Thursday, March 5, 2015

Day Sixteen: World Book Day-My Thirty Favorite Books to Teach

Today is World Book Day in the United Kingdom. I thought I would do a list of my favorite British literature, but that list would be really short-mostly Shakespeare and the Romantic Poets.  Instead, I decided to compose a list of my thirty favorite books to teach (that was hard to say, because I really insist that students do not call them books but by their genre). Over the course of my 18 year teaching career, I have taught many works.  Some I like, and some that I didn't like as much, but here they are in from least favorite to favorite.  Just so you know, I have taught grades 7-12 and currently, teach a dual enrollment college class, so the works come from all levels. I like variety, so some of these works I will teach every year, while some I have either retired, or only teach every other year.
I based my choices on how much I like the work and how well the students respond, and the actual work.
  1. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald (every year)
  2. Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse (every year)
  3. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain (every year)
  4. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck (most years)
  5. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (every other year)
  6. Life of Pi by Yann Martel (the past three years)
  7. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien (it's been a while)
  8. Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl by Harriet Jacobs (once, but I love this book)
  9. Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston (every other year)
  10. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury (twice)
  11. A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry (every other year)
  12. A Doll's House by Henrik Ibsen (every year)
  13. Oedipus Rex by Sophocles (every year)
  14. The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne (every year)
  15. The Crucible by Arthur Miller (every year)
  16. Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe (retired to another teacher)
  17. The Tempest by William Shakespeare (every year)
  18. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll (once)
  19. The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton (when I taught junior high)
  20. Mythology by Edith Hamilton (every other year)
  21. Antigone by Sophocles (when I taught ninth grade)
  22. Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare (every other year)
  23. Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton (an independent work every year for my honors class)
  24. The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck (every other year)
  25. The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck (every other year)
  26. King Lear by William Shakespeare (every other year with my college class)
  27. The Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum (when I taught junior high)
  28. The Miracle Worker by William Gibson (when I taught junior high)
  29. The Pearl by John Steinbeck (retired to another teacher-I really don't like it)
  30. Billy Budd by Herman Melville (retired because I grew tired of teaching it.)
So, this is my list of favorites works for my class. How many have you read?  Which is your favorite on the list.
Until next week, “If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all.”― Oscar Wilde

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