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Required Reading That You Actually Ended Up Loving

Updated November 21, 2019 49.8k votes 3.6k voters 36.7k views70 items

List RulesVote up the books teachers made you read in school that you actually ended up enjoying.

The start of each school year brings a new round of required reading for students. Not every book speaks to everyone, but at one point over the course of your schooling, the stars align and you're assigned great books that were required reading. We all had weeks in middle school or high school when we primarily relied on Cliff’s Notes to prep us for our reading quizzes, but every once in a while you would actually have time to read the assigned books and maybe you found yourself completely engrossed.

For instance, you may have grumbled about cracking open your copy of The Great Gatsby, but after those first few chapters, you found yourself captivated by the destructive decadence of the era and the mystery surrounding Jay Gatsby and his past.

You knew To Kill a Mockingbird was an important book, but until you read it, you never realized how culturally relevant it was - not until you read words like, “You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view. Until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it.”

While The Great Gatsby and To Kill a Mockingbird might not be a the top of your list of required reading books you enjoyed, one of the many books listed below might.

You can also find movies based on these book on this list of the best 8th-grade book adaptations.

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    The Lion, the Witch and the Wa is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Required Reading That You Actually Ended Up Loving
    The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is a high fantasy novel for children by C. S. Lewis,... moreamazon buy button
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    To Kill a Mockingbird is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Required Reading That You Actually Ended Up Loving
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    To Kill a Mockingbird is a novel by Harper Lee published in 1960. It was immediately... moreamazon buy button
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    The Outsiders is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Required Reading That You Actually Ended Up Loving
    1,114
    263

    The Outsiders

    S. E. Hinton
    The Outsiders is a coming-of-age novel by S. E. Hinton, first published in 1967 by Viking... moreamazon buy button

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    The Hobbit is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Required Reading That You Actually Ended Up Loving
    1,140
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    The Hobbit

    J. R. R. Tolkien
    The Hobbit, or There and Back Again is a fantasy novel and children's book by English author... moreamazon buy button
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    Nineteen Eighty-Four is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list Required Reading That You Actually Ended Up Loving
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    Nineteen Eighty-Four, sometimes published as 1984, is a dystopian novel by English author... moreamazon buy button
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    Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list Required Reading That You Actually Ended Up Loving
    Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is a novel by Mark Twain, first published in the United Kingdom... moreamazon buy button
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  • 7
    Animal Farm is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list Required Reading That You Actually Ended Up Loving
    949
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    Animal Farm

    George Orwell
    Animal Farm is an allegorical and dystopian novella by George Orwell, first published in... moreamazon buy button

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    #2 of 704 Books That Changed Your Life#37 of 94 The Best Books for Teens

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    Of Mice and Men is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list Required Reading That You Actually Ended Up Loving
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    Of Mice and Men

    John Steinbeck
    Of Mice and Men is a novella written by Nobel Prize–winning author John Steinbeck. Published... moreamazon buy button
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    The Adventures of Tom Sawyer is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list Required Reading That You Actually Ended Up Loving
    The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain is an 1876 novel about a young boy growing up along... moreamazon buy button
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  • 10
    The Giver is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list Required Reading That You Actually Ended Up Loving
    893
    292

    The Giver

    Lois Lowry
    The Giver is a 1993 American social science fiction children's novel by Lois Lowry. It is set... moreamazon buy button
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    Macbeth is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list Required Reading That You Actually Ended Up Loving
    753
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    Macbeth

    William Shakespeare
    Macbeth is a tragedy written by William Shakespeare, and is considered one of his darkest and... moreamazon buy button
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    Where the Red Fern Grows is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list Required Reading That You Actually Ended Up Loving
    698
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    Where the Red Fern Grows is a 1961 children's novel by Wilson Rawls about a boy who buys and... moreamazon buy button
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  • 13
    Fahrenheit 451 is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list Required Reading That You Actually Ended Up Loving
    816
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    Fahrenheit 451

    Ray Bradbury
    Fahrenheit 451 is a dystopian novel by Ray Bradbury published in 1953. It is regarded as one... moreamazon buy button
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  • 14
    Holes is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list Required Reading That You Actually Ended Up Loving
    689
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    Holes

    Louis Sachar
    Holes is a 1997 young adult novel written by Louis Sachar and first published by Farrar,... moreamazon buy button

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    #10 of 16 The Saddest Deaths In Children's Books We're Still Not Over#26 of 37 The Best Items You Could Buy At The Scholastic Book Fair

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    Jane Eyre is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list Required Reading That You Actually Ended Up Loving
    679
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    Jane Eyre

    Charlotte Brontë
    Jane Eyre is a novel by English writer Charlotte Brontë. It was published on 16 October 1847... moreamazon buy button
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    Little Women is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list Required Reading That You Actually Ended Up Loving
    813
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    Little Women

    Louisa May Alcott
    Little Women is a novel by American author Louisa May Alcott, which was originally published... moreamazon buy button

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    The Great Gatsby is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list Required Reading That You Actually Ended Up Loving
    997
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    The Great Gatsby

    F. Scott Fitzgerald
    The Great Gatsby is a 1925 novel written by American author F. Scott Fitzgerald that follows a... moreamazon buy button
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  • 18
    Frankenstein is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list Required Reading That You Actually Ended Up Loving
    572
    182

    Frankenstein

    Mary Shelley
    Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus, is a novel written by English author Mary Shelley... moreamazon buy button

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    #5 of 179 The Greatest Science Fiction Novels of All Time#39 of 186 The Scariest Horror Books of All Time

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  • 19
    Hamlet is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list Required Reading That You Actually Ended Up Loving
    678
    196

    Hamlet

    William Shakespeare
    The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, often shortened to Hamlet, is a tragedy written by... moreamazon buy button
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    The Odyssey is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list Required Reading That You Actually Ended Up Loving
    657
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    The Odyssey is one of two major ancient Greek epic poems attributed to Homer. It is, in part,... moreamazon buy button
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    The Diary of a Young Girl is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list Required Reading That You Actually Ended Up Loving
    The Diary of a Young Girl is a book of the writings from the Dutch language diary kept by Anne... moreamazon buy button
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    A Midsummer Night's Dream is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list Required Reading That You Actually Ended Up Loving
    583
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    A Midsummer Night's Dream

    William Shakespeare
    A Midsummer Night's Dream is a comedy play by William Shakespeare, believed to have been... moreamazon buy button
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    A Wrinkle in Time is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list Required Reading That You Actually Ended Up Loving
    623
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    A Wrinkle in Time

    Madeleine L'Engle
    A Wrinkle in Time is a science fantasy novel by American writer Madeleine L'Engle, first... moreamazon buy button
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    Pride and Prejudice is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list Required Reading That You Actually Ended Up Loving
    752
    297
    Pride and Prejudice is a novel of manners by Jane Austen, first published in 1813. The story... moreamazon buy button

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    #16 of 171 35+ Books Everybody Lies About Having Read#5 of 1,233 The Best Novels Ever Written

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    Lord of the Flies is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list Required Reading That You Actually Ended Up Loving
    838
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    Lord of the Flies

    William Golding
    Lord of the Flies is a 1954 dystopian novel by Nobel Prize-winning English author William... moreamazon buy button
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