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What kind of novels would you recommend for learners?

What kind of books do middle~high school students read or being recommended to read?

What novels do you remember reading when attending high school?


I heard reading these type of novels will expose me to some of the same ideas that American

students are absorbing, needless to say that helps me improve my reading comprehension.



Jan 1, 2016 2:33 PM
Comments · 9

Sorry, but I felt that most of the books we had to ready in US high school would be painful and frustrating for an English language learner to read.  I LOVE to read and love languages and I found them painful most of the time and I am a native English speaker.  Honestly, what works best for me is to read the types of books that I love to read in English, but I find them translated into the language I am studying.  This is not great literature, but something that I know will keep my interest.  


But if it helps, here are some books I remember being required to read in US high school:  Moby Dick, Great Expectations, The Bluest Eye, The Heart of Darkness, 1984, Animal Farm, Farenheit 451, Slaughterhouse Five, A Separate Peace, The Catcher in the Rye, A Farewell to Arms, The Scarlett Letter, The Grapes of Wrath. 


You could check out this list here - even though I was in high school in the 1980's, it seems like this current list is pretty much what we read too: 


January 1, 2016

I taught English for ten years, and I agree with Emily.  The books that we read in high schools here are not pleasure reads, and they are often difficult for students who grew up here to understand.  She gave you a great list of the books that are read in high schools here.  Quynh's books are also good, though not necessarily mainstream here.  Some books that I either taught or remember reading include Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut, The Crucible by Arthur Miller, A Long Day's Journey into Night by Eugene O'Neil, Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy (Do not read it.  Save yourself.), The Elephant Man by Bernard Pomerance, Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, The Iliad and the Odyssey by Homer, Medea by Euripedes, The Importance of Being Earnest and Dorian Grey by Oscar Wilde, Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte, Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte, Lord of the Flies by William Golding, A Tale of Two Cities or Great Expectations by Charles Dickens, and Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card.  Some schools will teach courses on the Harry Potter books, and while he is banned in some schools, John Green books are very popular, especially Looking for Alaska and The Fault in Our Stars.  Also very popular in high school English classes is Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain, but it is sometimes banned and A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court is read instead.  Huckleberry Finn would be hard to read because it is written in the vernacular of an uneducated southern boy; it gives Americans a hard time.  To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee is written in the same style (though the protaganist is a girl), but is a really good book.

January 2, 2016

I agree with Emily. In high school, I didn't like the books they made us read. Many are old and use complicated languages. We especially read a lot of Shakespeare, which I do not recommend to any English learners. However, at the same time, some of these books are classic and often mentioned in our culture, so I can see why you want to read them.


The books I did enjoy reading in middle/high school are
<em>- The Kite Runner</em> by Khaled Hosseini (it's newer and one of my favorites)
<em>- The Joy Luck Club</em> by Amy Tan
<em>- 1984</em> by George Orwell
- <em>The Giver</em> by Lois Lowry (there's a new movie that you can watch, too)
<em>- The Outsiders </em>by S.E. Hinton (I also love the movie)

In middle school, I remember that we also read a few books about the Holocaust. <em>Night </em>by Elie Wiesel and <em>The Diary of Anne Frank </em>are two that I really like.

January 2, 2016

You can try reading The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, a classic novel about the 1920s American society. In my opinion, this is a must-read. Another novel is a philosophical novel which explores the idea of existentialism, The Outsider (a.k.a The Stranger) by Albert Camus.

January 1, 2016


It's an American animated film. Very funny and intersting. Have fun!

January 1, 2016
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