Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books Every High Schooler Should Read


Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Each Tuesday, a new list is prompted, and book bloggers display their answers!

Topic for April 12, 2016: Top Ten Books Every High Schooler Should Read

Hi everyone! Long time no TTT right?? For the later half of March, I was swamped moving into a new house, celebrating my birthday, Easter, and my nephew’s first birthday! So I was just a bit busy.

Although I was a little upset that I broke my New Year’s resolution of posting every TTT for 2016, I still think that missing 3 weeks isn’t too bad 🙂

So this week, I’m bringing you my top ten list of books every high school student should read. I have picked out five classics and five modern books for this list, so here we go!



  1. 1984 by George Orwell – This was actually one of my favorite books I read in high school. (You guys might be getting tired of me putting this on my lists…) It’s a “futuristic” book set in the year 1984 where the government aka Big Brother watches over everyone 24/7. There’s even a thing called the Thought Police. I know that our world is becoming less and less private today, but what if it was possible to track peoples’ thoughts?? I think high school students should read this and actually compare it to how 1984 was in real life, and how far we have come in 2016.
  2. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald – This is most likely a typical high school read for most students. I read this during my junior year AP class, and honestly, it wasn’t my favorite. I do not mean to ruin any expectations for anyone who hasn’t read it yet, but I do think that everyone should read it! It is a good novel about societal structure. I definitely need to reread this one…I’m not remembering any details!
  3. Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare – Another typical high school read. I actually read this during my freshman year. This play is so full of teen angst and first love that high schoolers will probably relate to it more than they originally think. It’s also just a fun read with the feuding families and the tragic fates – a great introduction to Shakespeare!
  4. Great Expectations by Charles Dickens – Reading this during freshman year, I HATED it. I thought it was so boring. But, looking back, I can see potential for a great classic novel! This is also on my reread list. Pip, Estella, Ms. Havisham…just a must read for teens.
  5. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee – This is a great work of American lit that I think everyone should read. Although it is political in nature (which I don’t tend to lean toward), it is a great study of race, early American law, coming-of-age, and society. Speaking of this book…I need to read Go Set a Watchman. Let me know if you’ve read it in the comments below and what you thought about it!



  1. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins – Cool thought I just had – someday, these YA books that we all love could be the “Classics” for future generations. Anyway…so I think the Hunger Games series is so powerful. It is about having courage, standing up for what you believe, building relationships and a bunch more! I think kids today can actually learn some valuable lessons from this series and have fun while reading it too!
  2. Divergent by Veronica Roth – Yet another YA Dystopian novel – but I think this goes along with my thoughts of the Hunger Games trilogy. Empowerment, courage, fearlessness, self-confidence, honestly, selflessness, etc. Each faction can teach today’s youth so much. This book was so powerful for me when I read it at 23 years old. I think it might impact younger students even more.
  3. The Maze Runner by James Dashner – am I creating a trend here? I loved this series. It has the right mix of drama, action, suspense, relationships, societal failure and rebuilding, etc. I can almost think of some great research paper topics to go along with these series…and yes, I do like to write research papers (NERD). But anyway, I think this one could be more geared toward boys, although even as a female I loved it. Just a great fun read!
  4. The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton – Ok, thowback. I actually read this book in middle school, but I think any high schoolers who haven’t read it should! This book is a great look into society in the 1950s. Even though the ‘greasers’ and ‘socs’ don’t exist in this same format today, there are definitely clicks in high school. I adore this book and the characters that Hinton has detailed perfectly. And I’m sure high schoolers would enjoy the movie too 🙂
  5. The Road by Cormac McCarthy – I read this during my junior year of high school, and it was probably my first encounter with such a unique writing style. This book is unusual, creepy, and a total opposite of everything else I’ve listed here. I just think this book is set in a great and terrifying world, but is something that this generation would absolutely love!

Ok, that’s my TTT! What topic did you choose this week? Let me know in the comments below, because I’d love to hear! Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you on the next page!


17 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books Every High Schooler Should Read

  1. Carrianne says:

    3/5 Classics you mentioned are totally on my list this week, but for completely different reasons (I went in another direction). It feels like all of my friends read 1984 and Animal Farm in high school while I was reading books like Beloved and Grapes of Wrath in my classes. Totally agree with your choices for Modern books!

    Here’s my TTT this week. (:

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Jessica says:

    Fahrenheit 451! 🙂 Actually it’s so hard to pick the best classics. They’re all so good! I would maybe swap Romeo & Juliet for The Scarlet Letter or a different Shakespeare. And in terms of modern high school books, I would have to throw a John Green in there (preferably Looking for Alaska). But they are all great choices!

    Searching in the Stacks


  3. Katy K. says:

    I loved Romeo and Juliet in high school! I didn’t read To Kill a Mockingbird until recently, but it is really good. And I really think that high schoolers should read current teen books, not just classics. There’s a lot to discuss in the Hunger Games!


  4. alicerosesimmons says:

    Great list! I really enjoyed To Kill a Mockingbird when I read it in school, as well Romeo and Juliet although I’ve done it so much I’m a little bored of it now unfortuantely! Love you modern picks as well – The Hunger Games is a great one to discuss in class 🙂
    Heres my TTT


  5. Joyce Xie says:

    Yay for mandatory reads! Haha, although everyone dreads the independent novel study unit, it is always one of my favourites. Mainly because I got to read books I would not have normally picked up. I’ve read all of these except for To Kill a Mockingbird, I’ll ashamedly admit. Great list!

    Liked by 1 person

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