Required Reading in High School

A list of books that you were required to read in high school.
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flag this list (?)
717 books · 1,073 voters · list created July 30th, 2008 by Jade (votes) .
553 likes · 
Lists are re-scored approximately every 5 minutes.


Jade 1089 books
14 friends
Minstrelka 2776 books
13 friends
Glenda 154 books
154 friends
Ellie 364 books
12 friends
AJ 2904 books
78 friends
Heather 323 books
11 friends
Tammy 195 books
1396 friends
Erin 537 books
64 friends

More voters…


Comments Showing 1-47 of 47 (47 new)

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message 1: by VALERIE (new)

VALERIE Are we voting on what we had to read, or what we liked out of what we had to read?


message 2: by Joann (new)

Joann The Promise by Chaim Potok


message 3: by Bonita (new)

Bonita I just skimmed through and all I saw were classics...... you must go to some crappy high school... whoever you are...


message 4: by Audrey (new)

Audrey Knox wait, if not classics, Bonita, what did you read in High School?


message 5: by Tory (new)

Tory I'm only in grade ten, but so far I've had to read

Shattered by Eric Walters
Zack by William Bell
and we just finished reading Romeo and Juliet (just started watching the movie today)


message 6: by Megan (new)

Megan Costello Bonita wrote: "I just skimmed through and all I saw were classics...... you must go to some crappy high school... whoever you are..."

Yeah, the list is "Required High School reading" although, I agree with you. This is probably why most kids hate to read. lol


message 7: by Gabrielle (new)

Gabrielle I'm a Junior and so far throughout high school, I've read .. parts of The Odyssey, To Kill a Mockingbird, Brave New World, 1984, Night, All Quiet on the Western Front, Lord of the Flies and The Crucible. Not all of the classic books are bad. They are classics for a reason .. Some might be a little slow & boring, but a lot have a good message. I just hate being forced to read at a certain pace.


message 8: by Laura (new)

Laura I'm home-schooled and I've only had to read a few books, so I like this list. :)


message 9: by Manca (new)

Manca You have to read all these books in high school or do teachers choose some of them? It seems quite a lot.
I'm from Slovenia and I want to study drama at a university in London so I think it’s important for me to know a lot of English literature. I would appreciate it if someone answered me if I have to read them all and if not, which are the most important.


message 10: by Emily (new)

Emily Well I'm rather startled to find that I've only read one of the books on this list (I'm in the process of reading another and a good portion of them are on my to read list). I must be more behind on a "good education" than I thought.
Then again, there are a few on this list I've never heard of and a number that my brother had to read for high school that are simply not listed here.


message 11: by Jmarie (new)

Jmarie Dear Manca and all,
This is really some comprehensive list! I think the title is fair, though one detail might help: "A List of Books that many American High Schools require - what did you read?"

Considering that there are only 9 months in a school year, and one title might take a month ... you get the idea. In my high school we did read Julius Ceasar, Romeo and Juliet, Inherit the Wind (GREAT book!), Johnny Tremain (I didn't get it), and parts of Walden. We didn't read Our Town but I did, and saw at least three performances of it (great writer! Good play!) In College we read Dubliners, Portrait of the Artist, the Metamorphosis, and others ... I think many, many of the books that High Schools present can't be comprehended by High School youth. Walden should wait until they are out on their own!!!
During High School, some books I read on my own,and recommend: the wonderful All Quiet On the Western Front, Grapes of Wrath and the Pearl by Steinbeck, and all of Mark Twain.
Cheers!


message 12: by Tommy (new)

Tommy Excellent list! Many (around 80 I think) of these books are available under one collection for Win 8...

http://apps.microsoft.com/windows/en-...


message 13: by Helena (new)

Helena Palma Very proud of myself. I'm a fifteen years old Portuguese student and so far I've read twelve of the books. Our literature program does not mention any of those books and I find that sad. Amazing books and writers. Looking forward to read the others on the list. Please forgive me for my spelling and grammar mistakes, English is not my first language.


message 14: by Hermione (last edited Mar 27, 2013 10:41PM) (new)

Hermione Groves I'm in grade six. I have read a few of these like The Princess Bride and The Giver. My Language Arts teacher is going to read The Outsiders to us at the end of the year. I want to read the Hobbit, Lord of the Rings, 1985 and Brave New World and I'm in the middle of reading To Kill a Mockingbird. A lot of these titles look really good including the Shakespeare titles. I'll probably end up reading most of themwhether my teacher makes me or not.
Oh, and in reply to Megan: Not all kids don't like reading. I personally LOVE reading, just saying.


message 15: by Victoria (new)

Victoria where is 90th?:c


message 16: by Jessica (new)

Jessica Bryan I've read 31 of these books that I can remember. Some look familiar but I'm not sure if I was given the option to read them and didn't, or just blocked it out because I hated the book. Either way I know there were a ton more we read but I don't see them on this list or remember them off hand (I graduated in 2006). Then again I was in AP classes so I know we did a lot more reading than most others did in my school


message 17: by Berit (new)

Berit Hogan Bonita wrote: "I just skimmed through and all I saw were classics...... you must go to some crappy high school... whoever you are..."

