Personal Literary Canon Books

Kayla Pollock

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The Hunger Games Series by Suzanne Collins

The Hunger Games is based in a dystopic world where there is an annual hunger games. There are twelve girls and twelve boys chosen from each of the twelve districts. The guy from district twelve is Peeta, and the girl from district twelve is Katniss’ sister, but Katniss volunteers for her. Peeta and Katniss fall in love and both survive the Hunger Games together. This book was one of the first popular novels that I really got into and I think it is a very good read for any young adult. It helps the reader see that things will not always be perfect, you will have good times and bad times. I think it is important for younger children to have strong role models like Katniss to look up to.

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The Maze Runner by James Dashner

This book is much like The Hunger Games in that it is set in a dystopian society. A group of boys get put into a maze, their memories are completely gone. They have a civilized life planned out inside the walls of the maze, but outside of the maze it is complete madness, especially at night. One day a girl shows up and breaks every routine that has been established in their society. After this, everything starts changing. This book is much like Lord of the Flies. I think it is important to wonder what would happen if we were put in a situation like this, and having deviants like the main character, Thomas, gives everyone who reads it a sense of being able to do anything that they can dream of.

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Every Day by David Levithan

This book is about a person that switches bodies every day. Sometimes they wake up male, sometimes female, sometimes different races. They go by the name of “A”. A has gotten used to this and everything is bearable until he falls in love with a girl named Rhiannon after being in the body of her boyfriend. The book follows their journey in trying to love each other. This is a very, very important book for younger people. Younger people tend to be caught up in looks alone. This book really questions what it means to be human. Not only is it a great love story, it gets a message across that everyone needs to hear.

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Paper Towns by John Green

This book is also a love story but with a twist. Our main character Quentin falls in love with a girl named Margo and basically in his head he thinks she is royalty. They were childhood friends but haven't talked in a really long time. As children, they found the body of a guy who committed suicide. Now they're in high school. Margo comes to Quentin for help one night and they go on an adventure full of shenanigans. Later, Margo leaves town and Quentin thinks she is leaving clues for him to find her. So, he gets his friends to skip prom and go to look for her. Eventually they find her, but basically she says we cannot be together. So Quentin has to face up to reality, sometimes you really don't know someone, and sometimes you love someone and you have to let them go. This was a very meaningful book to me because sometimes things are not meant to be, and you just have to let it go.

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Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan

This book is about two Will Grayson characters that meet through a crazy journey. Both of them have friend and love difficulties. Basically this entire book covers same sex relationships and relationships with your friends. Love may not last, but your friends will. I think this is a very important book because there are many people that don't know any gay guys, or just haven't had much experience with them. When reading this book, you feel like they're your best friends and you really understand the importance of acceptance in society. I think that is a big issue in our world right now, everyone is too judgmental. This novel really opened my eyes and my heart and gave me a better sense of understanding of friendship and love.
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Charlotte's Web by E.B. White

This book is about a pig named Wilbur and a spider named Charlotte. Wilbur’s life was spared when he was younger, and he was sent into a different farm when he got older. That’s when Wilbur meets Charlotte and finds out that he is going to be slaughtered. Charlotte starts writing praises in her web which draws attention and saves Wilbur from his slaughter. Since I’m very passionate about animals, this book meant a lot to me as a child. It’s a very sweet story about friendship and it teaches children the bond that they can have with others.
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Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson

The main character of this story is Jess Aarons, he has a hard family life and is about to enter the fifth grade. He wants to be the fastest runner but one day a new girl named Leslie shows up and beats everyone. At first they don’t like each other but they become friends. They create an imaginary world in the forest. They help out a girl named Janice who is a bully. Leslie ends up dying while crossing a creek. I think this is an important book for younger children because it teaches you about friendship and about acceptance.
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The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin

This book is about people who are living in apartments and their crazy murder adventure. Mr. Westing dies, and it is a mystery who killed him. They basically play many different games to figure out who killed him. They piece all of the clues together at the end and figure it out. I think this is an important book because it helps people see how relationships can change and how to really solve a mystery.
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The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton

This book is about a gang and their journey for redemption. Some of them end up redeeming themselves, some of them meet tragic ends. This is a very important book about people and where they grew up and how that impacts their destiny. Seeing younger children like this really makes the reader open their eyes to how people could be living.
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Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

This book is, of course, another love story. But, the plot isn't just about a love story. The main character, Cath, just moved into college and wanted to room with her sister but her sister is all about making new friends. So Cath gets stuck with a party girl and her ex boyfriend Levi who likes to hang around a lot. Cath’s dad is bipolar, her mom left when they were little, and her sister develops a drinking problem. And on top of all of this, she has Levi to think about. This book was very modern and relatable. It just felt like I was reading a story that my friends had written me. This was really meaningful to me because having a main character with the fear of social interaction makes me feel like I'm not alone with that fear.