I was one of those students that had a weird habit of liking the books that were on the curriculum. I don’t think I ever hated one that I had to read, except maybe ‘Jane Eyre’ that I’d already read by the time it came up. By ‘school’ I am assuming this means secondary level aka High School and not university level stuff here.
I love reading books that are old and different with interesting themes, and one that really stood out above the rest was ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ by Harper Lee. I think what makes ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’ unique is that so much is going on – it is famous for its race/discrimination theme, but it also deals with the difference between people of all classes, and mental illness. It is a very emotional book in a lot of ways and it isn’t always ‘happy’ but I remember falling in love with it because of that. It isn’t supposed to be simple or straightforward, despite being readable and I think that anyone who reads it will see something in it that connects with them.
If you haven’t read ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ (which is unlikely, because it is one of those books that are read in schools all over the world) I will say that it is about an alleged rape between a black man and a poor white woman, and is told through the eyes of the lawyer’s daughter (Scout). The black man – Tom Robinson is innocent, but society doesn’t see it as a case of innocence, and Scout’s father Atticus tries to fight this despite knowing that ultimately he can’t win. Scout and her brother Gem also deal with growing up and with Atticus’s help and guidance they show signs of being more mature than most of society, because they realise that everyone has a story and you can’t judge someone based on what you think you see. You have to look deeper.