I was watching the news this morning and this question was presented and argued by two school "official" type people. Should middle and high school students continue to be forced to read "the classics" or should they be allowed to read more modern works of their choosing? I think the "classics" should be held off until either the last year of high school or even until college level. However, I don't think students should have full freedom in choice. I think teachers should read books over the summer, modern books, popular books, and then make up a list of reading for the school year. There are plenty of more modern books that have abundant value and should be explored. They are books that the kids can relate to, can understand, and are more likely to actually read, rather than cheat their way through tests. While Shakespeare and Dickens have their place in literature, why just because they were written long ago do they automatically have more value than modern books? For me the "classics" are great to read at bed time because a few pages and you're out like a light. They're boring. Plain and simple. The language is not how we speak anymore and often take many readings of a single sentence to even understand it. Modern work has value. On the other hand there is plenty of modern work that doesn't have much value when it comes to language and writing style. Which is why I think it should be structured by the teachers not by the students free choice. What are you thoughts on this?