Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.
This week’s TTT is a school freebie! I can’t believe it’s almost back to school. (Or already back to school for some places?) Where, oh where, did the summer go?
It took me a while to figure out a topic but this is definitely one thing I would love to know what you all think too. If given the choice, what books would you assign for book reports in school? And more importantly, why would you choose them?
Here are some of the ones I can think of that could be great material for essay writing. Let me know if you agree or not!
The Uglies by Scott Westerfeld
Can I just say I actually was assigned the first book in this series as a book report in high school? At the time, I was a little disgruntled as I had read the book already while other classes had the option of reading a newer, more hyped up book (aka The Hunger Games). But in hindsight, this dystopian world was so unique and thought provoking in its concept of beauty in society that I’m really glad my teacher stuck it out.
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas // This Place is Still Beautiful by XiXi Tian
Both books definitely dive into deep and serious topics surrounding race in a town that doesn’t treat all groups equally. These topics are especially relevant in light of all that has happened in recent years and should be taught and read in schools for discussion and thoughtful discourse. I hope these books will always find a home in schools in some way.
Game Changer / Scythe by Neal Shusterman
Did I already mention fascinating worlds? Well, Game Changer was a bit of a mash up of many different topics ranging from sexism, racism and all sorts of things that make it uniquely diverse for analysis. It also helps that it was written in such a way that one character could experience all of these storylines with slight alterations due to strange ripples in time. Not necessarily logical by any scientific means but definitely a thought provoking story that stays with you. And we all know Scythe is one giant question posed for a report: what is morality and how can it be determined on a societal level? (Or is that just me?)
Slay by Brittney Morris
Another look at Black culture and community but from a gaming angle, I thought this book was so clever to frame heavier topics in such a way. The game design and actual game play were super interesting to read about, but it’s all a creative way for non-Black readers like me to learn so much about their culture and grow in appreciation and introspective reflection. For people who want heavier topics to discuss but a easier to digest story, I think this is a winner.
Sadie / The Project by Courtney Summers
I guess Courtney Summers can do just about anything with hard topics. From her widely popular book Sadie to The Project featuring the nature of cults, I wouldn’t even know where to start writing an essay on either book but I do know they’d provide fantastic insight once I narrowed down a theme. I met Courtney when I was a very young teen and back then, I didn’t have the appreciation for the hard topics she writes about because I wanted the fluff and the fun in my books. But it definitely would’ve made great book reports had one been chosen back then.
Portrait of a Thief by Grace D. Li
If you were around earlier, you’d know I actually did not like this book, but you don’t have to like a book to consider it good material for an essay. I mean, I don’t love most of the classics yet they’re always report material. Anyway, the portrayal (accurate or not) of the Asian diaspora in this novel to me is a fascinating topic – and a personal one – I would think could write many pages. Themes of identity and belonging are strong in this one, and opinions can definitely differ which would make for fascinating persuasive opinion pieces.
Hope you found some of these books interesting topics for book reports and overall discussions. I think I would’ve enjoyed writing essays on these at least.
Let me know what books you think would be great for book reports in the comments below!