Reading the classics and reading contemporary young adult literature are often considered to be two very different reading experiences and students who read one often miss out on the other. Good young adult fiction offers engaging plots, accessible language, familiar topics and hidden issues, dealing with taboos which are hard to talk about. At the same time it reinforces the love of reading by offering a wide range of contemporary storylines. Classics, on the other hand, are contemporary and historical at the same time – this is how they become classics. Knowing about the classics deepens our students’ understanding of cultural references in contemporary film and fiction. And a good story is ALWAYS a good story, be it a classic or a YA novel.
One way of inspiring our teen students to read a wider selection of novels is by recommending books they could read based on their young adult fiction preferences and probably the film adaptations they already know. Simply ask if they like any of the genres below or check if they have read any of the young adult titles on the list. Based on these preferences they can then pick a classic which might be a challenging in the original version if they are below a strong intermediate level, but enjoyable in a graded reader format.
Browse or list, and then check out our 101 Young Adult Novels website, maybe you will find some fascinating books to read based on your classic preferences.
- The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian by Sherman Alexie
- His Dark Materials by Phillip Pullman
- The Hound of the Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
- The Red-headed League by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
- The Boscombe Valley Mystery by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
- Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift
- The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving
- The Strange Case of Doctor Jekyll and Mr Hyde by R. L. Stevenson
- Tales of Mystery by Edgar Allan Poe
- Dracula by Bram Stoker
- Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë
- Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
- Anne of Green Gables – Anne arrives by L. M. Montgomery
- The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon
- The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
Come back next month for another collection of YA and classics recommendations!