We are introduced to reading at a young age. Few children, however, choose to read books as a part of their leisure or just enjoy it. The reason probably lies in a list of books you have to read in school. Stories from a school curriculum aren’t always interesting for kids, who would rather read Harry Potter or Hunger Games series. But let’s leave this for educators and talk about school books we were forced to read — those many students hated but started to like as adults.
Hamlet, William Shakespeare
There is one thing in the story of the Dutch Prince everyone remembers, “To be, or not to be: that is the question.” The plotline seems quite complicated: there is a ghost of Hamlet’s father who asks to kill his uncle, and then many people die. Meanwhile, they all keep speaking in poems. School children don’t understand at least half of what is happening.
Frankenstein, Mary Shelley
This story must have been a true thriller, scary and shocking when it was published. For a modern reader, who has got used to much scarier things, the narrative is too calm and relaxed, even when the narrator tries to create tension. Different storytellers, however, help to consider different viewpoints and attitudes to the conflict.
Great Expectations, Charles Dickens
This story touches upon serious topics we can understand only when we grow up. The main idea — money can’t make you happy — is not very exciting or young readers, especially when it all happens in mid-19th century England. When reading the novel as an adult, you’ll discover things you haven’t noticed before.
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain
While reading Adventures of Tom Sawyer is so much fun, the story of his friend Huck doesn’t seem that exciting. Moreover, you will notice some samples of striking racial epithets, although you cannot be certain whether they are used to satirize the society or it was a normal situation back then.
Heart of Darkness, Joseph Conrad
This horror story takes readers down to an unnamed African river — sounds like the beginning of something exciting. Maybe it is a style of narration or allegorized horrors of imperialism, but reading this book turns into a real challenge.
Moby-Dick, Herman Melville
“This is a long story about a whale,” you’ll hear from anyone, even if a person hasn’t read Moby-Dick. This novel challenges an approach to a literary narrative. That’s what makes it interesting and what is difficult to understand for an unprepared reader.
Metamorphosis, Franz Kafka
This is an essay about a man so miserable that one day he just wakes up in a body of a huge bug (a cockroach maybe?). This is a true masterpiece that might seem a bit humdrum for young readers, who aren’t ready to deal with this grotesque image and Kafka’s personal existential crisis.
Animal Farm, George Orwell
This brutal satire uncovers all known vices of the Soviet Union with its Communist system, warning people about the true nature of power through a bunch of allegorical images. This is a story of moral decay, and maybe that’s why it is so difficult to read.
Lord of the Flies, William Golding
It seems that Lord Of The Flies theme essay wasn’t just another Lord Of The Flies essay but game some directors ideas for good TV scripts, like The Society and The 100. These storylines can also inspire some fair essay examples. Nevertheless, this novel is not about kids on a stranded island but about the power and demonizing non-existent monsters — issues that are now relevant more than ever.
The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald
This novel became a bit mainstream after it was cinematized. It depicts the American Dream in an interesting way, spicing it up with some relationship twists and symbols (yes, like that green light).
The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne
It is a bit difficult to read Hawthorne because of his narration style, and a 17th-century puritanical Massachusetts doesn’t make this task easier. Nevertheless, this is a challenging story with an interesting protagonist.
The Old Man and the Sea, Ernest Hemingway
A free man went fishing and spend a lot of time chasing a huge fish. Can you even remember whether he has caught that fish? If not, it’s time to read the story once more and to find out what it is truly about.
To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee
The story of Atticus Finch defending a wrongly accused black man and happy childhood adventures on the background reveals the entirely different America we hadn’t witnessed, and that’s for good. This is one of those books we are forced to read but love a lot.
Of Mice and Men, John Steinbeck
Many writers addressed the Great Depression, but the story of George and Lennie pursuing their American Dream reminds us that poverty is just one of the numerous problems in a chase for happiness and how difficult decisions can be to make sometimes.
The Catcher in the Rye, J.D. Salinger
Saying this is the most important book every teenager should read won’t be an exaggeration. Published in 1951, it touches upon the issues that are still bothering the young generation, gives some answers and raises new questions. Holden Caulfield reminds us how difficult it is to be a teenager and that it is okay not to feel okay.
Books you read in school shape your worldview and personality. It is okay if you cannot get some ideas right, can’t finish reading a book, or Google free paper examples instead of conducting research and writing something original. Now, it is the right time to take your favorite book and read it once more, to finish reading what you couldn’t handle, and maybe even to write one more Lord Of The Flies essay to get inspiration for another successful dystopian TV show.