Today YA Highway‘s blog prompt for Road Trip Wednesday is What’s your favorite book you had to read for a class? First of all, school of any kind was a mighty long time ago for me. We did have books back then. Yes, they were paper bound between covers, not on papyrus scrolls. But it’s a little hard for me to remember which books I read for pleasure, and which ones I might have been assigned to read.
But I did happen to read quite a wide range of books in 10th grade. We had the best English teacher ever, Mrs. Luckensmeyer. She was definitely a factor in me becoming a writer. One of our weekly assignments was to fill two pages in our composition books (front and back of the two pages), which really inspired my creativity.
I also loved how she had us do book reports. We were free to pick any book we liked from the school library. After reading it, we would hand it over to her in a one-on-one session. She would then flip through it and ask random questions about the book.
Okay, this would probably be terrifying for those students who never actually read the book. You couldn’t fake one of Mrs. Luckensmeyer’s book reports, like you could if you did it in written format and referred to Cliff’s Notes. But I thought her book reports were great. (Did I mention I was kind of a teacher’s pet?)
So I read some pretty interesting books. Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring, for instance. And the one that I think was my favorite of the ones I read in her class because it was just so darn weird.
Franz Kafka’s Metamorphosis. I remember it being a little horrifying (a guy wakes up transformed into a cockroach!), a little gross (the guy is injured and starts turning all gooey and pus-filled!), and a little (a lot) bizarre (who turns into a cockroach anyway?).
Not the usual kind of book a 14-year-old reads. But at that point in my life, I was choosing books by their title. The title was cool, so I grabbed it off the shelf.
I later read plenty of classics–Dracula and Frankenstein, most of Mark Twain, plenty of science fiction and fantasy. But Kafka’s Metamorphosis has stuck with me all these years. It still gives me a chill just thinking about that man-to-cockroach transformation.
So how about you? What favorite books do you remember fromschool? Creepy, wonderful, heart-wrenching? Have you read them since, and do they hold up? Let me know in the comments.