Personal Literary Canon

Sarah Bowman

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Anna Ophilant is a senior in high school who is forced by her father to attend the boarding school 'School of America in Paris' - nicknamed SOAP by students. She is heavily against having to leave Atlanta for Paris, specifically due to leaving her best friend Bridgette, great job, and Toph, whom she has a crush on. Anna wishes to become a film critic, being a major movie fan. On her first night at SOAP, she meets her next-room-over neighbor Meredith (Mer), who consoles her after finding Anna crying in her room. After Anna leaves Meredith's room, she bumps into a beautiful boy who introduces himself as Étienne St. Clair, and has an english accent. The next morning at breakfast, Mer invites Anna to sit with her and her friends; Rashmi and boyfriend Josh, as well as Étienne from the night before - he is known by everyone as St. Clair. Over the next few weeks Anna and St Clair become best friends, he doodles on her homework, sits next to her at every meal, teases her about her sneakers, asks about her favorite films, and conjugates her French homework. But Anna knows she wants more... and St. Clair doesn't seem to be denying that there is something growing between them, something more than friendship.

Anna and the French Kiss shaped me by showing me that adventures with friends is better than adventures alone. This book teaches you to live in the moment and have fun while you can. I loved this book because it has some romance, traveling and friendship.

Divergent Series by Veronica Roth

Divergent is set in a futuristic dystopia where society is divided into five factions that each represent a different virtue, teenagers have to decide if they want to stay in their faction or switch to another - for the rest of their lives. Tris Prior makes a choice that surprises everyone. Then Tris and her fellow faction-members have to live through a highly competitive initiation process to live out the choice they have made. They must undergo extreme physical and intense psychological tests, that transform them all. But Tris has a secret that she is Divergent, which means she doesn't fit into any one group. If anyone knew, it would mean a certain death. As she discovers a growing conflict that threatens to unravel her seemingly peaceful society, this secret might help her save the people she loves... or it might destroy her.

This impacted my life by showing me that change isn't always bad and being different can be a good thing.

Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling

Harry Potter, an orphan who discovers at the age of eleven that he is a Wizard, though he lives in the ordinary world of non-magical people known as Muggles The wizarding world exists alongside the Muggle world, albeit hidden and in secrecy. His magical ability is inborn, and children with such abilities are invited to attend exclusive magic schools that teaches the necessary skills to succeed in the wizarding world. Harry becomes a student at Hogwarts,School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, the wizarding school in Scotland. As Harry develops through his school years, he learns to overcome the problems that face him: magical, social and emotional, including ordinary teenage challenges such as friendships, infatuation, romantic relationships, schoolwork and exams, anxiety, depression, stress, and the greater test of preparing himself for the confrontation in the real world that lies ahead, in wizarding Britain's increasingly-violent second wizarding war.

Harry Potter was the first series I read and it helped make me who I am today. This series encourages readers to be brave and shows that friendship and bravery can be more important than other things. These books helped me see the magic in life and how if you are in a bad situation there is always somewhere better to go.

The Holy Bible

This book influenced my life the most, it changed how I see everything. The Bible tells many stories about how we came to be and Jesus dying for our sins. This book made me who I am today, it shaped my life. I choose to believe every word in this book and it guides my life. Many people don't see there are many lesson that still relate to todays world but they do. I wouldn't be who i am today if I didn't get into the word when I was younger.

The Hunger Games Series by Suzanne Colins

The Hunger Games is about a dystopian future, the totalitarian nation of Panem is divided into 12 districts and the Capitol. Each year two young representatives from each district are selected by lottery to participate in The Hunger Games. Part entertainment, part brutal retribution for a past rebellion, the televised games are broadcast throughout Panem. The 24 participants are forced to eliminate their competitors while the citizens of Panem are required to watch. When 16-year-old Katniss' young sister, Prim, is selected as District 12's female representative, Katniss volunteers to take her place. She and her male counterpart, Peeta, are pitted against bigger, stronger representatives, some of whom have trained for this their whole lives.

This book showed me how important it is to stand up for what is right and that family will always be there for you.

The Infernal Devices Saga by Cassandra Clare

The Infernal Devices are my favorite book series, they changed the way I looked at literature. The books reference so many other literary merits, like Tale of Two Cities. They show the importance of intelligence, love and friends.

