16 Books Every Canadian Kid Read In High School

You might have secretly liked them.

High school was definitely an interesting time for most of us to say the least. It was filled with cliques, the struggles of being a teenager and tons of drama. Some people floated through these years effortlessly but for most of us, high school was a pretty unpleasant time. 

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Most of couldn't wait to escape the tiny halls of our home town high schools and move onto bigger and better things. No matter how eager we were to leave high school behind it's sometimes nice to look back and feel that nostalgia kick in. 

So, I decided to head over to Indigo yesterday and find all the books that I remember reading in high school. And I have to say guys, I felt a little sentimental for my high school years again! Hopefully you all feel the same way flipping through this list. 


1984 // George Orwell 

Via miashabsove

1984 was one of those classics that we all had to read in high school that probably changed a lot of our world views. It was a dystopian world that was set in a perpetual war zone with "Big Brother" watching everyone's every move. 

This book really made us think about government surveillance in the real world and how Orwell's dystopian setting may not be that far off. 

Read "1984" again here.



Of Mice And Men // John Steinbeck ​​​​​​

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This classic novel tells the story of George Milton and Lennie Small, both migrant ranch workers during the Great Depression. Though it's criticized for it's vulgar and offensive language it's still taught in many high schools because it deals with themes such as dreams, loneliness, companionship and human interactions. 

Read "Of Mice And Men" again here. 


Lord Of The Flies // William Golding 

Via miashabsove

This book is the definition of a page-turner. I read this book in 9th grade English class and I remember how much I loved it. The book focuses on a group of boys that become stranded on an island and basically things go very far south from there. 

This book forces you to face the most primal impulses of humanity when civilization and social organization is stripped away. 

Read "Lord Of The Flies" again here. 


Catcher In The Rye // J.D Salinger 

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This novel is another page-turner that I absolutely loved. It follows the protagonist Holden Caulfield through his teenage rebellions and adventures. The novel focuses on Holden's struggles with feelings of isolation, loss and companionship. 

The best part of this book was the language that Holden uses calling people "phony", saying he has to "shoot the bull" or "chew the fat" with people. 

Read Catcher In The Rye again here. 


Hamlet // Shakespeare 

Via miashabsove

You can't get through high school without reading at least a little bit of Shakespeare. Hamlet was a classic because of the dramatic tragedy that the play faces. Prince Hamlet's is visited by his father's ghost, King Hamlet, who invokes him to get revenge of his uncle Claudius for his murder in order to seize the thrown. 

Read "Hamlet" again here. 


The Great Gatsby // F. Scott Fitzgerald 

Via miashabsove

The Great Gatsby is a classic novel that some people were required to read in high school but everyone should be required to read in life. It's a dramatic tale of the mysterious millionaire, Jay Gatsby and his obsession with the beautiful Daisy Buchanan. 

This novel takes you through roaring parties from the 20s, explores the unrequited love story of Jay and Daisy, and ends in a dramatic death of Gatsby himself. 

Buy and read "The Great Gatsby" again here. 


The Book Of Negroes // Lawrence Hill 

Via miashabsove

This award-winning novel was actually written by a Canadian author, Lawrence Hill. The heart-wrenching novel follows a young girl back in the 1700s who is kidnapped from her home in West Africa and forced into slavery. 

Buy and read "The Book Of Negroes" again here. 


Catch 22 // Joseph Heller 

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This unique novel follows multiple characters describing events from each of their points of views. The book is set back in World War 2 and mainly follows Captain John Yossarian of the U.S army. 

The novel focuses on the struggle of these airmen in the war to fulfill their duties, using the term "Catch 22" to describe a way out of their duties if they are mentally unfit. 

Buy and read "Catch 22" again here. 

  

  


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Mia Shabsove Soon to be graduate from Concordia University in Montreal. Originally from Toronto and yes, Montreal and Toronto are very different cities and no, I don't love one more than the other! My passions include eating pasta for every meal, squealing at every pug I see on the street, taking naps in hammocks, and rewatching episodes of Friends on Netflix. Follow my life adventures on Instagram: @miashabsove