Saturday, October 13, 2012

The "Oldies But Goodies" Mini-Challenge.

Welcome readathoners!

I hope your readathon day is going wonderfully, and that you are reading a slew of amazing things. While I signed up to participate, I won't be starting my reading until later tonight (some things came up that I have to take care of today). 

In any case, I DO have a mini-challenge for you. A couple of years ago, I hosted a similar challenge and passed out some wonderful Penguin Clothbounds to the winners. I decided that I really wanted to host something similar, because hey, I read a lot of classics round these parts...

But instead of those Penguin Clothbounds, I decided to offer up something a little more exciting-Penguin's new English Library Collection (henceforth called PEL). You can see my own budding PEL collection at right. What I love about these titles is that they have the same style and covers as the clothbounds, but in a broader selection of titles! They're wonderful books...and I want to share them with two winners.

The first winner of this challenge will win their choice of FIVE TITLES from the PEL line. The second winner will get to choose THREE TITLES. And if 100 people enter, I'll add on a third winner who will get their choice of ONE TITLE. If you want to know what titles are available, you can visit the PEL Website to see the covers and titles (I should comment that the collection consists of 100 titles-30 of which haven't been released just yet).

The Rules:
  • You must be a participant of the readathon to enter.
  • You must 13 years of age or older.
  • This challenge is open to anyone that the Book Depository delivers to (most countries).
  • You MUST leave me an e-mail in your comment below so I can contact you if you win.
  • To officially enter, leave a comment below (with your e-mail) and your answer to the following question: What classic book should ALL high school aged children read and why?
  • This challenge will end after three hours (*I do want to note that I may not post winners right away. For that, I apologize, but I have something I have to take care of this afternoon). I will disqualify any comments left after that time has passed.

Good luck! I look forward to reading your answers and sharing those titles with my students!

125 comments:

  1. This is a fairly obvious answer, but To Kill a Mockingbird, definitely!

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  2. I think all high school aged kids should read To Kill a Mocking Bird. It teaches acceptance based on the individual, not skin color, gender, age, etc. It is an important book in culture, and one that taught me an important lesson. I myself took away valuable lessons that I still carry with me.
    My email is ramonesfan19@gmail.com Twitter: https://twitter.com/NicoleMac19

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  3. I will have to say "The Odyssey" I loved that book, and read it when I was in high school.I think it shows such a different view of the world and at the same time pushes your imagination, it has everything, action, monsters, romance...what's not to love?
    My e-mail: cplazasg@gmail.com

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  4. This is a wonderful mini-challenge. My favorite so far! As for the question:

    I think everybody, boy or girl, old or young, should read Jane Austen's "Pride and Prejudice" once in their life.
    Not just because it is an incredibly fun and romantic tale but because it's still so approachable and will take away many young readers' fears of the Classics. These oldish books are not all boring and hard to read. They can be fun!

    E-Mail: sffbookreview@gmail.com

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  5. Jane Eyre. While Pride and Prejudice is my all-time favourite novel, I think you might get more out of it if you read it when you're in college than high in high school.
    Jane Eyre is just a wonderful tale of conquering obstacles thrown at you and staying true to yourself. Also, I absolutely love it, so I'd recommend it to anyone.

    daisyjdebruin(at)gmail(dot)com

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  6. I believe that women or girls should read is Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen.

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  7. I think it should be Slaughter House Five,

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  8. Brave New World! That book blew my mind! (In a good way)

    Melissa Caldwell
    must.read.faster AT gmail.com

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  9. I'm a Canadian girl so my answer will always be Anne of Green Gables. Such a wonderful story! And all kids should have an imagination like Anne and experience life through her eyes.

    martinack_75 AT hotmail DOT com

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  10. What a great question! I love To Kill a Mockingbird but I'm going to suggest Of Mice and Men. That book affected me in a way that TKaM didn't. The innocence-looking book about two friends who are looking for work and dream of a better life is heartbreaking and powerful. It made me realize that everyone has a dream, monsters can look like regular people, and friendships are often stronger than we know. I think I want to re-read it now. Thanks! :-)

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  11. When my son was in high school the teacher had picked out books that were all of a romantic nature, and my boy would never had picked them up. So for his lit class we came up with an alternative slection. All the boys loved the books. The first one the boys read was Dracula. I will go with Dracula by Bram Stroker.
    My email is poguereid(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  12. Oh, what a great challenge! I love classics and I LOVE how colourful PEL books are. :)

    I'd say The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Jane Eyre (even though I prefer Wuthering Heights) and Pride and Prejudice.

    vicky(at)booksbiscuitsandtea(dot)co(dot)uk

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  13. Ack! I forgot my email: 1330vblog AT gmail DOT com

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  14. What a wonderful challenge Allie! The PEL books are gorgeous. I had trouble coming up with an answer; I kept thinking of books by Jane Austen and Elizabeth Gaskell which I'm not sure would appeal to boys, and The Razor's Edge by W. Somerset Maugham which might not be suitable for high schoolers.
    So I think my answer will be The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas. I read it when I was about 12 and loved it!

