Books That Will Interest High School Students
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Books That Will Interest High School Students

A list of three important books that contain elements that will interest a teenager. Let's give teenagers books that will turn them onto reading instead of off!

Required reading selections for high school students is an eternal conflict amongst educators and non-educators alike. Many argue that the literature assigned in high school classrooms is outdated and irrelevant enough to turn students of from reading forever. While teenagers need to be exposed to classic literature, many old novels just cannot hold the average high school student’s attention. Fortunately, there are some important novels out there that contain the elements that will grab hold of a teenager‘s mind and imagination while also contributing to their education.

To Kill a Mockingbird

Harper Lee’s novel is the most common response to the question “What’s your favorite book of all time?” While it contains serious themes, it will draw a high school student in quickly because the beginning of the book is actually pretty funny. We laugh with Scout-- and at her. Most people can relate to the misunderstood voice of a child who is trying to be good but just doesn’t know any better. The humor continues throughout the novel (the key scene at the end of the novel begins with Scout dressed as a ham) in such a way that the valuable lesson being taught is planted effortlessly in the reader.

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest

This novel by Ken Kesey is another one that offers humor. At times, it’s laugh-out-loud funny. McMurphy is a free spirit who deep down is still a high school boy himself. For that reason, this book will effectively expose students to the idea of acceptance, showing that even the patients in the psych ward are normal once you get to know them. This is a great book to assign if you want to start a discussion about the structure of a novel or a character study.


If you’re going to assign Shakespeare, go with Macbeth. Students will feel familiar with the play if they’ve ever watched an episode of Law & Order. Although it’s written in a language that is so English it’s practically foreign, it’s one of the more easily decipherable plays of Shakespeare’s. Plus, you can now purchase “No Fear Shakespeare” which has the original language side by side with a more modern interpretation. They may also be surprised by the modern feel of the theme and will almost certainly be intrigued by the drama and murder.

*All three books can also be accompanied by their film. Many students will connect better to the readings if they are able to visualize the scene.


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