Let me start by saying that this is by no means a ‘required reading’ list, though there are a few works of the literature here you will likely find in a syllabus or two. This is a small list of four titles high-school students love reading, whether it is for their critique of society or their journey of self-discovery, which are a few themes some teens can relate to.
Howl’s Moving Castle, Diana Wynne Jones
A number of people have seen the movie by Studio Ghibli by the same name, but what they may not know that the book fills the gaps nicely. It is a story about the eldest sister in a magical world, which, as we all know, means she would not be destined for greatness, as that fate is reserved for the youngest sibling. She starts working as a hat-shop apprentice, before being cursed by a witch to turn into an old woman that will, eventually, start working in the castle of the dreaded wizard named Howl.
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams
Imagine if humor met science fiction. That is what this book series is about. Arthur Dent is the main character that is trying to keep his house from being torn down when he discovers that the same thing is going to happen to planet Earth. That’s when his strange friend, named Ford Prefect, comes to the rescue and the complicated adventure begins. It’s a bit like Alice in Wonderland, in that it puts a Brit with unmovable social constructs in their mind into a chaotic world that cares little for their preconceptions.
The Catcher in the Rye, J. D. Salinger
This is one of the syllabus books I mentioned earlier. The Catcher in the Rye is a book about a disillusioned young man not exactly trying to fit in, but feeling more and more contempt for the society around him and being unable to understand it.
The book has gone through being banned and censored, due to its vulgar language and criticism towards society. It is worth noting that the book is pretty mild by today’s standards.
To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee
What does it mean to be a second-class citizen? To Kill a Mockingbird follows Jean Louise Finch, nicknamed Scout, and her attempt to figure out the behavior and beliefs of adults in the South during the Great Depression. It is worth reading for the racial injustice and the entire trial.