    Email me at: abookwormslife@gmail.com

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  15. The answer is Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. Yes, even the boys, because it teaches them all manner of useful things about history and wit and relationships.

    maline AT gmail.com

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  16. The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton affected me so much as an early teen. It speaks of loyalty and family and love. I think it's a timeless book and really think every teenager should read it.

    jenncoull@yahoo.com

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  17. I have to agree with The Odyssey. It's a great story with lots to talk about, and I'm a classical classics girl :)

    neverbakeinblack[at]gmail[dot]com

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  18. The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath! So relatable for many teenagers, would help them not to feel so alone!

    you know my email already - great contest! Morrigan's sad he can't participate because he's turning 12 on the 18th, haha! :D I told him too bad, and maybe if I win I'll let him pick one of my books. :D

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  19. To Kill a Mockingbird is one of the few books I was forced to read in high school that I loved and have re-read several times since. Its got a lot to discuss without driving a person made with over analysis. I also loved all the times we did Shakespeare in my class, especially the lesser known plays of his. Romeo & Julet, Macbeth & Hamlet get taught to death (seriously I believe I had to discuss Hamlet a good 7-8 times between HS and College I practically had it memorized) so I loved going over The Tempest or Twelfth Night, etc when offered.

    Irish @ irisheyz_5 at Yahoo.com

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  20. I don't think there are any specific books everyone should read. To me, the point of having school kids read classic literature is two-fold: first, to give them examples of the best writing and second, to inspire a love of reading by having them read good books. All classics meet the good writing requirement, so I would choose books that kids are most likely to enjoy. Particularly books that are relatively accessible (so probably don't start with Shakespeare, for instance), books about people they can relate to, and books with some adventure. I think some great options would be Call of the Wild and Tom Sawyer, as well as 1984 or Catch-22 for older students.

    My e-mail is kxw116[at]gmail.com.

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  21. I really really want to say To Kill A Mockingbird, for really obvious reasons, but since everyone's said that already, I'm going to say The Woman In White by Wilkie Collins, because it's maybe the most fun classic I've read, and I feel like, if teens believe that the classics can be fun (and, let's face it, mental!) then they'll be encouraged to carry on reading them because the experience has been such a positive one.

    Thanks for the giveaway too, Allie, so generous! (and I sure love those books :) )

    devouringtexts(at)gmail(dot)com

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  22. This is the easy answer, I know, but To Kill a Mockingbird, is my choice. It teaches acceptance and tolerance and love. How could that message be wrong?

    Bekka
    prettydeadlyreviews(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  23. I have to say, I think every high school student should read 1984. There are so many reasons; it's a good book, it's fun to read, suspenseful, it'll spark so many discussions about the role of government and the need for privacy in a citizen's life. It opens the world of science fiction to readers who are maybe hesitant of the genre, and opens literary fiction to those who only read scifi/fantasy. Mostly though, as a writer who reads voraciously, I have to commend 1984's exquisite use of the three act structure -- it is just a precise, WELL written book that could be studied in English classes for the fluidity of its plot, government classes for its wealth of ideas; there is so much to be learned from that one novel.

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    1. Oh no, I forgot to leave my email address! I hope that doesn't immediately disqualify me. My addy is icemulder@gmail.com. :)

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  24. A classic book that should be read by all high school aged students? Oh man. There are so many! I'm partial to saying Pride and Prejudice or Jane Eyre because they are my favorite books, but when I think of being a teenager and that awkward phase of your life, I don't see much being gained from reading about Elizabeth, Darcy, Jane, or Mr. Rochester.

    Being a teenager is an awkward time in your life, yeah? So shouldn't we be giving HS students a book you can relate to AND learn from? For that reason I'm going with The Diary of Anne Frank.

    Why you ask? Well first, I think it's obvious we can learn about life during WWII and what it was like to be living through it from Anne's diary. The more important thing I think we learn is that even though being a teenager is tough and awkward and a war could be going on around you we're all the same. We all have crushes (Anne discusses her crush on the other teen in hiding with her, Peter), we all have stressful times with our parents, and we're all confused about what the future of our lives will hold.

    I think these are valid things to point out to teens in a world where we depend less on the the physical relationships around us and more on our digital ones.

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  26. The Invisible Man - H. G. Wells

    This was one of the first science-fiction books I read, and whilst it's not a huge, eye-opening worldview like a lot of the other classics (though one could argue that there are applications to social and class structures and "invisible men" in our own culture), it really got me into the genre and expanded my reading habits. I've always read a lot of fantasy and other fiction but sci-fi is something I never really bothered with until I read The Invisible Man. From there, I read more H.G. Wells, Lovecraft and all sorts of other amazing books.

