Good morning! A lot of last week’s posts were about books I have yet to read, so I thought I’d switch it around this week and talk about some that I’ve read and enjoyed. Today I’ll be focussing on books that I read for school, both elementary and high school, that I remember really liking and that have stayed with me over time.
A lot of people say that reading books for school makes you hate them. While sometimes that may be true, I actually found that by studying these books in class I gained a newfound appreciation for them.
1. The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
I read Le Petit Prince for my 12th grade French class, and to this day it is still one of my favourite stories. Its main audience is children – in Quebec they teach it to 2nd graders – but I remember being so attached to this prince and the pilot and their adventures. I feel like reading it in French gave me a better appreciation for it, if only because I basically needed to translate the entire book (I refused to give in and buy an English copy). I believe it’s also the only book for which I have a favourite quote: “On ne voit bien qu’avec le cœur. L’essentiel est invisible pour les yeux.”
And, no, I haven’t seen the movie yet. I want to, though, I really really want to.
2. Life of Pi by Yann Martel
I read this in my 11th grade English class, and it seemed like my friend and I were the only people who actually enjoyed it. Everyone complained about it being wordy and boring, but I found the descriptions to be beautiful, and the tale of this kid’s survival with animals on a boat to be very interesting and intense. I saw the movie with my friend, but while the cinematography was really nice, it wasn’t quite the same in movie form (plus they gave Pi a love interest in the beginning! He doesn’t need a love interest! He leaves anyway!)
3. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle
This is an oldie-goldie. I read this in the 3rd grade, borrowed the library’s copy, lost the library’s copy, bought them a new one, and promptly found the old copy under a seat in my car. I still have it buried in a box somewhere – I should take it out and put it on my shelves. Anyway, we read this book for novel studies, and I remember reading it over and over and over again as a kid. I couldn’t get enough of it! It’s been a long time since I’ve read it, so I can’t exactly tell you why I loved it. I have a really bad memory, however, and so the fact that I smile whenever I see that book means it has left a huge mark on me, and for that I will always be grateful.
4. The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton
Another elementary school book, this time from the – 7th, 8th grade? Like I said, bad memory. Another novel studies book, another story that I was pulled into and had an emotional ride on – I look upon The Outsiders as fondly as I look upon the rest of the books on this list, though it’s been a long time since my eyes saw those words. I remember hearing that S. E. Hinton was a teenager when she wrote this book, and I made it a goal of mine to be just like her and write a book as a teenager. That didn’t quite work out in my favour, but hey, it was something to aim for.
5. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Story time: my boyfriend texted me the other day saying that he and his friends were having an argument about which book was better, TKAM or Looking for Alibrandi by Melina Marchetta, both of which we read in English class (10th and 9th grade, respectively). Now, I don’t remember much from Alibrandi – in fact, I wasn’t too fond of that book in the 9th grade.
I do, however, remember a lot from To Kill a Mockingbird, which is why it has made it onto this list. I enjoy it pretty much for the same reasons everyone else enjoys it: it is intense, it has very important themes, and I found that it really opened my young, naïve eyes. It’s just one of those books that I think everybody needs to read, which is why I’m glad it’s being taught in school. And, contrary to what my boyfriend’s friends think, it still does apply to today’s society, and the lessons we pull from it will probably always be important to every generation.
And, before you ask, no I have not read Go Set A Watchman, nor do I plan on ever reading it.
Thank you for reading my post! Did you read any books in school that you really liked? Let me know in the comments!