Classic Novels in High School English Classes Today
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Classic novels have been assigned in high school English classes since the beginning of the American education system. Many English teachers view classic novels as great literature and continue to assign such novels even though many students find classic novels hard to read and have difficulty relate to the characters and themes. This is because classic novels fulfill the Common Core State Standard requiring students to be aware of the classic allusions that are a part of our culture. Can young adult novels, which teens tend to enjoy more, be used instead of or in addition to classic novels to help students learn to these skills? The results of this review of the research literature show that students read more when assigned young adult novels and will thus learn literary elements more effectively. The research also suggests ideas for teachers that incorporate both classic and young adult novels.