    The Invisible Man is not a book you would automatically think of when thinking of "classics", but I think it's important for teenagers to read a variety of genres and be encouraged to pick up books that they wouldn't ordinarily pursue.

    madelaine(dot)elliott(at)googlemail(dot)com

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  27. All teens should read Paper Towns by John Green, because 1-it has literary merit, 2-it is incredibly entertaining, and 3-it deals with a lot of identity issues. I wish I had had this book in high school. Even so, as a 21 year old college grad, reading it meant so much to me!

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    1. Crap, sorry... realsteph at thefakesteph dot com

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  28. I'm from Missouri so I'll go for Mark Twain's Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, fully aware of the problems inherent in that choice. Working through those problems in a thoughtful and careful way is part of what makes it such a great experience for high school students.

    My email is at yahoo.com -- joyweesemoll.

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  29. I would say Great Expectations because of the coming of age story, the view of the different classes and the simple but twisted love story. Great challenge! janel.kinlaw at yahoo dot com

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  30. I think everyone should read To Kill a Mockingbird, it's a powerful book with amazing characters. It teaches people about acceptance and equality and its a really enjoyable book to read. Thank you. :)

    visabellad(at)gmail.com

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  31. Helene Hanff's 84, Charing Cross Road. If finding pleasure in reading were a disease, then Helene Hanff's letters would definitely be a HUGE source of contagion :)

    Cheers!

    misskindle at gmail dot com

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  32. This may be a bit of an odd recommendation, but I had to read bits of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales in high school and loved it so much that I eventually read (and loved) all of it. Maybe not the best for a general english class to read, but one that focuses on British Literature, such as the class that I read it in.

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    1. And I forgot my email...of course!

      shorty_320@yahoo.com

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  33. my choice would be anything shakespearean. my favorite is of course Romeo and Juliet but also Richard III

    xoxo olivia

    ozajkas at gmail dot com

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  34. All young people should read 1984. It warns them about society and not to take voting as a joke when they're old enough but also that they should make the most of the freedom we still have. It shows young people how controlling governments can be whilst giving them the opportunity to figure out the differences and similarities between that world and the one we live in.

    Plus, teens will really want to read this books because it'll show them how the dystopia genre really started and how it developed into modern teen favourites such as The Hunger Games and Divergent.

    maggiemcgonagll@yahoo.com

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  35. Wow, what a generous giveaway! I read Of Mice and Men when I was at school and thought it was a great book and brought up so many interesting discussion topics! Happy reading, Allie!

    Katie
    Literarytangent[at]gmailDOTcom

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  36. I think it should be something like Tom Sawyer. I think that they submit high school kids to the heavy stuff too much and too early. I loved to read as a kid, but high school took all fun out of it and I didn't pick up my reading habits until I was much older. I think I picked up my first book 5 years after high school. It is such a shame. So I would say something lighter.

    cynni _ universe @ hotmail.com

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  37. The Great Gatsby - it influenced me more than any other book in high school in terms of how I read and (wish to) write. I've gone to New York twice specifically to see Elevator Repair Service's Gatz at the Public Theatre and both times I've been brought to tears by the reminder of how much I love that language.

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    1. And I forgot the email address: mer_elliott@shaw.ca

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  38. There are so many incredible books I hope high schoolers will read, but I would say The Sign of the Four by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle should be added to all curriculum lists.

    To me it demonstrates the fact that classics can be fun, exciting and accessible. I think students can often get the idea that classics are all old and boring and they should hate them. Obviously I don't think so, but I have been told by so many people that they hated their high school English class because the books were boring.

    The Sign of the Four is the perfect introduction to Sherlock Holmes. It's small enough that it isn't intimidating and I think it would appeal to both girls and boys while a few others tend to alienate one or the other. Great question!

    avidreader25 [at] gmail [dot] com

    p.s. Those PEL editions are so gorgeous!

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  39. I am going to say 'Fahrenheit 451'. Not only is a great book in general but the message of the importance of books and education is timeless. In this day and age when all kids care about is the internet, texting and tv, this book's message still rings true.

    somanybooks.solittletimeblog@gmail.com

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  40. The Color Purple by Alice Walker is one that drives home the harsh reality of domestic abuse and racial inequality, and yet shows how both may be overcome.

    nfmgirl AT gmail DOT com

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  41. I remember reading The Portrait of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde when I was 13 or 14 and it had a rather profound effect on me. It was the first classic I'd ever read without being pushed to it, and it really showed me how stunning writing could be. It also has a haunting message about vanity and corruption that just... stuck with me.

    ... really need to read it again, and really do think every teenager should.

    -Kay
    deadbookdarling at gmail dot com

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    1. Oh, you're absolutely right! I didn't knew writing could be so creepy and so compelling at the same time until I read The Portrait of Dorian Gray.

