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High school is a time of great transition and growth for students, as they navigate the complexities of adolescence while preparing for their future. One of the most important tools for success during this time is a love of reading, which can enhance critical thinking, improve vocabulary, and expand knowledge of the world.
As a freshman, it can be overwhelming to know where to start when it comes to selecting books to read. However, this might be on your bucket list! That’s why we’ve compiled a list of the most impressive and essential books for freshmen in high school. From classic literature to contemporary favorites, these books are sure to inspire and challenge young readers as they embark on their high school journey.
Whether you’re a student or a parent looking to support your child’s reading habits, this article will provide valuable insight and recommendations to help you make the most of your high school experience through the power of literature.
Level up your reading game: 10 must-read books for high school freshmen
1. The Nickel Boys
“The Nickel Boys” is a novel written by Colson Whitehead. It is a powerful and emotional story that highlights the issues of racism and inequality in the United States. The novel is set in the 1960s and follows the life of a young African-American boy who is sent to a reform school after being falsely accused of a crime.
This novel is a great read for freshmen as it not only offers a powerful and emotional story but also sheds light on the complex issues of race and inequality. “The Nickel Boys” encourages readers to think critically about these important issues and the impact they have on individuals and society as a whole. Additionally, the novel’s exploration of the criminal justice system and the struggles of marginalized communities can help students develop a deeper understanding of social justice issues and inspire them to take action toward positive change.
2. The Hobbit And The Lord Of The Rings
“The Hobbit” and “The Lord of the Rings” are two of the most iconic fantasy novels ever written. They were written by J.R.R. Tolkien and have been loved by generations of readers. “The Hobbit,” tells the story of Bilbo Baggins and his adventures, while “The Lord of the Rings” is about the journey of Frodo Baggins and his companions to destroy the powerful Ring of Sauron.
These novels are famous for their rich and detailed world-building, complex characters, and themes of good versus evil. They can provide a freshman with an escape from reality and a chance to explore new worlds and ideas. Additionally, these novels can help improve critical thinking and analysis skills, as readers are required to keep track of multiple characters and plotlines. Finally, “The Hobbit” and “The Lord of the Rings” can teach valuable lessons about the importance of loyalty, bravery, and perseverance.
3. Fahrenheit 451
“Fahrenheit 451” is a classic dystopian novel that explores themes of censorship, conformity, and the importance of free thought. Written by Ray Bradbury, it tells the story of a society where books are banned and “firemen” burn any that are found. The novel offers a cautionary tale about the dangers of a society that restricts access to knowledge and discourages independent thinking.
As a freshman, reading “Fahrenheit 451” can provide you with a greater understanding of the importance of intellectual freedom, and the potential consequences of a society that values conformity over individuality. It can also help you develop critical thinking skills and the ability to analyze and interpret complex literary themes. Additionally, the novel can encourage you to think about your own beliefs and values, and to question the status quo in your own life.
4. Jane Eyre
Jane Eyre is a classic novel that has many themes that are applicable to a freshman audience. One of the main themes is the importance of independence and standing up for oneself. This is a message that can be particularly relevant for freshmen who may be adjusting to being away from home and making their own decisions for the first time.
Additionally, the novel deals with themes of love, loyalty, and the importance of making moral choices, which can be valuable for any reader. Finally, the novel is well-written and engaging, making it an enjoyable and enriching reading experience for any reader.
5. The Courage to Be Disliked
It is a book written by Ichiro Kishimi and Fumitake Koga, originally published in Japan in 2013. The book is based on the principles of Alfred Adler’s individual psychology, which emphasizes personal responsibility, freedom of choice, and social interest.
The book is presented in the form of a dialogue between a philosopher and a young man seeking guidance on how to live a fulfilling life. The philosopher challenges the young man’s beliefs about the past and the future and encourages him to focus on the present moment and take responsibility for his own happiness. The book has been praised for its accessible and engaging writing style, as well as its practical insights into how to overcome negative thought patterns and cultivate a positive mindset. It has been translated into several languages and has become a bestseller in many countries.
6. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy is a science fiction novel that is known for its wit, humor, and imaginative portrayal of space travel and otherworldly beings. While it may not have the same kind of thematic depth as some other novels, it can still be a fun and enjoyable read for a freshman audience. The novel’s wacky sense of humor and clever plot twists can provide a welcome respite from the stresses of college life and allow readers to engage with a fantastical and imaginative world.
