Those that know me, know that I love to read. It’s one of my favourite hobbies and it’s what’s inspired my love of storytelling, journaling and creative writing. I have over 300 (maybe even more) in books in just my bedroom alone and I never appear to have enough. Although, one could argue that it’s never possible for one to have enough books. Without further ado, here is a list of books that have been published this past decade that have left a footprint on my heart or have challenged my way of thinking. Sometimes both
Arthur Schlesinger, a historian who taught at Harvard University, once commented that when writing history, “objectivity is not neutrality.” One could argue that this is the case with Daniel Walker Howe and the book What Hath God Wrought: The Transformation of America—1815-1848.
REVIEW: This Is How It Always Is by Laurel Frankel
La Salle and the Discovery of the Great West, penned by Francis Parkman, Jr. was originally published in 1869. There is an art to crafting a compelling narrative readers want to digest not only with their eyes, but also their minds. This is equally true for historically accurate works as it is for works of historical fiction. There is little doubt, when reading Parkman, Jr.’s writing, there was a mind at work when penning La Salle and the Discovery of the Great West.
It is rather difficult to find suitably diverse books to include in a classroom collection. Many common children’s books are written from a western, Anglo-American point of view. How do we include more diversity into the classroom with this limited variety of resources? How do we encourage more multicultural stories for the future? Like we have talked about in class, providing opportunities for all children to express themselves, tell stories, and facilitate their talents will have a large impact on them as adults in the workforce. When they feel represented in the classroom literature, it shows them that all perspectives are important. Children who are encouraged to read and write freely may feel compelled to write their own books featuring their unique cultural experiences.
On September 17, 1954, the British publishing company Faber and Faber Limited published Lord of the Flies, by English author William Golding. It did not sell well in its early years, but later went on to become a popular novel. Lord of the Flies has been challenged and banned by many different groups and people throughout the years. Certain school districts in states such as Texas, Arizona, and Florida have banned the book because of claims that the book has racism, sex, violence, obscene language, and statements that insult God, women, and minorities throughout it.
A teenager’s state of mind is not always as stable as it can be while going through a disastrous event, or even puberty. Everyone reacts differently when placed in bad situations. William Shakespeare’s tragedy titled Hamlet showcases how a teenager’s mindset can spiral out of control. The main character, a young prince, Hamlet, is in a predicament where multiple bad situations have occurred. Throughout the play, Hamlet’s state of mind goes on a rollercoaster. Hamlet’s state of mind goes through multiple changes as he experiences deception, struggles with self-reliance, and deals with grief.
I am continuously surprised when parents discourage their children from reading by refusing to let them read comics. Many adults that I talk to profess to dislike reading books because they hated what they were forced to read as children. Why are we so bent on forcing people to read what they vocally don't want to read? It's only going to kill the joy that reading can bring! Reading what you love anyway.
Multilingual and Philanthropic Inc. is an organization striving to allow students across America to have access to a quality foreign language education. This effort is in hope these students will become more culturally accepting and open up numerous career opportunities on a global scale, but also be able to connect with others on a human level with those who may not speak English.
No one likes assigned reading; it’s okay to admit it. A lot of the time they are boring and drone on and on and on. Each page is a chore! However, my rebellious "I'm not going to read this and you can't make me" stage in school meant that I missed out on some really great literary works, just because I thought they were boring and unrelatable at the time. I couldn’t see the use of them or how they applied to my life, so I searched the internet for overviews, summaries, and key themes within the novels. Thank you, Sparknotes, for helping me pass 10th grade.
Even with some classic literature taking a tech turn, the sheer amount of classic literature wasted on youth across the United States is disheartening, to say the least. I know for a fact that, while I was in high school, the list of books required by students to be read passed through my hands largely unopened, not to mention the books that should be read in schools but are often unassigned. I cannot say that then, had I known the cultural importance of these works of literature, my decision to let these great works pass by would be any different; but, now that I have grown past that stage of my life, I kick myself for the lack of reverence I had for the classic pieces of literature that I had the opportunity to devour. Because of the mentality I, like many of my peers, embodied, school systems are suffering at the hands of students' exposure to "stories" like 50 Shades of Grey or anything written by James Patterson. Looking back, I wonder what more of the world I could explore and appreciate had I simply cracked the cover of any of these forgotten classics.
There are countless books that could easily have made this list (i.e. 1984 by George Orwell, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce, The Iliad and The Odyssey by Homer, etc.), but we just had to narrow it down. All of the best required reading books are classics for one reason or another, despite their vastly different styles, themes, and time periods. In fact, those are the factors that went into the selection process for this list; they were all chosen because they represent so many different kinds of storytelling and human experiences. Remember: Just because these books are required, doesn't mean they're not enjoyable reads.