194 Answers »
The Road Less Traveled by M. Scott Peck
Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind by Shunryu Suzuki
‘The Demon Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark’ – Carl Sagan
“The Elements of Style” by Strunk and White
“travels with Charley- John Steinbeck”
To Kill A Mockingbird – Harper Lee
The Tao Te Ching – Lao Tzu
Marquez: One Hundred Years of Solitude
The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton
Same as Lauren, To Kill A Mockingbird – Harper Lee.
The Heart of Darkness, Joseph Conrad
“The Perks of Being A Wallflower” by Stephen Chbosky
History of the World
Peter Pan by James M. Barrie
The God Delusion – Richard Dawkins
The Alchemist – Paulo Coelho
The utlimate secrets of total self confidence – Dr. Robert Anthony
The Harry Potter series.
The Catcher in the Rye- Salinger
Girls should read Jane Eyre and Boys should read Catcher in the Rye (or they could switch if they wanted). I think the difference in topic would be appealing for everyone.
ISLAND by Aldous Huxley
Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes, and The Giver by Lois Lowry
Everything is Illuminated, by Jonathan Safran Foer
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
Don Quijote de la Mancha, by Cervantes
Anthem – Ayn Rand.
THE BIBLE — BY GOD
I’m curious to know how old some of the suggestors are – high school kids are reading catcher in the rye and some of the others mentioned here and some positively HATE them; life teaches us the wisdom of those books. I like John Green’s and Patrick Jones’ books written for teenagers – or Jodie Picoult’s 19 minutes. BTW I’m the mum of four kids aged teens and twenties.
the celestine prophecy
Conversations with God – Neale Donald Walsch
Ishmael by Daniel Quinn
Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
Harry Potter Series, Eragon Inheritance Cycle, The Host, Chinese Cinderella.
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
aren’t we now talking about depriving children of their freedom to learn?
if so and i have the chance to do so … than definitely The Alchemist since i can’t think of anything else now
T. Colin Campbel, PhD and Thomas M. Campbell II: The China Study
The Drama of the Gifted Child by Alice Miller
Speaker for the Dead by Orson Scott Card
There should not be any mandatory or banned books. Janet, God didn’t write the Bible, the apostles did.
The Bible; and I’m glad this has already been said.
They’ve been mentioned, but Anthem and The Giver. They’re both kind of similar but they’re awesome books to analyze and they’re so open to interpretation.
The Oxford English Dictionary …unabridged. That should cover most of your needs.
“The Power of One” – Bryce Courtenay
… but I agree with @David Johnson
Surely You Must Be Joking Mr. Feynman
Stranger In A Strange Land – Robert Heinlein
Animal Farm – George Orwell
A Brave New World – Aldous Huxley
The Foundation Trilogy – Isaac Asimov
Fahrenheit 451 – Ray Bradbury (because I love irony)
Even though I hate replying to previous comments in a non-forum setting, as an atheist, I have to object to the very thought of a religious text being MANDATORY reading in a Federally-funded educational system.
The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams.
The Demon-Haunted World by Carl Sagan
The Qur’an – If you are going to require the Bible, you better include the sequel.
The Book of Mormon – In the same vein as the Qur’an, might as well go for the whole box set.
Just be sure that they all understand that they are all (including the Bible) a work of fiction.
‘A People’s History of the United States’ – Howard Zinn.
anything from manly p. hall …
I’ll “third” TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD by Harper Lee.
The Little Prince
A People’s History of the United States
Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk
@Dan– not that I believe anyone should be required to read the Bible or any religious texts for that matter… Historians have been working for years to prove the factuality behind the Bible, Torah, Qu’ran, and so forth… and they have not proved that they are in fact true accounts, but they have also not proved that they are works of fiction.
Reading relgious texts without the context of the religion can provide wonderful insight- historically and anthropologically.
Just because you do not believe these texts are true, does not make that a fact.
Diary of a wimpy kid.
I’ll second “One Hundred Years of Solitude.”
A People’s History of the United States, by Howard Zinn.
Walden by Henry David Thoreau
The Post-American World by Fareed Zakaria would be a good start.
The Very Hungry Caterpillar
I second “The Perks of Being A Wallflower” by Stephen Chbosky.
