There are so many wonderful books that are considered classics. Having to narrow it down to one semester’s worth of choices is something I have discussed with others on more than one occasion. Your choices are somber and thought provoking. Even with the focus on emotional struggle that you have chosen, I have to question your inclusion of Chopin’s “The Awakening.” Yes, it certainly qualifies as a classic piece of literature. It is also one of the most depressing books I have ever read. I read it as an adult and it made me want to dress in black and comb my hair over my eyes. I cannot imagine emotional roller coaster teenagers emerging from this book’s study enlightened.
I recognize that feminist literature choices tend to be pessimistic and misandrous. I understand that you are trying to avoid literature that includes sexual themes. Still, isn’t there anything that they could read which doesn’t romanticize suicide? Are there no books for teens that are inspiring or hopeful? Would it be terrible if they read a book that made them laugh?
Reading List for this class: The Awakening, In Cold Blood, Native Son, Their Eyes Were Watching God, The Things They Carried, Life of Pi, The Sound and the Fury, The Grapes of Wrath and The Catcher in the Rye.