Friday, April 27, 2012

Day 13: A book that should be on every hs/college reading list

based on the debate that occurred with my very first post, I want to adapt today's prompt to "A book you think every American should read" Here is mine:

In my opinion, this is the greatest American novel. No other writer comes close to the masterpiece that Twain created. He perfectly captures life on the Antebellum Mississippi.  It is a snapshot of who we were, and in some ways, who we still are. It isn't just about a boy helping a runaway slave. Twain weaves in themes of friendship, loyalty, the loss of innocence, the danger of ignorance, and much much more.

To this day, it is a controversial book. Twain's honest use of the language of the time, means that many teachers, schools and districts are choosing not to teach it. Personally, I find this to be wrong. You cannot white wash history. People used, and still use, the "N" word, they treated, and still treat, people of other races, creeds or lifestyles poorly, and literature is a powerful tool in educating teens about these issues. I am saddened that some schools and teachers turn from it not because of contreversy, but because they see the syntax as too difficult for students to understand.

Great literature is a mirror that we hold up to ourselves. Over 100 years after it was written, Huck Finn still speaks to America. It has influenced countless authors.Many of the other books that could compete for "greatest American novel" were written by men who have cited it as an inspiration. It was one of Steinbeck's favorite books. I am begging you to read it. Read it!!!!!

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