Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Books That I’d Put On My Syllabus

Top Ten Tuesday Attempt #1 pic versionTop Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish. Every Tuesday, participating book bloggers blog about their top ten lists.

This Week’s Topic: Top Ten Books That Would Be On Your Syllabus If You Taught X 101 (examples: YA fantasy 101, feminist literature 101, magic in YA 101, classic YA lit 101, world-building 101)

Hahh I’m going to suck at this topic. I don’t think I’d be a good teacher at all. I have the patience for little kids but I definitely don’t have the patience for careless, dumb high schoolers. I know that I’m a high school kid but that doesn’t mean I have to be able to stand some of my classmates! I don’t like people that are lazy and don’t do their work. I don’t like it when they disregard school as if it’s something trivial.

So if I were in a fantasy land and taught a class….. I think I would end up fangirling (or ranting) all over the place about my recent book and making every class one where we just sat around and read books. I think I’d be able to realistically make a class about tough-issue topics and preach about why we should all develop confidence though. I love the feeling of having confidence and having the strength to overcome your problems!

The official name would be…. *drumroll*

Developing Bookish Confidence 101

Just kidding. That’s a terrible bookish class name and half of the books below aren’t even going to match it.

The Summer of Chasing Mermaids1. The Summer of Chasing Mermaids by Sarah Ockler

Um I love the message in this? Well to be honest, this book is less about developing confidence than it is about overcoming bitter feelings towards a tragedy that crippled the main character’s confidence. So I guess it would be appropriate. I love the message that we all have a voice regardless of if we can actually speak or not. Speak out and assert yourself!

(My Review)

The Truth About Alice2. The Truth About Alice by Alice Mathieu

This one is more about bullying than confidence. What am I even doing with this syllabus? I guess what I wanted to tell people with this book is that everybody has a different opinion when it comes to a situation and that you honestly shouldn’t care about what other people think about you because bullies will be bullies. Sort of?

(My Review)

Since You've Been Gone3. Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson

Emily (the protagonist) is literally the definition of the shy, unconfident girl that begins to develop and grow. By the end of the book she’s grown so much as a character. I related to her so much! She remains one of my favorite protagonists to this day. I think a lot of people could relate to her.

(My Review)

Speak4. Speak by Laurie Halse-Anderson

This book has a similar theme to the first book on this list in the way that both characters are learning how to speak up again. It’s about confidence and coming back from terrible experiences stronger than before. This one would also be great because a lot of people aren’t huge readers! It’s a thin novel that would be a good book to start a semester off with.

(My Review)

5. An Ellen Hopkins Novel

I have only read like 1.5 of her books. I read Rumble and part of Crank. Drugs seem to be a prevalent issue in our society nowadays so I guess I’d use one of these to portray that? Maybe I’d use Perfect, which, from what I know of it, is about three teens that feel too much pressure to become “perfect”? Again, I’d have to read more of these to really know but I think these would fit in nicely with my class syllabus.

(My Review of Rumble)

6. A Sarah Dessen Book???

I HAVE NO CLUE WHICH ONE I’D USE. But I’d push all of these on to my hypothetical students. Actually, I think a lot of male students would abhor my class because of the large amount of books on this list that are targeted for female readers. Oh well.

7. Something for the guys???

 I completely blanked. I know I’ve read tough-issue books that are more targeted for the male demographic but I literally can’t think of anything. So to help remedy this, would you guys suggest some great contemporary books starring males? I’ve read a lot of Andrew Smith if that helps.

To Kill a Mockingbird8. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

By this point, I’ve completely derailed from my original topic. But To Kill a Mockingbird is a fantastic novel that tells us so much about how we should treat other people. It’s less about confidence than it is about being a good, fair person but I still think that it’s important enough to put on this list, thematically related or not.

(My Mini-Review)

I give up. I’m not going to be a teacher or teach a book giving out confidence tips! To be honest, my tip would be some totally BS thing like, “WEAR A BOLD LIPSTICK OR CLOTHING ITEM.” Like KELLY PLEASE. Besides, I’m in high school there’s never more than three required books on our English syllabuses. And then we read them along with the class! So. Yeah.

Half of these books don’t even match my theme. But it was a valiant effort for me to try to make a list of them XD

For the rest of you guys, what would you put on your syllabus? What class would you teach? Were you more successful with making a list than me?


  1. I agree Speak shouls go in there. I think its message is taken for granted sometimes, so it’s always a good reminder.

    I think I’d put in Harry Potter! For one, its a great book series so people will enjoy it and do the assignments for it, two it teaches young kids all these lessons about growing up, and there are great role models too, like Lupin or Sirius. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I loved Since You’ve Been Gone! I was expecting not to like it but ending up really loving it and giving it 5 stars! Emily is such a relatable character.
    I agree with you on To Kill A Mockingbird and Speak! Those are two great novels to teach in a syllabus. No other books come to mind, but I think I’d choose Perks of Being a Wallflower ❤ I have very little for high school students too XD

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Nice list! I love careless high schoolers (studying to be a high school librarian) lol!

    For the guys, (and/or girls) some realistic fiction options are Monster by Walter Dean Myers, The Absolutely True Diary of a PArt-time Indian by Sherman Alexie, or a fun fantasy with zombies, werewolves, etc is Infinity by Sherrilyn Kenyon. She writes them with her teenaged sons in mind as an audience 🙂


  4. I wouldn’t get too caught up with “books for [x gender]” because as much truth as there is in certain groups reading only certain genres, there’s still very much a possibility of the outliers too. Every book has its merits and its audience and I think it’d be well enough to empower its readers to come out with a different way of thinking. Surely that’s the confidence you want the takeaway to be.

    Joey via. thoughts and afterthoughts.


  5. I know I shouldn’t gender stereotype but I definitely wrote this post with my classmates in mind… a lot of whom wouldn’t be caught dead with a “girly” book. And sometimes, I think that their discomfort with it might end up being enough to make them dislike it. Especially with the more romance heavy books.
    Thanks for the thoughtful comment though! 🙂


  6. Fun! Good luck on your high school librarian journey!
    I’ve heard loads of things about Monster and I’m dying to read it, especially with all of the controversy there’s been recently with similar themes. I’ve read The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian and really enjoyed it. The review is still sitting in my drafts…… I enjoyed it. That’s the point! XD
    I think I know what you’re talking about for the last one but I’ll go find it on Goodreads! Thanks for the great suggestions!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Nah it’s fine! Everyone has typos at some point!
    I read Perks a very long time ago…. so 7th grade? Before I realized what the message was and thought it was just a teenage kid that was kind of weird. I think it deserves a reread (which would be realistic considering it’s length). Oh and I want to watch the movie (because EMMA WATSON) but should probably read the book again before I do that!

    Liked by 1 person

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