High School Book Reviews

Are you a high school student in search of a good book to read? Read on to learn about three books that you are sure to love.

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Are you curious about some of the books your ninth grade English teacher has assigned? Are you looking for a good book to read during the summer or other break from school? Of Mice and Men, To Kill a Mockingbird, and Speak are three recommended books for students in ninth grade and up.

Of Mice and Men

Many students do not look forward to classic books like those written by John Steinbeck. Of Mice and Men, however, shows teenagers that classics can be easy to understand and read.

This book is set in California and takes place during the Great Depression. It follows two men who are looking for farm work; one of these men is mentally handicapped. As the story unfolds, the reader comes to realize that the men have a strong, yet complex relationship. By the book's end readers are challenged to reevaluate many of their values and beliefs regarding love and friendship, as well as 'the American Dream'.

Of Mice and Men introduces readers to Steinbeck's attention to detail and skillful character development. Despite the short length, Steinbeck is able to fully develop the characters in this book, making it easy for readers to create emotional attachment to each person.

To Kill a Mockingbird

To Kill a Mockingbird is commonly presented during the ninth grade; however, many adults would agree it to be among the most powerful books they've ever read, making it one of their favorite pieces of literature.

The story is set in Alabama and takes place during the Great Depression. The main character, Scout is only six years old, and she, along with the reader, learns about life, discrimination, and justice by the novel's end.

To Kill a Mockingbird was written by Harper Lee who grew up in Alabama during the Great Depression, allowing her to include her own experiences with discrimination into the novel. In 1961, To Kill a Mockingbird was awarded the Pulitzer Prize and spent eighty weeks on the bestseller list. This is a great book for a teenager who is looking for a well-written novel that will make them think and learn valuable lessons about life.


Speak is about Melinda, a high school freshman girl who has quickly become the outcast of her school because she called the cops during a party over the summer. The reader lives in Melinda's head as she goes through the motions of high school. The experience of the book is emotional for the reader as they realized what actually happened during the fateful August night. Laurie Halse Anderson is able to break up the dark, emotional scenes with Melinda's dry and witty humor.

Laurie Halse Anderson successfully captures the essence of high school: the cliques, quirky teachers, and silly school board rules. Speak is an excellent book for any student who has experienced the pain of rejection or feelings of isolation that are often felt in the teenage years. While this book does deal with some heavy issues and emotions, the ending is heartfelt as Melinda is able to break out of her silence.

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