Classic books like Oliver Twist and Of Mice and Men were taught in thousands of schools to expand students’ perspectives and encourage critical thinking. Even though you might not have realized it as a student, returning to these books with a deeper understanding and a fresh perspective is beyond valuable.
Here are 5 more books from high school literature class that you won’t want to miss out on reading again.
1. Oliver Twist– Charles Dickens
Oliver Twist explores the perseverance of goodness in a world consumed by evil. Orphaned for as long as he can remember, young Oliver struggles to survive in a 19th-century workhouse with bleak conditions. He even becomes associated with a criminal gang, but the purity of his character even in hopeless circumstances makes him stand out from others with similar upbringings.
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2. The Outsiders– S.E. Hinton
Ponyboy Curtis lives with his brother Sodapop under the guardianship of their oldest brother Dally after losing their parents in a car accident. Both Ponyboy and Sodapop are greasers that get into trouble with a group of rich kids from the West side called the Socs. The boys struggle to navigate the world as the lines between “criminal” and “hero” are continually blurred.
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3. Romeo and Juliet– William Shakespeare
The Capulets and Montagues are noble families that continually find themselves at odds with one another. When Romeo, a Montague, falls in love with Juliet, a Capulet, tensions rise between the families. Join these star-crossed lovers in their tragic journey to find love in the midst of generational feuds.
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4. Pride and Prejudice– Jane Austen
The Bennet family is full of daughters, the eldest of which are eligible to be wed. When two wealthy bachelors come into town, Mrs. Bennet is determined to introduce them to Jane and Elizabeth Bennet so that they can move upwards in society. Full of unexpected romance and fragile reputation, author Jane Austen exposes the downfalls of a society obsessed with social mobility and first impressions.
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5. Of Mice and Men– John Steinbeck
George and Lennie arrive in California to begin a new job. The pair have a deep and loyal friendship, and George acts as a caretaker for Lennie because of his intellectual disability. Lennie isn’t always aware of his behavior and often needs to be bailed out of trouble by George because others don’t understand him. Take part in the story of two workers who struggle with the consequences of good intentions and bad actions.
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