Ten Modern Books Every Student Should Read
Do you groan when you hear about the books you “should” be reading in High School? Do you roll your eyes when your parents or teachers mention “Catcher in the Rye”, “Fahrenheit 451” or “To Kill a Mockingbird”? While these are indubitably classics, and you should read them, fear not. Here is a list of ten modern takes on those classic themes. Even better, they all have film adaptations!
1. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
This is a heartbreaking story about two teenagers falling in love in the face of terminal illness. It’s a raw, irreverent look at what it means to really be alive.
2. Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes
Charlie is a mentally challenged patient who undergoes a boost in intelligence in a medical experiment. His journey mirrors that of a mouse named Algernon, also in the same medical trial.
3. The Help by Kathryn Stockett
Set in 1960’s Mississippi, this story explores lines between race and class during a violent period of America’s history. Three extraordinary women are introduced as they navigate race relations in the suburban south.
4. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer
This book follows Oskar as he pieces together clues left behind by his father, killed in the 9-11 attacks in New York. He explores themes surrounding the bombings of Hiroshima and Dresden to find a sense of peace while solving the mystery.
5. The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
This murder mystery, told from the unique vantage point of a teenaged rape-murder victim, displays the grief and frustration of a family who lost a daughter too soon.
6. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
A post-apocalyptic story of a communist-like government, keeping citizens in line using a yearly survivor game. Likened to Lord of the Flies by some, the story evolves into one of revolution, love, and survival against all odds.
7. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
This book follows Charlie, a shy introverted student, learning to live his life from the fringes.
8. Life of Pi by Yann Martel
Pi is a Tamil boy who survived over two hundred days lost at sea with a Bengal tiger. This is his story, which explores the theme of spirituality and faith vs practicality.
9. The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
This book, set in the south of 1964, explores racism, family, and divine female power through Lily and her adoptive mother.
10. Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card
A science fiction read that explores childhood, war, and leadership. Ender is a very young genetically enhanced child beginning military training with his friends to become a leader to save the world.
Hopefully this list provided new reading material, as well as new authors to explore. Happy reading, and while we’re at it, consider checking out: Orwell’s Animal Farm, Lord of the Flies by William Golding, or anything by William Shakespeare. With themes spanning coming of age, jealousy, good and evil, and human morals, these stories never go out of style.