There are a wide array of books that can taught in any grade or in multiple grades. It also depends on what English class you’re teaching: College Prep, Honors, AP or an elective. There are so many to choose from that it seems difficult to narrow it down to just one. I guess I’ll choose a small array.
ninth grade english:
I’ll be honest and say I don’t remember a lot of what I read in 9th grade English when I was a freshman. But this year at my internship I’ve spent a lot of time working with the freshmen, and I’ve definitely begun to hone favorites from what they’re doing. I’m slightly torn between To Kill a Mockingbird and MAUS I & II. All three are books that I’ve only read this school year, and I’ve loved all of them. I think that To Kill a Mockingbird has a great story and a lot of important messages. One of my favorite things about the MAUS books is that the students seem to have an easier time relating to them, perhaps because of the format – graphic novel versus regular novel formatting. All of these are books I want to incorporate in my classroom in the future.
ap/uconn Eleventh Grade english:
This is a class that was just recently added into the curriculum at my high school. Although we’ve had AP 11 for a very long time, the UConn component was added within the past couple of years. I’ve been able to observe some of these classes this year, and I think my favorite text that I’ve seen them do so far has been The Great Gatsby. This is a text I never read in high school, and instead chose to read on my own my senior year of college. It took my a while to get into it, and the ending came as a surprise, but I really enjoyed the story and the messages it put forth. It’s definitely a text where there’s a lot of room for discussion, and I think that’s a really important factor to consider when choosing texts to bring into a classroom.
twelfth grade english:
Twelfth grade is actually a year of literature that I remember well and really enjoyed. That year we read Macbeth, Frankenstein and The Picture of Dorian Gray. All of these are texts that I love, and Macbeth is one that over my continued education I’ve read multiple times. I think my favorite text from that year though was The Picture of Dorian Gray. I really fell in love with the story that it told, and it was a text that stuck with my long after the fact.
young adult literature:
This is by far and without a doubt my favorite category of literature. I’m constantly drawn to this section of any library or bookstore and can always find something to read, often something which I haven’t read before. A couple of my favorites are The Perks of Being a Wallflower and The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks. Both of these are books which are relatable for young readers and lend themselves to broad, varied and interesting discussion. I read both of these books in my Young Adult Literature class in college, fell in love with them, and they have permanent homes in my bookcase. I hope that one day someday I have the opportunity to share these books with students and pass them onto another generation of readers.