Books Read in High School

Books read in high school are important to students’ intellectual growth. They help students develop empathy and communication skills, and they can also teach them about different cultures and societies.

While many students struggle to find books they enjoy, there are plenty of great choices out there. We’ve put together a list of 18 meaningful books that might make you laugh, cry, or think about the world in a new way.

1. The Catcher in the Rye

A staple in high school English classes for decades, The Catcher in the Rye is a classic that still resonates today. It’s an incredibly powerful read that puts its reader right in the head of a wayward sixteen year-old boy named Holden Caulfield.

The novel’s content is dated, but the story’s emotional power and poignancy are as relevant to teenagers in 2015 as they were when the book first came out. The underlying themes of self discovery and possessing moral values provide life and ethical lessons that are applicable to students in any classroom.

2. The Great Gatsby

The Great Gatsby is one of the most popular and iconic novels ever written, earning it a place on every high school reading list. Its evocative setting and rich themes have helped it secure its place as a literary masterpiece.

Aside from being an enjoyable read, The Great Gatsby also provides students with an opportunity to analyze history through the lens of literature. As part of a high school American studies course, students often use The Great Gatsby as a text to discuss the time period.

3. Blue Eyes

The story of a black girl who longs for blue eyes is at the heart of Toni Morrison’s classic novel. But a recent Wentzville school board decision to remove it from the local school system misses much of the point, literary experts say.

In an interview, Morrison revealed that she wrote the book after a friend had an experience where she was bullied because of her brown skin and blue eyes. She wanted to write about that in a way that people wouldn’t be able to ignore.

4. The Grapes of Wrath

The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck is a novel about migrant farm workers during the Dust Bowl. It was published in 1939 and won the National Book Award.

The story centers on the Joad family, who are forced to move from Oklahoma to California after being evicted from their farm. The family faces hardship and prejudice on their journey west.

The novel explores issues of exploitation, poverty, and racism. It also focuses on a conflict between the powerful and the powerless.

5. The Kite Runner

The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini, is about the power of family and the price of betrayal. Set in Afghanistan during the Soviet invasion, it also explores issues of rape and violence, and the price of education.

It also touches on themes of social awareness, religion and philosophy. It is a coming-of-age story of finding one’s place in a world of turmoil and transition, and it challenges readers to consider their own relationships with their parents.

6. The Lion King

The Lion King tells the story of a young lion who is destined to rule his pride. But when his father Mufasa dies, Simba is left to watch over the kingdom while his uncle Scar (Jeremy Irons) plots to seize power.

Simba is then rescued by the comedy kings of the jungle, Timon (Nathan Lane) and Pumbaa (Ernie Sabella), who promise to put his past behind him. But Simba soon blames himself for his father’s death and sets off on a journey to avenge the kingdom.

7. The Book of Eli

Thirty years after a nuclear war tore a hole through the sky, lone drifter Eli (Denzel Washington) traverses an inhospitable post-apocalyptic America carrying a King James Bible. He kills hijackers and cannibals on the way, but finds a refuge in a small ramshackle town run on a barter economy.

He meets a ruthless mobster, Carnegie (Gary Oldman), who makes him an offer. The loner refuses, but the gangster’s blind mistress Claudia offers him food and water to seduce him.

8. The Diary of a Young Girl

Anne Frank’s diary is a highly acclaimed book that gives a real insight into the suffering of people during World War II. It’s also a powerful example of how literature can inspire hope.

The diary records Anne’s life as a girl from her thirteenth birthday through her fifteenth. It includes typical adolescent experiences like her growing body and her first romance.

9. The Kite Runner

A bildungsroman set in both Afghanistan and the United States, The Kite Runner explores identity and family relationships while exploring ideas about the human capacity for good and evil. It also explores the relationship between sin, forgiveness and atonement.

Khaled Hosseini’s debut novel has garnered critical accolades as well as widespread acclaim. It is now considered a contemporary classic.

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