Monday, September 10, 2007

Favorite High School Assigned Reading

When I think back on my high school assigned reading, there are two good experiences that come to mind: Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities and Willa Cather’s My Antonia.

It is a tribute to my 9th grade English teacher that I liked A Tale of Two Cities because I had a let’s-just-get-through-this attitude. But her love for the book electrified the class discussion, and by the end, I would have told you it wasn’t half-bad!

I believe it was 11th grade when My Antonia landed on my desk.

I thought it would be dull as dirt (look at the cover, okay?), but to my surprise, the story and the characters grabbed me. I read ahead and finished way before I "had" to, and couldn’t wait to get to class to see what other people--and the teacher--had to say each day. But unfortunately, I ended up being the biggest fan in the classroom.

Still, I wondered if I hadn’t crossed a threshold, that from then I’d “get” the required reading books, and understand why the school district had assigned them. Okay--not true. I went on to be bored with the rest of them. (At least until years later, when I re-read some.) Which in hindsight, gives me even greater respect for My Antonia.

Did anyone else read My Antonia or have a required reading story to share?

Books I Read (and also enjoyed) This Past Summer:

Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen
Paper Hearts, Debrah Williamson
Revenge of the Homecoming Queen, Stephanie Hale
Not a Happy Camper, Mindy Schneider
There’s a (Slight) Chance I Might Be Going To Hell, Laurie Notaro
Honk if You Hate Me, Deborah Halverson
Skin Deep, E. M. Crane
Lean Mean Thirteen, Janet Evanovich
The Undomestic Goddess, Sophie Kinsella
You Had Me at Halo, Amanda Ashby
Evolution, Me & Other Freaks of Nature, Robin Brande


Tina Ferraro
Top Ten Uses for an Unworn Prom Dress
How to Hook a Hottie, January, 2008
The ABC’s of Kissing Boys, Spring, 2009


Wendy Roberts said...

My favorite high school book had to be The Outsiders. Loved the greasers :)

TinaFerraro said...

Oh, Wendy, you know what? I read that in junior high and really liked it, too. I'd forgotten about that one! Thanks for commenting.

stephhale said...

Great post, Tina. I have never heard of My Antonia but I might just have to look it up!

Kelly (Lynn) Parra said...
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Kelly (Lynn) Parra said...

Oops, I meant to write I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings was my fave req. reading. A very emotional read!

Anonymous said...

I liked A Tale Of Two Cities, also. But I've never heard of My Antonia and I can't remember anything I was forced to read. I think I was a bit odd, emphasis on was.


TinaFerraro said...

Thanks, Steph!

Kelly, I read WHY THE CAGED BIRD SINGS, too, but not as a required reading. Yes, very powerful.

Janie, maybe you can't remember anything you were forced to read because you liked them all and they didn't seem forced on you? Just a thought! :)

Marley Gibson said...

I have to admit that I've never read this book. I'll have to put it on my list.

Simone Elkeles said...

I read The Outsiders, but not for school. I LOVED the movie, though.

Heather Davis said...

I loved My Antonia, too. Good choice, Tina!