September 3, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Wish Were Required Reading

I'm homeschooled, so my list may not entirely be accurate.  I have read classics for school and also had a summer reading list a couple years ago, so I'm hoping it won't include any already-required books.

But I should note, I'm not a fan of required reading.  I feel it can turn so many students off of books, especially when they have to analyze the novel's content instead of just enjoying it.  I hated pretty much every book I read in American literature.  The only high spot was To Kill a Mockingbird, which I have reread time and time again.

But without further delay, my list. :)


1. Faith, Hope, and Ivy June by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
This book is more middle grade, but middle schoolers have required reading.  I loved the setting in FH&IJ, but the young characters were also spectacular, along with their parents and grandparents.  There were characters I rooted for and those I booed.


2. Betsy-Tacy series by Maud Hart Lovelace
Yeah, it's a bit girly for guys, but the books are a fun representation of life in the early 1900s, all from a child to a young adult's POV.


3. A Dog's Life by Ann M. Martin
Kids love dogs, and the book is fairly thought-provoking on how humans treat dogs.


4. Divergent trilogy by Veronica Roth
I put off reading Divergent for so long, and now I love it.  It's well-written, it's about the future of a city I know well, and I love that it shows how people are often divided by our abilities, our mindsets, things along those lines.


5. The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins
Like Divergent, this is one of the best examples of modern dystopian fiction.  Of course, it can be a bit dismal sometimes but the trilogy has a well-crafted world and characters.


6. Falling for Hamlet by Michelle Ray
After reading Hamlet (if high schools require that, which they should), students should read Falling for Hamlet.  It's an excellent modern retelling from Ophelia's perspective.  I often wonder, when reading books, how the book would've gone when told by the villain or a secondary character.  I can't be alone.


7. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
I'm sure this book might appear on many lists, but I believe it belongs on mine.  There's so much emotion and reality in this work of fiction that it needs to be read.


8. Shannon Hale's Books of Bayern series
I love how she started out retelling a fairytale and then it branched out with original fantasy novels.  This is a series that I feel isn't overly girly, so guys could enjoy it, too.

9. I.Q. series by Roland Smith
Fun adventures that give an interesting look at terrorism and at history, a bit.

It was a fight to the finish, and I had a hard time choosing this final book.


10. Starstruck by Rachel Shukert
Y'all may remember when I read and reviewed this book, and how, in the end, I really didn't like it.  But I think it does give a fairly accurate portrayal of Old Hollywood, which would be interesting, different, and fun for students to read about.

Honorable Mentions: The Help by Kathryn Stockett, Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher, The Heist Society series by Ally Carter, Gallagher Girl series by Ally Carter, Golden by Jessi Kirby


  1. I'm quite fond of a lot of books on this list as well as Hamlet, so I think I'm going to have to check out Falling for Hamlet.

    My TTT

    1. Thanks for stopping by! You definitely must try Falling for Hamlet. :)

  2. The combinations are endless. It will be interesting to see what everybody comes up with. kelley—the road goes ever ever on Nice list today.

    1. Yes, it's been very interesting! Thanks for stopping by. :)

  3. Great choices Emma :-) I wish I'd put Divergent on my list.

  4. Divergent and Hunger Games! I haven't read The Fault in Our Stars yet, but have heard nothing but good things. Need to get on that for sure!

    Shout out to Chicago!

  5. The Goose Girl! Yes! That should totally be required reading. The Hunger Games would probably be a good one too. Don't know about the rest, as I have yet to read them.

  6. This makes me smile. I thought I'd be alone when I put Falling for Hamlet on my list! :) Good to see it getting some love this week! I really like the diversity on your list.

    My TTT:

  7. I've read 2 (soon to be 4) books on that list and half of another :) (Hunger Games, Goose Girl (LOVE THAT ONE!), soon Divergent, and half of TFiOS :)

  8. The Hunger Games actually was required reading for me last year!


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