My mother was an English teacher for forever and always encouraged my sister and I to read. For some reason *cough cough, mom* I was always placed in the Advanced English classes all the way through high school. Being in AP classes had very few advantages when you are a teenager trying to be cool at a new school BUT I must admit they had some pretty awesome required reading! At the time, I was on the dance team and had a good amount of friends even being the new kid. I liked to say that I hid my nerd ways really well but let’s be honest; everyone knew I enjoyed school, especially English class. Hahaha
A while back my girlfriends and I were discussing different books that we were required to read in High School. Even though they were not huge fans of required reading, and thought it was very strange that it was one of the highlights of high school; they accepted my nerdy ways and helped me create a list of books that we considered worth rereading as an adult!
Shout out to my Lady Friends!
The Coldest Winter Ever- Sister Souljah
So this was my number one pick! I didn’t read this in AP English but some of my other friends did. I don’t know if I would have appreciated the book as much as I do now. While I couldn’t relate to the main character, it did open my eyes to things I couldn’t imagine existing in a young person’s world. From clubbing at 12 years old to being forced into a children’s home, the life of this girl is insane.
Of Mice and Men- John Steinbeck
I remember being kind of annoyed with the main characters of this book but eventually had empathy for them. Readers watch as the author showcases a story of two individuals trying to find their way in the world. This book proves that at times your own strength can become your worse enemy if you let. However, thank God hopes and dreams can help you through anything.
Wuthering Heights- Emily Bronte, Richard J. Dunn
Cant’ help but love, love stories! This is a unique and crazy novel! The main characters aren’t very rational so to speak and they do horrible things without thinking of nothing else but themselves. However, I must admit, the fact that the characters are so unlikeable makes you want to finish it to the end!
Great Expectations- Charles Dickens
Who doesn’t remember young Pip who dares to dream of becoming a gentleman. The characters in the book are unique to me and totally timeless and special. I remember reading this book and thinking wow, this kid is brave!
The Grapes of Wrath- John Steinbeck
This novel was heartfelt because it pretty much portrayed a story of people with power vs. the powerless. Voyaging across the county, the Joads witness first hand how divided America is during the 1930s aka the Great Depression. Some people say America is in essence repeating itself and this book is a guide of what not to do as the American people.
A Tale of Two Cities- Charles Dickens
For some reason English teachers loved Charles Dickens hahaha. But I believe this book was a required reading because it proved that Dickens was pretty darn sentimental and actually wrote suspenseful novels. While I’m not going to lie, it take a lot of energy to get through this book at the beginning, it gradually got easier and super interesting. It also posed questions for us that are still relevant today, questions such as, what if people were persecuted for their political views? God knows that relevant..
The Scarlet Letter- Nathaniel Hawthorne
I reference this book ALL THE TIME and I am pretty sure 90% of the time no one knows what I am talking about. As person who considers herself pro-woman even at a young age, I found myself dumbfounded and upset how they treat this poor woman. It takes two to tangle right? But how the book unfolds is insanely elegant and worth all the hype.
I Know Why the Cage Bird Sings- Maya Angelou
One of the best authors I know. My mom was more excited about me reading a Maya Angelou book then I was, until I read it. Then I understood. This classic book was one of my first autobiographies I read and I couldn’t get enough. I recently started rereading this again and it is still a favorite.
When was the last time you picked up a high school classic? Did it bring back memories? Did you find yourself seeing it in a different light then when you were younger?
Happy reading 🙂