Same hahaha xD


message 18: by Belinda (new)

Belinda Jmarie wrote: "Dear Manca and all,
This is really some comprehensive list! I think the title is fair, though one detail might help: "A List of Books that many American High Schools require - what did you read..."


Actually, back in the dark ages when I was in 6th grade, we were given a reading list by our AP English teacher that had over 800 titles on it arranged into American, British and World literature categories. We were to choose 9 books from the list and read one book a week. I would love to have that list today - I'd love to try to plow my way through it as sort of a "bucket reading list," if you will.


message 19: by Gina (new)

Gina W This list covers most high school reading lists. However, to respond to the earlier posts, most students are introduced and assigned this literature in middle school. The Pearl, Romeo and Juliet, The Outsiders, The Great Gatsby, Animal Farm, Fahrenheit 451, Night, The Odyssey, The Diary of Anne Frank, Of Mice and Men, The Glass Menagerie were all covered in my junior high reading curriculum.


message 20: by Alyssa Long (new)

Alyssa Long I agree that most of these are classics (which matches the title of the list), but I'm a teacher interested in knowing some contemporary or more cutting-edge titles that might be recommended to teach in a high school Lit class. Does anyone know of another list that has books that teachers are teaching that are new? Or, does anyone just know some? I'd love as many ideas as possible. And, any that are good AND common core recommended would be cool too (not necessarily better, but good to know in case I need to justify them to the higher powers). Thanks!


message 21: by Elyce (new)

Elyce Gobat I was assigned a fair few of these in high school and read a lot of the others on my own since. In AP English, we also had a list of books to read, one a month, but I no longer have it. Wish I'd kept it.


message 22: by Andrew (new)

Andrew Germann Can anyone remember a book in high school....Its set in 1800's London. From what I remember kids were worked very hard and had to pick cotton off of carpets before a press would crush them. Its really bugging me that I cant remember the title or author of this book. help


message 23: by Heather (new)

Heather We read The Chrysalids in Grade 8, and I was so relieved we got to read an ACTUAL NOVEL, I was so sick of the pap they fed us up to that point, I mean I'd already been reading proper novels for years but in school it was always crap stuff until then. To this day it's one of my favourites.


message 24: by Daniel (last edited Feb 25, 2015 09:59AM) (new)

Daniel Giordano Even though some of these books seem outdated, they are all still important. Millennials will argue otherwise, but archetypes are timeless, and the way these books prepare you for college is unique. With college education so competitive, give yourself an extra leg up by finishing the list!


message 25: by ramoncia (last edited Mar 15, 2015 05:21PM) (new)

ramoncia Megan wrote: "Yeah, the list is "Required High School reading" although, I agree with you. This is probably why most kids hate to read. lol"

Oh please, you should appreciate this list and be glad you didn't have to go through the polish required reading :D.


message 26: by John (new)

John Bohnert My high school in Michigan didn't require any books to read in English classes other than our textbooks. I was in the College Prep. group of students.


message 27: by Jillian (new)

Jillian Some of these seem too young for high school, there was a book my daughter was required to read for 4th grade in the list, and quite a few she was required to ready in 5th and 6th. Others just seem like really strange books to be mandatory reading, like the princess diaries...not a bad book but definitely not a piece of great literature by any means.


message 28: by Melissa (new)

Melissa Andrew wrote: "Can anyone remember a book in high school....Its set in 1800's London. From what I remember kids were worked very hard and had to pick cotton off of carpets before a press would crush them. Its rea..."

I believe you're thinking of Midnight Is a Place :) Midnight Is a Place by Joan Aiken


message 29: by Shay (new)

Shay Hawthorne An English Teacher of mine recommended Slaughterhouse 5, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, and Catch-22. I just COULDN'T get into them. and I tried. 10 years later and they are still boring as hell to me. I'm more about stuff like The Outsiders, The Giver, The Crucible, Macbeth, 1984, Brave New World. All the generics lol.


message 30: by Melenia (new)

Melenia Cheang is this all compulsory?
all 450+ books?
please someone tell me i need to know


message 31: by Shay (last edited Oct 18, 2015 09:54AM) (new)

Shay Hawthorne @Melenia

Nah, it's just that these are the common ones across schools. We all had to read some of them. The ones I was assigned from this list, in highschool: Romeo and Juliet, The Great Gatsby(didn't read lol), Lord of the Flies, Macbeth, Animal Farm, 1984 and The Crucible.


message 32: by ~☆~Autumn♥♥ (last edited Jun 09, 2016 10:41PM) (new)

~☆~Autumn♥♥ Half these books were NOT even around when I was in high school!!
I can't help but feel most of them will be soon forgotten.


message 33: by Zachariah (new)

Zachariah Alyssa Long wrote: "I agree that most of these are classics (which matches the title of the list), but I'm a teacher interested in knowing some contemporary or more cutting-edge titles that might be recommended to tea..."


