Favorite Books for Required Reading – Top 5 Wednesday

Good afternoon! I haven’t done a Top 5 Wednesday for a while, so I thought it was time for another! Today’s topic is tropes I hate.  I’ll be frank and tell you I don’t like this topic.  I feel mostly all tropes are interesting and useful.  They either remind us about something good about ourselves or something bad. Either way authors bring light to topics when they use tropes.  Today I’ll be blogging about last week’s topic: Required Reading – favorite books I was required to read for school.

I didn’t read every single book assigned to me in school, and some I didn’t like, but a number of them made it to my favorites list!

Dragonsinger by Anne McCaffrey

dragonsiver cover by anne

My 10th grade English teacher introduced our class to the world of Pern when she assigned us to read Dragonsinger by Anne McCaffery – the story of a girl who leaves her home to travel to a weyr (settlement with musicians, craftsmen, and dragonriders) to study at the most famous and prestigious music school on her planet – Harper Hall. I was mesmerized with the world of Pern where early scientists bioengineered the native fire lizards to become full-grown dragons — dragons to whom are assigned human riders and protect the world of Pern from the destructive storm of Thread – a life eating organism falling from the sky.  I even wrote a short story based on this book.

Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare

romeo and juliet cocer

I read and performed Romeo and Juliet in my 8th grade English honors class. It was the first Shakespearean play I’ve read in its entirely, and thereafter I fell in love with his works.  Reading and performing R&J probably had something to do with why I ended up studying English literature in college!

Number the Stars by Lois Lowry

number the stars book cover

I loved Ralph and the Motorcycle, and James and Giant Peach, but I loved serious stories in school too. We read Number the Stars in 5th grade. It was difficult to get through as it was about World World II, but it was such a heartwarming story as it was told by a little girl named Anne Marie, who protected her Jewish friend during the Holocaust. It definitely belongs on my top 5 list!

The Cabin Faced West by Jean Fritz

cabin faced west

There was something about stories set in the peaceful grassy prairies of America that appealed to me, books like Heidi, Rabbit Hill and The Cabin Faced West. I went to school in urban Cleveland a few years, then moved across the state of Ohio to another small city.  All my childhood I dreamed of living in a country house with the prairies groundhogs and rabbits and flowering trees as my late afternoon companions. I got my dream the summer of ’96 when I lived a summer in the Virginia countryside. The Cabin Faced West remained a favorite of mine for a long time.

The Odyssey by Homer

the odyssey book cover

I took classical literature my 9th grade year in high school and we read The Odyssey – I enjoyed traveling with the Greek hero Odysseus back home to Ithaca, and meeting new Greeks such as the god Poseidon, Athena, the witch Circe, the sirens, and the monster, the Cyclops. I enjoyed my teacher explaining the multitude of Greek references. It’s by far my favorite of all required reading.

So those are the books that ended up on my list! Are there any books you were required to read for English class or any class in school that made it to your favorites list? Leave me a comment down below, I would love to discover if you and I have the same favorites =) Keep thinking of ways to be creative in the internet age and it may end up in my next post.  I hope you enjoyed my post!  Meanwhile, take care =)


8/20 – added and linked you to my short story on Dragonsinger


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