Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Top Ten Tuesday: Required Reading Books for Teens (girls?)

Top Ten Tuesday is  a meme/feature hosted by The Broke And Bookish and is where bloggers compile top ten lists that fit with the topic set each week. This week's theme is:

Books That Should Be Required Reading For Teens

I started writing this list and realised it's probably more of a required reading list geared towards teen girls and not not all of them are for school studies but some are ones I think that every teenage girl should read.

Here's my picks:

1) To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee

I studied this one in school this year. It deals with so many relevant subjects that would be great discussion starters and is just a beautiful book. I've seen it on quite a few lists this week.

2) Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Does this need an explanation? This is the only Austen I've read so far and it makes classics fun to read. I loved escaping into the Regency world and I'm sure the romance would appeal to other teenagers whilst at the same time, it's wonderfully written! It's a win-win situation for student and teacher =)

3) The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank

It's just so inspirational to see how one teenage girl can make such an impact on many people around the world through her diary. This should definitely be on every school's required reading list. In fact everyone NEEDs to read it if they haven't!

4) Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

This is a classic that's been enjoyed for generations and the charming family spirit of the March girls, romance and coming of age themes make it a comfort read for me.

5) Delirium by Lauren Oliver

I LOVED this one so much! My English teacher read it and she said it's a great, lighter introduction to classic dystopian books like 1984 by George Orwell and The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood and I agree.

6) The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne

This is such a devastating story that really brings the Holocaust to life through the eyes of an innocent young boy and there is so much to be learnt from it. I seem to remember the blurb (at least when it first came out) saying very little apart from the fact it's about a small boy because they felt it would be better for the reader to start without knowing what was to come. That was really effective.

7) Goodnight Mr Tom by Michelle Magorian

Another poignant WW2 story. A teacher of mine in primary school read this to my class but it has real crossover appeal so you can't really say it's either only for children or teens. I saw this one in theatre too and it was brilliant on stage!

8) Chinese Cinderella by Adeline Yen Mah

I studied this one a few years ago and I found the personal autobiography type style story of a neglected and abused Chinese girl in the days when girl's feet were still bound in China very interesting because I'd never learnt about Chinese culture before.

9) Anything by Shakespeare

So far I've studied A Midsummer Night's Dream and Twelfth Night in school and I think his works are important because they bring about an appreciation of language and make you look at language in a different way. 

I ran out of ideas! There are so many teen books out there that I love but I don't think all of them should be 'required.'

Do you agree with any of the books on my list?
What books would you add?


  1. Oh yeah, totally agree with Little Women and Goodnight Mister Tom.

    Goodnight Mister Tom was my first WWII book that I understood :)

  2. Yay for P&P, Delirium, Little Women and the Boy In The Striped Pajamas! I'd probably add the Harry Potter series and Jane Eyre, cause they're my favourites and I read them for the first time in my teens :)
    I think I read Anne Frank's Diary too young, I was probably about 9 or so and couldn't get through it. Maybe I should reread it sometime since she's Dutch and all...
    Anyway, great list!

  3. Speak by Laurie Halse should be added to this list. The only thing I don't agree with is Shakespeare. But maybe that's just because I'm not a fan. Other than that, you've got a great list!

  4. Shakespeare and P&P made my list too! And good call with Little Women, that's another lovely classic.

  5. Again I've only read < 5 of the books listed ... but I did notice that a common pick is To Kill a Mockingbird ... glad I read that one recently.

  6. Nice list you have here, though I've personally only read 4 of them myself. While I enjoyed Delirium by Lauren Oliver, I think it's really for a specific audience (read: girls who like love stories) and wouldn't have thought to include it on my list of "Required Reading."

    My additions might be Fahrenheit 451, The Giver, The Perks of Being A Wallflower, Speak, and Number the Stars. I also agree that maybe Harry Potter should be there (along with Lord of the Rings?).

    Thanks for sharing, it was interesting!

  7. Yes, I completely agree with all of those books! Brilliant list! But, where's number 10? :D

  8. Great list! I'm so excited to see To Kill a Mockingbird on so many lists -- it's one of my all time favorite books! I also LOVE Jane Austen! Great picks!


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