May 10, 2006

Summer Reading List

Posted in Uncategorized at 9:53 pm by mrsmauck

I’ve read all my life, but now it’s time to read THE BOOKS. Those classic plays and epics and contemporary novels that high school students MUST READ and discuss. Since I can’t take Middle and High School Literature this summer, I’m doing my own independent study (for no credit-what fun!) I’m reading and re-reading works that are under consideration for study in my future English classroom. I’ll be posting my ideas on teaching these works as I go along. Here’s my tentative list. I know there are tons that could be on this list. Any glaring omissions or inappropriate choices? I’ve got a calendar with deadlines all lined out.

  1. Crime and Punishment, Dostoyevsky
  2. Heart of Darkness, John Conrad
  3. Invisible Man, Ralph Ellison
  4. Call of the Wild, Jack London
  5. To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee
  6. The Odyssey, Homer
  7. Their Eyes Were Watching God, Zora Neal Hurston
  8. Flowers for Algernon, Daniel Keyes
  9. The Joy Luck Club, Amy Tan
  10. Beloved, Tony Morrison
  11. All Quiet on the Western Front, Erich Maria Remarque
  12. Islands in the Stream, Hemingway
  13. The Sun Also Rises, Hemingway
  14. The Great Gatsby, Fitzgerald
  15. The Good Earth, Pearl S. Buck
  16. A Separate Peace, John Knowles
  17. Farewell to Manzanar, Jeanne Houston
  18. Uncle Tom’s Cabin, Harriet Beecher Stowe
  19. The Fountainhead, Ayn Rand
  20. Kindred, Octavia Butler
  21. Animal Farm, George Orwell
  22. Slaughterhouse Five, Kurt Vonnegut


  1. Courtney said,

    WHOA! Good luck with that! Where did that list come from? It looks very different from what gets taught around here! I can tell you that at my school, we teach very few of those books- we do teach Heart of Darkness, Odyssey, Beloved, Gatsby, and some Animal Farm. Shakespeare you should read for sure!! What kind of standards does OK have? Our GA standards actually have pretty good reading lists- very extensive, with some newer books on there. Personally, in 9th grade, I teach Pat Conroy’s The Water is Wide, Fahrenheit 451, Of Mice and Men, Rick Bragg’s All Over But the Shoutin’, Romeo and Juliet, Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman and Scarlet Pimpernel.

  2. Kim said,

    Yes, I should probably revisit some Shakespeare, that’s for sure. Thanks for your suggestions! I’m still shifting and deciding, so that helps! Okla. doesn’t have reading lists with its standards. One of our objectives is simply to teach a “wide variety of literary forms.” Students “read and respond to grade-level-appropriate historically or culturally significant works.”

  3. Anonymous said,

    I forgot about “The Joy Luck Club”!! I LOVE THAT BOOK!!!

  4. Onyx said,

    Some of those books I loved! Some of those I will only read the cliff notes and NEVER ask a student to read them.

    What ever happened to reading for enjoyment? Yeah even at school! I have a BA in English, and an MS in Ed. Here’s some advice. If you don’t have to teach it, don’t worry about it. Spend your reading time finding the books that will inspire and that you can teach with love, because the book is good. That will spark and ignite learning. Only once have I ever taught a novel I disliked, and the kids hated! Your feeling for a work cannot be faked. There are too many great books out there to waste time on the overtaught. Keep up with what is coming out for kids, build your own classroom library. Those are the things that will build readers. Set an example and share the good stuff. At my school the kids I don’t have and have never taught come to ask about good books, because that is the reputation I have. Read Terry Trueman’s STUCK IN NEUTRAL, or Ben Mikealsen’s TOUCHING SPIRIT BEAR.

  5. Kim said,

    Thanks for the great advice, Onyx! Like your blog template, btw! I actually have two motivations for reading the classics: to be able to pass the English certification exam in the fall, AND to start narrowing down my reading list for my classes. I want to have a balance of YA and classics, so I think I’m going to add some YA to my list for the summer.

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