Teacher-approved novels to read for school

Here's a list of five novels that are great to read for your English class, or just because.

Via Godinez, Staff Writer

At one point or another, every high school student is assigned required reading for class. On some occasions, your teacher will provide a novel for you. Other times, though, you must pick your own. Here are five novels to read for school that will get you on your teachers good side.

The Divine Comedy, Dante Alighieri

Most people have heard of Dante’s Inferno, but do not know it comes from Dante’s epic poem The Divine Comedy. Widely considered to be one of the greatest works of Italian Literature, The Divine Comedy follows the authors journey through the after life. With mature, religious themes, everyone can take something different from the poem. The Divine Comedy is a well regarded classic, and will likely get you brownie points with your teacher.

To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee

Though this book has been removed from required reading lists several times throughout the years, students are still able to make the choice to read this novel. Published in 1960, To Kill a Mockingbird is told from the point of view of 6 year old Scout as her father Atticus Finch defends a black man in a court of law. The man in question, Tom Robinson, is accused of assaulting a white woman and is convicted even after being proven innocent. This book teaches a lot about racial injustice, gender roles and the loss of innocence.

Fahrenheit  451, Ray Bradbury

In the last 20 years, dystopian novels have grown in popularity. One of the most recognized dystopian novels being Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451. Published in 1953, Fahrenheit 451 is set in a future society in which books are outlawed and are to be burned on sight by “firemen”. The novel’s main theme is censorship, and was widely influenced by contemporary politics. It also took some inspiration from WWII and the Cold War, as can be seen in its themes of book burning and nuclear warfare.

Treasure Island, Robert Louis Stevenson

Though it’s not commonly found on school reading lists, Stevenson’s Treasure Island shaped much of  literature today. Not only is it one of the first remembered fantasy books, it also changed our modern view of pirates. Before this novel, pirates were never seen as the glorious, swash-buckling beings we see them today. This novel would be an especially good read for anyone writing an essay on how literature shapes our view of things.

The Hobbit, J.R.R Tolkien

Another novel that changed the way we view modern fantasy is Tolkien’s The Hobbit. This book may just be the most recognizable on this list, and it’s with good reason. Though it may be more popular with parents than with students, The Hobbit was detrimental to modern literature. Much like what Stevenson did with Treasure Island, Tolkien did with his novels. Without them, we would view a lot of fantasy creatures differently. From tall, pointy eared elves to how we use language (dwarves instead of dwarf’s, et c.) The Hobbit is a must-read.