The 10 most important books to read in high school

Palo Verde junior, Savannah Gooding sits in the library reading

Annaka Cieri

Palo Verde junior, Savannah Gooding sits in the library reading "Macbeth."

by Annaka Cieri, Editor-in-Chief

1.The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

Kite Runner book cover

Kite Runner book cover

Written by Afghan-American Hosseini, this is a heartbreaking tale of the unlikely friendship between a very wealthy boy named Amir, and his father’s servant’s son, named Hassan. The two spend their days kite fighting until violence and severe prejudice is targeted at Hassan.

“The thing I enjoyed the most about this book was how detailed and real it felt. This story was portrayed in a way where it could have been perceived as a true story. I think it’s important for high schoolers to read it because it challenges us to realize that people have a different culture aren’t always how you perceive and just because you don’t understand someone’s culture, it doesn’t give you the right to judge them. In the end we’re all only human,” said Palo Verde junior Lily Scarborugh.

2. The Other Hand (Little Bee) by Chris Cleave

Little Bee book cover

Little Bee book cover

Not only is this book a favorite among English teachers for it’s writing strategies, but it also tells a beautiful story of Little Bee, a Nigerian refugee, and Sarah O’Rourke a magazine editor. The story goes on telling the crude memories of her past and heart wrenching tales of her time in Little Bee, but overall this story will teach you of not only tolerance but love.

“I think it promotes a message of forgiveness and acceptance by learning to let go of the past and accepts ones true self. I think it also portrays sacrifice and love, it’s quiet a beautiful book,”said Palo Verde senior Jessica Nemchek.

3.To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

To Kill A Mockingbird book cover

To Kill A Mockingbird book cover

Taking place in Alabama during the Great Depression, in tired town Maycomb, this story follows six-year old Jean Louise Finch, who lives with older brother and widowed father. The story develops after three children watch as a black man is rummored to have raped  a young white women. The story touches on themes of prejudice and racism in the south.

“This book is important for high schoolers to read because it shows how mean and ignorant people can be, and this will hopefully teach kids to be more compassionate to people,” Paulina Banuelos Palo Verde Graduate.

4.Catch 22 by Joseph Heller

Catch 22 book cover

Catch 22 book cover

This satire follows the airmen of 256th Squadron while they are in action over Italy. The men repeatedly attempt to avoid combat but it ultimately leads to death, the only escape is to claim to be mentally unfit for duty.

“This book is so powerful and was one of the only books I have actually finished since I have been in high school, so that should say something,” said junior Izzy Cieri.

5.Macbeth by William Shakespeare

Macbeth book cover

Macbeth book cover

This tragedy is one of Shakespeare’s most popular work. Look we know Shakespeare can be a pain to read but it is important to learn from his writing strategies and over all ,this is one of his most entertaining works, including witches ,and kings and of course like all tragedies should; death and lots of plot twists.

“I liked it just because of all the suspense and the language that makes it up. I think it’s important because it shows what greed can lead to and why you should refrain from it,” said Caeyln Ockenfels Palo Verde graduate.

6.The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

The Great Gatsby book cover

The Great Gatsby book cover

Fitzgerald is a wonderful writer in general; his symbolism is the best thing any English geek could hope for and this particular story of Jay Gatsby will make you hate every protagonist and society in general, in a good way. This book based in the Jazz age opens your eyes to a whole new world of love and the American dream and its attainability.

“I like the book because Fitzgerald was able to capture the era of the 20’s perfectly. His ability to paint a picture with his descriptive language is unmatched, in my opinion. I believe The Great Gatsby is still relevant and important for students to read because it gives us a different view of what the “American Dream” is. It’s important to learn about multiple perspectives, and The Great Gatsby gives that to us,” said Palo Verde student teacher Mr. Turner.

7.Anthem by Ayn Rand

Anthem book cover

Anthem book cover

This story takes place sometime in the future, but has a surprising lack of technology. Our main character fights in a society where individuality is wrong, and you must remain part of the brotherhood and living out your set role in a society that does not praise you for our differences.

“Anthem talks about individuality and how we can’t just stay with the group we need to be ourselves. In high school especially, it’s easy to fall into cliques but you need to stay true to yourself and do what you want and not what everyone else wants,” said junior Savannah Gooding.

8.Slaughter House Five by Kurt Vonnegut

Slaughter House Five book cover

Slaughter House Five book cover

A surprisingly hilarious story that unlike most classic books is fun and easy to read, Vonnegut tells of his time in the war which includes time travel and aliens, yeah. If you haven’t already guessed this satire shows the true torture of soldiers during war and the events afterward if they have even survived that far.

“First off this book was so funny, and it gives a really good message about war. I think high schoolers should read it because it is always good to learn about our history,” said freshmen Max Cieri.

9.Night by Ellie Wiesel

Night book cover

Night book cover

A morbidly sad but important story that is told from the point of view of a young Jewish boy during the Holocaust. Based on a true story this book goes through the struggle of the camps and war. Beautiful themes of family and compassion are shown throughout, warning though this book will give you a good cry.

“Night is to gain an understanding of cruelties and inhumane acts that happened to the people effected by the Holocaust and to educate people reading on history so that it does not repeat itself,”said Palo Verde graduate Samy Carmer.

10.Catcher in the Rye by J.B. Salinger

The Catcher in The Rye book cover

The Catcher in The Rye book cover

Salinger describes problems every person faces: even if they don’t realize. It’s definitely more of a complex book with tough dialect, but the messages are strong. The book goes through the mind of teenager Holden Caulfield (sp) who tries to wrap his mind around the complexities and paradoxes of the world. Childhood being extremely important to him, facing the fact that adulthood is upon him is his biggest struggle.  A book every teenager can relate to at one point or another and a must-read for new perspective.

“I like this book a lot, mainly because it’s relatable for teenagers as old as Holden. Many teenagers are starting to have relationships and take chances on love and this book teaches the goods and bads of growing up and losing that innocence. The book is showing the rite of passage teens think they have to go through to be mature. It is important to read because it shows that you don’t need to do any of these obscene goals to get maturity,” said Sam Manlangit Palo Verde graduate.