So, I've noticed that many people here are rather less than enthralled with the normal school reading books. So what do you recommend in their place? If you don't mind, explain why it's good for school, not just that it's a good book in general. Here's mine. - Replace The Great Gatsby with One Day in the life of Ivan Denisovich by Alexandr Solzhenitzen The thing about One Day that makes it superior to a surprisingly large number of school reading books is that Ivan's life is about forty bajillion times worse than most of the protagonists we read about in school, and yet his book is far happier in tone. The reason why it would work in a school setting is because it's based off of real life, and teaches us about history. It does this without making kids depressed with life, and shows them how people survive in the thoroughly despairing environ of the Soviet gulag. Also, the book is fairly short and very interesting, making it more likely to actually be read by the students. One of the things Solzhentizen mentions in his other book, The Gulag Archipelago, that people who go through crap are more likely to be happier with free life than those who haven't suffered as much. This is good for teens to learn, and makes them take the crappy times with a lighter heart. It also makes you realize that the people who wrote all those depressing school reading books probably haven't been through that much.