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  42. The Picture of Dorian Gray... honestly just because it's so beautiful and incredibly written. It let me know classics could be just as powerful today as they were when they were first published.

    thenextbookblogger@gmail.com

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  43. I love the PELs almost as much as I love the cloth bound but the question is so hard - just one classic? Gah!

    I'm going with Frankenstein.

    There's so much to think about - could vs should, what makes a monster a monster or a personal a monster, the spark of life, creation (of all sorts).

    dtanton@gmail.com

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  44. I think high schoolers should read Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility. I'm a diehard Austen fan, so I'm a tiny bit biased. :) But I think S&S is a particularly good read for teenagers because it gives them a relatable character in the passionate, headstrong Marianne, but it also shows them the pitfalls of being too reckless and passionate.

    Thanks for this amazing giveaway!

    christina(dot)behe(at)gmail(dot)com

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  45. I debated between To Kill a Mockingbird, Of Mice and Men, The Great Gatsby, and Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison (all of which I read in high school) before settling on Thomas Hardy's Tess of the d'Urbervilles. It's a big, dense book, but its a classic that affected me like no other that I've read. I still think about that book and have reread it on multiple occasions. Plus, I think the ambiguity over Alec and Tess having sex would make for a very interesting discussion that it's incredibly relevant to high schoolers lives -- slut shaming, date rape, "asking for it".

    Of course, having gone to high school in Texas, I recognize that kind of discussion would probably get you fired. But I just think it would make for a fascinating discussion, one I wish someone would have had with me!

    Email: theardentreader[@]gmail[.]com

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  46. I kind of disagree with the premise of this question -- 'high school aged children' is such a big category that to me, asking what one book they should all read is like asking what one article of clothing they should all wear or what one food they should all be fed.

    This said, if you dropped me down anywhere in the world with a translator and told me to pick one book to discuss with a group of teenagers I hadn't met before, I think I'd pick The Epic of Gilgamesh.

    It's got a lot of really great characters, both male and female. It's got bits about sex that (I remember from my own adolescence) can make teenagers both laugh and think. It's got humor and adventure and tragedy. We could talk about the old ideas of people so old that perhaps we can't understand them. We could talk about immortality and death; about what's meant by wildness and civilization, law and authority and rulesbreaking; fighting and friendship and loyalty and love.

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    1. oops -- and my email is dorothea.says at gmail.com.

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  47. Thanks for the fun challenge. I choose David Copperfield by Charles Dickens. Reading that should improve any reader's appreciation for school, because the boarding school that David is sent to is SO awful!

    leeswammes * gmail - com

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  48. I think that everyone should read "The Tenant of Wildfell Hall" by Anne Bronte because it is in my opinion the best book by one of the Bronte sisters. It is a powerful story and there is still something to be learned from it today.

    gabriellereads@gmail.com

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  49. I absolutely agree with everyone who's said To Kill a Mockingbird. I love how that book has such fabulous setting and characters that come from a very definite time and place yet the story and the heart of it is so universal.

    Conversely, I also enjoyed reading The Chrysalids in high school because it deals with a lot of the same themes of acceptance but in such a completely different genre and style of writing. I think it appeals to a lot of teenagers that most other "high school books" don't appeal to.

    caitlinblakeley (at) gmail.com

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  50. My first thought - which I see was that of others as well - was To Kill a Mockingbird. I think that reading it as a high school senior affected the way I've viewed the world for the past 30 years.

    A book I think all teens should read that hasn't been mentioned - maybe because it was published in 2000 and so probably doesn't (yet) qualify as a "classic" - is Jerry Spinelli's Stargirl. I first read it when my oldest child had to read it in school - and I found it amazing!

    alisonwonderlandUT[at]gmail[dot]com

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  51. See how many mentioned To Kill a Mockingbird! It's on my pile for this read-a-thon, and I will surely expect great things from it. And I'm sure it makes sense to mention it as THE must-read classic... from an American point of view. Now from my European point of view I'll have to think of something else. I'll quote Kimberly above and say Anne Frank's Diary -- because it was an eye-opener for me in high school, and I am afraid that newer generations know less and less about World War II, so it's important to never forget.

    (Oh, my email: ioscribacchina [and it is at] gmail.com)

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  52. Well, I think all high-school kids should definitely read Sudenmorsian by Aino Kallas. It was published in 1928 and it's about werewolves which just goes to show that they aren't something modern authors just suddenly made up.

    ...But since that's a Finnish book and I don't know if it's been translated into other languages, I'll also vote for Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice. It's intelligent, witty and written by a woman. There aren't too many books by women on the classic classics list!

    kaannajosivua@gmail.com

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  53. I am going to shock myself with this one and say One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey. I was taught this one in high school and it was one of the best reading and learning experiences of my life and I wrote one heck of a kickbutt papers comparing it to the film American Beauty. I still love that book to this day.

    bookslikebreathing(at)gmail(dot)com

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  54. I think high school kids should read 1984 by George Orwell. Its one of my favorite books. A great dystopian novel. It emphasizes the consequences of a totalitarian society.


