"Bruh, You Gotta Read These."

I Had to, to be Honest Fam

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Hatchet, Gary Paulson, 1987

A story for ages 10-14, this Newbery award winning adventure story has its readers view the hardships of Brian Robeson. On a trip to stay with his father the pilot of his plane dies of a heart attack, leaving Brian stranded in the Canadian wilds for fifty-four days with only a hatchet his mother gave him as a present. This leads to excellent character development in a "Man vs. Nature" scenario.

The book is written in language that is both easily understood, but still conveys the feeling of being alone, and hunger, concepts most kids haven't experienced. This makes it both a good read for exploring more mature themes during early adolescence, but also an introduction to the survival genre.

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Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry, Mildred Taylor, 1975

The popular sequel to Taylor's critically acclaimed classic, Song of the Trees, delves into black living in "The South" with the Logan family (consisting of Cassie, Stacey, Christopher-John, Little Man, Papa, Mama, and Big ma). The Logan's wear their hands and bones to keep their small farmland, while facing racial injustices. This becomes considerably harder when the family attempts to boycott a local store, leading to Mama losing her teaching job at the local black school.

The book obviously has additional meaning to me as an African-American male, but that aside, I think Taylor's work is a good representation of the hardships of a lower-class black family. I feel as though every middle-schooler should read it, not only for its literary detail, but also for its excellent perspective of the previously mentioned living condition.

America the Story of Us: Harriet Tubman | History

America the Story of Us, Ed Fields/Daniel Hall, 2010

America the Story of Us was released as a 12-part documentary series in 2010, and is a learning tool for many students from grades 6-12. The series invites many well educated and diverse guests, in addition to a set of staple historians to guide viewers along through over 400 years of american history, along with semi-dramatic re-enactment.

This Series is not only informative, but very entertaining, and was therefor always a joy and learning experience to view in class. many students will probably end up watching at least 3-4 parts of the documentary, but i recommend watching all 12 at some point, as they make history truly appealing to a younger audience.

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The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald, 1925

Enjoy the Brilliance of this timeless venture into the early 1920's, With Wonderful diction and imagery, Fitzgerald paints us the picture of the Jazz Age, with wealthy bachelor, Gatsby, being the main focus of the work. We explore the fictional town of West Egg through Nick Carraway, to see a still image of the time period, with parties, wealth and "American dreams" being used to great effect to produce the mirror like fiction.

This Book is a brilliant work not noticed for its glory until its later years, and is now read by highschool students everywhere as part of standard curriculum. The prospects of tenacity and love are able to resonate at this age, and allow students to relate to a time period much different from the present in a meaningful way.

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Great Expectations, Charles Dickens, 1860-1861

The traditional coming of age story by Dickens, critically acclaimed for its deeper meaning and ability to relate with many readers. We observe "Pip", an orphaned boy who, at age eight, meets his first love, the daughter of the wealthy Miss Havisham, Estella. He realizes the social difference and sets out to become a gentleman, and after receiving anonymous funds moves to London for said training.

Coming of age stories are always a great read, especially ones that can flesh out the characters so well, and make a nice webbing plot. The book portrays love, betrayal and revenge in a mature manner, through the characters of Estella, Magwitch, and Havisham respectively. These themes are developed throughout the book, and eventually show that while the good may never get a slamming victory, they will eventually triumph over negative people and emotions.

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Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain, 1884

Huck Finn is a novel that satirizes racism and the negative culture of the southern states. It follows the eponymous protagonist on his adventures with "Nigger Jim" along the Mississippi River for adventure and freedom, respectively.

This book hits home with similar reasons to Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry. It conveys a similar message, but from a completely different time period, and with the main character looking into the problem, rather than being involved with it

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The Crucible, Arthur Miller, 1953

The Crucible is a dramatized version of the famous Salem witch trials, a phenom that has been retold and reflected upon before. After a few younger women begin declaring each other witches and using acting to substantiate their claims, everyone begins accusing each other of paganism and witchcraft for their own gain. It uses many different characters of different backgrounds and ages in order to show the widespread, indiscriminate accusations

I'm not going to lie, I love it so much because of how perfect of a analogy it is to what Arthur was truly satirizing; the act of McCarthyism (the accusations of communism and treason for personal gain). both situations are so absurd, and show the power that fear has on the general populace.