During the busyness of the school year, it's nice to have a week-long break to either relax, finish some assignments, go on a vacation, or even catch up on some reading! To help you get started on your reading during the March break, here are five great books to add to your list.
**This blog contains spoilers.**
1. The Giver by Lois Lowry
Before The Hunger Games and Divergent, The Giver was one of the most popular young-adult dystopian novels. The story is centered on Jonas, who lives in a seemingly utopic community in which “sameness” is applauded, life is lived in black and white, and families and careers are assigned to individuals. When Jonas approaches twelve years of age, he is assigned as the Receiver of Memory. The duty of the Receiver is to store all the memories of the community (such as pain and war, as well as happiness and amusement) before they adapted “Sameness”. The Receiver must store these memories in order to give guidance to the community to prevent them from making past mistakes. However, during Jonas’ training with the current Receiver of Memory, he not only learns of new concepts, such as emotions and color, but also of the harsh truth behind the community’s “utopia”.
2. Life of Pi by Yann Martel
One of my personal favorite novels, Life of Pi describes the story of Piscine Molitor “Pi” Patel, an Indian boy whose family owns a zoo in Pondicherry. When the family decides to move, the animals are sold to other zoos and the family boards a ship to Canada. Unfortunately, a storm hits that leaves Piscine shipwrecked on a lifeboat. After the initial shock, Pi discovers that he survived as well as an unwelcome passenger alongside him, Richard Parker the tiger. Through his time at sea, he uses his perseverance to tame the beast in order to survive. This epic tale discusses the themes of religious belief, storytelling, and surviving through insurmountable odds.
3. Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
Only sixteen years old and just a few days before Christmas break, Holden Caulfield has been expelled from his fourth school, Pencey Preparatory, due to failing all of his classes. This novel follows the days after following his expulsion in which he travels to New York City and confronts friends, teachers, bystanders, and finally his little sister. While Holden doesn't have an idea of where he's going in life, he's told by former teachers about the importance of education and responsibility. Throughout the novel, the theme of alienation and angst is explored, as well as Holden's transition of adolescent towards adulthood.
4. The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
Originally written in French, the Little Prince tells the story of the meeting between the Little Prince and a pilot after his plane crashes in the Sahara desert. The pilot, once an aspiring artist, is asked by the Little Prince to draw him a sheep, and from that friendship blossoms. While the pilot tries to repair his plane, the Little Prince describes to him about life on his home planet (Asteroid B-612), his love for a rose, and his visits to other planets, including other asteroids and Earth. This novel is not to be read superficially, as it is filled with many different metaphors, imagery, and symbols that cause the reader to think beyond what is written.
5. The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton
The Outsiders follows the conflict between two rival gangs, the “Greasers” and the “Socs”. At the beginning of the novel, Ponyboy Curtis (a “Greaser”) is attacked by the “Socs”. Throughout the story, several fights, as well as unlikely friendships occur between the gangs. The classic story of class differences is told in this novel, along with the honorable sacrifice that true friends make for one another.