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Books Every English Major Should Read

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Julia  (juliadipiazza) | 7 comments Mod
What are some books that you think every English major should have read by the time they graduate college? Which books do you think are most likely going to be taught in high school?


Erin (ebarry) | 1 comments I think it's a good idea for people who want to become English teachers to read Teacher Man by Frank McCourt. It's an interesting book that sparks a lot of ideas.


Anne | 11 comments hmmm - i liked it but didn't love it. think it is a bit unrealistic and self-indulgent


Jim Welton (Jimbow) | 2 comments It may sound obvious to many, tedious to some, and enjoyable to others, but you really have to read what your age students are reading for fun. One of the reasons I joined this site was to create a shelf for books I wish to teach and basically be able to scan it and add when I see someone middle school student reading a book that captures my eye.


Deb (Seahorse57) | 3 comments Julia wrote: "What are some books that you think every English major should have read by the time they graduate college? Which books do you think are most likely going to be taught in high school?"
I've been an English teacher for 30 years. I think there are three categories really:
1. The Classics
2. Important literature from your own country
3. YA fiction
As well as that, you need to keep up with the contemporary fiction in particular, so that you are fulfilling your professional responsibility of lifelong learning AND you're enthusing your students.
Are you going to post a list/lists?


Anne | 11 comments I read widely and have an eclectic collection of books. I teach year 7 - 12 and subscribe to emails from some of the major publishers (such as Penguin) to see what is new for young adults. I teach some classics and some contemporary, depending of the abilities of my classes. Gather you are in the USA. In New SOuth Wales, we have subjects called Extension 1 and Extension 2 (the top levels of senior English). These students are expected to read widely and at a sophisticated level. Hence, I suggest all sorts of texts for them depending on their interests: Lost of post colonial texts from various countries such as India, Canada and Australia, lots of post modern texts and anything that is quirky and different.


Deb (Seahorse57) | 3 comments Anne wrote: "I read widely and have an eclectic collection of books. I teach year 7 - 12 and subscribe to emails from some of the major publishers (such as Penguin) to see what is new for young adults. I teac..."
We are coming from the same place...exactly :)


Anne | 11 comments Deb, agree with your grouping but what a daunting task to put together a list. Would need to do this in the Easter holidays that are rapidly approaching. BY the way, I won a copy of The Fallen Star by Jessica Sorenson and donated it to my school library. So far, the librarian's 21 yr old daughter loved it and is waiting for the 4th book to come out this week, I think. One of my 14 yr old students absolutely loved it and has purchased 2 and 3 in the series. Apparently, the librarian is recommending it to lovers of fantasy and they all love it. Also, another little surprise was No Hope for Gomez, probably 15 plus consists of a series of blogs but definitely quirky. Also read the YA version of Three Cups of Tea. Our school is going to put a couple in a year 9 Non fiction book box. Hope this helps. For senior students Jhumpa Lahiri's short stories (post colonial - set in India and the US) Let me know if you have read any standouts useful for students. :)


Deb (Seahorse57) | 3 comments Anne wrote: "Deb, agree with your grouping but what a daunting task to put together a list. Would need to do this in the Easter holidays that are rapidly approaching. BY the way, I won a copy of The Fallen St..."These days I teach undergrads and post grads how to be/come English teachers. So I made a list of the 'essentials' Communications degrees have been the final straw for English teaching. It's possible to become an English teacher now without ever having studied Shakespeare, or in fact any pre-twentieth century authors. It's making allocations more challenging than ever.
I'll pass on the YA recs to my students.


Anne | 11 comments Wow, didnt realise. Communications degrees here are very popular but to my knowledge, you need to have completed the English strand at high school that includes Shakespeare (which is compulsory). Hope that doesnt happen here. The teaching profession here is not that popular as it is a lot of work for not a lot of return (in terms of years study at uni.). It also attracts people who arent necessarily keen to teach but failed to gain entrance to uni for higher "ranked" degrees. Guess we just have to soldier on. Thank goodness for books and a little escapism


Frank Nappi (fnap33) | 8 comments As a high school English teacher for over 20 years I would say the complete works of Shakespeare, To Kill a Mockingbird, Catcher in the Rye, some of Steinbeck's works, and my personal favorite The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald.

For the first time this year I taught my own book - The Legend of Mickey Tussler - with my students. It was a wonderful and surreal experience to share the book with them and hear their interpretation. Now that my sequel Sophomore Campaign is out, I might try and do both with my students next year. Could be fun!


Anne | 11 comments Will have to check out your book, Frank. Very brave to do what you did - write your own book while teaching then teach it.


Frank Nappi (fnap33) | 8 comments Anne wrote: "Will have to check out your book, Frank. Very brave to do what you did - write your own book while teaching then teach it."

Thank you Anne - I couldn't believe how excited my students were to read a book that I had written. But you are right, once I started reading it with them I panicked for a moment! I had no idea what they would say. Talk about putting it out there. But in the end it was such a rich and engaging experience, it was worth it.

If you check out my books (The Legend of Mickey Tussler or the sequel Sophomore Campaign), let me know what you think. I would love to hear your feedback!


Anne | 11 comments Just added it to my to-reads. What age group do you target? I am in Aust. so probably wouldn't teach it to a class but looks like a good addition to our library.


Frank Nappi (fnap33) | 8 comments Thanks Anne! I taught it with my 11th graders this year, but it is certainly appropriate for students in middle school on up....

My first book in the series, The Legend of Mickey Tussler, was also made into a family film called "A Mile in His Shoes." The movie starred Dean Cain and Luke Schroder. It aired on cable this past fall. I am going to show that to my students too - so they can compare it to the book. The producer made some changes so it should make for an interesting conversation.


Anne | 11 comments Have already sent the link to your book to our school librarian. Autism etc is on the rise and we are seeing more and more students in mainstream schools. Awareness is a good thing, I think.


Frank Nappi (fnap33) | 8 comments Thank Anne. I couldn't agree with you more. I appreciate your support as well.

Frank


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