Required Books Ranking
Yes, I Actually Read Them
May 20, 2022
So I’ve taken it upon myself to rank all of the books I’ve had to read in high school. Now, I’m going to start off by saying that depending on the English classes you’ve taken, not everyone has read the same books in class. The English classes I’ve taken are: Academic English 9 with Mrs. Sandorf, Honors/Gifted English 10 with Mrs. West, AP English 11 with Mrs. Lampus, and currently AP English 12 with Mrs. Lentz.
This ranking will be worst to best. Also, I will be including plays. Pro tip: when you have to read books on the AP list, pick a play and then find a movie version to watch so you know what’s happening. For example, I highly recommend watching My Fair Lady before reading Pygmalion so you understand what’s happening.
#13- Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer, AP English 11
This is the worst book I’ve ever read. I don’t know how much I can say about it because it’s a nonfiction book about a real person, but the man was a moron. Also, to pronounce the author’s last name, think “crack-hour.”
#12- Lord of the Flies by William Golding, Honors/Gifted English 10
I hated this one too. I’m not a huge fan of dystopian stuff. The title is creepy; the stuff with the pigs are creepy. There’s just a lot of creepy and gross stuff, and I am not okay with that.
#11- Station 11 by Emily St. John Mandel, AP English 12
This one started out bad, then got really good, but then ended horribly. Nothing was wrapped up in the end, even though there were so many directions the author could’ve taken it. But no. Well, I have news for you Ms. Emily St. John Mandel. This book is crap. I hope you’re happy.
#10- King Lear by William Shakespeare, AP English 12
I didn’t hate it, but I didn’t love it. It was just sort of so-so. Although, the character King Lear was the worst character in the play. Also, Goneril is actually a pretty name. Too bad it sounds like gonorrhea.
#9- The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman, Academic English 9
To be honest, I don’t remember much about this book. After all, I read it freshman year. I decided to read the sparknotes summary, and let’s just say that I liked it better in my memory than I liked the summary.
#8- Anthem by Ayn Rand, Honors/Gifted English 10
Now, Mrs. Lentz said that this shouldn’t even be on this list. I guess she really hates it. I personally enjoyed this one, which is weird because the only other dystopian books that I like are The Hunger Games.
#7- The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, Honors/Gifted English 10
So I didn’t really have the greatest experience with reading this book, because we read it in the spring of 2020 when the pandemic started. Maybe in a couple years I’ll try reading the book again. It’s the exact type of book that I usually love, which is why it’s surprising that I didn’t actually enjoy it that much.
#6- Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare, Academic English 9
I just don’t get everyone’s issue with this play. I liked this one! It’s even better when you watch Gnomeo and Juliet afterward.
#5- To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee, Academic English 9
I really enjoyed this book. The kids are so sweet, and while Atticus seems like a weird dad (his kids call him by his first name, not Dad), he’s actually such a good parent. This book also teaches such an important lesson, and I think all kids should read this at some point in high school.
#4- Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller, AP English 12
I loved this one! Everyone else thought it was boring and didn’t like it, but I enjoy very relaxed plotlines about people’s lives.
#3- The Crucible by Arthur Miller, AP English 11
Another Arthur Miller! This play starts out so dry, but man, by act two or three, it really starts to pick up. We read this in the fall of 2020 when we were totally online, so I wish I had had the experience of reading it in class.
#2- Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare, Honors/Gifted English 10
To be honest, I don’t remember that much about this play. We did read it pre-Covid after all, and a lot of stuff has happened since. But I do know that when we did read it, I loved it. And I loved the movie/recorded play version we watched afterwards with the British actors. I just Googled it and it was the NT Live: Julius Caesar 2018, and it was pretty good. Also, I really liked Brutus’s character.
#1- A Doll’s House by Henrik Ibsen, AP English 12
So at first, I hated this play. But the more we read it, the more I loved it. Originally, I was annoyed by the main character’s actions, but by the end, I was able to see the humor in it and start to enjoy it.
In conclusion, these are the books I was required to read during high school. Some of you reading this article will have to read these books someday, and if you have to read numbers 11-13, I pity you.