? Short Stories About Girls and the Boys in Their Lives by Sharon Flake.
16 and up. This short story collection depicts the lives of many different teenage girls, covering topics of family, sex and pregnancy, absent fathers, bad boyfriends, disobedience, poor decisions, death, and more, featuring unique storytelling techniques and perspectives. A powerful book for girls and guys about relationships, family, and urban life issues that only Flake could master.

All classes:
Red hot salsa : bilingual poems on life, love, and victory /
Edited by Lori M. Carlson ; with an introduction by Oscar Hijuelos.
Publisher New York : Henry Holt, 2005.

And here's a few modern classics (some of my faves) to chose from:
7th Grade- Jurrasic Park, Michael Crichton

8th Grade- Farenheit 451, Ray Bradbury

9th Grade- Starship Troopers, Robert Heinlein

10th Grade- It, Stephen King

11th Grade- Roots, Alex Haley

I hope this helps : )

Wilma Said:

What 5 books or other pieces of literature do all high school graduates need to have read...?

We Answered:

I'd be hard pressed to restrict a list to five but I can first begin my answer by giving you some good reading which might provide some useful insight and help into find an answer that best fits your situation. I would higly recommend E.D. Hirsch's books including Cultural Literacy: What Every American Needs to Know. You may already be familiar with Hirsch and the Dictionary of Cultural Literacy but if not I think you would find it insightful not only for the book recommendations but also for the educational research be brings to hear on the question.

Mortimer Adler (of Poedia Project fame) has created a list in his book Reforming Education which is much longer than five. In the grand old spirit of the Great Books tradition his main list contains 104 entries but many of these entries are for authors who have written numerous works, so to count individual books the list might run several hundreds. Of course, the contrains of time preclude that much in a four year high school career.

As a college instructor I am continually shocked by what college students right out of high school do not know. With all due respect I would like to ask you brave high school teachers what exactly are you teaching them? Not only do they not know basic grammar and spelling, but also history and literature are lost on them. Or more correctly, they seem lost when I make references to these subjects.

My own experience in high school may have been typical. We read some classics but the teacher did not in any sense make them come alive (which requires both knowledge and effort) so my exposure was there but my appreciation was not. This is not due to poor material. The classics are timeless precisely because they speak across generations and history. In our current mania for relevance in education they can fill the bill if taught well. It might be the case that any five classics you pick would do the trick if taught in a way which engages the students. In particular, engages their desire to read more! That is what I think is really lacking from a high school education now in many students; the desire to learn more and the passionate curiosity to fulfill this desire. By the time I see many of them, they see me as just one more impediment to their entry into the work world. A world they have been led to believe does not require them to be knowledgeable about literature, history, science, economics, etc.

I assume from your question that if you are asking about five someone somewhere has narrowed the list to a number only a little larger (less than 100 surely). So, as I stated above, any five from a list of great works would do the trick. Your list of five might differ from mine but would likely reflect a similar value for the timeless values we are trying to convey through the texts. In any case, I would make the argument to stick with a list of the classics. They can get plenty of contemporary reading on their own and from their own inclination. Open doors for them they might otherwise never know exist. Foster their wonder and curiosity! These are the students we want to see in college!

Freddie Said:

Is Literature counted as a full English credit for High School in Texas?

We Answered:

A lot of the literature classes can be counted toward English credits. The safest bet is to double check with your school. If you are interested in getting ahead before heading off to college, try taking AP English classes.

Ernest Said:

I need help. I need a high school student w/ a literature or grammar book?

We Answered:

maybe you should consider doing your own homework

Virginia Said:

what books do they teach in German high school literature classes?

We Answered:

For our exams next year we have to read:
"Der Prozess" from Franz Kafka
"Besuch der alten Dame" don't know the author at the moment
"Michael Kohlhaas" from Heinrich von Kleist

Plus, we were able to choose between "Die Räuber" from Friedrich Schiller and "Faust" from Goethe.
We already read "Der gute Mensch from Sezuan" from Bertholt Brecht.

Derrick Said:

Book recommendation for a high school student who loves literature?

We Answered:

Here is a list of some of the books I've read recently that you might like:

- Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
- The Outsider by Albert Camus
- Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes
- The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka
- Fantomas by Marcel Allain
- Uncle Silas by J. Sheridan Le Fanu
- The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton
- Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe

- Girl with a Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier
- Anthem by Ayn Rand
- Possession by A.S Byatt
- East of Eden by John Steinbeck
- The Amazing Adventures of Cavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon
- Atonement by Ian McEwan
- We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson (my favorite)

Happy reading!

Discuss It!

online grammar checker said:

There will be more chances for the students to get those of the literature book and have experience reading out, then might be possible for them to have a good grammar.

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