Classics are always a staple for reading, but books have to become a classic somehow. When Jane Austen wrote Pride and Prejudice in 1813, it wasn’t considered a classic (were classics even a thing then?), it was just another book. So as time continues, some books that I read when I was younger I now consider books that everyone should read at least once, so let’s discuss those.
HARRY POTTER BY J. K. ROWLING
To start off, we have a series that almost everyone has already read and, in my opinion, already considered a “classic” of some sort. Harry Potter a title like that because the series has so many important messages intertwined inside the story such as friendship, dealing with loss, and standing up for yourself. It’s also a great coming of age story and it’s nice for readers to be able to grow up with the main cast of the books. Also, much like many classics I believe that just about everyone has at least heard the name Harry Potter and knows very vague information about it.
In 50 or so years, I do hope that Harry Potter will be considered a classical novel (in some sort) and who knows, high school students might even start reading it in class to analyze why it is on the banned books list (as many classics are).
HUNGER GAMES BY SUZANNE COLLINS
In my mind, whenever I hear about the Hunger Games I’ll always think about it as the classic dystopian novel. For me (and possibly for others), Hunger Games was one of the very first dystopian novels I’d ever read and I think that’s why it attracts so many readers. Many of the later classics target an alternate universe where a rebellion typically takes place (although not always) such as Fahrenheit 451, 1984, Animal Farm, and Lord of the Flies. The Hunger Games neatly fits along with those because it is a book that challenges society and causes people to rethink their standing.
Plus, much like Harry Potter, I feel like this book has great potential to be studied more in schools because the first time I read this was actually through school (nearly 5 years ago)!
THE BOOK THIEF BY MARKUS ZUSAK
I honestly have no doubt in my mind that this will become one of the more recently published books to be a considered a classic, even though it was published nearly 10 years ago. Not only is this an absolutely phenomenal book, but there are so many messages hidden throughout the story, and you honestly do have to read into the characters and understand them. Following Liesel throughout her journey of moving to a new home and living during World War II leaves a huge impact on the reader. Plus, this novel has the unique aspect of being narrated by Death, which has so much symbolism itself.
I also read this for school at the very end of 2014 and it has to be one of my favorite books that I’ve read for school before. I get so excited when I hear about someone reading this for their class, because it’s something that I feel everyone will have the ability to relate and discuss.
The most exciting aspect of books becoming classic is that more students will have the chance to read some book such as the previous examples. This is so important to me since I’ve always felt reading for school is more of a chore and I can’t fully enjoy it. Also, having students read more recent novels (really mid 20th century and up) allows them to understand and relate to the novels in a more precise way, instead of trying to google what Shakespeare meant.
What books do you consider to be a classic and why? Let me know in the comments, I’m very curious to see your spin on the definition of a classic novel!