School texts… I always read ahead

Amys-children-olga-masters

At the end of every high school year there was one thing I looked forward to. No, not summer – actually, yes, I did look forward to summer but speaking of things school related, I looked forward to getting the book list for the following year. I couldn’t wait to get started on my English texts. Yes, book nerd at age thirteen.

I’m stretching the scope of this week’s Top Ten Tuesday (hosted by The Broke and the Bookish). The topic is ‘Top Ten Books That You Wish Were Taught In Schools’ – my topic is Top Eleven Books That I Was Taught in School. Actually, ‘top’ suggests best… This is a list of books that were the most memorable for all sorts of reasons. So here it is, Top Eleven Most Memorable Books That I Was Taught in School.

1. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle- didn’t like this book but it was read in my first year of high school so my enthusiasm knew no bounds.

2. Seven Little Australians by Ethel Turner – I had read this book well before high school. Possible I was a bit of a smart-arse about it.

3. A Kestrel for a Knave by Barry Hines – notably, the word ‘shit’ is used in this text. That’s a big deal when you’re 14 and taking it in turns to read aloud in class. My friend Carter got to read the page with ‘shit’. Memorable.

4. Playing Beatie Bow by Ruth Park – an exceptional story. I’m counting down the days until I can share it with my kids.

5. Across the Barricades by Joan Lingard – star-crossed lovers when you’re 15? Nothing better.

6. My Brother Jack by George Johnston – an Australian classic and a story I still love.

7. Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant by Anne Tyler – afraid I can pinpoint my loathing of Anne Tyler on this book. I really just wanted to tell all the characters to pull themselves together and get on with it.

8. The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton – goes without saying – awesome. And then we got to watch the movie in class… #huzzah

9. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee – how can this book not leave an impression? Love it. Still.

10. Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare – we studied Shakespeare every year but this play was my favourite.

“Be not afraid of greatness. Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and others have greatness thrust upon them.”

11.  Amy’s Children by Olga Masters – the last text I did at high school and perhaps my favourite. I knew every inch of this simple, wonderful book.

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14 responses

  1. My high school did quite an eclectic mix of books for English classes but I never touched on classics like Harper Lee’s The Kill a Mockingbird *blushes* One of these days I will get to it…

    I remember in grade 10 we had to re-enact one of the scenes (that scene in Act 3 when Sebastiano, Sir Andrew and Sir Toby get into a brawl) from Twelfth Night but either modernising the scene or enacting the scene in another language. It was a lot of fun 🙂

    Great list!

  2. I still love The Outsiders and hope that it is being taught when my kids are in school. Although I’ll likely push it onto them (in a loving way) if it’s not.

    My favorite Shakespeare play in school was King Lear. Now that I’m older, I absolutely LOVE Much Ado About Nothing.

    I’ve never read A Wrinkle in Time. I’m thinking I should at some point.

    • A Wrinkle in Time… junior sci-fi classic?! Sci-fi not my thing then or now.

      I prefer Shakespeare’s comedies to the more dramatic plays. Most memorable production I ever saw was Macbeth when I was on student exchange in Germany. Shakespeare in German is hard yakka but their ‘modern spin’ (bare-chested police women instead of witches!?) was just bizarre. But as I said, memorable.

  3. Our tenth grade class had the choice of The Outsiders or Lord of the Flies, we picked The Outsiders. I really enjoyed that book a lot. To Kill A Mockingbird is still taught in schools where I live, though I’m not particularly fond of it. I really love A Wrinkle in Time though.

    My TTT

  4. A Wrinkle in Time was part of my 4th grade advanced reading group, and at least one person was begging me to give away pivotal plot points and the ending, since I’d already read it with my mother.

    To Kill a Mockingbird was one of the required books in my 8th grade English 9 Honors class. I’m still embarrassed at how my chosen final project for the book, an imagined interview with Harper Lee, got a few points taken off because of the idiotic bad grammar/slang I insisted on using. Hey, when you’re 14, you think you know better than your parents who are trying to steer you away from uneducated expressions and inappropriately forcing your personal opinions in!

  5. I never had to read The Outsiders but we did watch the movie! To Kill A Mockingbird was one of the few classics that I actually liked in school. I could never get into Shakespeare in school, but now I’m convinced that I’ll like him better if I see at least see or listen to one of his plays, because reading it didn’t seem to work for me. Great list!

  6. I was totally thinking of switching the topic of my post to something like this!! I’m not familiar with many of these, but I did really like To Kill A Mockingbird. Now I’m off to check out some of these books.

    Great list! Thanks for stopping by my TTT post earlier! Have a great day 🙂

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