Welcome friends! I have started this entry in the global technosphere because I have been in love with books since the age of 2. Among the busy business of being a new teacher, this is my outlet for sharing thoughts on a love of reading a wide variety of books. My inspiration can be summed up with a yearbook quote from a teacher written when I was 8: "To the only girl at recess I see reading a book. Good for you!"
My blog title is quoted from a classmate who asked me this once. Believe it or not, I've also heard it as a teacher :D

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Top 10 Tuesday--Favourite Books Read in School

A weekly meme hosted @ The Broke and the Bookish.

I haven't participated this in so long, I needed to update the mem button :D  But I couldn't resist this week's topic:

It's a freebie--use this week to write a top ten list about ANYTHING in literature.

Nice!  I've decided to recall my top 10 favourite books read in school, whether by my own choice or as assigned by the teacher, and how they have stuck with me all this time.  I'm going to split the 10 books between elementary, high school, and university.  Here goes...

1)  Curious George Goes to the Hospital- Margret and H.A. Rey (Kindergarten)
Whenever we visited the school library, I made a beeline for the small bookshelf with the row of yellow CG books and plunked myself there for the entire time.  My favourite CG book was the hospital visit.  The vocabulary words were a bit more challenging with the doctor's equipment and I loved the picture of George's X-ray with the tiny puzzle piece in his stomach :)

2)  From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler- E.L. Konigsburg (5th grade)
My teacher did a unit on museums, touching on the Museum of Natural History and exhibits on Egypt and Italian Renaissance.  For science, we built security alarm systems (very creative endeavour!).  It was an imaginative book and the way my teacher connected all the subjects to the novel but not relying too much on it or going overboard was just right.

3)  This Can't Be Happening at Macdonald Hall- Gordon Korman (6th grade)
My teacher read this aloud to us every day for the first week of school to get us settled back into school mode from summer vacation.  It was a great icebreaker and very funny with all the mishaps that occur at Bruno & Boots' school.

4)  The Pigman- Paul Zindel (7th grade)
In 7th grade, I finally got to read the novel that my dad had been teaching 7th and 8th graders for years.  It was a modern fable, kind of like a domesticated King Kong morality tale, with two teenagers befriending an old-fashioned neighbour, eventually taking advantage of his possessions to the point of breaking him.  It was the first really serious jolt I ever got from a book about how we need to value friendship and people that we care about.

5)  Twelfth Night- William Shakespeare (9th grade)
This was my first foray into Shakespeare and bless my teacher for making the transition smooth and easy for me.  I could actually understand the language, themes, and story as we worked on translating it to modern language.  Anyone scared to read Shakespeare ought to start with this play.

6)  Lord of the Flies- William Golding (10th grade)
Another jolting reading experience, this time touching on leadership, bullying, and survival.  It was dark, disturbing, and unforgettable.  Perfect timing for a teenager to read it.

7)  To Kill a Mockingbird- Harper Lee (11th grade)
Just when you think you've learned enough about civil rights and racism (a huge topic in 8th grade curriculum), this book slaps you upside the head.  My god, is it ever brilliant.

8)  Death of a Salesman- Arthur Miller (12th grade)
This brought back memories of The Pigman (see #4).  Another tale of a disgraced man who had every intention of being great and how things gradually fall apart.

9)  The Diviners- Margaret Laurence (3rd year English major)
A Canadian epic and coming-of-age story that I couldn't put down.  Incredible prose and quirky, loveable characters.

10)  Flaubert's Parrot- Julian Barnes (4th year English major)
One of the most unique writing styles I've ever come across.  It breaks barriers of what literature ought to be and doesn't fail to fascinate, even if you have no idea who Flaubert is ;)


  1. Oh, required reading, I didn't like it much in school. I sometimes wished in High School they would give us a list and put them in categories, and have students pick. At least some things would have been choice.

  2. Great list - brought back memories. I've never read The Diviners. Here's my list:

  3. I love your choices! Twelfth Night is one of my favorite Shakespeare plays, so much fun. I've been meaning to read Flaubert's Parrot for awhile, but haven't yet. I'll pick it up soon.

  4. I always think how different everyone's school reading was. I have read none of those but I do wnat to read To Kill A Mockingbird.

  5. That's fantastic what your teacher did with From the Mixed-Up Files...a fantastic way to make reading fun and active. I loved that book as a kid but read it on my own from the library. I would have loved the chance to read it with that sort of experience.

    Have a good week!

  6. I love this idea for a topic. I was not crazy about required reading, but at times it led me to books I'd not have otherwise found.

  7. My list is about required reading as well, kind of. I wish someone had me read Flaubert's Parrot in school, and then it wouldn't still be sitting on my shelf. That's what I miss the most about being in school.

    Come check out my list for the week at The Scarlet Letter.

  8. I can't believe you read From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler in school. That book is seriously awesome. You chose a ton of great books. :)

  9. Sadly, I didn't read any of these in school! Even TKAM, I didn't read that until I was 23. I don't even think I could list ten books that I was made to read in school...

    Great list though :-)