Students’ opinions on assigned readings

Regyna Gantt, Editor in Chief

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As a senior in High School, I have been subjected to read many, many books over the course of four years. From Shakespeare to Charles Dickens to John Steinbeck, we have read plenty of literary works, good and bad. Because of the different levels of English classes, not all students have read the same books, but students in all grades have opinions of the books that we have been assigned.

In English 11, one of the books we were assigned was The Help. This was not only my favorite book I was assigned, but it is probably one of my favorite books ever. When we were assigned the book initially, I didn’t know how I felt about the length, as it is 524 pages. The novel focuses on the lives of black maids in Southern Mississippi and the changes that are being brought about to their little town.

Many of the kids that read this book really enjoyed it. It was entertaining, emotional, and intellectually rewarding. Senior Hannah Rodenhaber, commented, “I think it was good exposure to people to read raw content. I loved the characters and how they interacted. I feel like the author made each of the characters really unique.”

A book that I did not like reading was A Tale Of Two Cities. Charles Dickens writes about the lives of a French family during the French Revolution and their attempts to stay afloat during the war. It was a long, gruesome read, but I did appreciate certain elements to the novel that really made it interesting, such as the parallelism and resurrection.

The most popular book read by students was To Kill a Mockingbird. 70% of students surveyed wrote that it was the book they enjoyed the most. We read this book in English 10. Senior Zoe Rutter, said “It was a really good read, I enjoyed the book. I did not like doing the in text citations, because it took away from actually reading the book.”

Evidently, A Tale of Two Cities was the least popular read among the student class. Many students felt that the problem with the book was that is was hard to understand at most points. While the plot and characters were very intriguing, the language was hard to understand, especially because we did not have much exposure beforehand.

Junior William Rivera, recalls reading the book, saying, “I really liked the characters, but I didn’t like the way we were made to transact because I don’t think it helped me to understand the book. I also really liked the twists and turns that the book took. The only real problem I had with the book is that the language was pretty complicated at first.”

Overall, we are able to read a wide variety of books in English classes and students at MASH have varying opinions of them. Literature is constantly changing and that means so will the books that we read in English classes.