July 19, 2011

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Think All Teens Should Read

This fabulous meme is hosted by The Broke and The Bookish, and this week it's books we think all teens must read. Awesome topic!

So, in no particular order...

1.) Pride & Prejudice — I think I first read this one when I was about 12, and I've re-read it plenty of times since! You can't go wrong with Austen and P&P is probably the best one to start with.

2.) The Harry Potter series — this is pretty much a no-brainer. (And yes, I'm cheating and including the entire series here :P)

3.) A Tamora Pierce book — it doesn't really matter which one (although I am partial to the Song of the Lioness and the Immortals series), but for solid YA fantasy Tamora Pierce is a must.

4.) Something by Shakespeare — I read Romeo & Juliet in Grade 8 and went on to study Hamlet, Macbeth, A Midsummer Night's Dream and The Tempest later in high school. Reason to read? Shakespeare is awesome. Why wouldn't you want to?

5.) Jane Eyre — I read this one when I was around 12 as well. How better to start off an appreciation of Gothic novels than with the best one out there?

6.) Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes —It's a classic for a reason, and a great example of how writing style can be so effective in telling a story.

7.) The Giver by Lois Lowry — I saw this on another list and I have to agree! The Giver is a fabulous introduction to dystopian fiction, and frankly still one of the best dystopian YA reads out there (despite this recent influx in the genre).

8.) Animal Farm by George Orwell — okay, George Orwell's books are not fun and this one quite disturbed me, to tell the truth (partly because I read it when I was pretty young, probably before I was really ready for it). But, I do think it touches on a lot of really important themes and it's a book that will stick with you.

9.) The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams. I studied this play in high school and actually quite liked it. It's beautiful, thoughtful, and sad.

10.) Mrs. Mike by Benedict and Nancy Freedman — I remember being in my mid-teens and asking my mom for books to read from my parents' shelves (my parents' and sister's bookcases always seemed far more alluring than my own...grass is greener and all that). She pulled Mrs. Mike out and gave it to me, saying something like, "I think you're old enough to appreciate this one." It's part old-fashioned love story, part adventure in the Great Canadian North. You'd better have tissues at hand when you read it, though.

I'm sure there are way more I could add, but I'll stop at ten. Looking at the list, a surprising number of these are adult books. Anyway, what books are on your list?


  1. A great list. We both agree on Shakespeare. I picked ROMEO AND JULIET to get kids started. This was an extra hard list for me to compile. But it was still fun.

  2. I remember discussing The Flowers of Algernon in class. I can't say I read it, though, as I didn't read most of the assigned reading. I'd like to read it now, though.

  3. Loved reading animal farm. Great picks!

  4. I've never heard of Mrs. Mike. All of the other books are great, especially the Tamora Pierce books! She's fab. You mentioned Animal Farm, but what about Lord of the Flies?

  5. Flowers for Algernon! I had totally forgotten about that book, for myself! It's always one of those "oh, I should read that" books. Thanks!

  6. I loved The Glass Menagerie and totally agree with that and Harry Potter! Fabulous list :)

  7. Great list-I really need to read Jane Eyre soon! I saw it on other lists too. I haven't read any of George Orwell's books either.

  8. I'll be hanging my head in shame until I read a Tamora Pierce book :(

    Flowers for Algernon! I never hear anyone talking about that book, but I loved it so much! My heart broke into a million pieces at so many different points while reading that book. So happy to see it on your list :)

  9. Great list! Jane Austen, Charlotte Bronte and Shakespeare are definite musts! It makes me smile to see Harry Potter on everyone's lists =)

  10. +JMJ+

    Yes, Shakespeare is awesome! =D He made my list, too, with A Midsummer Night's Dream.

    Flowers for Algernon moved me so much when I first read it. That was when I was younger and hadn't started reading books critically yet. I'm sure I'll notice so much more about writing style if I ever reread it.


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