Required Reading Around the World
For many of us, our summer reading lists mark a distinct time in our childhoods where we were able to self-administer a portion of our education (especially if we got to choose). As a reader, this was one of my favorite things about the summer. Not that I was obsessed with school, but it was indulgent almost to have a list in hand when I went to the library to pick them out. Of course, I would always get a few extra.
What we are required to read in our schooling speaks to us as a culture. So many of us Americans had to read The Great Gatsby or To Kill a Mockingbird, and so it’s nice to ask almost anybody (growing up in similar background to myself), what is their opinion on those books? On the other hand, it tells me very openly that I went to a predominantly white school with a focus on white authors. I did read Toni Morrison and Alice Walker much later in high school, but it would have been nice to have a more diversified exposure earlier on.
Had I known some of the high school reading requirements for Ghana, I would’ve dug into it a little deeper before going to university there, and I might have had one extra thing to connect with my classmates on. Alas, reading some things after the fact isn’t hurting anyone either. In fact, quite the opposite. My relationship with the place can deepen as I continue to try and understand the culture even so many years after leaving the country.
I found this article on the TED website: The Books that Students Read in 28 Countries Across the World which lists common required school reading
assignments and helped me add some gems to my own reading list. It’s an awesome list, I encourage you to check it out. What was your most memorable read from school? Submit in the box below, I’d love to hear from you.