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Teen Board Question - September 2016

Teen Board Monthly Question

Teen Board Question - September 2016

It’s back-to-school season here at Teenreads, so we decided to ask our new Teen Board Members about the best book they were assigned to read during a recent school year. As a bonus, we also asked what fall release each member was most excited to read outside of school and their methods for juggling assigned reading with personal reading. Read Below to see their answers!

Two of my favorite books I've read for school are "Romeo and Juliet" and TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD. Overall, I'm not a huge fan of assigned readings, so they tend to take a back seat to what I'm reading for pleasure/review. One of my most anticipated fall releases (EMPIRE OF STORMS) has already come out, but otherwise, I'm looking forward to LIKE A RIVER GLORIOUS by Rae Carson, THE HAMMER OF THOR by Rick Riordan, THE LOVELY RECKLESS by Kami Garcia, TALES FROM THE SHADOWHUNTER ACADEMY, and MIND GAMES by Heather W. Petty! --- Isabel C.

The best book I've read recently in school was ANIMAL FARM by George Orwell. I did not expect to like it as much as I did, but all of the metaphors and animalistic representations of some of my favorite historical figures won me over. This fall, though, outside of the confines of high school, I am most excited to read EMPIRE OF STORMS by Sarah J. Maas. This is probably a common answer, but it is for a reason. Sarah J. Maas just keeps getting better and better with each new release, and I am all for it. As to how I juggle outside reading and reading for school, I tend to ignore the school reading assignments until the absolutely last minute. It's a good thing I'm a fast reader. --- Bryn D.

The best book that I've ever read in school probably has to be A TALE OF TWO CITIES by Charles Dickens. When I first started reading the book I didn't care for it too much but as soon as I got the end the book quite literally stole my heart. Over the past four years I've read it multiple times and it is one of my favorite books. As to which fall release that I am most excited to read outside of school, EMPIRE OF STORMS is obviously my most anticipated read. I've been reading Throne of Glass since the beginning and as soon as I finish my required (by myself) re-read of the series, I'm going to lock myself in my room and read it as fast as humanly possible. --- Zoe I.

Reading books in school is a lot like trying new foods: you love some, and others make you want to gag. Throughout my years of school, I have had my fair share of both ends of the spectrum, but recently I struck the ice cream sundae of school books: TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD by Harper Lee. This book was wonderful, with very immersive storytelling from a child's perspective who has the language of an adult. Unlike most books in school, it was not boring, but still taught some valuable lessons that let me write some great essays. Although some books in school may be good, I'm really looking forward to CROOKED KINGDOM by Leigh Bardugo to read in my free time. It is the second book in the Six of Crows series, and I can't wait to read it! It takes me quite a bit longer to read in school then the summer, but I try to cram some pleasure-reading in wherever and whenever I can. --- Caitlyn K.

The best book I have been assigned to read for school was A TALE OF TWO CITIES, which I read as part of my junior year literature course. I am a very emotional reader, and I ended up sitting in my room at 4 AM in the morning sobbing because I had finished the novel! The fall release I am most excited to read is EMPIRE OF STORMS by Sarah J. Maas! As for juggling assigned reading with personal reading, it can get very difficult. I generally save all my personal reading for weekends because once I begin reading a book I do not put it down until I finish it! --- Kate F.

The best book I was assigned to read during a recent school year was THE IMMORTAL LIFE OF HENRIETTA LACKS by Rebecca Skloot. As someone who enjoys most things related to science, I found THE IMMORTAL LIFE OF HENRIETTA LACKS to be the most engaging book that we were assigned last year. I was astonished by how one person’s cells could be taken without asking and how those cells could be used for research worldwide.  The story flows like a good detective novel. I am excited about reading GIRL ON THE PLANE by Miriam Moss. Having recently read EXTREMELY LOUD AND INCREDIBLY CLOSE by Jonathan SafranFoer, I have been thinking a great deal about how acts of terrorism have occurred over time, and GIRL ON THE PLANE illustrates one of these events during the late 20th century. I think seeing the hijacking from the girl’s point of view (away from her family at a boarding school) will give the story an interesting shape. --- Alizé J.

