You know when you don’t want to be a teacher, but you always think about what you’d do differently to your own teachers if you were?
This is one of those times…
Hello, all! How are you? Today I’m back with another Top Ten Tuesday, and I couldn’t be happier about it! Something about these posts is just so satisfying.
“Top Ten Tuesday” is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, and this week’s prompt is:
Back To School Freebie – anything “back to school” related
So I’ve decided to talk about the books I would recommend to my students if I were a teacher. Let’s get right into it!
1. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
In particular, I would recommend this book to new students who feel like they’re not fitting in, or just people Charlie’s age. I think this is a great read for students feeling misunderstood, and Charlie’s perspective is so pure and beautiful to read from, I can’t help to recommend it to everyone, not just my hypothetical students!
2. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
To read from the perspective of death is such a unique experience that I would want all of my students to encounter during their life. I also think this book puts a lot of things in perspective, and would be especially humbling for the students who are perhaps a little selfish, or take things for granted. Likewise, I cannot recommend books about wars enough – I think it’s important for students to understand the suffering that came before them.
3. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon
If a student appeared to be misunderstanding of or prejudiced towards a fellow student with a learning difficulty, I would direct them to this book. Not only is it entertaining and a great experience, but educational, too.
You can read my review of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time here.
4. Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys
As aforementioned, I cannot recommend enough historical war novels to teenagers. Salt to the Sea is another great WW2 book, and is particularly about the sufferings of a few teenagers in the war. This novel also focusses on the aspects of the war we never really hear about – refugees and shipwrecks and the different nationalities affected.
You can read my full review of Salt to the Sea here.
5. The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah
This is another important novel about the war and what we tend not to learn at school – not once was I ever even told to consider the repercussions of World War 2, nor was I ever actually taught about what happened there. It wasn’t until I read this book that I learned France was once Nazi-occupied. Not only that, but this novel is perfect for female students to read, because it is fuelled by strong women and feminism.
You can read my full review of The Nightingale here.
6. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
Much like The Perks of Being a Wallflower, The Catcher in the Rye is the perfect coming of age novel for teens. Holden Caulfield also has a very vibrant and recognisable narrative that I think teens should be exposed to. Also, this book is banned in many territories, so I’d feel like the cool teacher for distributing such risqué material, even if my students didn’t fully agree.
You can read my review of The Catcher in the Rye here.
7. It’s Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini
This is another great coming of age novel for teenagers, and I feel like many people would benefit from learning the lessons this book teaches but disguises in a swathe of humour. Failing that, I’d get them to watch the movie adaptation.
8. The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
I think it’s important for people to have a favourite book series, maybe even multiple. If you’re open to any, you may as well make it a good one, which is why I would refer many of my students to The Raven Cycle. I mean, this is my favourite series, so of course I would be recommending it anyway, but I feel as though the relationships present and developed in this book are so important, and, frankly, inspirational.
You can read my review of The Raven Boys here.
9. The Martian by Andy Weir
I feel as though this novel would be great, as it really illustrates human survival, and how amazing things can happen when everyone bands together to help. Also, this book is both hilarious – so it would keep my students entertained – but is also somewhat educational in that the narrator is a very smart scientist, and discusses things in a scientific manner. I know I felt smarter after reading this!
You can read my review of The Martian here.
10. Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz
This book would be ideal for exposing my students to things we tend not to learn about at school: the 80s, Mexican culture, being LGBTQ+, familial relationships, and so on. It also teaches that we should love unapologetically and without shame, which I think any teens tend to forget. This is also a quick read with relatively accessible writing, meaning all students would be able to read it.
You can read my full review of Aristotle and Dante here.
Thank you for reading! What book would you recommend to your students if you were a teacher?
Keep an eye out for more Top Ten Tuesday posts from me!
This is a scheduled post, as I am currently on holiday! Thus, I won’t be replying to comments immediately, but I will eventually!