English class was the places of forced reading and extrapolating plots in books that weren't there. Throughout those years we were forced to read so many books that we felt didn't mattered and groaned each time we had to open it. Looking back on it, some of those books weren't half bad; sometimes we might still read them. Some of those books hold a special place in our hearts and may have even developed into our favorite book.
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
This classic American novel is a staple in all high school classrooms. It follows the life of Scout, a young girl in the south, as she learns about the injustice of race through her father and her life's adventures.
Atticus Finch, her father, is a lawyer in their small town and is assigned a very tough case which requires him to defend a black man. Through this trial Scout learns how the world really is and the true injustice that is around her.
Mississippi Trial 1955 by Christopher E Crowe
In this 1950s centered novel, we follow Hiram Hillburn, a white teenager in the south. While on a visit to his grandfather, Hiram learns of the news of the lynching of African American Emmett Till.
Based on a very real trial and tragic story of Emmett Till, Hiram is put to the test to determine what he stands for and pushes the limits of how far he is willing to stand up for his beliefs.
Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred D Taylor
This classic novel takes place in the deep south and follows Cassie and her family in the height of racial tension. Cassie and her siblings slowly learn how their world works; blacks are not meant to be equal to whites. Cassie becomes outraged and her emotions begin to fuel the book.
The Logan's, Cassie's family, are one of the few families that own their own land and that, along with a stubborn nature put them in danger.
That is until a fire breaks out on her land threatening the white landowners as well and they are forced to try and overcome their differences to save their land.
Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
The narrator, a southern woman who refuses to give into a life of sorrow and bitterness, tells her journey through life. Married three times and living through poverty, she finds purpose.
The Percy Jackson Series by Rick Riordan
Teenager, Percy Jackson, discovers that he is the son of Greek god Poseidon. He is then sent to a training camp to help him harness and control his powers.
Percy's task is to prevent a breakout of war between the gods, on earth. In addition to this monumental task, Percy must also save his earthly mother from the grips of the god of the underworld, Hades.
Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky
This classic Russian novel focuses on teen Rodion Raskolnikov. As a poor student, he plots to kill a ruthless pawn broker for her money; his plan to be rich and do good deeds with the money. After committing this crime, he gets eaten alive by guilt, confusion, and disgust for himself. His life begins to come undone when he has to face the real life consequences of his deed.
Lord of the Flies by William Golding
In this novel, a group of school boys get into a plane crash which leads them to being stranded on an island with no adults. Being so far from civilization and adult supervision, the boys think that they are going to live the life they always wanted. The longer the boys live on the island, the more they realize that it is not all it is cracked up to be as their civilization begins to crumble in the wake of a common enemy.
Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
This dystopian novel takes place in a time when books were a dying and illegal commodity; TV ruled the lives of the citizens. In this time, firemen were in charge of setting the contraband books on fire as well as burning the homes that they were found in. The novel follows the life of fireman Guy Montag and his self discovery of books which turn his life into a life on the run.
Night by Elie Wiesel
Elie Wiesel wrote this 'autobiography' after hs experience as a child in the Nazi concentration camps. He shares his daily struggles of life and death and shows what is was really like to live through the horrors. This novel follows Elie and his people throughout their journey and onto their liberation.
Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
The two main characters in this novel are an dd combination of friends. While working in the fields of California, living paycheck to paycheck, they form a plan to one day own land of their own. When this dream comes true, reality becomes hard for one of the characters when he realizes he cannot protect his friend from love and life.
East of Eden by John Steinbeck
This John Steinbeck novel takes on the lives of two Californian families that have intertwined fates. They follow the story line of the fall of Adam and Eve as well as the betrayal of Cain and Abel. Steinbeck touches on the mysteries of identity, and love and its absence.
The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
This Depression Era novel follows the life of one family as they travel out west towards the promise land of California to escape the Dust Bowl. This American classic touches on the rough lives of a divided country during the Depression and touches on the injustices that Americans faced.
Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls
This memoir follows the story of Jeanette herself, and her family. An on-again off-again drunk father, and a mother who doesn't want to be a mother dominate the family's life. Jeanette's father, when sober, teaches his children all sorts of things and when he is drunk, he is a burden and destructive. When pushed to the test, Jeanette and her siblings are forced to care for themselves and prosper in spite of their failing parents.
Brave New World by Aldofs Huxley
Aldous Huxley's tour de force, Brave New World is a darkly satiric vision of a "utopian" future—where humans are genetically bred and pharmaceutically anesthetized to passively serve a ruling order. A powerful work of speculative fiction that has enthralled and terrified readers for generations, it remains remarkably relevant to this day as both a warning to be heeded as we head into tomorrow and as thought-provoking, satisfying entertainment.
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
Based on a true story, this book tells the life of Henrietta Lacks. The book is about Henrietta's life dealing with the repercussions of her cervical cancer. Skloot also uses this book to touch on subjects like race and class in medical research.