There’s a lot to be said for literature that stands the test of time. Namely, How do writers do that?!
But if you’ve been teaching Gatsby and Heart of Darkness year after year and are looking for a new book or two to add to your syllabus, we love the following choices, all published within the last 15 years. Plus, right now you can enter to win a class set of any one of the titles below.
Author Madeline Miller has taken the phrase “don’t reinvent the wheel” and turned it on its head. In her retelling of Homer’s The Iliad, Miller focuses on the story of Achilles and the Trojan War, emphasizing the ever-present struggles with friendship, loyalty and love. Time magazine credits Miller with “updating the classics,” and teachers everywhere applaud her for making this incredible Grecian adventure accessible with its timely relevance of heroic characters and universal themes.
Following the Hunger Games trilogy’s success comes The Queen of the Tearling. Feisty and fierce protagonist Queen Kelsea evolves from an exiled nobody into a young lady with nerves of steel. Her story of righting wrongs and taking back what’s hers is an inspiration to young readers everywhere. Regardless of grade level, students will be riveted by Queen Kelsea’s quest to “ascend her rightful throne” with the help of her magical Tearling sapphire necklace and a bevy of brave men. A fantasy, The Queen of the Tearling has enough magic, adventure and romance to help turn the “meh” reader into a “More! More!” reader.
Imagine Katniss Everdeen as a worker bee, and you’ve got the basic premises of The Bees. Modern, feminist twists find protagonist Flora 717 questioning tradition and subsequently at odds with the queen bee. With a pinch of bee biology, a dash of environmental and natural intricacies, and boundless lessons in love, The Bees is an incredibly creative, gripping perspective piece. Teachers will note “… parallels to 1984 and Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale are numerous but this story is also its own.” The beauty of bringing this book into the classroom is that it allows students to suspend disbelief and appreciate the exquisite detail with which The Bees is written.
Enter HERE for your chance to win a class set of any one of these titles from HarperCollins!
Posted by Stephanie Jankowski
English teacher by trade, smack talker by nature, Stephanie Jankowski loves words and has a knack for finding the funny in everyday life. A mother of three in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Stephanie subscribes to the mantra: “Life is too short, laugh!” Visit her site, WhenCrazyMeetsExhaustion.com, for more!