    Thank you for hosting this challenge!


    4ahappierme@gmail.com

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  55. Too pick one classic was a bit of a difficulty, and there are so many great selections. I think ultimately The Little Prince. Although considered a children's book I think an analytical approach to it that most high school reading offers up could really open up the lessons this small volume has to offer...it's a rather quick read but the message of values is one that usually sticks with the reader.

    Thenerdgirly at gmail dot com

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  56. Definitely Fahrenheit 451! That book spoke to me, and I think others should be able to have the same experience.

    Email: readingandrising(at)gmail(dot)com

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  57. I would have to say To Kill a Mockingbird, because even after all this time I think it tells so many real and important truths. I guess that's why it's a classic, right? If I could choose what is (to me) a new classic, I would say The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness.

    Thanks for the challenge!

    toofondbeth@gmail.com

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  58. My absolute favorite book of all time is To Kill a Mockingbird, so that is an obvious choice. However, from my experience, most high school kids *do* read that. My second choice is odd, because I've never actually read it. However, my daughter (10th grade) had to read East of Eden over the summer. She resisted and complained and never actually read it. But then we were sitting around the table not long ago and she started gushing about it, how much she loved it and how nice the writing was. Shocked me. Any book that elicits that kind of a response has my vote! Third, I would say anything Austen. I'm not actually a huge fan, but I was never required to read any Jane Austen and think it would be good to expose kids to her in high school.

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  59. I would have to say To Kill a Mockingbird.

    abbeyann29[at]aol[dot]com

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  60. My first gut answer is, To Kill a Mockingbird. I just asked Sam what he thought has been the best classic he has read in high school so far, and this was his choice too. He didn't even have to think about it! And for all the obvious reasons--love,tolerance and acceptance. I also think it is an important work showing the struggle of Black Americans in a past that is not so very long ago.
    *smiles and happy reading*

    kimmery4(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  61. I think that all high school students should read Farenheit 51 by Ray Bradbury
    I think that they should read this book because it shows how human nature can cause us to do horrible things. It can inspire someone to stop smoking or doing drugs, because the book shows how longing and addiction can make you resentful, which can lead to horrible things. In the book, the main character gets addicted to something that is banned to him: books.

    I also think that high school students should read this book to see why people ban books, and how it can affect someone.

    My email address is Morrigan@gignacs.com

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  62. I'm going with the obvious too, To Kill A Mockingbird - that book just has so much power. In addition, I'd think one Shakespeare play and maybe Fahrenheit 451, just cause I loved it. Great topic!
    librariansbook(at)gmail

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  63. I am going to have to go with Of Mice and Men because it gives the reader so much to talk and think about. It is also the book that stuck with me and left an impression on me the most from high school. The ending is still heartbreaking to me. The story also shows an important part of the USA's history.

    bluejay390@yahoo.com

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  64. If I had to pick, I would say Fahrenheit 451. It teaches a great lesson and I think that censorship is something that high school students can relate to.
    And since I really couldn't pick just one, I feel they should include more enjoyable classics like Pride and Prejudice or Dracula to show that older books can be fun too. Not everything is like Moby Dick or the Scarlett Letter. (apologizes if you liked these but I hated these in high school)

    Jessica_h706 AT yahoo DOT com

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  65. This is a pretty hard question for me because I think that a lot of books that people do read as high schoolers are being read too early. For example, I love The Great Gatsby, but it is a book about people on the cusp between their twenties and their thirties, and the book was much more meaningful to me when I read it at that point in my life. So, although it isn't my favorite Shakespeare by any means, I am going to say Romeo and Juliet. The play is really about young love and the experience of being a teenager, so even though it is exactly their experience (hopefully:)), there are so many things in the play that resonate with kids in that age group.

    Thanks for the awesome challenge Allie. Hawthornescarlet at gmail dot com.

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  66. There are so many to choose from that it's hard to pick just one, but I'm going to go with my favorite, Gone With the Wind. Not only is it a classic, but it brings the history of the Civil War to life in a way that history books just can't. Reading about Scarlett O'Hara makes history come alive and gives kids of the 21st century a glimpse into what life was really like.

    amyliz2008 [at] gmail [dot] com

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  67. Fahrenheit 451, without a doubt. Ray Bradbury is such an amazingly iconic writer and so accessible to all kinds of readers. Plus, 451 emphasizes the importance of books and freedom in such an engaging and convincing way that easily inspires many young readers and those young people who think reading isn't for them. bblanton.84@gmail.com

    Thanks for hosting this challenge and enjoy your reading time tonight!

