The Breezeway

Tired of Reading Ancient Books?

Carson Latham, Student

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Almost all high schoolers are forced to read very old literature in English class. Some of these writings include The Odyssey, Of Mice and Men,and  Romeo and Juliet. Although exploring old literature can have its benefits, these books are also very hard to comprehend and hard to truly enjoy reading which leads students to not enjoy reading at all. Not too many kids read for entertainment nowadays. So this leads to the question, If English classes choose modern and relatable books to read, would students be more engaged in English class? Chris Lower (9) thought that reading newer books in English class would help students follow along in class and enjoy literature.

“Reading newer books that I enjoy make me more interested, and more engaged in class,” Lower said.

Grayson Berryhill (9) had the same opinion as Lower.

“When my english teacher made us read the Odyssey, it was very hard for me to follow along because of the very old language and the complex writing style, but when we read ‘Refugee’, Which was written recently, it pulled me into the story and made it easier to follow along in class,”  Berryhill said.

If reading very old books makes students uninterested in class, what is the reason we still read them in 2018? Principal and English teacher Jim Franz gave many good reasons on why students read these almost ancient books today in class.

“These very old books we read often in English class have a depth of language that newer books do have. They also show the basic human condition that we see in today’s society. Books written today just don’t last hundreds of years like Romeo and Juliet or the Odyssey has,” Franz said.

But Franz also believes that letting students read books that interest them is also a good thing. He thinks that it does keep students involved in class better when they like what their reading, but he doesn’t plan on taking old books out of class because of the many benefits that students receive by reading them.

“Having a good balance between more modern books and old books is important for the growth of a student,” Franz said.

For students who can not stand reading ancient books, they’ll have to tough it out because they are staying in classes for a long time to come.

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