Also, the novel deals with themes of friendship and the search for meaning in the universe, which can be thought-provoking for readers of any age. Overall, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy is an entertaining and enjoyable novel that may be beneficial for freshman readers looking for a lighthearted and entertaining read
7. Their Eyes Were Watching God
Their Eyes Were Watching God is a classic novel that is widely considered to be a masterpiece of American literature. It is a powerful and moving portrayal of the life of its main character, Janie Crawford, and her search for identity, independence, and love. The novel deals with themes of race, gender, and self-discovery, which can be thought-provoking and meaningful for a freshman audience.
The novel is well-written and engaging, with rich and vivid characters and a compelling narrative. Overall, Their Eyes Were Watching God is a novel that is definitely worth reading for a freshman audience, as it is a powerful and moving exploration of important themes that can be relevant and meaningful for readers of any age.
8. The Giver
“The Giver” is a dystopian novel by Lois Lowry that explores a society where all emotions, memories, and choices are eliminated to ensure a stable and peaceful existence. The story follows a 12-year-old boy named Jonas, who is chosen to be the next Receiver of Memory, a person who holds the memories of the past and is responsible for advising the community’s leaders. Through his training, Jonas discovers the cost of a society that suppresses individuality, emotions, and free will.
Reading “The Giver” can benefit freshmen by offering a thought-provoking perspective on conformity, individuality, and the importance of memories and emotions. It challenges readers to question the balance between safety and freedom and the impact of suppressing emotions and memories on the human experience. This novel can also improve critical thinking skills by encouraging readers to analyze the characters, setting, and themes to develop a deeper understanding of the story’s underlying messages. Overall, “The Giver” offers a unique and captivating reading experience that can inspire reflection and encourage personal growth.
9. Catcher In The Rye
Catcher in the Rye is a classic novel that has been widely read and loved by readers of all ages. It is a coming-of-age story that follows the life of its main character, Holden Caulfield, as he navigates the challenges of growing up and finding his place in the world. The novel deals with themes of alienation, identity, and the complexities of human relationships, which can be thought-provoking and meaningful for a freshman audience.
Additionally, the novel is well-written and engaging, with a relatable and complex main character and a compelling narrative. Overall, Catcher in the Rye is a beneficial and enjoyable novel for a freshman audience, as it deals with important themes that can be relevant and meaningful for readers of any age.
Dune is a classic science fiction novel that is widely considered to be a masterpiece of the genre. It is a complex and imaginative story that takes place in a distant future and follows the life of its main character, Paul Atreides, as he becomes embroiled in the politics of a desert planet called Arrakis.
Being a drama book, the novel is known for its richly imagined world-building, complex characters, and thought-provoking themes, which include environmentalism, politics, and the use of religion as a tool for control. For many readers, the novel is a captivating and rewarding reading experience.
Things to look out for in books for a freshman
Here are a few things that freshmen in high school may want to consider when choosing books to read:
- Subject matter: Freshmen in high school may want to choose books that address themes and issues that are relevant to their age group and interests. This could include coming-of-age stories, contemporary social issues, or books that explore the challenges of being a teenager.
- Reading level: It’s important for students to choose books that are at an appropriate reading level for them. Books that are too difficult may be frustrating to read, while books that are too easy may not provide enough of a challenge.
- Length: High school students are often busy with school work and extracurricular activities, so they may want to choose books that are a reasonable length for their available reading time.
- Genre: Freshmen in high school may want to consider the type of book they are in the mood for. Do they want to read a fast-paced thriller, a heartwarming romance, or a thought-provoking nonfiction book?
- Personal interests: It’s always a good idea for students to choose books that they are genuinely interested in. This will make reading more enjoyable and rewarding.
Overall, the most important thing is for freshmen in high school to find books that they enjoy and that challenge them in a meaningful way.
Books for freshmen in high school can be essential in helping students to develop their critical thinking skills, broaden their horizons, and gain a greater understanding of the world around them. Reading, along with picture books, allows students to engage with a wide range of ideas and perspectives and can help them to develop their analytical and interpretive skills.
In addition, reading can be a source of enjoyment and entertainment and can provide a welcome respite from the demands of school and other responsibilities. Overall, reading is an important and enriching activity that can play a valuable role in the life of a freshman in high school. At the same time, don’t forget to indulge in some helpful test books, like ACT books that can help you ace the grades too!
Sananda Bhattacharya, Chief Editor of TheHighSchooler, is dedicated to enhancing operations and growth. With degrees in Literature and Asian Studies from Presidency University, Kolkata, she leverages her educational and innovative background to shape TheHighSchooler into a pivotal resource hub. Providing valuable insights, practical activities, and guidance on school life, graduation, scholarships, and more, Sananda’s leadership enriches the journey of high school students.
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