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  68. I'm going to go with what a lot of others have said, and say To Kill a Mockingbird. We've come a long way, but learning about our past mistakes will help students realize that we still have a long way to go.

    Thanks for the great challenge and giveaway!
    theoverstuffedbookcase (at) gmail (dot) com

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  69. Interesting question!

    If I'm thinking "classic" in my own view, I would say The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. Obviously it's newer, but it definitely has "classic" status in my eyes. Most schools teach the Holocaust, and this book offers a different perspective that might be valuable for students.

    But I also believe students should read something like Pride and Prejudice, Wuthering Heights, Jane Eyre, etc.

    Jane
    janestoryblog AT hotmail.com

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  70. I'm with the majority here and saying To Kill a Mockingbird. The story is touching and I'm moved every time I re-read it.

    Thank you so much for the giveaway!
    biochemguy22(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  71. If I had to pick one, it would be Anne Frank's Diary. I think it's very relatable to see history from someone who is your age. Love that book.

    booksatruestory at gmail dot com

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  72. I'm going to go with Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston. It's such a poignant and brilliantly written book. And really explores themes of ageism, race, sexism, and love.

    Hurston has a lovely voice and tell such a wonderful, yet heartbreaking story. You can't help but to root for Janie and fall for Tea Cake.

    jadaloves[at]gmail[dot]com

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  75. I think The Great Gatsby should be required Reading. I remember that being the first "classic" that I really LOVED. It made me realize that if I gave into the experience, I might actually enjoy classics. Once you give in to the idea that you might enjoy them, there are great ones to learn lessons from.

    Oops, forgot my email! BooksDevoured (at) gmail . com

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  76. This is a hard question for me, as classics make up most of my reading, and I love them dearly. And you have to consider what you want the book you assign to accomplish. Do you want it to teach a specific lesson (To Kill A Mockingbird)? Do you want it to have significant cultural importance (Uncle Tom's Cabin)? Do you want it to just be a sublime work of literature (Moby-Dick, my favorite American novel of all time)?

    I guess what I would hope is that the book would instill a lifelong love of reading in impressionable high school students. If they find they can love an "old" or classic book, then hopefully they will read many more over the course of their lives. For me, in high school, that book wasn't TKaM or Uncle Tom's Cabin. That book was The Count of Monte Cristo, which I read twice for class. It's got everything -- action, revenge, skulduggery, romance -- and I think it will appeal to boys and girls alike. It remains one of my favorite books ever. It was the first classic I ever truly loved; it opened the door to loving many more classics; and I think it would do the same for a lot of students.

    Thanks for hosting this challenge! I love it, and the prize is spectacular!

    pseudoeden[at]gmail[dot]com

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  77. No doubt..."To Kill A Mocking Bird"...one of the most influential books in all of American history. The morals and humanity of that book are just as relative to modern society as they were on the day they were written. It is a TRUE classic. Wonderful mini-challenge and question. Thanks for the opportunity to win classics...my true personal favorites of the book world.

    Courtney
    Stiletto Storytime
    stilettostorytime at gmail dot com

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  78. Isak Asimov - Foundation. I remember hating math in school, with a passion. This book didn't make me love math, but it made me aware that numbers and science matters just as much as literature and art. seeknow at gmail dot com

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  79. My first thought was also To Kill a Mockingbird, but I think my official answer is going to be Lord of the Flies. It's commentary on human nature and behavior are chilling. m.alabaugh@rrpl.org

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  80. Slaughter House Five by Kurt Vonnegut. A great accessible book about the horrors of war. My email address is shb00@hampshire.edu.

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  81. Definitely Jane Eyre, because it is such a great example of the Gothic style, and because it's a timeless story (the star-crossed lovers! the mad wife in the attic! the crumbling Thornfield Hall!). It is truly one of my favorite classics (I've read it at least three times), and I think everyone should be exposed to it in their formative years.

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    1. alexis dot rinehart at gmail dot com

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  82. I wish I'd had the opportunity to read NORTHANGER ABBEY in high school. While P&P is the more popular choice among Austen fans, I've always loved NA for the way it highlights the impact literature has on a young person's life. I can see that being a lot of fun to tackle in an English class.

    --Memory
    xicanti AT gmail.com

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  83. The Giver!!! Because I just finished it this morning and I LOVED IT. Awesome concept! I had no idea!

    thelibrarian(at)thinkingcatblog(dot)com

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  84. I've started collecting some of the Penguin English Library too. Aren't they gorgeous?

    As for what high schoolers should read, so many great suggestions already - To Kill a Mockingbird (for sure!), The Great Gatsby, Pride & Prejudice (one of my personal favourites), Lord of the Flies, and so on.

