Five School Required Reads I’m Glad I Read & Five I Wish I Hadn’t

Posted August 21, 2017 by Jana in Top Ten Tuesday / 11 Comments


Top Ten Tuesday is hosted over at the other blog I write for, The Broke and the Bookish.

Unfortunately, school made me hate reading. I loved it as a little girl, but as soon as I hit the age where teachers force you to read “awesome” books and answer packets full of essay questions I hated reading more than I hated eating my vegetables. Many of the books upset me or were just downright boring, and it took me until I was 19 and in college before I rekindled my love of reading. I decided to use today’s topic to share five of the required reads I’m glad I read in school, and five that I’m still upset by today.

I’m glad I read…

The Hound of the Baskervilles by Arthur Conan Doyle
I read this in elementary school and thought it was both terrifying and very fun.

The Crucible by Arthur Miller
I read this in high school, and my classmates and I all had parts. I played the part of Elizabeth Proctor, and it was so much fun.

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
This was required reading for my YA Lit class in grad school, and even though it took me two years to finish (because I was so scared of crying), I loved it a lot.

Night by Elie Wiesel
I had to read this for my Ethics and Values class in college, after which we sat in a big circle in our classroom and discussed it. There was no paper, no essays, no tests. We just sat and talked about it and that was our grade. Probably my favorite asignment outside of my major.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling
This was also required reading for my YA Lit class, and it was probably going to be the only way I read this series. I’m so glad I did, though, and now I’m working my way through the rest of the series and having so much fun.

I wish I hadn’t read…

Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawl
Dog died. I think this was the beginning of my no tolerance policy regarding animal deaths in novels. I was in 4th grade when I read this, and it crushed me. I can still remember.

The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton
People died. I hate death a lot.

Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
George. Killed. Lennie. I have a problem with death. I can still remember how upset I was.

The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank
This is a case of me having read this way too young. Instead of getting anything good out of it, I was very upset by most of it. I’d probably feel differently now, but I really wish I had not read this when I did.

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
I was INSANELY bored by this.

What required reads did you enjoy in school?
Which ones did you hate?
Do we have any in common?

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11 responses to “Five School Required Reads I’m Glad I Read & Five I Wish I Hadn’t

  1. I read Night in 6th grade and it DESTROYED me. I definitely think I should have learned what the Holocaust actually was before my teacher just assigned the book. I’m sure I had a vague idea of what it was, but I definitely didn’t know the extent until I read that book and I definitely wasn’t mentally prepared for it.

    Also, I LOVED The Hound of the Baskervilles too!! I totally forgot we read that in early Middle School until I saw it on your list :)
    Michelle @ Pink Polka Dot Books recently posted…Top Ten Tuesday– Back to School

  2. Of Mice and Men killed me – in both bad and good ways though! It’s on my list as one of my favorites ever, even though I cried like a baby when Lennie died. I think this book is special to me because I can kind of relate to George, oddly…my brother is autistic and it helps me understand George’s position…

    Also, I’ve got to read The Hound of the Baskervilles – it’s been on my TBR FOREVER!

    Happy reading! :D
    Maggie recently posted…Required Reading

  3. Lisa

    I loathed Pale Horse, Pale Rider by Katherine Anne Porter. I’m sure it’s why I avoid novellas and short stories.

  4. You know, I think you are not alone. A lot of students won’t read anything if not assigned to them. But if they do get an assignment they enjoy the book because of the help the teacher gives in understanding the book. But then other students, usually readers, don’t like having controls put on their reading so they suffer through assigned books. Many readers hate how slow the book is read. They want to read it in one or two nights and be done with it. Ha! I have read many books as an adult that I missed as a student and loved all of them…but no one was making me read them: Lord of the Flies, To Kill a Mockingbird, Poisonwood Bible, Great Gatsby, The Outsiders, and many others. Try them again in ten years and see what you think. Books with memorable school scenes

  5. I don’t think Where the Red Fern Grows is good at any age. We had to read it in sixth grade and if that wasn’t bad enough the teacher made us watch the movie. 😭