Books Every High Schooler Should Read


Leaving middle school, and heading into high school can be a big change for a lot of students. They may not be sure what to expect, and have possibly heard horror stories about freshmen. It’s not until students get into the swing of high school, until they learn that they love everything that is included with being a high school student.


Included in things that are a staple for high school students is reading. Whether this reading is required for a project, group reading, summer reading or reading for a book project, it’s important students understand that reading is for their overall development.


We’ve compiled a list of the classics that every high school aged student should read! 


To Kill a MockingBird

This classic, written by Harper Lee, brings to light issues of race, and intellectual disabilities in the early 1900s, which wasn’t a  common book theme  for the 1960s, which was when it was published. By bringing to light these themes, readers are intrigued that something that happened years ago can still be understood in today’s time! 


The Great Gatsby

Written by Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby is another classic often found in the classroom. This novel focuses on social statuses, love and power. The novel is so popular as there are multiple themes, including the American Dream, and going from rags to riches. 


Romeo and Juliet

Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet is the ultimate love story. Dating back to the late 1500s, the story leaves impressions on everyone who reads it. The love story is relevant today as society, love and human interaction are similar in ways.


The Odyssey 

Written by Homer in the eighth century, The Odyssey is a more challenging book to understand, which makes it a good book to break down and discuss. The book follows Odysseus, and teaches many life lessons along the way from his encounters. 



An award winning book, written by Elie Wiesel, a holocaust survivor is read across America today in high school classrooms. With the Holocaust being a major event in history, that most are aware of, this book changes readers ways of thinking by being in a survivor’s shoes, and learning his stories.


These books are common across the United States, as they are books that allow for conversation to be had, context to be broken down and interpretation to be explored. All of these books include common themes that are still relatable today, which is why they became so successful. 


Encourage students to add these reads to their leisure booklist, if as a teacher, you do not require them to read these books.


Happy reading! 


Leave a Comment