    When I was in high school, many years ago, we actually had to read Les Miserables, albeit it was an abridged version, but I have loved the story every since. And since I'm in an autumn/Halloween frame of mind, how about Dr. Jekyll and Mr Hyde? ;)

    inspringthedawn at gmail dot com

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  85. It's a tough question, but I'm going to go with 1984. It's an exciting and thought-provoking read that should hold a teen's interest, and it has an important message about civil liberties, privacy and the role of the state, which is very relevant today.

    sophiasblog-book[AT]yahoo[DOT]com

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  86. I had a hard time thinking of something at first that I truly think all high schoolers should read, but then it hit me--The Handmaid's Tale, by Margaret Atwood. Especially these days, when the theme has come back around again with such force, I think it's important to bring the ideas into the classroom and discuss them, especially since a lot of times feminist works are ignored in favor of more books by Old White Dudes. I only read it this year and really wish I could go back in time and put it in Teenaged Mia's hands.

    figwiggin@gmail.com

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  87. This is hard...okay, I'm going with Pride and Prejudice for girls, and Dracula for boys. I do know boys who enjoyed P&P, but still, I think Dracula (or maybe 1984) would be a better choice. They can read P&P later, maybe in college. :)
    These books are classics, with important messages, but also "fun" reads, and that's very important. I know many people who don't like to reaad, b/c they think all the books are boring like the ones we had to read in high school...and that's just sad.

    cayce006 at yahoo dot com

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  88. Well, I don't know anyone who doesn't love To Kill a Mockingbird. It's just such an awesome, powerful, important book. I'd also recommend The Giver for high school readers - I know it's usually assigned to younger kids, but I think high school kids might get the message and importance better than younger kids do.

    Thanks for such a fun (and quick!) challenge!

    sarahmay227(at)gmail(dot)com

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  89. I would say A Tale of Two cities it explores the tgemes of love war and sacrafice so beautifully and truthfully

    Kai
    fictionstateofmind@ gmail.com

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  90. Oh what a fantastic challenge!! You're a book lover after my own heart :D I have a second blog dedicated just to Penguins because I love the book series they put out so much. As for a classic I think everyone should read, I'd say A Tale of Two Cities. I actually read that one in an 8th grade honors class and I still remember reading it so vividly and being so so touched by it and so moved by it. Another is A Wrinkle in Time. Read that one in Fourth grade and it was the first book that I truly fell in absolute love with! Oh…and my email is chrisa511@gmail.com :)

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  91. Great mini-challenge, Allie! I think that they should have to read Little Women. Not only does it teach the value of family and good morals, it also shows that a person should follow their dreams. Little Women is one of my top ten favorites of all time. I have read it numerous times and its message never fails to strike home.

    truebookaddictATgmailDOTcom

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  92. I'm going to have to be like a lot of people and say To Kill a Mockingbird because it's so, so powerful. But Huck Finn is another fantastic one because it throws open the discussion for devices used by the author--exaggeration, narrative devices, and whatnot.

    Thanks for the great challenge.

    LLindsey217(at)gmail(dot)com

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  93. Okay, this answer is a little out there, but I am going to go with The Scarlet Pimpernel. I feel like this is a classic novel that both girls and boys would enjoy. If they enjoy it, then maybe they won't be as intimidated by classics and might pick up some more to read. My second pick would be 1984 by George Orwell. The reason for this is that it is referenced so much in society (Big Brother) that it is a must read.

    Kate @ Kate's Book Nook - kathrynlouw@gmail.com

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  94. Fantastic question!

    My first thought was To Kill a Mockingbird. But my real answer has to be The Book Thief. That book is just a game changer, a life changer to be somewhat dramatic. ;)

    Jhartling74@aol.com

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  95. I, too, had a hard time coming up with a book that I felt was important enough that I want all high schoolers to read, but accessible enough that those high schoolers would enjoy it and get something out of it. If I was only going by the first criteria, I would pick Beloved by Toni Morrison, which was an immensely striking book to high-school-me. I remember being the only person in my class who enjoyed it, though, and for that reason, I think I will ape Mia's choice and go with A Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood.

    penrynsdreams at gmail dot com

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  96. I think all high schoolers should read Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury. It was the first book for me that made me think of a very different future that I have had imagined until then. And I read it when I was 25. It was a future without books, and I imagined it for the first time in my life. A world without books. It made me shiver.. I think the book would have a similar effect on me if I read it when I was in high school. That a world without books is a possibility, no matter how slim. And this would have made me to value the world that we are in right now. That we have the freedom to read whatever we want. I mean, isn't that the best right that we as humans could have in the whole wide world??

