Photo credit: Javier Whitaker-Castaneda
The English curriculum for ninth graders remains similar every year which makes the required books notoriously well-known throughout the school. These books were so integral in most students’ freshman year that they now have a strong opinion of either respect or dislike. Last years’ freshman have had the most recent exposure to these novels and, even if they can’t remember the whole plotline, can still recall their opinion on them.
At the beginning of the school year students read The Odyssey by Homer. Some sophomores remember being drawn to the Greek classic with its poetic language and mythical plot.
“I think the Odyssey was the best book because the things we learned about it in class were very meaningful and there were a lot of mythical creatures which was fun too,” sophomore Drew O’Hern said.
For some students the older language of texts like The Odyssey and Macbeth were not as relatable and so they leaned toward the most recent ones.
“Of Mice and Men was the best. I like stories that are more modern,” sophomore Nora Kempainen said.
“Of Mice and Men was more relatable and better compared to the other books,” sophomore Matthew Jaeger said.
To some students the language was not as much a factor in their like or dislike but the plot of the stories ignited these emotions.
“Macbeth and the Penelopiad were the most interesting to me,” sophomore Kathryn Schmechel said.
“Of Mice and Men was the best book because it had a heart warming storyline,” sophomore Ross Kirby said.
Each year offers an opportunity to a new group of students to experience and analyze these texts and form an opinion. In the end it is up to the student to decide which book has the most meaning to them personally.