Old post but I absolutely loved The Things They Carried in high school. I wasn't what you'd call a great student either but this book was life changing for me. Originally published in 1990, I think, which makes it fairly recent. It's gotta be better than having kids slog through Shakespeare.


message 34: by [deleted user] (new)

So funny as half these books were NOT even around when I was in high school!


message 35: by Meghan (new)

Meghan I read many of these in high school, but also in middle school and a few in college. Some of them I didn’t vote for because even though I read them for school, they were on a list to choose from and so not everyone had to read the same one.


message 36: by Merenwen (new)

Merenwen As interesting as this list is, I'm fairly sure that some of these (especially The Perks of Being a Wallflower, as it handles issues like rape, abortion, and child molestation) were actually banned in a lot of school libraries, so I doubt they'd be on an English syllabus. Also, some of them (like The Fault in Our Stars) would probably be too new, wouldn't they?

Still, I'll probably return to this list for inspiration. I'm thinking of reading more of the classics, so this would be a good start, I reckon. (I was homeschooled, so I didn't have "required reading". Most of Shakespeare I watched, in movies and broadcasts of plays. I also saw a really good documentary about the theory that Shakespeare's plays were really written by Christopher Marlowe, but I can't remember the name of it.)


message 37: by Booklovinglady (last edited May 21, 2018 08:52AM) (new)

Booklovinglady Merenwen wrote: "Also, some of them (like The Fault in Our Stars) would probably be too new, wouldn't they?..."

I know my niece read The Fault in Our Stars for her English classes a few months ago.


message 38: by Merenwen (new)

Merenwen Booklovinglady wrote: "Merenwen wrote: "Also, some of them (like The Fault in Our Stars) would probably be too new, wouldn't they?..."

I know my niece read The Fault in Our Stars for her English classes a few months ago."


Oh, cool! I didn't know it was being read in English classes.


message 39: by Booklovinglady (last edited May 22, 2018 10:33AM) (new)

Booklovinglady Merenwen wrote: "Oh, cool! I didn't know it was being read in English classes...."

I'm Dutch, and so is my niece :-) But the book was part of the school library, which is why she read it.


message 40: by Chris (new)

Chris Marler What's with all the Terry Prachett adds?


message 41: by Caitlin (new)

Caitlin Handshoe I just went through the entire list and counted and from middle school through high school (6 years) we were required to read 59 of these books. Split that evenly across 6 years is roughly 10 books a year. Roughly a book a month. Which isn't bad. And you have to also remember that some of these are more like short stories than actual novels. But idk how some of you only read a handful of these books. Because even with the 59 required readings, I still read some of the books on this list just for my own enjoyment.


message 42: by Francis (new)

Francis Koo If you have a hard time reading some of the classics, try out the Manga Classics line. (they are also on netgalley for review!) Those books are faithful adaptations that makes reading those stories much more enjoyable.


message 43: by Julia (new)

Julia I was supposed to read Through Black Spruce but I was so disgusted by it that my teacher let me read something else instead!


message 44: by Christine (new)

Christine Nordstrom Alyssa Long wrote: "I agree that most of these are classics (which matches the title of the list), but I'm a teacher interested in knowing some contemporary or more cutting-edge titles that might be recommended to tea..."

"There is nothing new under the sun."


message 45: by Chrysa (new)

Chrysa Vikopoulou Someone should tell the list maker that their experiences are not universal. I only had to read about 4-5 out of the top 100 books during my time in High School. For every "Great Expectations" we had to read, there was a "Bridge to Terabithia" and so on. The title and description make it seem as if EVERYBODY who ever lived HAD to read all these books and if they didn't they wouldn't pass High School or they're a dunce or something. If they really read the Great Gatsby, they would've read something about how everyone isn't given the same opportunities or whatever in like the first page though.


message 46: by Chrysa (new)

Chrysa Vikopoulou Manca wrote: "You have to read all these books in high school or do teachers choose some of them? It seems quite a lot.
I'm from Slovenia and I want to study drama at a university in London so I think it’s impor..."


I can't speak for American or British High Schools, but in Australia I know for a fact you don't have to read ALL of that. We didn't even have to read a portion of that list. And there's loads of other things we did read that aren't on this list either. Just find something you're interested in reading and read it through. You're not going to be judged by whether or not you've read all of Edgar Allan Poe's poems. But since you're interested in studying drama, I'd recommend you at least look into some of Shakespeare's more popular stories like Romeo and Juliet and Hamlet. You don't have to memorise them word for word, but you should at least have a look at what they're about, and research the guy himself a little, because I can guarantee he'll be relevant. You can find copies of his works pretty much everywhere, so you wont have trouble tracking them down, but aim for copies that have contemporary translations of his old-timey speech, or you'll be stuck constantly looking up what the text is saying.


message 47: by Julia (last edited Jun 06, 2019 04:20AM) (new)

Julia I don't think this list maker really saw it that way... I think they just wanted to let readers compare their high school reading with that of other readers. I put lots of books on the list that have no other votes, as well as many of the top books. (I voted for 17 books total.) I like seeing some of my favourites (that I was never given the opportunity to read for school) listed here. I just like to know that yes, some people got to read Harry Potter for school. Yes, people all over the world have had to read some of the same books that I had to for school. It sort of unites readers. You know what I mean?


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