And The Little Prince.
I would add The House of the Scorpion by Nancy Farmer.
the monk who sold his ferrari
it will move you
My public school is having students analyze stories in the Bible.
The Cowboy and the Cossack -Huffaker
1984. George Orwell.
This requires much thought,but off the top of my head-Dialogues with the Devil by Taylor Caldwell
The power of positive thinking……Napoleon Hill
A “Peanuts” anthology of the works of Charles Schulz.
Selfish Gene – Richard Dawkins
Siddhartha – Hermann Hesse
Tuesdays With Morrie by Mitch Albom.
Cats Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut.
All But My Life – Gerda Weissman Klein
Persepolis – Marjane Satrapi (maybe this one could be suggested, not required. unfortunately, i have a feeling this book would cause the principal to receive a lot of nasty phone calls from “concerned” parents.)
19 Minutes – Jodi Picoult
The best book i’ve read while going through highschool, was “Go Ask Alice” and “Cut” .. I don’t know the authors’ names by memory, but as a troubled teen, they really helped me. :]
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The Brothers Karamazov
after the first death- robert cormier
its definitely the best book i’ve read as a current teenager, even though a lot of his books are banned in school libraries.
Big Bang – Simon Singh
THE LIFE OF PI
I already saw my choice above..
“The Perks odf Being a Wallflower” by Stephen Chbosky
It’s my favourite.
And I think a lot of Ellen Hopkins’ material is relevant, although slightly more extreme in some cases, to a lot of the trials/tribulations/pressures teens face today. The subject matter may be a little graphic though.
A Million Little Pieces – James Frey
When you say The Bible, do you mean teaching the lessons of the bible? Or teaching Christianity as a requirment? Two very differant things.
As a senior in AP Literature, I would like to say that a good majority of the titles here have been required reading over my past four years. Conversely, I have never read an entire assigned novel in my entire high school career, but that all changed when my teacher assigned The Kite Runner to us. Exceptional work, but I’m finding that I have to read it in pieces because it’s so intense. Amazing read for anyone, in high school or not.
Without a doubt, to kill a mocking bird.
I read this when I was at school and keep a copy in my bag with notes all over it and quotes highlighted. It inspires me everyday.
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
Eats, Shoots and Leaves by Lynne Truss
The Bible Proves the Teachings of the Catholic Church
Isaac Asimov’s Foundation.
To Kill a Mockingbird
‘Johnny Got His Gun’ by Dalton Trumbo – if it stops just one high school kid from joining up, that’ll be enough…
Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom
The Perks of Being a Wallflower- Stephen Chbosky
The Catcher in The Rye- JD Salinger
Animal Farm- George Orwell
My Sister’s Keeper- Jodi Picoult
All of these are amazing pieces of literature, and all can teach valuable lessons.
And just for fun- Hamlet- Shakespeare.
The Perks Of Being A Wallflower – Stephen Chbosky
To Kill A Mockingbird – Harper Lee
Every life lesson I will ever need to know right there
As a nineteen year old who’s changing a university degree to major in English Lit. I can’t possibly narrow down ONE book for high school students to read.
As a Catholic though, I’m DISAGREEING to those people who mentioned the bible. You can’t make a religious text mandatory for all high school students, for telling them that this is the book they HAVE to read tells them the wrong message.
1984 by George Orwell
peter pan. easily.
Of Mice and Men-John Steinbeck
I’m happy I have seen my choice already. “Thirteen Reasons Why” by Jay Asher is an amazing book, that has a great message, and shows that people really shouldn’t treat other people so cruelly.
To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee
Scar Tissue – Anthony Kiedis.
its really not for highschool students.. but
-The Giver- is one of my all time favorites.
When I looked at some of the suggestions on this page I relized that most of them are used in school. Untill I came to 13reasons why. I just finished that book and I think it is the most amazing book I’ve read. Thank you for suggesting it… Whoever you are
@Mike: I agree with you 100%. I’d also be willing to bet that all of those people who said the Bible haven’t even read the whole thing themselves. Or else they would never suggest such a horrendous book.
