Three Types of Books to Consider for Your Required Reading List

Required reading for high schools

Choosing books for a required reading list can be pretty tough, especially when you’re choosing for middle school and high school students. It’s a time when their world knowledge is beginning to intersect with their academic knowledge, and can be a crucial time for instilling a love of reading and imparting the skills that reading gives students. Here are a few areas of books that you should think about when you’re making your required reading book list.

1. The Classics
One of the first places you might want to start looking for novels for a required reading list is the classics. Many of the literature that exists today started literary traditions and exhibit literary elements and conventions you might be looking to teach. Additionally, since so much of the world is actually rooted in the classics, you’re giving your students some cultural capital which they might not get otherwise.

2. The Fantasy Genre
No book list for high school students or middle school students would be complete without some sort of fantasy novel. The struggle with assigning reading to kids is actually getting them to read the content, so it’s smart to give them what they want. Fantasy is one of the oldest styles of writing, but today it’s one of the most popular. Fantasy books for middle school and high school students are probably going to be in line with their interests.

3. Leadership Books
Another area of books that you should consider are books that will encourage self-improvement and character building. Leadership books — at least those that feature conventional heroes and leadership (even classics like The Aeneid) — can simultaneously teach literary elements and conventions while showing them characters they may look up to.

Do you have any tips for compiling a high school or middle school book list? Feel free to share them with us in the comments section below. Learn more about this topic here.

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