Christopher John

Books are important whether in school or even after. They can be an escape, can open you up to different points of view, challenge your perceptions of ideas or simply entertain you. Reading leaves one better equipped to face life because it makes you encounter issues you may relate to or even issues you might be detached from. It widens your knowledge base and you will grow not only intellectually but also emotionally. Books will make you a better communicator.

Even though high school reading lists are often packed with classics that have stood the test of time, there are also some new kids on the block that are worth a mention. It would be great fun to balance both the old and the new. Here is a list of books in no particular order that is in no way exhaustive, but will definitely start you off on your quest for magic between sheets of paper.

1. The Fault in Our Stars- John Green

Published in 2012, this book follows the romantic story of two kids with cancer who meet in a support group and later fall in love. It is a combination of philosophical, sweet, melancholic but funny. Even though the plot is sad, the book deals with the subject sensitively and with humor. A tear jerker but a page-turner nonetheless.

2. The Crucible- Arthur Miller

This is a play based loosely on the Salem witch trials of the 17th century. It is a lesson on how hysteria, gullibility, and cruelty lead to death and destruction.

3. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time-Mark Haddon

Christopher John Francis Boone is a 15-year-old with a condition on the autism spectrum. He sees the world differently and has difficulty understanding people. He would like to attain some independence which is difficult for him given his condition. The novel is written in 1st person narrative and is important in trying to understand the minds of people who are different.

4. The Grapes of Wrath- John Steinbeck

This book focuses on the Joad family, poor Oklahoma tenant farmers forced to leave their home due to drought and economic hardship during the great depression. It is a seemingly never-ending seesaw of hope and despair. It is littered with biblical allusions but not off-putting. It has been the subject of intense debate since the time it was published and the author was accused of spreading communist propaganda but it has also been praised as powerful, realistic and beautiful writing.

5. Great Expectations- Charles Dickens

Follow the life of Pip, an orphan boy as he learns about love, loyalty, trust, and relationships. The author explores the themes of wealth and poverty, rejection and how good always triumphs over evil.

6. A List of Cages- Robin Roe

Learn about the power of friendship, empathy, and kindness from Adam who takes on Julian, who is orphaned and lives with his abusive uncle. The book portrays the lives of teenagers realistically, explores themes like mental health and bullying, and will strike a chord within many a reader.

This is just a short list, a blend of the older classics and the newer authors where some have been cited using Harvard referencing generator tools. Some will be on the school curriculum and others are for personal reading. We have given brief descriptions of each without too many spoilers. You can pick whichever one interests you the most or you can look for themes that resonate with what you are currently studying in school.