My Top Ten Books Read in High School
(Plus the start of it all in grade school)
- And Then there Were None-Christie
- The Bad Seed-March
- Arsenic and Old Lace-Kesselring
- Romeo and Juliet-Shakespeare
- The Odyssey-Homer
- The Pearl-Steinbeck
- Little House on the Prairie-Wilder
- The Great Gatsby-Fitzgerald
- Taming of the Shrew-Shakespeare
How did they impact me? Agatha Christie inspired me to write and to be original and deceptive and crazy and interesting. The Bad Seed and Arsenic and Old Lace (from Theatre class) were absolute foundations for drama and solving a good mystery should be the spice of life with every day you live. Shakespeare is just plain fun to read aloud, especially with exaggerated dramatic effect. The Odyssey makes me want to walk out the front door and spontaneously go anywhere. (My husband and I did often before children.) The Pearl made me appreciate people for who they are and love that we are all different. Jay Gatsby and Romeo make a young girl swoon and look forward to one day falling in love. And lastly, The Little House on the Prairie was the first chapter book I ever read. Thank you Ms. Winner, my second grade teacher from Mesquite, Texas, Range Elementary.
“Legend” book series rewarding, teachable novel for the classroom. Here is the culminating end for the unit. Thank you Marie Lu.
A book that offers a split narration point-of-view, theme, character analysis, terrific allusions to Robin Hood and others, and a fabulous who-done-it to solve that doesn’t give you answers till book 2 and encourages to continue reading. In addition, the characters offer terrific sarcasm and irony with endless figurative language of all kinds throughout the book for students to analyze. Give it a try.
Legend by Marie Lu
Pairs well with: Hurricane Katrina article stories of houses marked, Syrian civilians stories during present day war times, excepts of Prince and the Pauper, excerpts of Les Miserables (for which Marie Lu based some of the story)
“The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid.”
― Jane Austen,
Frost’s poem turns this expectation on its head. Most readers consider “The Road Not Taken” to be a paean to triumphant self-assertion (“I took the one less traveled by”), but the literal meaning of the poem’s own lines seems completely at odds with this interpretation. The poem’s speaker tells us he “shall be telling,” at some point in the future, of how he took the road less traveled by, yet he has already admitted that the two paths “equally lay / In leaves” and “the passing there / Had worn them really about the same.” So the road he will later call less traveled is actually the road equally traveled. The two roads are interchangeable.
According to this reading, then, the speaker will be claiming “ages and ages hence” that his decision made “all the difference” only because this is the kind of claim we make when we want to comfort or blame ourselves by assuming that our current position is the product of our own choices (as opposed to what was chosen for us or allotted to us by chance). The poem isn’t a salute to can-do individualism; it’s a commentary on the self-deception we practice when constructing the story of our own lives. “The Road Not Taken” may be, as the critic Frank Lentricchia memorably put it, “the best example in all of American poetry of a wolf in sheep’s clothing.” But we could go further: It may be the best example in all of American culture of a wolf in sheep’s clothing.