The best books in BSM’s English syllabus

F. Scotts Fitzgeralds classic is a favorite of most students.

"The Great Gatsby" press image

F. Scotts Fitzgerald’s classic is a favorite of most students’.

1. Great Gatsby – F. Scott FItzgerald
A favorite for all students, Great Gatsby has received hype for a recent movie, but has also made a name for itself. Contrary to the standard English romance, this novel has a love story that doesn’t induce vomit. Jay Gatsby, the alluring character whose life the novel chronicles, wins the hearts of students with his charm and mystery.

2. Catcher and the Rye – J. D. Salinger
Students appreciate Salinger’s classic because of his relatable and quirky characters. The scattered story of Holden Caulfield is extremely similar to high school students’ experiences, and an interesting plot line captures the wayward focus of a typical sophomore.

3. Lord of the Flies – William Golding
This epic tale of hardship captures the terror and barbarism of boys trapped on an island in World War II. Lord of the Flies even fits into the concentration of sophomore English by displaying the pitfalls of human evil. This troubling story tells what happens when the boys are pushed to desperation, and gives an interesting look inside their minds. This book explores the ideas of inherent evil and justice.

5. Rash – Pete Hautman
Like Catcher in the Rye, Rash succeeds in accurately depicting the teenage mind. Disregarding the book’s terrible ending, the students highly enjoy it for its interesting plot. The Book is set in a futuristic society obsessed with safety––taking it to an extreme. Bo, the main character, is sent to the Canadian tundra to work; there he plays football (which is now illegal) and is caught. Bo’s defiance of society sets him free and makes him realize that his life is not supposed to be lived in this sheltered society.

6. Into the Wild – John Krakauer
Adventure, freedom, risk, passion, nature, and individuality. A book about a man searching to free himself from the conformations of society, Christopher McCandless, or “Alex Supertramp,” journeys across the U.S. surviving on the tiniest of means. Krakauer tells the story of McCandless life and his adventures while struggling to find the importance of his being.

7. Maus – Art Spiegelman
The Maus series is one of the only graphic novel in BSM’s curriculum. The novel gives an accurate depiction of Vladek Spiegelman, the author’s father, and his life in the concentration camps during WW2. Not only does it show the life of Vladek during his time in the Holocaust, but it gives us a glimpse of his life afterwards and how he was forever changed by of his experiences.

8. To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee
To Kill a Mockingbird tells the tale of racist America in the 30’s and how it plays a huge part in the hearing of an innocent black man. The book intends to shed light on the wrongs of our earlier society, showing how corrupt the majority of the public was. Harper Lee based the novel off an actual incident that happened, the “Scottsboro case,” in order to reiterate the actual racism and the discrimination of the time period.