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20 Books One Should Read Before Age 16

fahrenheit-451-farenheit-451-ray-bradburyCanadianfamily.ca has a list of 20 books they think you should read before age 16. Some of them I agree with wholeheartedly – To Kill a Mockingbird (a matter-of-fact, beautifully written and engaging look at childhood, injustice and tolerance), Maus (an important historical abomination made accessible and understandable through a new medium), and the Harry Potter books, in particular (creative, fun, valuable lessons of friendship and courage). But some of them I’m not so sure of. To be honest (and I realize this is probably something that reflects poorly on me), I’ve always thought I would have benefited more from reading Animal Farm, had I done so at a later age. I found the whole thing pretty boring and confusing when I read it, and I was about 14. I read Nineteen Eighty-Four much later at age 20 or so, and loved it. It went on to become one of my favourite books. And I actually found Go Ask Alice, intriguing enough to sound glamorous when I read it as a young teenager, even the parts after everything has gone wrong. Drama at times appeals to the adolescent mind.

My list would include Fahrenheit 451, Ordinary People, American Born Chinese, and Girl, as well.

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