Bookish Discussion · Lists

Required Reading That Didn’t Suck 

Not a lot of schoolgoing children enjoy reading (I know, they’re idiots) so to promote reading, a lot of schools prescribe books to it’s students that they have to read and at the end of the year, they make them do projects on it, or write papers about it. This is called Required Reading. Usually, they try to shove classics in our faces so that we learn to appreciate “real” literature. I’ve been to a fair few schools and I’ve compiled a list here of RR books I’ve been prescribed over the years that didn’t make me want to gag.

Grade 4: Matilda 

I loved reading Matilda for school! It introduced to the awesomeness that is Roald Dahl. I love all his work and this is what introduced me to it! I remember watching the film in school and it was the best thing ever.
Grade 5: Wizard Of Oz

Pretty good, right? I think this is a perfect book for fifth graders! With a balance between magic and character development, Wizard of Oz is a charming tale, heartening for all ages.

Grade 6: A Collection of Stories by O’ Henry 

Again, really good choice! O’ Henry’s short stories always have unexpected twists and usually revolve around the theme of morality or an aspect of humanism which are ideal for 11-12 year olds to learn about. His language isn’t complex, and his writing is really good. Our project that year was to write our own story with a twist at the end. Mine was terrible xD

Grade 8: The Count of Monte Cristo

A story about revenge isn’t exactly a message you should be propagating to 12-13 year olds, but I remember thoroughly enjoying myself while reading this. Although we were prescribed the abridged version (which missed out on a lot of plot points), I read the original as well and loved how complex the plot was and how the story panned out.

Grade 9/10: The Merchant of Venice 

We had an abridged version of this in grade 5 but reading the whole thing was so much cooler. I love this play so so much. I’m so happy we had to read this for school. I personally think this is one of Shakespeare’s best plays.
I honestly thought this list would be longer, but thinking back on it we had some really terrible books for RR. Animal Farm in grade 8 was an absolute waste because I couldn’t appreciate the satire, I may reread it sometime. This year we have The Invisible Man and Silas Marner. The former has a plot that I don’t particularly enjoy, the latter has terrible writing but an interesting story.
What are some books your school has forced you to read but you still enjoyed? 

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7 thoughts on “Required Reading That Didn’t Suck 

    1. Whatt?! That’s so cool! I kept trying to tell my teachers to let us read Harry Potter, but they never agreed. Too unrealistic, they said 😛

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      1. Same. We only read othello but we studied that intensively! It was great. We had a trial for Iago, we went to see othello as an open air play at a castle and watched a modern movie adaption of it called ‘O’ – in addition to reading it of course 😀 it was amazing 😛

        Liked by 1 person

      2. That’s awesome! We only did Merchant of Venice very very thoroughly. Saw a play and a movie version and reviewed both. Learnt monologues to dramatically recite. My English teacher wanted us to perform the entire play as well, but we had other things in our syllabus so our principal didn’t give permission 😩

        Liked by 1 person

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