12 Best Books For High Schoolers Update 05/2022

These are some books that high school students should read, whether they’re for school or just for fun:

To Kill a Mockingbird

Author: Harper Lee, graduate of University of Alabama Law

During my freshman year of high school, I read this book. I still think it’s one of the best books I’ve ever read. The award-winning book that starts our list of books to read is set in Maycomb, Alabama, and it tells the story of a black man who is accused of raping a white man’s daughter. To show how racist people are to African-American men, Lee used a young and innocent narrator. This lets the reader see how the evil side of human nature can sometimes win out over good morals. You should also watch the movie version of this book if you get a chance to. Also, Lee recently came out with a sequel to her book, “Go Set a Watchman.”

Fahrenheit 451

Author: Ray Bradbury

It’s about a fireman named Montag who works in a dystopian world where books are banned and firemen start fires instead of put them out. Montag is unhappy with his life and the people in it after meeting a 17-year-old girl who, unlike most people, enjoys people, nature, and meaningful conversations. This is a classic satirical book that most people read in high school. It will probably be one of the books you read then, too.

Animal Farm

Author: George Orwell, Graduate of Eton College

Animal Farm is an allegory for the events of the Russian Revolution of 1917. The main characters in the book, such as Karl Marx, Joseph Stalin, and Leon Trotsky, are all real people. Orwell uses his book as a way to criticize Stalin’s reign of terror and the corrupt and abusive parts of rule. One of the most popular high school books to read. I really liked this book because of its simple length and how Orwell used a unique way to describe an important event in our history.

The Great Gatsby

Author: F. Scott Fitzgerald, Dropped Out Of Princeton

This book is told by Nick Carraway, who lives next door to Jay Gatsby. Gatsby is a man who has “new wealth.” He wants to win back the heart of Daisy Buchanan, who he fell in love with before he left for war. Fitzgerald’s book shows how the American Dream fell apart in the 1920s through the tragic death of Gatsby. It also shows the difference between those who have just made money and those who have had a lot of money for a long time. If you’re interested, this book for high schoolers was made into a movie with a star in it.

Death of a Salesman

Author: Arthur Miller, Graduate of The University of Michigan

During Death of a Salesman, we learn about the Loman family. Willy is the father, Linda is the mother, Biff and Happy are their two sons, and they all live with them. Willy is a bad salesman, and his dream of living in the United States never comes true because he doesn’t know how to deal with reality. A Tony Award for Best Play went to Miller’s play. The Pulitzer Prize for Drama went to the play as well. On top of that, it’s a good book to read in high school.

East of Eden

Author: John Steinbeck, Dropped Out Of Stanford

Steinbeck’s book focuses on the conflict between good and bad. Cal Trask is the son of Adam Trask and Cathy Ames and the brother of Aron Trask. He is trying to figure out if he can truly get rid of the evil that came from his mother, Cathy. In high school, this book is often on students’ reading lists. It’s long, but it’s also very interesting because Steinbeck uses many symbols and motifs, like the story of Cain and Abel and the Salinas Valley, to allegorically show the book’s themes.

Romeo and Juliet

Author: William Shakespeare

Most people know the story of Romeo and Juliet because it has been used in a lot of movies, TV shows, and books. Because of this and because Shakespeare’s language is hard to understand, many people wonder why it is still studied in schools and called a high school book. The answer is simple: Shakespeare’s play, even though it was written hundreds of years ago, talks about love and relationships, jealousy, and violence and rivalries. We have all of these things in our society right now, and they will keep on coming up. When you study the book in high school, you might even get to watch different Romeo and Juliet movies, which I’m sure will make you laugh.


Author: George Orwell, Graduate of Eton College

London, England is where the book 1984 is set. Big Brother is the leader of a party that controls the lives of everyone in the city. They don’t let anyone think for themselves or be unique. Winston Smith is fed up with his government and wants to join the rebel Party. He also starts doing illegal things, like having an affair with a coworker in secret. A book about politics by George Orwell shows how totalitarianism can be dangerous. It also serves as a warning to countries that were still unsure about how to deal with rising communism around the world. Most lists of books to read have 1984 on them. It’s so good that it’s on almost every one.

The Catcher in the Rye

Author: J.D. Salinger, Dropped Out of Ursinus College

When Holden Caulfield was 16, he was the narrator of his story about how he was kicked out of school and how irritated he was by the phoniness of everyone else. He is now in a mental institution. A lot of what Salinger talks about in his book is self-isolation and depression, as well as innocence and growing up, and the hypocrisy and superficiality of adults. The book has been on a lot of banned and censored lists since it came out in 1951 because of its vulgar language, violence, and sexual scenes.

Lord of the Flies

Author: William Golding, Brasenose College

Because their plane crashed, the British boys were left on a deserted island. They had to learn to work together in order to stay alive. With no rules, conflicts become violent. The boys’ savage and violent instincts turn them against each other, and they fight with each other. Symbols like the beast and the conch shell are used to show how civilization vs. savagery, innate human evil, and the loss of innocence are shown in the book.

Of Mice and Men

Author: John Steinbeck, Dropped Out Of Stanford

Steinbeck’s story is about George and Lennie, two workers who want to one day own their own land. Their friendship is very important to the story. Unfortunately, their plan can’t be done, and this book also shows that the American Dream isn’t real. In this quote by the black stable-hand Crooks, he talks about how lonely he feels “A man needs someone to be near him. Tell me, I tell you a guy gets lonely and sick ” (Steinbeck 80). Steinbeck’s dog ate an early draft of this high school reading book. Most of the characters in the book are based on people he knew, and he used many of them in the book.

Brave New World

Author: Aldous Huxley, Eton College, Balliol College, Oxford

Aldous Huxley’s 1932 novel is next on our list of good books for high schoolers. It is set in the future where humans are conditioned and categorized into five different social classes: Alpha, Beta, Delta, Gamma, and Epsilon. After a series of events unfold, the reader learns that the World State exists based on the belief that societal stability and happiness are more important than humanity. This is another interesting dystopian novel as it serves as a warning of the dangers of an all-powerful state, a satire for our own society, and a model of human self-delusion.

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