Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Tahleen's Top Ten Books That Should Be Required Reading For Teens

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created here at The Broke and the Bookish. This feature was created because we are particularly fond of lists here at The Broke and the Bookish. We'd love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!

Each week we will post a new Top Ten list  that one of our bloggers here at The Broke and the Bookish will answer. Everyone is welcome to join. All we ask is that you link back to The Broke and the Bookish on your own Top Ten Tuesday post AND add your name to the Linky widget so that everyone can check out other bloggers lists! If you don't have a blog, just post your answers as a comment. Have fun with it! It's a fun way to get to know your fellow bloggers.

Hi all! Tahleen here, with my top ten books I think every teen should read. (Let's face it, only librarians and bookish people consider 12- to 19-year-olds to be young adults.) This is a hard list to compile, since every teen is different. I'm going to try my best to cover a wide range, so bear with me. Let's see how I do.

1. Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher. It's important to know that the gossiping you do and the little ways you affect others can have much more impact than you realize. And it's finally out in paperback. It's worth it, trust me.

2. Paper Towns by John Green. Not only does this awesomeness in book form have themes of identity and the way we look at others, it is just a good time all around. I love this book.

3. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. A coming-of-age classic with the simple message of looking beyond the outside of a person.

4. Feed by M.T. Anderson. Teens today will see eerie similarities between Anderson's future and our present, especially with the way we see the world decay around narrator Titus. It's very sobering, at least it was for me.

5. Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson. A tough but all too common issue in our world is expertly handled here. A great conversation starter.

6. Any Shakespeare. There are too many references to the Bard in EVERYTHING we consume via the media, it would only help to read some of his stuff.

7. Grimm's Fairy Tales. Again, so many references in everyday life come from the fairy tales, especially those compiled by the Grimm brothers. And it's dark stuff too. Scholars have studied fairy tales for years, and for good reason: they tell us a lot about our selves.

8. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie. Probably one of the best books I've ever read in my entire life. A look at life in poverty on an Indian reservation, as well as an examination of identity. And despite its heartbreaking moments, it is chock-full of humor.

9. Seedfolks by Paul Fleischman. This gem of a novel shows how each individual in a neighborhood comes together to create a community where there wasn't one before, thanks to a garden. Oh, and it's super short.

10. Annie on My Mind by Nancy Garden. One of the first (if not the first—please let me know in the comments if you know this) books focusing on a homosexual relationship where one of the two lovers doesn't die. I thought this book was a great way to see (and better understand) a homosexual relationship if you are used to a heterosexual point of view.

There you have it, my top ten. Let me make clear that this is not my top ten YA books that I love the most. Though I do love these. What are your top ten?

41 comments :

  1. Great suggestions, I think I'm going to have to check out some of those for myself!

    I've got To Kill A Mockingbird on mine as well. Such a great novel.

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  2. I appreciate your opening remark that all teens are different, and that you strove for a broadly appealing yet diverse selection. My post expands on your response and draws on my 14+ years as an English teacher. I hope you'll find it worthwhile.

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  3. I've heard a lot of amazing things about the books on your list. I've had 13 Reasons Why, Paper Towns, Feed, Speak and Part-Time Indian on my TBR for way too long. I need to get to them soon!

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  4. I agree with you on many of your choices: Feed, Absolutely True Diary, To Kill a Mockingbird. I hadn't thought of 13 Reasons Why---but it would be a good choice. Great List!

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  5. To Kill a Mockingbird made my list too although I confess I changed the title a little to books I loved as a teen.

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  6. I Have Speak on my List :)
    http://thephantomparagrapher.blogspot.com/2011/07/top-ten-tuesday-books-that-should-be-on.html

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  7. Such a great topic for this week! I kept my list more to do with high school required reading...Great lists by other bloggers!

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  8. I really need to read 13 Reasons Why - it's just been bumped up on my to-read list because of you. :) And I'm definitely including Grimm's tales on my list too. I can't believe how many kids/teens don't know the original stories! With so many remakes and retold and fractured fairy tales out there in print and in the movies, it's kinda important to know where they came from.

