Social Question

peinrikudo6's avatar

What are the required readings for high schools in your area?

Asked by peinrikudo6 (196points) May 6th, 2010

The other day I was at Barnes and Noble and noticed that the summer reading list for the high schools in my city (Baton Rouge, LA) consisted mostly of books like Twilight. There was no classic literature, just mostly the teen fantasy books, which are almost all about vampires anyway.

Of course, I am sure that there is more to the list than just the ones I saw, but I’m just wondering that if in their process to get teens more enthusiastic about reading, the school board might actually be doing them more harm by depriving them from great authors like Steinbeck and replacing them with Stephanie Meyer(I’m not trying to bash any author, so please, Twilight fans, don’t get offended).

What are the required summer readings(if any) in your area and what are your thoughts on the aforementioned?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

18 Answers

YARNLADY's avatar

There are several different lists, depending on the grade level

Vunessuh's avatar

I graduated from high school in 2006, but I remember reading To Kill a Mockingbird, 1984, Brave New World, Slaughterhouse Five, Heart of Darkness, Fahrenheit 451, Pride and Prejudice, Crime and Punishment, The Lovely Bones…. That’s what I can think of off the top of my head.
It really confuses me why teachers would make Twilight a requirement. I can see it maybe being on the Outside Reading List, but not on the required reading list where you’re tested and drilled in class on what you read. Hm. Times have changed.

DominicX's avatar

For summer reading, I remember reading books like “The Outsiders” by S. E. Hinton, “The Count of Monte Cristo” by Alexandre Dumas (abridged), “The Bean Trees” by Barbara Kingsolver, “Timeline” by Michael Crichton, “Atonement” by Ian McEwan, “Middlesex” by Jeffrey Eugenides, “Year of Wonders” by Geraldine Brooks, and “Freakonomics” by Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner.

So while not all of those are “classics” or super intellectually challenging, I felt it was a decent selection.

But do you know if the summer reading selection reflects the selection of books taught during the year? Maybe they teach all the classics during the school year instead of assigning them over the summer.

@Vunessuh I read almost all of those books too, but that was during the school year, not over the summer.

peinrikudo6's avatar

I just thought this would be an interesting topic to discuss. I do remember having really great books on my reading list, one of my favorites being “The Lord of the Flies.”

gemiwing's avatar

We read A Catcher In The Rye, The Pearl, The Old Man and the Sea, Romeo and Juliet, MacBeth, Othello, King Lear, Hamlet, 1984, Animal Farm (frakkin hate that book), War and Peace (AP English), tons of poetry from 1700–1920 (one whole year was poetry), Frankenstein, ... I know I’m forgetting about ten books. Those were, mostly, for during the school year.

The summer reading lists were a bit more lax and included some book adaptations of movies that were popular at the time. I think it’s important to get kids reading at all during the Summer. Even comic books teach language, story telling and grammar. The school required reading tends to be a bit dry and put some children off so I like that there is something a little ‘lighter’ out there for the Summer time.

Plus, is War and Peace really a good beach read? Kids should have the chance to relax too.

Vunessuh's avatar

Whoops. I misread the question. Okay, so it’s the required summer reading list. Well, I still don’t think Twilight should ever be required. Only optional, hence, in my opinion, it belongs on the outside reading list.

@DominicX Oh my. I forgot about The Outsiders and The Bean Trees. Oh, and House on Mango Street and Animal Farm. ::sighs:: Lots of Shakespeare too. Brings back memories.

deni's avatar

Lets see. We read Animal Farm, Of Mice and Men, The Great Gatsby, The Scarlett Letter (didn’t even get a page into that one), Phantom of the Oprah…..Macbeth, ah. a lot more. My boyfriend teaches 7th and 8th grade english and they read Animal Farm this year. I have a hard time believing that they got it on multiple levels though. That seems young.

peinrikudo6's avatar

@deni I freaking love “Of Mice and Men!” Steinbeck FTW! :D


Seaofclouds's avatar

We didn’t have summer reading lists when I was in school and the school’s here don’t have them now. I wonder why not. I can’t imagine Twilight being required reading, but I guess something is better than nothing (don’t get me wrong, I loved the books, but can’t imagine them being used for educational purposes at this point).

YARNLADY's avatar

apparently the different school districts have leeway for the summer reading requirements. I suggest you check with your local district requirements.

deni's avatar

@peinrikudo6 its such a good book. Poor Lennie. and the movie is really good too. It has LEUITENANT DAN!!!!

gemiwing's avatar

@deni I don’t know about Animal Farm. I think kids these days are so inundated with technology, the idea that the government and parent monitor online activity, the growing disparity between the haves and have nots and the internet bringing new views to them of people living in squalor around the world etc. I think they probably understand Animal Farm better than we would have at that age.

Vunessuh's avatar

Some others that people have yet to mention: Death of a Salesman, Catch 22, A Farewell to Arms and The Crucible.
The Crucible was the absolute shit. :)

iphigeneia's avatar

These are the texts I can remember studying in grades 7–9, after which we get to choose our English classes: A Christmas Carol; Goodnight, Mister Tom; Roll of Thunder, Hear my Cry; The Great Gatsby; Away; Animal Farm. We also studied a Shakespeare text each year, they were A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Merchant of Venice and Twelfth Night.

In my grade 10 Pre-20th Century Literature class we did Jane Eyre, Macbeth, and an individual negotiated study. I was allowed to do Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Alice Through the Looking Glass. It was awesome :D

peinrikudo6's avatar

@deni If you’re a Steinbeck fan(he’s my favorite author), you should really read East of Eden. It’s without a doubt the best book ever written! :D

Seek's avatar

My school didn’t do summer reading lists. That would have required them having teachers assigned to us before the first day of school, and most of the time they didn’t even know whether they would have teachers there on the first day.

As for in school reading, there was a good deal of Shakespeare, a lot of classic American literature (gag me with a spoon), and a really poor translation of The Iliad and The Odyssey.

alive's avatar

of mice and men (GOD I FUCKING HATED THAT BOOK!)

1984, dante’s inferno, along with some of the other one’s ppl already listed…

but my brother (in HS now) got to read this cool book called the history of the world in 6 glasses

teen fantasy was probably on the summer reading list because it is summer. not school. it is to keep the kiddos reading, but not bogging them down with ‘war and peace’.

plus, what makes a “classic,” anyway? i think it is just because they are good examples of the era (i.e. modernism, the romantic period, etc). i think a book is a book, some you read cuz you have to some you read cuz you like.

Seek's avatar


How could you possibly hate “Of Mice and Men”?

Answer this question




to answer.
Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther