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Topic: recomended books for highschool students?

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Subject: recomended books for highschool students?
Date Posted: 7/12/2007 5:35 PM ET
Member Since: 2/27/2007
Posts: 7
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I want to eventually teach senior english, it was my favorite english class when i was in highschool. we read a lot and wrote extensive research papers, but our teacher made it fun. I was looking for a book list of suggestions for highschool students. i dont believe a teacher should assign a book they wouldnt or havent read. my 3rd year in college i had an english professor that wasnt familiar with anything he assigned and it drove me crazy cause he couldnt answer any questions or make suggestions for our papers. so i want to make sure that when i get to that point, i have a list of books i have or would like to read for my students. any suggestions?

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Date Posted: 7/13/2007 10:28 PM ET
Member Since: 3/29/2007
Posts: 1,820
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Janie, A lot of states are mandating a standardized curriculum, and 12th grade (unless you're teaching AP) is either 100% British or focuses on "world lit." For British (as we do in my state), you generally only HAVE to do Macbeth. Other great ones (IMHO) are Canterbury Tales (excerpts), Swift, Jane Eyre, something by Dickens, Lord of the Flies, Wuthering Heights, Passage to India, Orwell, Frankenstein... Then of course, you have the anthology of poetry and short stories...

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Date Posted: 7/17/2007 1:55 PM ET
Member Since: 6/2/2007
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Janie: Good for you thinking now what you would like to teach when your "really there".  Stephanie had some good suggestions, the classics.  Others you might consider are Hiroshima (not sure the author) but I read it as a sophomore in hs and it still applies to what currently is going on in society.  I loved the Bonte's , Austen, and fondly remember reading them in hs as well as To Kill A Mockingbird and other classics.  You would be best to find out through on-line searching to see what different districts teach in your state, they may or may not mandate what you are allowed to teach.  Even though you think you do you might not have a lot of say what novels you can teach.

Best of luck to you!


PS. Flannery O'Connor is a good southern author but this would only apply for Americaan Lit not English or World


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Date Posted: 7/20/2007 7:34 PM ET
Member Since: 5/3/2007
Posts: 27
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My daughter attended high school in Cobb County, GA.  At the time she was required to read CERTAIN books for instance in summer reading.  My son will graduate from a school in Tennessee next year and he is not required to do summer reading at all so we looked up the lists for his old high school.  They have now gone to just giving a list of authors that you must choose a book from.  I can't remember exactly what my daughter read in British and World Lit but I remember her reading Grendal, Macbeth, some things from Canterbury Tales, Pride and Prejudice.  You can look up the authors they are requiring in Cobb County by going to any of the high school websites.  A book I read in high school that I loved was Katherine by Anya Seton.  I think that is one of my favorite books of all times.  I read it my senior year.

Good Luck!


texasmia123 avatar
Date Posted: 7/31/2007 10:53 PM ET
Member Since: 4/19/2007
Posts: 50
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Just like the others have said, curriculum can differ from district to district and state to state.  If I were looking to do that kind of prep, I would want to know what the students have read before they came to my class (and it is not always easy to walk in as a new teacher and snag Senior level classes . . .)

Our Seniors read Beowulf, Canterbury Tales, Hamlet, MacBeth, Pride and Prejudice, Wuthering Heights, 1984, and others that I can remember right now . . .

For some of the "big" stuff that they might have read as freshmen, sophomores, and juniors include Romeo and Juliet, The Odyssey, Julius Caesar, Night, Adventures of Huckelberry Finn, The Crucible, To Kill a Mockingbird, Of Mice and Men, Frankenstein, Great Expectations.  Not to mention plenty of poetry and there seems to be a lot of push towards more non-fiction.


I have been teaching for 7 years and I read plenty of books for the first time right along with the kids.  Sometimes there just is not enough time in the world to read them before.  I think as long as you are well-versed in the background, find good notes, and offer relevant observations, you can still "teach" the book.

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