Required Reading That’s Actually A Must Read

Let’s take a walk down memory lane and reminisce on high school required reading.

“HIT” (+) or “MISS” (-)

I remember in freshman and sophomore year, I was required to read these books:

The Classics
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou – HIT
Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck – HIT
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee – HIT
Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller – HIT
Inherit the Wind by Jerome Lawrence – HIT
Night by Elie Wiesel – HIT

Great! Couldn’t Put it Down!
Muckraker by Billy Callahan – HIT

The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros – MISS
The story is good but either I don’t like vignettes or I just don’t care for her style of writing on top of the vignettes.

I remember in junior year, I was required to read:

Black Boy by Richard T. Wright – HIT
I only read Part 1. I want to read Part 2 badly.

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain – HIT
I enjoyed this lots more than I thought I would!

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë – N/A
This is a classic that I was glad I read but did not enjoy as much as I would have thought, given the props it’s been given. I’m going to read this again when I’ll be able to appreciate it more.

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald – N/A
I’ll admit it, by the time we got to reading this I was tapped. Sparknotes all the way. I have to read this one day. Maybe. Aka it’s probably not going to happen.

The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne – HIT/MISS
The story is good but hard to follow if you are not paying attention and do not understand the writing style. So, it really depends on personal taste and how much of an investment you’re willing to put in this reading experience.

The Crucible by Arthur Miller – HIT
A favorite of mine, no doubt. Arthur Miller is great!

The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger – HIT
Brilliant and yet I still believe that it is over rated.

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley – HIT/MISS
This is a classic that is well written and engaging although it’s not of interest to me at all. So while a miss for me due to personal taste, this could easily be a win for someone else.

Excerpts of Beowulf – HIT
The excerpts I read were really interesting. I want to read it all!

Excerpts of The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer – HIT
Wow! I want to read all of the tales!

Excerpts of Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift – HIT/MISS
This is overall a funny hit even if you don’t understand the satire but it is just not of my interest in the end.

Let’s not forget the great poets (All HITS):
Shakespeare, Edgar Allan Poe, Emily Dickinson, Walt Whitman, etc…

I was also required to read and write reports on certain books, the most memorable being:
Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank.

What are your hits and misses from high school?