What are the best books to teach in high school?

asked by Anonymous
258 contributors
19 solutions
  1. 25


    1984 is a dystopian novel by George Orwell that tells the story of Winston Smith, who lives under the rule of the tyrannical government ruled by the omnipresent Big Brother. It is a bleak portrayal of how society might become in the future.

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    George Johnston
    Written on March 4, 2018
    "A book like 1984 really opens eyes and allows children to think outside the box. It helps teach people that things aren't always as they seem. Out of the list of required reading for students, this should definitely be considered a top five."
  2. 24

    #2Fahrenheit 451

    Fahrenheit 451

    Fahrenheit 451 is a dystopian novel wherein a totalitarian regime has ordered the burning of books in order to suppress the spread of subversive ideas. It preaches about the power and role of knowledge to see beyond the surface.


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    Nicholas Harrison
    Written on February 26, 2018
    "Very interesting novel. It really turns the screws in ones head when the think about what the true meaning of burning of books are. As reading becomes less and less common in today's society, this one hits home."
  3. 21


    Slaughterhouse-Five is a science fiction novel by Kurt Vonnegut that tells the story of the time-traveling American soldier Billy Pilgrim, who became devoutly anti-war after witnessing the bombing of Dresden.

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    Phillip Davidson
    Written on April 29, 2018
    "I read through about a third of this book before I tossed it away in disgust. There is nothing in this book that could even remotely be used to teach a class. If you want real high class literature I suggest picking up Bram Stoker Dracula or for a lighter read Assassination Classroom to teach proper writing structure."
  1. 20

    #4The Great Gatsby

    The Great Gatsby

    The Great Gatsby is a classic book written by F. Scott Fitzgerald which was first published in 1914. It tells the story of wealthy man Jay Gatsby who is in love with Daisy Buchanan from an old money family. This has two film adaptations. 


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    Daniel Rodriguez
    Written on May 10, 2018
    "I view this as the story that transcends any time period. After all there is an ever present theme of a guy falling in love with a girl. I still find it relevant and fascinating today."
  2. 20

    #5Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl

    Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl
    Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl was written by Anne Frank, published from the diary she kept when she and her family were in hiding from the Nazis in the then German-occupied Netherlands.

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    Douglas Armstrong
    Written on May 12, 2018
    "Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl is powerful. It shows the horrors of World War 2. I could not put it down."
  3. 19

    #6Animal Farm

    Animal Farm
    Animal Farm is a short novel by George Orwell that tells the story of a farm that's taken over by its overworked, mistreated animals. They set out to create a paradise of progress, justice, and equality, but a revolution starts to show. 

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    Juan Antonio Sotelo
    Written on May 12, 2018
    "I'm a high school teacher and often get asked what the best books to teach to a high school class are. One of my favorite all time books to use is "Animal Farm." Once the students starts to understand it they find that they can easily relate to it. They see the same problems going on today that were described in this book. It's also fairly short which most of my students appreciate as well."
  4. 17

    #7To Kill a Mockingbird

    To Kill a Mockingbird
    To Kill a Mockingbird is Harper Lee's Pulitzer prize-winning masterwork of honor and injustice in the deep south and the heroism of one man in the face of blind and violent hatred. This was first published in 1960.

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    Emma Foster
    Written on March 6, 2018
    "I remember reading this book in school when I was a kid. I think it's a great classic that every kid should read in school. "
  5. 16


    Macbeth is a play by the famous playwright William Shakespeare that tells the story about the titular Macbeth and his wife, Lady Macbeth, and how their murderous greed for power and the crown ultimately led to their own demise.

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    Michelle Robinson
    Written on April 19, 2018
    "This famous story by William Shakespeare has certainly been in circulation long enough for the generations to know it well. This particular version is an attempt to rewrite the story format in a modern way which is more easily read by readers who are not accustomed to the old English literary style. There seems to be mixed reviews on this one, so you will have to decide which version is the best for you. Sometimes, the original classics should just not be tampered with."
  6. 15

    #9Of Mice and Men

    Of Mice and Men
    Of Mice and Men is a book by John Steinbeck that follows the story of George, small but smart, and Lennie, big and strong but mentally challenged, as they set off in a journey to look for a livelihood during the Great Depression.

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    Rubén Félix
    Written on April 27, 2018
    "Of Mice and Men is classic read that should be required of all high school students. This is a tremendous journey of two unlikelely men who feed off each other . It's a simple story about two men who go about their lives seeking gratitude from the very basics that life has to offer."
  7. 13

    #10A People’s History of the United States

    A People’s History of the United States

    A People's History of the United States is 1980 bestseller by American historian and political scientist Howard Zinn. The book reviews and analyzes important facts and events in the history of America.


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    Humberto Bravo
    Written on February 26, 2018
    "Learning about the History of the United States is a very good idea and one that our children would benefit so much from."
  8. 12

    #11Romeo and Juliet

    Romeo and Juliet

    Romeo and Juliet is a tragedy written by William Shakespeare early in his career about two young star-crossed lovers whose deaths ultimately reconcile their feuding families.


