I am happy to say that sometimes it works! Many books I have recommended have made their way to the school's summer reading list (meaning I am not the only one recommending them), however, more need to be shared in a classroom. That being said, with the rolling out of the Core Curriculum this year, I fear many of these recommendations will begin to fall on deaf ears as there will be a shift toward more expository text. Even so, I won't give up! Here are my
10 Books That Should Be Taught In Schools
1. Little Brother by Cory Doctorow
I still can't believe I don't own this book for all of the love I have for it. I read this book a couple of years ago and instantly wished I was back in the classroom. The educational potential of this book is unbounded. As I read I thought of so many ways I could have discussed the book in my Mathematics and Statistics classrooms. I thought of my colleagues that teach History and Political Science. Forget about the Computer classes! This book is built for debates, conversations and question ones beliefs. This book should be read in schools and discussed. Without question it is first on my list. (my review)
2. Escape from Camp 14 by Blaine Harden
Throughout my entire reading of Escape from Camp 14 I was harassing my husband about its in-class potential. This is one book that it also Common Core friendly, as it retells the tale of a true survivor of the North Korean work camps. Books about the Holocaust and the concentration camps are always very popular in schools - and I am not necessarily suggesting that they are replaced - this book offers a modern-day equivalent of those horrors happening in our world today. Students need to be aware of what is going on in the world today as they begin to think about what kinds of lives they want to leave and what kind of impact they wish to make in our world. (my review)
3. Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
This is a choice that is purely for the fun of it. Teachers are always looking for high-interest readings. I can't think of a book that is more high-interest to the nerd-generation than this one. Of course, I think this might be a pipe-dream, because I don't know if it has broad enough appeal to engage the entire classroom.
4. Little White Duck by Na Liu
This is a graphic novel with some Core Curriculum appeal. It is a memoir of a little girl growing up in China. It is an incredibly quick read and I think it would be a great supplement to any teaaching about China's history, or alongside a novel with ties to Chinese culture.
5. Luz Sees the Light by Claudia Davila
This graphic novel might be more appropriate for middle school than the high school crowd I am typically thinking of, but its message is so important that I think it would serve us all really well if it could find its way into our classrooms. This is a book about a kid learning about the consequences of her purchases and making the shift into activism in a way that is appropriate for a child her age. (my review)
6. Last Survivors Series by Susan Beth Pfeffer
First of all, I discovered that there is now a FOURTH BOOK IN THIS SERIES while at the bookstore this weekend. I am so excited. This series is a fictional series where the moon gets knocked too close to Earth, therefore changing the weather patterns and entire environmental landscape of our planet. Each book is told from a different point of view. Why do I think this book should be taught in schools? Simple: it builds a huge appreciation for all of the conveniences we live with day in and day out. (my post on the first three survival stories)
7. Harry Potter's Bookshelf by John Granger
To be honest, I am not sure if this will have the same in school impact as it would have when I first read it. At that time, nearly every kid in the school building had read Harry Potter multiple times. This book dissects the story and show us, as the subtitle promises "the great books behind the Hogwarts adventures." I think reading this book could entice students who were major Potterheads to start to explore the classics that inspired it.
8. The Four Agreements by Miguel Ruiz
It is four simple rules for peaceful living. It's a quick read. Everyone should read it, so why not just read it in school.
9. Animals Make Us Human by Temple Grandin
I love animals. They deserve our respect and our protection when necessary. In Temple Grandin's book we are shown how to read animal emotions to ensure that we provide them with the safe and engaging life. Pair that with the fact that Temple Grandin is one of the most fascinating people on the planet and I say that there is just so much to learn from this book!
10. Skinny by Donna Cooper
Body image is such an issue for teens. This book deals with it head on as our protagonist battles with her own internal voice that tears her to pieces on a daily basis. I think this book can be a very important one for many students. (my review)
Top Ten Tuesday hosted by The Broke and The Bookish. If you want to participate, write your post on the 10 books you think should be taught in school and add the link to the list!
In the meantime, what do you think about my list? Should any of these books be kicked off my list? Is there a book you have seen me write about that you can't believe is not here (I forgot a bunch, I think)? Finally, what was your favorite book that you read in school?