What are the best required books to read in high school?

asked by Anonymous
246 contributors
18 solutions
  1. 26

    #1To 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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    Angela Spencer
    Written on March 10, 2018
    "To Kill A Mockingbird was one of the few high school books that stuck with me. You'll recognize the character names from popular bands and social references, and the themes that are still relevant today even though the book written in the 1960s. I love that it's still common or required reading, because we can all relate to the story and benefit from the painful lessons it teaches."
  2. 22

    #2The 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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    Harry Chapman
    Written on May 16, 2018
    "Of all the books I've read, I still cling to The Great Gatsby, from my high school required reading. It really brings you back to an era where it was possible to be a truly anonymous millionaire, more akin to today's billionaires, a rich socialite that nobody knows. Add to it Jay's chasing after Daisy, and the amazing writing style of F. Scott Fitzgerald, and it just takes you away. It's one of the best books I've ever read, and it all started in high school."
  3. 21

    #3Lord of the Flies

    Lord of the Flies

    Lord of the Flies is classic fiction written by William Golding published first in 1954 which is about a group of English schoolboys who survived a plane crash and got stranded on an uninhabited island.


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    Marilyn Rivera
    Written on February 20, 2018
    "Lord of the Flies is a classic text exploring the basic actions of the human condition when left to its own, ungoverned devices."
  1. 19


    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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    Nicole Powell
    Written on April 24, 2018
    "If you have to read Shakespeare, Macbeth is a great book to read! High schoolers can be drawn into the characters and action."
  2. 18

    #5The Catcher in the Rye

    The Catcher in the Rye

    The Catcher in the Rye is J.D. Salinger's 1951 classic about teenager Holden Caulfield, who was used as an icon of teenage angst and rebellion. The controversial book has caused debates, mainly because of its vulgar language and themes.


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    Jerry Riley
    Written on April 25, 2018
    "The Catcher in the Rye is one of the best required books to read in high school"
  3. 17


    This is one of the greatest plays of all times and this edition is the groundbreaking Cambridge School, established by Rex Gibson. This is the story of the tormented prince of Denmark confronted with the evidence that this uncle murdered his father. 

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    Alan Hamilton
    Written on February 19, 2018
    "I wanted to know what books my kids are going to be reading when they hit highschool, so I came here and looked for the best required books to read in highschool. I was told to try Hamlet. I hated Hamlet back in the day, and I still hate it now. "
  4. 16

    #7The Scarlet Letter

    The Scarlet Letter
    First published in 1850, The Scarlet Letter is a classic work by Nathaniel Hawthorne. Set in a Puritan society, it tells the story of Hester Prynne as she is punished and publicly shamed for having a child outside of wedlock.

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    Shreyas Venkatesan
    Written on March 3, 2018
    "This was one of the tougher books to read in high school, and one of the least enjoyable at the time. Although it was a tough read it is well written and thought-provoking. Hawthorne paints a very detailed picture and gives a glimpse into a community vastly different than what an average person in the modern age would have experience with."
  5. 14

    #8The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

    The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
    The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is a classic American novel by Mark Twain. Published in 1884, it tells the story of a naughty boy settled in the Mississippi Valley. Full of humor it's also considered a deep and complex work.

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    Zachary Bates
    Written on February 15, 2018
    "This is a classic. Reading this and other works by Twain should be on everyone's reading list regardless of what they read in high school. It's a shame that people are trying to ban books like this from school."
  6. 13



    1984 is a utopian and dystopian fiction written by George Orwell. First published in 1949, it is included in the NPR Top 100 Science Fiction and Fantasy Books.


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    Russell Davis
    Written on May 3, 2018
    "Out of all the drivel that we read in high school this one was actually good, informative, and scary! I remember being so influenced by this."
  7. 12

    #10The Odyssey (Penguin Classics)

    The Odyssey (Penguin Classics)

    Admired by the ancient Greek poets, one should have definitely got their hands on Homer's The Odyssey. It serves as the canon work in literature in which every man's journey through life was carefully and creatively narrated.


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    Raymond Brown
    Written on April 12, 2018
    "Good to read it the great poets of it"
  8. 11

    #11Anne 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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    Nathan Price
    Written on May 10, 2018
    "This was not a book me or my wife had to read in high school. I have not ever read the book, but have heard of it. It is not something I would read, but my wife would be interested in reading this. "
  9. 10

    #12The Giver

    The Giver

    The Giver is a book by Lois Lowry that tells the story of Jonas, a boy who lives in a very structured society where everyone has a role. He will soon discover what his role is meant to be, and it will change his life.


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    William Barnett
    Written on February 8, 2018
    "This is a classic in the young adult fiction category, and it kicked off the dystopian future sub-genre. One can see why. The character of Jonas is compelling, and we find it easy to root for him as he begins to see through the illusionary world the rest of the world seems to accept. This book deals with large, important social and philosophical issues through great story-telling and never beats the reader with the themes. A Newberry Medal winner and rightfully so. "
  10. 8


    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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    Mary Flores
    Written on February 25, 2018
    "Night had me captivated from the beginning of the book. I couldn't put this book down, even with the awful things that happened."
  11. 8

    #14The Crucible

    The Crucible

    The Crucible: A Play in Four Acts by Arthur Miller tells the story of Abigail Williams, who was wrongfully charged with witchcraft in 17th century Salem. The story was inspired by the persecution of communists in the US during the McCarthy era.


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    Walter Wheeler
    Written on May 3, 2018
    "witch hunt was real, back in the 17th century, persecution of witchcraft on innocent people sounds ridiculous now but just a few centuries ago, this was happening. Read it and emersed in the horror of religion and irrationality in the old days."
  12. 6

    #15Fahrenheit 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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    Jesse Porter
    Written on March 11, 2018
    "This is a great book, i like what is it all about, i would love to add it to my collection, i am not familiar with this author but he seems to be a respectable author. I would go for the hardcover because of it's a good price."
  13. 4

    #16The Outsiders

    The Outsiders
    The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton is about how Ponyboy Curtis saw life as one of the greasers, one of the people who does not belong in a regular society. This book has won a number of awards for its contribution to the young adult genre.

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    Kyle Gardner
    Written on March 26, 2018
    "The Outsiders is one of the best required books to read in high school. It has won lots of awards and been read my millions of young adults. It is a timeless classic that explores society and outcasts. If you never read it in high school, read it now."
  14. 2

    #17A 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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    Thomas Price
    Written on April 19, 2018
    "One of Shakespeare's classics. I read it years ago & recently bought it to study for theatre. I found it an amusing, light-hearted book with endearing characters, written by one of the greatest poets & masters of language."
  15. 1

    #18Great Expectations

    Great Expectations

    Great Expectations by Charles Dickens portrays the development of the main character named Pip, who is an orphan. The story focuses on the poverty, prison ships and survival with an influence of the early-mid 19th century setting.


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    Andrea Ford
    Written on February 20, 2018
    "All the information I could have asked for. More about the author, product info, varying was to read (paper back, hard cover, kindle & audio book), related items, in case this particular book doesn't tickle your fancy. You won't need to go anywhere else for more information."


Best What are the best required books to read in high school
1To Kill a MockingbirdBooks 26 Paid
2The Great GatsbyBooks 22 Paid
3Lord of the FliesBooks 21 Paid
4MacbethBooks 19 Paid
5The Catcher in the RyeBooks 18 Paid
6HamletBooks 17 Paid
7The Scarlet LetterBooks 16 Paid
8The Adventures of Huckleberry FinnBooks 14 Free
91984Books 13 Paid
10The Odyssey (Penguin Classics)Books 12 Paid

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