Those books are about a girl named Tessa Gray whose brother is kidnapped by a mysterious man called the Magister, She enlist the help of Shadowhunters, half-human, half-angel people who protect the mundane world from demons and keep downworlders in check. Through staying with the shadow hunters she meets and falls in love with two warrior brothers, Will Herondale and Jem Carstairs.

Matched Series by Ally Condie

Matched is about a dystopian society where the government chose who you marry by a quiz that you take, once you are matched with that person you are bound to them for life. There is only one person for everyone except Cassia. She has been matched with her best friend Xander but when another face and name come across the screen they learn she's been perfectly matched with Ky, a mysterious boy in her school. Cassia and Ky set out on a journey to see why they are matched and along the way find out that its not a computer that connects you but you hearts.

This book taught me to fight for what I love and question what isn't right. There is always more out there for you and don't settle for what is given.

The Mortal Instruments Series by Cassandra Clare

The Mortal Instruments is about a girl, Clary Fray whose mother is taken from their home, she flees for her life after they come back for her. She is recused by Jace Wayland, a shadowhunter who has been watching her. As they search for Cary's mother, she finds out about her shadowhunter heritage and learns that strength isn't in size, it's in heart.

This book taught me that it doesn't matter how big you are, there is a warrior in everyone and we need to fight for what we love. No matter how much we deny our feelings, they will show in time. So there is no point in hiding the truth. This series shoes readers that it isn't how we are raised, we decide who we are, Good or Bad? you choose your own fate.

Percy Jackson Series by Rick Riordan

Percy Jackson is abut a young boy who figures out he is part greek God, his father being Poseidon. He embarks on his adventure with his best friends Grover and Annabeth. They leave their camp for Half-blood kids, and try to find who stole Zeus's lighting bolt. Traveling across the country, they run into many other greek mythical creatures including Medusa. They meet many other half-bloods along the way and make friendships that last a lifetime.

This book showed me that you can be courageous and bold without being cocky. It teaches kids that friends are there for you in your time of need.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

Charlie, an quiet and awkward outsider, coping with first love, the suicide of his best friend, and his own mental illness while struggling to find a group of people with whom he belongs. The introvert freshman is taken under the wings of two seniors, Sam and Patrick, who welcome him to the real world.

This book teaches teens that when you are going through a tough time, there are always people to talk too, you are not alone. Even though it deals with depression and suicide in the book, it is a very war and funny book. It had a huge impact on me, showing me that I'm not alone and I have friends to lean on when times get hard.

Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

Red Queen is about a 16 year old girl, Mare Barrow, her country; the Kingdom or Norta is divided by red and silver blood. Silver being higher class by have supernatural abilities. While Mare is serving in the castle during the choosing of Prince Cal's future wife, Mare displays electrokinetic powers against Cal's wife to be, Evangeline Samos. The king is furious with Mare but decides to hide her in the castle by engaging her to his younger son, Maven. Thrown into the royal silver court Mare has to figure out where her heart lies, with the reds or her love with a certain silver prince.

This book taught me that it is not blood that makes us family but who will stand by you when times get hard. This books test where our hearts lie and how far we will push the people we love.

The Selection by Kiera Cass

The Selection is about America Singer who lives in a world with eight castes, depending on one's social and economic status. Ones are the wealthiest and most desirable, with Eights being the lowest and poorest. America is a Five, which consists of the entertainers. Crown Prince Maxon Schreave will be holding the Selection, a competition for the prince's hand and the crown for a princess. Despite pressure from her mother, Magda, and sister, May, America has no interest in entering the competition because she has been secretly dating Aspen, a Six. Aspen urges America to accept the opportunity at a better life. Later that night, America brings food to Aspen, and Aspen gets upset, believing that he must be the "provider". America is devastated, and at her weakest state, she is chosen for the Selection. Without the support of Aspen, she travels to the palace where she has to compete with 35 other girls to win the prince's heart.

This book taught me that friendship and true love are what you should fight for. Don't back down because things get hard, fight harder. America teaches girls that it is okay to be vulnerable but don't let people push you around, stand up for yourself.