This is a tough question…
If it was for science: The Selfish Gene by Richard Dawkins
For English/History: The End of Faith by Sam Harris
I say “Cut” and “Go Ask Alice” get a second from me. I’m currently a high school student–thusly a teenager–and these books are very good. They give insight into the darker things of life, answer questions I have that might be awkward. I know the books aren’t 100% clean, but they definitely need to be shared with others my age.
A Brave New World – Aldous Huxley an awesome book of a society that categorizes people into letters of the greek alphabet. According to the letter someone was, decides their place in the world. Alphas became the world leaders, Betas were the scientists and doctors of the society, Gammas were the lesser employees like teachers. Deltas were the average joes, the cashiers, the assistants. and lastly there were the epsilons, who did minimal tasks like operating elevators and bagging at stores.
These people were conditioned to fit these parts and not be able to rise above. One of the first scenes of the book, there are a bunch of Delta toddlers being electric shocked when they go towards books and flowers, just because the items are known to stimulate thoughts. Over time they would not go towards these things and fear would be pressed into memory. It’s a very stimulating read for high schoolers, who are still trying to find out who they are, and what they want to do. A lot of deep discussions were done on this book, even the students that didn’t participate took part. A Junior or senior read.
A book for the two lower grades?
SPEAK by Laurie Halse Anderson
A lot of teens are conflicted about doing what is right and wrong, depression is alarmingly common. Speak is an easy read that will catch the attention of many teens. It tells a story of a girl that is completely outcasted from her friends after she ratted out a party. She really just stops speaking, not for the lack of trying but because everyone ignores her. The only solace she finds is her art class that she enjoys but is failing. It’s all about empowering yourself even if you have it bad, finding something you enjoy that helps you rise above it and speak your mind
13 reasons why by Jay Asher. Every highschooler should read this book if only to see how their actions and in actions effect others.
The Picture of Dorian Grey: shows that beauty and popularity isn’t everything
Th1rteen R3easons Why by Jay Asher.
It’s a story about how one small comment can start a snowball effect and lead a teenager to suicide.
It’ll teach that you need to watch what you say.
The entire PostSecret series.
The Princess Bride
Everyone needs a little more feel-good in their life.
On the Road – Jack Kerouac
“the only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars…”
Change Your Thoughts – Change Your Life: Living the Wisdom of the Tao– Dr. Wayne Dyer–countless times
The Bible—-read it 9 times for all you nay sayers
The Divine Comedy– Dante Alighieri– 5 times read
civil disobedience– Thoreau–countless times
the perks of being a wallflower
It changed my life.
The Outsiders – S.E. Hinton
Studs Turkel – “The Good War”
The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy
America: The Book by Jon Stewart and the Daily Show Crew
or for practicality
The SAS Survival Guide by John “Lofty” Wiseman
Because why would you read a work of fiction (religious or otherwise) when all you really need as a species is to learn how to survive in your environment? The rest just gets swallowed up in the wake.
‘The Prophet’ by Kahlil Gibran
‘how to pass high school’ …
‘Finite and Infinite Games: A vision of Life as Play and Possibility’
@ Brandon: Awesome call on Scar Tissue.
I believe that Capital by Karl Marx would be a good one (it’d be difficult, but I read it in High School, so I’m sure other can manage it and some decent discussion on it would be fruitful for them)
The Jungle by Upton Sinclair as well
Animal Farm by George Orwell was required for me and it should remain that way for all students.
and maybe requiring them to read The Greatest Show on Earth by Richard Dawkins would clear up some of this painful ignorance that permeates the Biology classrooms…
“Thirteen Reasons Why” by Jay Asher.
The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
Blink – Malcolm Gladwell
– Life Of Pi by Yann Martel
Night By Elie Wiesel
Go Ask Alice
Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse
The Autobiography of Malcolm X.
Th1rteen R3asons Why by Jay Asher.
Although it’s a newer book compared to other responses it talks about the deep dark subject of suicide in a truly honest way.
Franny & Zooey – JD Salinger. Definitely that.
Flowers for Algernon – Daniel Keyes
What happened to lani garver.
