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FEBRUARY 9, 2024

     Considering reading is a very crucial skill for a student. It’s important to inform people on the books we must read if we want to graduate highschool in this district. This opinion story will be touching on the main topic, what are the favorite to least favorite books of one of our students? What book can potentially be the most popular that is assigned by the English teachers here at RHS? Sophomore, Xavier Stubblefield and one of our trusted librarians, Lisa Mandina help us find that answer. Also featuring Jasmine “Yvonne” Ratsaphangthong as she states her opinion as well on these books. All three people share a little background information on these books to encourage others to start reading more, recommend other books for people to read in the future, rank their favorite to least favorite books they have read, and share how their experience was while reading. Books that were mentioned or thought of while reading list of “Lord of the Flies” by William Golding, “Unwind” by Neal Shusterman, “Concrete Rose” by Angie Thomas, “Great Gasby” by F. Scott Fitzgerald ,“The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian” by Sherman Alexie, and “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time'' by Mark Haddon in best to least ranked order by people spoken to.

     “Lord of the flies" was my favorite English book when I was in school. It had a lot of suspense and made you think about how people treat other people. Another favorite would be the book Unwind. Even though it was based in a futuristic society, it made you think about the way things are in today’s day and age with abortion, homelessness, kids who don’t have parents, and what could happen if we changed things differently,” Mandia said.

     Lord of the Flies is a very interesting book as it captures the majority of teenagers' attention. It’s very mysterious and gruesome due to its descriptive killing. It’s not an ordinary book that makes you bored as soon as you start reading. In the book, a group of young English boys get stranded on an island after their plane crashes. They’re forced to find a way to survive on their own while simultaneously having to find common ground on who is in charge of the group because there must be a leader in the group who takes care of the “littluns” as they call the youngest boys on the island. Unwind is a dystopian thriller by Neal Shusterman that follows three teens on the run from a government that believes “unwinding,” or body harvesting, is an alternate solution to abortions and unwanted teens. This book and  “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time '' is favored by people so much because these books cover real life problems people go through so it makes it easier for the readers to relate. All 3 books listed were noted to be top three selected to read out of all other english books.

     “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time '' by Mark Haddon was a hard read for me, I just did not enjoy it. I believe the main character was autistic so reading it the way he thinks was hard to read and understand his way of thinking,” Mandina said.















     Next in the rank, “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time '' happens to be in the least favored rank. That may be because it tells of the story of a boy not many can relate to or others who may not find interest in the mystery of uncovering the murder of a poodle rather than a human being. This book is more directed towards adults who are interested in Sherlock Holmes because the books are similar when it comes to mystery because Mark Haddon and Arthur Conan Doyle, creator of Sherlock Holmes share the same writing style. Speaking of books on the lower ranked. 1597’s Romeo and Juliet appears to be least favored by students and staff as well.

     “Coming from a student’s perspective, Romeo and Juilet was a personal least favorite. It was a very long book to read, it wasn’t interesting, wasn’t attention grasping, while it was also outdated with pedophilia in it that might make you feel uncomfortable,” Stubblefield and Ratsaphangthong said.

     To follow up, Romeo and Juliet is a book and movie created by William Shakespeare back in 1597. It is the tale of a true love story set in medieval Verona, Italy, where two young lovers, Romeo and Juliet, are stuck in rival families, the Montagues and the Capulets. Later in the book there’s killing, sacrifice, hidden marriage, misfortune, and wealthy family rivalry over love. As mentioned before, a reason students may not like this book compared to Lord of the Flies or Unwind is because Romeo and Juliet is a slow burn and is a romance novel. Typically teengers don’t tend to go head over heels for romance, they want chaos, they want intensity, they want something to blow their mind and make them sit back and think for a second. That’s why it has been noticed that contemporary/realistic fiction or even fantasy is what is most checked out from students to read. With that being said, Romeo and Juliet does not provide that thrill. Romeo and Juliet is directed towards people who enjoy slow burn romances that have a heavy impact backstory to invest in.

     “Students tend to gravitate towards contemporary or realistic fiction and even fantasy books. They gravitate to historical fiction books less because they already learn about history in their mandatory history classes so they don’t want to feel obligated to continue reading about history if it isn’t necessary,” Mandina said.

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