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What did you read in high school?


A friend who is in teacher’s college sent me a message asking if I would fill out a survey for one of her classes. What she wanted was for me to think back to high school and try to remember the books I studied from grade 7 through to the end of high school.

What’s interesting is that I have no memory of the books read in grade 7 or 8 at all, and little memory of the books in grades 12 & 13. (Yes, I was in high school when Ontario still had grade 13. It certainly gives readers a better picture of my age!)

So this got me thinking. I can’t figure out why I remember the books we read in grades 9 – 11 books clear as a bell, while I remember what I was reading outside of school for the rest of the yearw.

I was at a private high school and our Shakespeare plays were chosen each year depending what was playing at Stratford. We would read the play, watch the movie version and then go see it live. I know which Shakespeare plays we studied, just not which grade I read it in.

Grade 9 – Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe, Cry the Beloved Country by Alan Paton, Who Has Seen the Wind by W.O. Mitchell, Animal Farm by George Orwell
Grade 10 – The Pearl by John Steinbeck, The Chrysalids by John Wyndham, Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway, Lord of the Flies by William Golding
Grade 11 – The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner, As for Me and My House by Sinclair Ross, The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Grade 12 – Tess of the D’Ubervilles by Thomas Hardy, Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte (can’t remember the rest of the books)
Grade 13/OAC – The Stone Angel by Margaret Laurence (can’t remember the rest of the books)

As You Like It
King Lear
The Tempest

So how closely does my high school reading list match up with yours? Do you remember what you read then, or do you have clearer memories of your “non-school reading?”

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