    Great topic for discussion. :)

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  9. 13RW is one of those books that can really get under some people's skin, but I think it's important to talk about it. I thought Asher did an excellent job handling the topic, showing how Hannah fell apart through her recordings. He doesn't let anyone off the hook, not even Hannah, and yet he makes it clear that one person isn't to blame. It's a snowball effect.

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  11. So many great books... some I had forgotten ... I had a tough time picking my top ten!

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  12. I would never recommend 13 Reasons Why, I thought it could possibly be taken as a way out instead of about being careful on what you say etc

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  13. I didn't mean to be harsh, wasn't meant that way, I just remember having that reaction after reading it.

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  14. Marce, could you explain what you mean by a way out? Are you saying suicide could be seen as a way out? I think if it's read in the context of a classroom or with a planned discussion afterward, it can be very constructive.

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  15. What a great list!! I'd like to also institute required reading for adults. Required reading for all people!

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  16. this was a tough topic for me too, but you came up with some interesting ones--some I am not familiar with. I bet we see a big variety of books today.

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  17. We've got quite a few in common: Feed, Speak, and Part Time Indian

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  18. I just read numbers 1 and 2 on your list this month and I couldn't agree more. I'm also a huge fan of Speak and I'm so glad to see it made your list.

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  19. Awesome suggestions! I'm really glad you included some classics on your list too, I still think they're equally as important for teens to read.

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  20. Of all the lists so far, this was the most difficult. I'm glad you included Shakespeare in your list, I did too. Though I was more specific.

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  21. This one was harder than most, but still fun!

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  22. Wow...that is a great question. I will have to think about it before I post an answer, but I agree with you about 13 Reasons Why, To Kill A Mockingbird, and The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian. They really affected me when I read them.

    I recently reviewed 13 Reasons Why, and I think I will have to add a review of The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian soon.

    Shanan
    http://thebookaddictnet.blogspot.com/

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  23. This was a challenge! I decided to save some of my picks for next week's Tough Issues list.
    http://wp.me/pzUn5-uR

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  24. This is a great meme, it's my first time doing it and I really enjoyed it, totally agree with To Kill a Mockingbird by the way and loved Paper Towns!

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  25. +JMJ+

    This is a great theme! =D I was very excited when I saw it on the schedule weeks ago, and it looks as if other people are, too. =)

    Tahleen, my list doesn't have as many Contemporary YA novels as yours, because I tend to think that those are books teens "will read anyway." I've filled my own list with classics and other old books: I think the youngest one is still over fifty years old!

    Thanks again for coming up with this topic and hosting the meme. =)

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  26. I've never heard of Seedfolks, but I like the idea. I'll try and check it out.

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  27. Great list! I have To Kill a Mockingbird on mine as well though, to be honest, I don't remember a lot of it anymore... I just knew it was a really great book when I read it back in school :)

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  28. Great post - I've only read a few of those books, but they all sound like great high school reads. My English teacher and I were discussing John Green being on school curriculums recently. My list also has a fairy tale compilation. ^_^

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  29. Enbrethiliel, I actually disagree with the thought that all teens "will read it anyway." I know from experience that a lot of teens will stay away from certain types of books because of the subject matter, the genre, or just because they don't like to read. Or even because they've just never come across those books before. By bringing them out in the limelight, the books are getting recognition they might not have gotten before. I'm not saying I'm doing that, but it's worth it to me to put those books on my list for those reasons.

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  30. Fun topic this week Tahleen! I really enjoyed reading all the lists.

    Come visit me at The Scarlet Letter.

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  31. +JMJ+

    Tahleen: And my own experience has been that they'll stay away from the classics first and most stubbornly--but I do know what you mean. =P

    Is there a particular book on your list that you think teens might feel prejudiced against at the beginning?

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  32. I love Annie On My Mind. I'm so glad you included it in your list...and I agree...more people should definitely read this book.

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  33. Hi there! I'm joining late but I just couldn't resist a good list. Thanks for hosting.

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  34. Thanks for your list...I added several of these to my TBR list!

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  35. well i rarely leaves comment on any site but your blog is really so amazing that i can't stop myself from making comment on it...
    School Papers

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  36. Grimms' Fairy Tales, good call!

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  37. I think Maurice by E.M. Forster has Annie on My Mind beat for book with homosexual relationship not ending in death. But I'd still love to read Annie on my Mind! Thanks for bringing it to my attention!

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