It’s Sunday and time for Six for Sunday! This is a weekly blog feature started by A Little But a Lot. This week’s prompt is books that should be taught in school. I was a good student in school but I hated pretty much every book I was forced to read in school. Honestly, I didn’t read most of them. The typical books taught in school are in desperate need of an update and re-examine. Why should students still be discussing race by reading old books that are horribly racist? Trying to teach kids to like reading by giving them only classics and literary fiction is just stupid. While I do think these have a place and shouldn’t be scrapped entirely, I think there needs to be a balance and some newer stuff needs to get woven in to replace some of the more dated and terrible typical high school books. In addition, the lack of any fantasy or sci-fi in school continues to perpetuate that these books are somehow lesser which is something that really needs to be done away with entirely. So here are my idea of the types of books that kids should get to read in school: they’re good for that age and either gender, they have good lessons or would start good conversations, and they’re actually enjoyable.
- Kindred by Octavia E Butler– This is a very entriguing look at the world of slavery and credited as the first sci-fi book by a black female author.
- The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo – This book is powerful and has a great lesson. It’s also a great way of reading some poetry even for those of us who don’t like poetry.
- Wolf by Wolf by Ryan Graudin – This dystopian about a world where Hitler won was so interesting. I think it would be really appealing to students of any gender and lead to some good discussion.
- Raybearer by Jordan Ifueko – Finding a YA fantasy that is school appropriate isn’t the easiest but I think this one fits the bill and is one I really liked.
- Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson – This is a really fun YA mystery with some riddles. Reading this and the older mysteries it references could be really fun. I also don’t remember reading any mysteries in school and think it would be a good genre to add.
- The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas – Schools are still using Tom Sawyer and discussing how it is rascist, why is this acceptable? If you’re going to talk about race, let’s do something recent to have a real conversation.
Stay tuned these Six for Sunday prompts in the rest of September:
- September 26 – Books you studied in school