After my first year of teaching undergraduate composition at a state university, I have discovered a new pet peeve. Really, the term “pet peeve” doesn’t quite do my frustration justice, but it will have to do for now. Here it is: I can’t stand it when cynical, jaded teachers rant about students not reading enough literature on their own.
Of course, it’s true that most students don’t read – at all. Believe me, I see the consequences of that whenever I sit down to grade papers. But merely complaining about our students isn’t the answer. I really think that many students don’t read on their own because they haven’t found “that book.” You know what I’m talking about, right? It’s the book that opened your eyes and made you want to pick up other books. I’m not embarrassed to admit that my 8th grade English teacher handed me a copy of Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card and, in doing so, sparked a life-long love of books.
With this in mind, I recently gave my students a list of books I thought they might like reading. I based my choices on the students’ personalities/interests, subject matter I thought they might relate to as well as quality of the book themselves. Check out my list. Maybe you can share it with your students. Maybe you can add some suggestions. Click on the titles for more info about the individual books.