I think the general assumption is that if you read a book for class, you probably aren’t going to enjoy it all that much and I think that there is some truth to that, especially depending on what kind of class it is but in my 15 years as a student, I think I’ve been lucky to actually enjoy quite a few of the books I had to read for class.
1. American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang
I’ve read this book multiple times for pleasure, but the first time I ever read it was actually for school! I didn’t know how much this book would come to mean to me over the years but I loved it then and I love it now.
2. The Journey by Francesca Sanna
In Children’s Lit classes, when we read picture books, they often happen to be the most critically acclaimed picture books but The Journey is fairly recent and tells the story of a family running to seek refuge after war breaks out.
3. The Turtles of Oman by Naomi Shihab Nye
I read this for a class I was TA’ing but somehow I was also the only one who truly loved it? Potentially because It was a class of mostly white kids, we’ll never know.
4. Citizen: An American Lyric by Claudia Rankine
I feel like everyone I know has had to read this book for class and I think reactions vary but Citizen actually ended up being one of my favorite books of 2017. It’s phenomenal and beautiful.
5. Pax by Sara Pennypacker
If you read Middle Grade, you will know that Pax was like //the// book when it came out. It was everywhere and the marketing behind it was next level. It got lots of love and clearly, the love was well deserved because it really is a well-written and moving. I am glad I read it for class or it would have completely missed my radar
6. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
I’ve read this book like 2 or 3 times and its always been for class and I never love it any less so thats how I feel. I know so many people have not had as much luck with high school reading so I am always gonna be grateful my teacher made us read Pride and Prejudice instead of like the other, more boring, books.
7. Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic by Allison Bechdel
Yes I live under a rock and until I had to read Fun Home for a class, I’d never heard of Alison Bechdel. Fun Home was amazing though and I even read the sequel all on my own. I am such an adult.
8. The Arrival by Shaun Tan
I also hadn’t heard of Shaun Tan before I had to read him for class and honestly, I am still mad at myself. The Arrival is a life-changing book and should be on everyone’s TBR, IMHO.
9. Tom’s Midnight Garden by Phillipa Pearce
This incredibly underrated classic needs more hype. Let’s work on that okay? The Secret Garden is good but like also kind of ableist and this book has a garden too!!!!!! Gardens are cool right? I wrote a paper about them.
What books have you read for class that you didn’t hate? Or even found a new favorite in?
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