The Things They Carried – Tim O’ Brien
i am in high school now. i have read (or was told to read but didnt) half the books here. some even in middle school. here are some: to kill a mocking bird, the giver, animal farm, lovely bones, harry potter, of mice and men, go ask alice, the jungle, the outsiders, speak, Persepolis, tuesdays with morrie, my sisters keeper, ect. (i cant remeber them all)
the outsiders was the book that lead me to start reading outside of school.
i am a Christian. But the bible will never be a book read in puplic high schools. there are too many students who believe differently.
Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson
Girls by Nic Kelman
Acutally, I take that back- Less than Zero by Bret Easton Ellis.
Helluva good book.
let me just say, in highschool i read some frightfully dull books. i did not like to kill a mockingbird, lord of the flies, or most of the other books that i was made to read.
catch 22 by joseph heller would definately be a good one, or
wind, sand, and stars by atoine de saint exupery is a good competitor.
The perks of being a wallflower
wizards first rule by terry goodkind
I don’t know….all I can say is that as I read through this list, some books really have influenced me and the way I think/my values:
Flowers for Algernon
To Kill a Mockingbird
Go ask Alice (I didn’t actually read this but I wish I had)
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime
The Life of Pi
A Great and Terrible Beauty
The Lovely Bones
The Secret Life of Bees
A biography of Hellen Keller (I don’t remember which title)
The Catcher in the Rye
The Diary of Anne Frank
Under the Feet of Jesus
Lord of the Flies
Me Talk Pretty One Day
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
Number the Stars
The Scarlet Letter
in no particular order. might add more later, it’s fun to think of these and realize how much i’ve been influenced!
The Book Thief
The Diary of Anne Frank
The 10 Habits of Highly Effective People/Teens (depending on if they are entering or leaving high school)
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho.
A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle
Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas by Hunter S. Thompson
Im glad the book theif and the harry potter series are listed on here
but if i could recommend any book to any high school child it would be anything my stephen king. “It” is a personal favourite just to see where a truely amazing author can take you within your own mind.
Juventud en Extasis
Illusions by richard bach i seriously encourage anyone who reads this comment to read that book its very short but it will change the way you look on everything and it has good humor to
As a high-school teacher, I would not make them read anything they don’t want to themselves. It’s plain counterproductive at this age.
Okay, a lot of the books being suggested, we do have to read nowadays. I really think The Five People You Meet In Heaven by Mitch Albom should be required though. It isn’t religious, it simply shows how you impact peoples lives. Also, Of Mice and Men, beautiful story.
the verbally abusive relationship – patricia evans
The Once and Future King
The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton.
Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford
As A Man Thinketh
The Book of Mormon
I cant believe no one has said this one yet!
The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini.
The Center Cannot Hold. It was a suggested read by my AP psych teacher and its a good look at what really goes on with at least one mental illness, which i think needs to be more known about today, not what the media tells us.
The Element by Ken Robinson
“The Outsiders” by S.E. Hinton. While most schools do have it as part of the curriculum, it is not required in every school and I think it should be. It teaches valuable life lessons that kids can grow from. Another suggestion could be “That Was Then This Is Now” also by S.E. Hinton
I don’t know… the books I read aren’t exactly “academic” haha.
i love to read the latest and original version of His book who created me,
His book is my mandatory,of course its The Qurran
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens
“The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” (and the rest of the Trilogy of Five Volumes) by Douglas Adams
Voltaire: I agree, that “A People’s History of the United States” would be a highly appropriate book in US, but, as I’m Polish, I’d prefer to read something more global, as I think the whole world should be included
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The Holy Quran
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I think that it’s fine to read selections of books like the Quran,Bible,etc as literature, because they are, and there are so many references to them in culture and in other literature and art. Reading a selection of literature is not endorsing that particular view, or purporting that it’s all factual. Things have swung to the bizarre if people are denied any reference to those things that have such an impact because someone is terrified, basically superstitiously that reading any selection from that text is going to infiltrate the mind and do permanent lasting damage, just another form of censorship.
That being said, a few books that made my mind and heart stretch in some pretty incredible ways…Diary of Ann Frank, Man’s Search for Meaning, Just about any autobiography actually. It’s fascinating and enlightening to see how people experience and process their own lives and how they dot to where they are. I’ve read autobiographies of people who live in spheres that I usually read nothing about and have been just as captivated as I am reading an autobiography of people I am familiar with and admire.
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