If You Could Only Save Ten...

February 23, 2018

Recently the 9th and 10th grade Language Arts class faced a challenging assignment while studying the classic dystopian Fahrenheit 451 - if you could only save ten books from being destroyed in such a world, which ones would you choose? Their results were interesting and thought-provoking, and prompted me to give it a go myself.

Of course, it is far from easy. Should the books be the ten most important to literature in general, or most precious to me personally? Should they represent various time periods, or genres? Should they be deep and inspiring, or light and comforting? (After all, a world like this would be a frightening place in which to live!) In truth, there are many different "just ten" lists we could make, but for the sake of this discussion, we'll limit the selection to fictional literature that immediately comes to mind. (Let's assume that in this hypothetical situation, someone has already rescued the historical documents and other important texts, such as the Bible.) In that case, here are my ten:

The Iliad by Homer
Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer
Macbeth by Willian Shakespeare
Lord of the Rings  by J.R.R. Tolkien (although technically this is six books, so it's tricky!)
The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
A Wrinkle in Time  by Madeline L'Engle
The Once and Future King   by T.H. White
Pride and Prejudice   by Jane Austen
Peter Rabbit  by Beatrix Potter
Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

Even as I submit these ten, I cringe at the ones left out! Thankfully, our books aren't in such peril, and we don't have to make a choice like this. We do, however, live in a culture that seeks to drown us in noise and mindless entertainment, not unlike the world of Fahrenheit 451, and one way to fight against this is to read! And one place to find great books to read, of course, is our library, where we also have on display - for a limited time - many of the book selections our students made.

What about you? If you could only save ten...which books would you choose? Comment below!

- Mrs. Meester

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