Students Don’t Really Hate The Books They Read In English Class


Colleen Diether, Staff Reporter

Stereotypically, books students read in English Class are uninteresting and dull. We talk a lot of smack about the books we are reading, but when discussing it, my friends and I found that we generally enjoyed those books. Some of the books we enjoyed were from Junior year, both IB and non IB. 

My favorite book was The Things they Carried by Tim O’Brien.  Personally, I liked that the style of writing and the layout were different. The Things they Carried is a collection of shorter stories that eventually connect and tell an intricate story about the lives of Soldiers in the Vietnam War. We compared and contrasted the experiences and point of views of characters from a Lieutenant becoming traumatized by the war, to a guilt ridden soldier who tried to run from the draft. This book, recounting a few people’s experience with war was very thought provoking, and it broadened my knowledge of war and its effect on those who fight in it. 

There were many differing opinions between my friends though, especially regarding the IB English Year I book, Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley. 

“I have to say [my favorite book from English class has been]Frankenstein.  I feel like that one was more deep than some of the other ones,”  junior Helena Landels said.

Realistically however, not every student is going to enjoy the same books.  While some students stated that Frankenstien was their favorite book they read in English class, another stated that it was their least favorite.

“I was not a fan of Frankenstein. Just the way it was written was really unengaging,” senior Emily Cooney said.

IB English juniors read Frankenstein, Persepolis and MacBeth every year. Persepolis changed up the traditional narrative format of a book that students read in class because it is in the style of a comic book. This variety of styles, between a play, narrative and comic book is really appreciated by students because it offers a more rounded view of literature. Students’ views on the books they’ve read in English class are varying though. While some students expressed interest in Frankenstien, others preferred Persepolis because it was in the comic book format. 

“I liked that it wasn’t a normal book. It was a graphic novel which I really enjoyed.” Senior Emily Cooney said.

Clearly, the books we read in English class in our junior year are very popular. My experience though, was that there were books I read each year that I really enjoyed. I enjoyed Romeo and Juliet because it was the first play I read from William Shakespeare. I found that I have not really disliked a book that I read in English class. 

“I think for the most part how we branch out to different genres of books, like it’s not all about one author, one type of author, one style, whatever they like.” Senior Emily Cooney said. 

Even though many students find a book they read to be less than enjoyable, reading books in English class is generally a good experience. Students especially appreciated that there was a variety of formats and styles of books that were chosen.