The BCTF has recently released a list of the top 100 books for students to read. The top three books on this list include, “The Outsiders” by S.E Hinton, “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee and “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian” by Sherman Alexie, popular books to be sure but the Eddy wanted to get some teachers insights on this list and their top ten picks for Riverside students.
“As an English teacher, when you are choosing a book for your class there are a lot of considerations, like is there swearing or is there sex and if I’m going to make you read that, do I really feel that that’s really what you need to read?” said Susan Henderson, Riverside’s head librarian. “That’s different from what I would recommend as a librarian because I think they are awesome books. My favourite thing to say to students is that every book changes you a tiny bit and becomes a part of who you are.”
Most teachers agree with the list; however, as Brian Barrazuol, an English 10 teacher said “The problem with this list is that a lot of them are not accessible to us as class sets or as lit kits.” However, many of the books in the top 20 are in fact taught by Riverside’s English teachers.
On the other hand, many students do not agree with The Outsiders being the number one book on the list, saying that it is overrated and overexposed. Candace Chan, a grade 12 student at Riverside said “I feel like it (The Outsiders) is number one because it is read so much. I don’t really agree with it being number one on the list. I feel like even The Perks of Being a Wallflower interests me more than The Outsiders and I think that The Perks of Being a Wallflower should be higher on the list.”
According to Riverside’s teachers, the top ten books for students are The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian, Indian Horse, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, A Winter’s Family, Looking for Alaska, The Illegal, Night, Catch 22, The Other Side of the Bridge and Digital Fortress. Two runners up for the list are A Prayer for Owen Meany and The Lost Symbol.
The BCTF’s list of the top 100 books for students can be found at the BCTF’s website, www.bctf.ca.