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    Brian Jensen
    Written on March 3, 2018
    "I teach high school and one of my favorite books to teach is Romeo and Juliet. It's a great book for every student to read and makes everyone that reads it appreciate love more. It's a tragedy, which I love, and it's by my favorite author, William Shakespeare. I highly recommend this book for all high school teachers."
  9. 12

    #12Wuthering Heights

    Wuthering Heights

    Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë tells the story of Catherine and Heathcliff. After she rejects him for a boy from a better background he develops a lust for revenge that takes over his life. This tale of hauntings, passion, and greed remains unsurpassed in its depiction of the dark side of love.


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    Raymond Douglas
    Written on March 3, 2018
    "Not a bad book to get and teach in high school people would like this and have fun using it. "
  10. 10

    #13The Ecological Rift: Capitalism’s War on the Earth

    The Ecological Rift: Capitalism’s War on the Earth

    The Ecological Rift: Capitalism’s War on the Earth by John Bellamy Foster, Brett Clark, and Richard York is a non-fiction novel originally published in 2010. This book explores the current environmental issues that humanity is facing.


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    Sergio Pineda
    Written on April 20, 2018
    "To me, The Ecological Rift stands way out from the pile in this important respect: it enriches your understanding of the roots of ecological crisis by deepening and contextualizing (non-controversial) empirical facts with careful (yet, critical) reconstructions of debates between the most thoughtful and influential voices addressing ecological issues throughout history. "
  11. 6

    #14The Hobbit

    The Hobbit

    The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien is a modern classic and the prelude to The Lord of the Rings. Bilbo Baggins is a hobbit who enjoys a comfortable life, but his contentment is disturbed when Gandalf and a group of dwarves arrive on his doorstep.


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    Johnny Fernandez
    Written on May 4, 2018
    "I feel this is a great solution. This is one of the all time great classics. This is one of my favorite books. It has a great story and the underlying religious themes so there are many things you could base your lessons on. "
  12. 4

    #15A Midsummer Night's Dream

    A Midsummer Night's Dream

    A Midsummer Night's Dream is a classic romantic fantasy play by one of the most famous playwrights in history, William Shakespeare. It features love stories of mythological creatures like Theseus and Hippolyta. 


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    Danielle Wood
    Written on April 21, 2018
    "As a teacher, I found A Midsummer Night's Dream one of the best books to teach to my high school students. The kids are more focused on this because the story keeps them entertained the whole way through. "
  13. 3

    #16Brave New World

    Brave New World

    Brave New World by Aldous Huxley is a utopian and dystopian fiction novel published in 1932. This book follows Bernard Marx living a perfect life in a scientifically engineered society until he visited one of the remaining old reservoirs.


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    Celia Corona
    Written on April 18, 2018
    "If you didn't read Brave New World in high school, check it out now. It has a lot to say about our society right now. Interesting and thoughtful."
  14. 1



    Speak is the multi-award winning novel by Laurie Halse Anderson. It is a harrowing young adult story about rape, post-traumatic stress disorder, and isolation in teens. It was published in 1999 and was adapted to film in 2004.


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    Keith Howard
    Written on March 17, 2018
    "This is an important social topic and one to definitely be discussed in health classes. I have a niece who had gone through a very similar situation in high school. It is every bit as devastating and isolating as described by author Laurie Halse Anderson's book "Speak". Understanding this issue, having open discussion about it, and warning kids about the dangers is the only way to approach the problem. Sure, there will be some that say this shouldn't be discussed in school. Where else then? Most parents are too afraid to even bring up the subject of sex, let alone rape. This should be required reading for junior high kids, though Americans with their Puritanical roots would see that pushed to the 12th grade. Good luck stemming the sexual assault/abuse problem in America with that attitude!"
  15. 1


    Night is the first book in Elie Wiesel's historical trilogy about the Holocaust. Night shows the worst side of humanity during World War II, when familial relationships blurred because of hunger, pain, and fear inside concentration camps.

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    Ann Wu
    Written on February 25, 2018
    "Night is one of the great books that should be taught in high school. Night is the first book by Elie Eiesel about the Holocaust. Nights shows the worst side of humanity during World War II. This book is graphic and detailed and very well written."
  16. 0

    #19Heart of Darkness

    Heart of Darkness

    Heart of Darkness is a novella by Joseph Conrad that tells the story of Charles Marlow and his voyage on the Congo River. The story is inspired by Conrad's own experiences traveling in the Congo River in a Belgian trading steamer. 


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    Chao Liu
    Written on March 30, 2018
    "Great book, fantastic read. It made me lose focus on my surroundings. It took me into the depths of the Congo with vivid imagination."


Best What are the best books to teach in high school
11984Books 25 Paid
2Fahrenheit 451Books 24 Paid
3Slaughterhouse-FiveBooks 21 Paid
4The Great GatsbyBooks 20 Paid
5Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young GirlBooks 20 Paid
6Animal FarmBooks 19 Paid
7To Kill a MockingbirdBooks 17 Paid
8MacbethBooks 16 Paid
9Of Mice and MenBooks 15 Paid
10A People’s History of the United StatesBooks 13 Paid

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