These are the books I remember having to read for class novel studies from Grades 5-12 and how I felt about them (a couple are really weird obscure French books, I figured I'd put them in anyways):
  1. La Symphonie Pastorale by André Gide
    Gross novella about an old Pastor who falls in love with a 15 year old orphaned, homeless, blind and mute girl he brings home. It was creepy and gross and YUCK.
  2. Much Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare
    Never actually retained any of this at all, we just read it out loud in country accents and thought it was hilarious.
  3. In The Heat of the Night by John Ball
    Don't remember much about this book, this was from when I skipped a lot of school so it's this low on the list by default.
  4. The Dark is Rising by Susan Cooper
    Way too descriptive to keep a 12 year old's interest and I've never been into weird fantasy stuff like this.
  5. The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton
    Everyone in my class cried and I just found myself weirdly unaffected? I just didn't think it was that good.
  6. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
    OKAY I'MA BE HONEST- I found this book extremely boring and white saviourism-y
  7. Les Misérables by Victor Hugo
    This was fun to read out loud in class because it made us feel really French. Found the story hard to follow though.
  8. Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare
    By the time we were in Grade 10 we had heard the story of Romeo and Juliet so many times that it was just boring. We watched two movie versions though- Leo DiCaprio and Douglas Booth as Romeo 👌🏾
  9. Underground to Canada by Barbara Smucker
    Julilly's character stuck with me for a long time after we finished this book, and my Grade 5 class loved that Canada was a place of refuge for slaves.
  10. The Forbidden City by William Bell
    I had no idea what the Tiananmen Square massacre was until we read this book in Grade 7, and I was dumbfounded that this book was based on real events.
  11. Le Visiteur Du Soir by Robert Soulières
    A funny Québecois book about some kids who steal a painting from a museum to win a school contest.
  12. Life of Pi by Yann Martel
    Obviously beautiful and engaging.
  13. The Watsons Go To Birmingham - 1963 by Christopher Paul Curtis
    I remember relating to Kenny a lot in this book and still think about it all the time.
  14. Hatchet by Gary Paulsen
    Really cool coming-of-age survival story about a kid stranded in the forest after a plane crash. I was obsessed with it.
  15. Macbeth by William Shakespeare
    The first Shakespeare play I actually paid attention to, and I really really liked it!
  16. Le Petit Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
    Just read this in French this year and now I get the hype over this book??? I enjoyed it so much and wish I had read it sooner.
  17. L'Étranger by Albert Camus
    Sooo dense with philosophical shit, which was especially complex in French, but so so so interesting.
  18. Othello by William Shakespeare
    My favourite piece of Shakespeare's work- really layered and sad. Othello is like the perfect example of a tragic hero to me.
  19. L'Étrange Amour d'Edgar by Gilles Gauthier
    About a kid who thought he was the reincarnation of Edgar Allan Poe. HOLY, did this book change my life. The book had Charles Baudelaire's translations of Poe's poems and I read them over and over and fell in love with Poe's work. I actually thought Poe was French until my library reluctantly let 8 year old Tyra take out a book of his work and I found out they were in English. I am still so obsessed with Poe to this day.
  20. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
    I went in expecting nothing and ended up crying like a fuckin' baby at the end of it. Steinbeck is so painfully poignant.