Oh, how I hate this particular entry. I’m not a fan of “classics” in a sense because growing up in school you get fed this selection of “classics” whose importance I understand but there was a lack of awareness in how to get kids/teenagers to connect with reading because of it. Times have changed since my growing up in the 70s and 80s where there’s a lot more focus on modern books, variety, and finding things that kids will read in order to get them to expand their interests or just to read at all. But during my upbringing, it was just the classics. Being a voracious reader myself, it left me frustrated because, again, while I understood where they were coming from on it, the works I was reading felt more complex and dealt with issues in more interesting and relevant ways to my age group.
I detested being forced to read Shakespeare and the other “classics” that were hundreds of years out of date in my thinking. Structurally and with the core stories they told, yes, they’re accessible and re-interpretations are a dime a dozen as we’ve seen over the years, such as Romeo & Juliet in spaaaace.
The nature of the term “classics’ has changed over the last few decades with more books from the past century alone being included compared to what my meager selection was. And I can’t really bring myself to say I have a favorite because forced reading just made it impossible.
What’s your favorite classic novel?
Bonus Question: What book do you believe should be on an essential reading list during high school?