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  97. Allie, you are so giving! And you ask hard questions. :) My initial response is The Great Gatsby, not only for being a great book, but for what it says about the American dream and the American experience. But I kind of want to pick something that would entertain them a bit more, help them see classics are fun and that would have a wide appeal. I thought about The Handmaid's Tale, which would fit with the current popularity of dystopians, but I think that's getting a little old. So, I'm going with something out of the blue. The Man Who Was Thursday by G.K. Chesterton. It's accessible and fun, but still has themes and symbolism to discuss. It's a mystery and crazy tale with an exciting, unexpected ending. It would teach students that old isn't boring and hopefully encourage them to keep reading classics.

    lindsey DOT sparks AT gmail DOT com

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  98. I usually say The Odyssey to a question like this because it's the classic of classics but lately I've been thinking more about the classics that we use to introduce young readers to classics and I think they should be fun ones (personally, I think The Odyssey is fun but not everyone would agree) so I'm going to say The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins. Get some good Victorian suspense novels into the next generation and I bet they'll branch out from there. :)

    webereadingATgmaildotcom

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  99. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury.
    It's an amazing book that questions whether we are missing anything by moving to a more technological world (really, really short synopsis here). It's also available as a graphic novel (which is how I first read it) and the images only add to the urgency in the message.

    celestial DOT haven AT gmail DOT com :)

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  100. I'd say Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad. Not only does the novel display stellar writing, but it requires young minds to use analytical skills in discussing the complexities of human society and good vs. evil.

    soaulakh@live.com

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  101. Ooh! I love this question. My first thought: anything that will not turn them off of classics (ahem, The Scarlet Letter--at least for me), as I spent years convinced I despised classic literature (the tragedy!) If I had to pick one, however, I'd go with Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison. It remains my favorite book ever, and it helped me really understand the continuing racial issue in the United States. It's challenging, but brilliant. And it truly changed the way I look at the world. (nomadreaderblog@gmail.com)

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  102. My initial reaction is to say To Kill a Mockingbird, but I also think there are newer books that are sure to become "classics" in years to come. Books such as The Book Thief and The Help.

    Great challenge! Thanks for hosting!

    lscher@neb.rr.com

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  103. Frank Wedekind's "Spring Awakening" would be one of those books, in my opinion. I had to read it, too, and now (well, a few years later) I am glad they made us read it because you can relate to the teenage characters.
    (just_mimi@web.de)

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  104. This book may not be in most high school reading lists. I never see it mentioned this way. It may seem on the outset like a shallow book to recommend for teens, but I believe The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery is a must-read for the fact that it has a very good moral to share, of being able to determine the heart in things, and that what matters is the deeper virtue of things. The easiness of the writing, too, would be so accommodating to kids who do not usually read. Its charm might evoke a new sense of wonder and appreciation for books, as it did me when I was young.

    kissacloudblog at gmail dot com

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  105. Difficult question, there are so many to choose from! Think I'll have to settle on 1984 though, not just for the quality of the writing, but for warning and message it carries.

    askine09 @ gmail.com

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  106. Okay, I feel like my choice is a little strange, but how about A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens? It was read to me when I was pretty young, and everybody's probably familiar with the story, but I think when I re-read it when I was older, I got much more out of it - Dickens' humor, the descriptions of 19th century England, and even more so the message about how your past and your future can shape you if you bother to reflect on them once in a while, not to mention the personal benefits of unselfishness and being kind over being cruel and stingy. I had trouble with other Dickens novels in high school, but this one has always been a favorite.

    toadacious1 at yahoo dot com

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  107. I think everybody should read Jane Eyre, because it's a great story about overcoming troubles and heartache. About getting up after falling down and trying again.
    Also I think it's a great tale of staying true to yourself when faced with difficult situations.

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  108. alice in Wonderland. Is a very good book. a mental challenger.

    itzel_library@hotmail.com

    ~Yel

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  109. Phantom of the Opera because the writing and setting are just wonderful. Other than the excellent writing, I cannot think of another reason why it should be required reading (been too long since I read it).

    hauntingorchid (at)aol(dot)com

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  110. I would like to enter the giveaway. My answer to the question...is as follows: To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. It teaches so many life lessons, for example, to stand-up for what you believe is right in the face of opposition to your beliefs. There are so many other examples that this comment could go on and on, so I'll stop at one. My email is peacestaygold@aol.com.

    Cynthia
    http://thethingsyoucanread.blogspot.com/
    and
    http://thewritingwhisperer.blogspot.com

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  111. Dostoyevski, The crime and the punishment.
    Because it gives beautiful insight into a breaking mind that thinks is higher than any other, which is how highschool kids often think of themselves. In general, I think Russian classics should be in schools more.

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  112. Pride and Prejudice - I think it's a great book for highschool kids to read, because the first impressions & false impressions in the book would be great, because I don't know how exactly to express it, but i think it would be a perfect read for high school :)

    sandric.sk at gmail dot com

    Aleksandra @ Aleksandra's Corner

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  113. I'm just here to cheer, Read Read Read Go Go Go!!! #cheertamales

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  114. I'm here to cheer you on (and I'm hosting a mini-challenge later on in Hour 19, so go mini-challenge hostess!)

    Read all day
    Read all night
    Read that book
    'Til the morning light!

    #cheertamales

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