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Sat Jan 5, 2013, 04:28 PM

 

What top 5 books would you list when directing a teenager? [View all]

If you wanted to persuade a teenager in the United States to develop critical thinking skills, empathy, and awareness of the world around them, what would be your top 5 books you recommend? Critical limit on this...you have to have read them yourself.

I know some will put books out there that aren't as obvious to me or others. If you want to state why you think it is a top 5...feel free, but if not that is great too. Just looking for perspectives.

Mine would be:

1)Night by Elie Weisel

The extreme violence and destruction of human souls is occurring daily even now. Currently in Syria but recently in Iraq, Bosnia, Congo, and more. It is important for people to see the depths humans are capable of from the individual perspective of one boy who was forever changed.

2)1984 by George Orwell

This book characterizes a dystopian future that we are actually very close to achieving, but again Love is a central theme--both real love and the way love is manipulated.

3)To Kill a Mockingbird by

Such a terrific portrayal of racism, fear of "other", and of course bravery in the face of hate, honorable treatment of others, and love.

4)Les Miserables by Victor Hugo

This is a timeless book capturing personal triumph over injustice--love despite despair, the rich with boot heels on the necks of the poor, a desire of some people to change the world through violence, and a thousand other great moral lessons. Much longer than the others but so satisfying in it's scope.

5)Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka

A perfect way for young people to realize most of established society will lock us into an insect-like existence as we slave for the machine. There are countless works informed by this wonderful story. Again, hopefully it helps young people realize they can become their own person--not trapped in meaningless drudgery.

Many, many honorable mentions: Fahrenheit 451, A Brave New World, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Catcher in the Rye, Of Mice and Men, Slaughterhouse 5, Fictions by Luis Borges, 100 Years of Solitude, Count of Monte Cristo, Our Town, Human Comedy, Things Fall Apart, The Stranger, and many others.

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