Top 10 High School Books

As you embark on your high school journey, you will likely be assigned a number of books to read. These can be a challenging but rewarding way to learn.

These books will challenge you and help you grow empathetically and intellectually. They will also prepare you for college and beyond.

Jane Austen’s Emma

Jane Austen’s Emma is a classic novel that explores the themes of love, marriage, and social status. It also features memorable characters and a humorous plot.

The novel follows the life of Emma Woodhouse, a beautiful and intelligent young woman from the landed gentry. She is a bit spoiled and sometimes makes mistakes due to her lack of experience.

Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes

Arthur Conan Doyle wrote four novels and 56 short stories featuring Sherlock Holmes. They are considered milestones in the detective fiction genre.

One of the most popular characters in literature, Holmes is famous for his wits and logical methods. He’s been adapted to film and television numerous times and has been the inspiration for countless other detectives.

He also mirrors Victorian society’s obsession with scientific progress. The detective enjoys using scientific deduction to solve cases, which would have been something that the Victorian reader could identify with.

Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World

Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World is a dystopian novel that presents a frightening future. It shows a society dominated by science and technology and subjugated by elites.

Among the many themes of this novel are the use of biology, physiology, and chemistry for stability, identity, and community. This society also uses psychology for hypnopaedia and behaviorism to condition people.

The book also critiques modern governmental institutions that have gained control over the lives of ordinary citizens in the name of security or peace. It argues that these institutions must be challenged and eliminated in order for true freedom to return.

The Great Gatsby

One of the most popular American classics, The Great Gatsby takes readers into the jazz age of the 1920s. Its themes of social class, wealth, and love continue to resonate with students today.

According to The English Teacher’s Companion, The Great Gatsby is the second most popular novel taught in high school. Its insight into idealistic ideals, social classes, and wealth is still relevant to students today despite its short length.

Toni Morrison’s Blue Eyes

Set in her home town of Lorain, Ohio, Morrison’s first novel centers on the plight of Pecola Breedlove, an 11-year-old African American girl who believes she is ugly because of her dark skin. She longs to have blue eyes, which she believes will make her beautiful.

The book’s themes of abuse, pedophilia, sexual assault and racism are controversial. The novel has been banned in several school districts across the country.

Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist

Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist is a masterpiece that inspires people to follow their dreams. The novel is filled with many spiritual themes, such as the unity of all existence.

The book is centered on an Andalusian shepherd named Santiago, who travels to Egypt in search of a hidden treasure. Along the way, he meets several characters who help him along his journey.

A key theme in The Alchemist is that each of us has a Personal Legend. This Personal Legend guides our lives, just as the alchemist’s purification of metal can transform it into gold.

Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse Five

Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse Five is an anti-war novel that explores the impact of war on people. It uses humor, satire, social criticism, and pacifism to address the horrors of war and violence.

The story is narrated by Billy Pilgrim, who experiences the aftermath of the firebombing of Dresden, Germany, as a prisoner of war. It combines autobiography, history, sci-fi, and satire to question whether we should ever need to go to war in the first place.

Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale

The Handmaid’s Tale is a dystopian novel that explores a world in which women are repressed and restricted from their bodies. The novel also focuses on the power dynamics between those in charge and those who resist their control.

The book centers on Offred, a woman living in the Republic of Gilead, a theocracy run by religious fundamentalists. This totalitarian regime seizes fertile women in order to control the population.

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