Resonant School Books – A Researched Recommendation


In the current high school curriculum, the most recent book that students are required to read was published in 1960: To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. The books teach valuable lessons and overall have a deeper, more important meaning to them. The only issue is that these topics are outdated. While it’s still important to be educated on them, students may enjoy the books more if they were from recent times. Books that were published more recently grab the reader’s attention and make them interested in what they are reading about. Whether the whole plot of the story was set 100 years ago or even last year, the books are written in a more engaging and entertaining way. If students were actually interested in what they were reading about, they would obtain  valuable lessons. Modernized novels connect better with the audience and put things into a perspective that teens can relate to. 

The Eagle’s Cry researched five articles we feel should be added into the school curriculum that would resonate with high school students today.

The first novel that is suggested is titled, The Hate U Give, by Angie Thomas. The premise of the novel follows the plot of an African American girl who lives in a predominantly white, wealthy neighborhood. Unfortunately, the girl’s childhood best friend was killed by the police. This then leads her to decide where she truly stands within the community. It follows the themes of racism, grief, loss, and finding one’s identity. The novel covers the same issues as old stories, but the content contains more recent conflicts within those broad issues. Teenagers going through things like this now can become invested in the novel and ultimately take more away from it.

The second novel suggested is Educated: A Memoir by Tara Westover. This novel reveals the story of a young girl named Tara who lived with a family that didn’t believe in modern ideas of living. She did not attend school, and she lived in a house where the men held power and women were defenseless. It portrays Tara’s journey of overcoming the trauma and difficulties she had to face at such a young age, and becoming a well educated, successful person. There are an infinite amount of lessons one can learn from this novel and high school students are able to empathize with the story of her life. 

The third suggested novel is Dear Martin by Nic Stone. The book is based around a chase the protagonist experienced with a police officer when he did nothing to provoke him. It demonstrates privilege within certain races, racial injustice, inequality, and the criminal justice system. Additionally, it exemplifies the theme of friendship and the importance it plays in people’s lives. Teenagers can connect with it by seeing the strength of the friendship throughout the novel and the importance of being there for the people you care about most.  

Next on the list is The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo. This story depicts a girl’s journey by finding out who she truly is and accepting herself. It helps her find out more about her mom, her identity, her religion, and the important purposes of her life. This novel will truly touch the hearts of many high schoolers simply because different individuals struggle with accepting themselves for who they really are or who they want to be. It can help many people find self acceptance and help them realize they need to find who they truly are and the purpose they want to fulfill within their lifetime. 

The fifth suggested book is Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds. This novel goes into detail about the main character, Will Holloman, who has to make an extremely difficult decision in his life. He has to finalize this decision all in 60 seconds at the age of 15. High schoolers will be able to closely relate to the feeling of stress, anxiety, and being overwhelmed while feeling like you have no time to do anything. The story will connect with the reader and may unlock memories associated with pressure.

Each book will leave the reader with something new to take away. These will make them truly think and learn an important lesson. It demonstrates that these issues being depicted in books from 100 years ago are still prevalent. 

Throughout high school, the most memorable lessons you learn can be found within the pages of a book. If a book properly grabs the attention of the reader and makes them feel for the story, the individual will remember the importance of that story forever. So adding more recent and modern books that students can connect to in a different way will help them learn the deeper meaning of the book. 

To find information on modern books, the link below is a reliable resource to discover more!