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Jeruba's avatar

What's required reading these days for middle school and high school students?

Asked by Jeruba (41919 points ) March 14th, 2012

What literature is being taught in secondary school classrooms these days?

I’m not asking about suggested outside reading or summer reading lists but actual requirements in Reading & Language Arts and English classes.

When you answer, please mention grade level and what area of the country you’re in.

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15 Answers

King_Pariah's avatar

NorCal
Highschool
9th grade:
Romeo and Juliet
Curious incident of the dog in the night
Princess Bride
The Odyssey
10:
To kill a mockingbird
The illustrated man
Julius Caesar
(don’t remember anything else… Not my fault the teach was a milf)
11:
Slaughterhouse 5
The Scarlet Letter
A farewell to arms
All quiet on the western front
Fast food nation
The jungle
1984
Animal farm
the great gatsby
12
macbeth
Hamlet
A brave new world
Lots of poetry from a whole variety of works
Siddartha
More poetry
Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner
Jane Eyre

marinelife's avatar

Here is the Pearson suggested reading list for middle school.

High school

Michael_Huntington's avatar

The Nation Formerly Known As “The Land of the Free”. I’m just kidding, it was never free.
some what similar to @King_Pariah‘s list.
Night
The Crucible
Macbeth
Ethan Frome
To Kill a Mockingbird
The Glass menagerie
Raisin in the Sun
Mythologies
Catcher in the Rye
etc

ddude1116's avatar

Well, I don’t know anything official, but I’m in high school, and the books I’ve had to read or will have to read are, to the best I can remember and in no particular order:
Great Expectations
Of Mice and Men
Flowers For Algernon
The Grapes Of Wrath
1984
The Fountainhead
Excerpts from Nicomachean Ethics
Excerpts from The Prince
The Catcher In the Rye
Angela’s Ashes
Their Eyes Were Watching God
Romeo and Juliet
Julius Caesar
Oedipus Rex
The Crucible
A Streetcar Named Desire
Atlas Shrugged
The Invisible Man
The Sound and the Fury
Heart Of Darkness
A Farewell To Arms
Night
Civil Disobedience and excerpts from Walden
The American Scholar
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
The Great Gatsby
To Kill a Mockingbird
Hamlet

fundevogel's avatar

@ddude1116 Someone on the board’s got a chubby for Ayn Rand.

ddude1116's avatar

@fundevogel It’s truly miserable in an awkward and creepy way.

fundevogel's avatar

@ddude1116 I know the feeling. There was a scholarship circulating when I was in highschool where the essay was essentially a book report on The Fountainhead. It was such a blatant attempt to strongarm kids into reading Rand’s philosophy.

Aethelflaed's avatar

Edith Hamilton’s Mythology
Animal Farm
An act of Shakespeare
The Great Gatsby
Poe’s The Masque of the Red Death and Tale of Two Hearts
The Crucible
Flowers for Algrenon
Bless Me Ulitma
Things Fall Apart
Waldon
A little Frost, and little cummings

Other than that, really very little is required in my area. There’s a textbook assigned, but teachers can opt not to use it (and most are thrilled to not use a textbook). And only the first two years are chosen for the student, after that, they choose electives – so, if you choose the Chaucer, Beowulf, and Shakespeare class, you read different things than the creative writing class.

mangeons's avatar

9th grade:
The Odyssey
Mythology
Night (for some)
Anthem
The Giver

10th grade:
Of Mice and Men
A Gathering of Old Men
To Kill a Mockingbird
The Pit and the Pendulum
Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God
The Great Gatsby
The Crucible

11th grade:
Lord of the Flies
Candide
Oedipus Rex
Antigone
1984
A Modest Proposal
Macbeth

That’s all I can remember, but I’m sure I’ve missed several.

GracieT's avatar

It’s been over 2 decades since I graduated and it was from a rural school, but I don’t remember anything assigned until my AP English class my senior year. I don’t remember everything, but I know it included Chaucer, Beowolf, and a classical poem we chose and memorized. We also had The Robert Conrad, some Shakespeare, James Joyce, and some others I don’t remember. It was only a semester class, and but it was
the only one that required anything. I very much hope that things have changed!

ddude1116's avatar

@fundevogel Oh, it’s still circulating. I got the form for it, or something incredibly like it, a few weeks ago in class.

fundevogel's avatar

@ddude1116 The prospect that this scholarship is still around and not just in my weird state floors me.

lifeflame's avatar

Hong Kong (International Baccalaureate), Grade 12/13
The IB are kind of funky, in the sense the schools can choose books from a huge list to make up their different categories.

- A Shakespeare: usually a tragedy (Hamlet, Othello, King Lear; occasionally Twelfth Night)

If they take the drama option, 3 plays. for example:
– Oedipus Rex
– A Streetcar named Desire
– A Doll’s House
– Antigone
– Our town
– The Importance of being Earnest

World Literature novels (3 books), for example:
– Madam Bovary
– Fathers and Sons
– Unbearable Lightness of Being
– Kitchen
– Things Fall Apart
>Full list of acceptable World Lit titles here

A selection of poetry, for example:
– Keats
– Ted Hughes
– Seamus Heaney
– Langston Hughes
– Sylvia Plath
– Wordsworth

School’s Free Choice (3 books), for example:
– The English Patient
– Beloved
– Heart of Darkness, etc.

ddude1116's avatar

@fundevogel My sentiments exactly..

Jeruba's avatar

Thanks, all. Very interesting and not entirely as expected.

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