Stacks of identical books sat on the kidney table in my elementary classroom silently announcing the start of a new assigned reading book. My eyes fixated on the stacks the entire day until it was time; time for reading class and time to get my copy. From the start of assigned reading in the middle grades, I have maintained a love-hate relationship with assigned reading.
On the positive side, assigned reading brought me excitement. I loved the start of something new and opening up The Giver, A Wrinkle in Time, or Tangerine for the first time was enough to cause a small happy dance to occur! High school assigned reading allowed me to explore new texts that I would unlikely explore on my own. I was supported by the wonderful Cindy Wabeke in tackling books that pushed me outside of my comfort zone, texts such as Oedipus the King, Hamlet, and East of Eden. I still remember the day when I discovered what was really going on in “Oedipus the King”. I felt like I had cracked the code, solved a mystery! I was accomplished! In college, I didn’t have the opportunity to take as many English classes as I would have liked however I did enjoy the fact that my mom paid for ALL required reading and you HAD to buy your books 😉
The down side to required reading, the only down side, is that I tend to LOVE something until I am made to do it, then I hate it. There were times in high school when I would go on another school’s website, typically a boarding school, and read texts from their required reading lists. I would also just read random amazing things, like Harry Potter.
Peanut Butter Fingers, wrote about the worst assigned reading on her blog so I decided to ask another question. What was your BEST assigned reading? What books were you pleasantly surprised with? Which books have stuck with you? Put your responses in the comments above because I really want to hear what you think!