The best book I was assigned to read for school was definitely WHEN BOOKS WENT TO WAR: The Stories that Helped Us Win WWII by Molly Guptill Manning. This was a great nonfiction book about sending books to soldiers during WWII, and I thought it was very interesting to see the relationship between the soldiers and the authors of specific books that they enjoyed. The fall release I'm most excited for is THE DIABOLIC by SJ Kincaid because fall is definitely my favorite time to read dystopian novels and the cover is just gorgeous! But, obviously I will still have to do some reading for school, so usually I like to denote an hour to reading what I want during the week just to relieve some stress or take a break from studying. --- Harleen K.

The best book I was ever assigned for an English class was THE PRINCESS BRIDE. I was initially somewhat interested in the book, especially because I had never heard of it,  but once I started reading, I absolutely loved it! The satire was so unique, and made the story so interesting to read. I really looked forward to doing school reading every night! I liked it so much that I even started reading ahead of schedule for the class. I'm probably most excited for the release of THE SUN IS ALSO A STAR by Nicola Yoon, which comes out in early November. It sounds like a quick and cute read, but also one full of meaningful lessons. I saw it on Goodreads, and I'm excited to see if it's as good as the reviews say it is! Hopefully I'll have some time to read this fall --- it's hard to find time to read during the school year, but I can usually sneak in a couple hours of choice reading on the weekends. Sometimes I'll start reading on a weeknight (against my better judgement) and I end up not getting anything done that night, which means double the homework the next night --- but it's usually worth it for a good book! --- Rachel R.

I think the assigned summer reading I enjoyed the most was THE GRAPES OF WRATH by John Steinbeck because I was able to really examine it and get credit for doing so. I'm not really into classics but because of that book I might strive to read more. The book I'm most excited for is NUTSHELL: A Novel by Ian McEwan. The idea of it is very intriguing to me and his other books look interesting too. I'll definitely buy it. I usually switch from assigned reading and personal reading every couple of hours. There's an automatic timer in my head that tells me it's time to switch even if I don't want to. --- Flor H.

Over the summer, for IB English HL, we were given a list of books to pick one from. The one I chose was PLEASE LOOK AFTER MOM by Kyung-Sook Shin. I think this book choice was one of the bests because it was easy to relate to it. The story is about 69 year old So-nyo being separated at Seoul subway station and is told through the perspectives of a daughter, son, husband and the mother, herself. The different perspectives, the desperate search and the sorrows are truly what makes this book a universal story about family love and leaves you wondering how well do you know your mother. Besides assigned reading, I also enjoy reading outside of school. A book I am excited for the release is A SONG TO TAKE THE WORLD APART by Zan Romanoff. It's a story about growing up, uncovering family secrets, finding love and learning to let go. Although it seems hard to find time to read outside of school due to all the homework and extracurricular activities, I find that my passion is truly what leads me to find time; whether it is during class when I have free time or 30 mins before I actually need to get to bed to atleast get 5 hours of sleep:) --- Nikita V.

The best book that I have been assigned to read in past school years would definitely be my seventh grade required reading, DIVERGENT by Veronica Roth. It was one of the first Young Adult books that I have read and it truly got me into the passion I have for reading today. As far as my most anticipated fall release goes, I have to say BEAST by Brie Spangler. It pretty much had me hooked from the get-go once I found out it was a Beauty and the Beast retelling and honestly, I haven’t yet mastered the skill of how to juggle assigned reading with personal reading. My only tip is to just be optimistic and not put too much of high expectations into the novel in case you end up not liking it. --- Taylor F.

The best book I’ve been assigned to read is WARRIORS DON’T CRY: A Searing Memoir of the Battle to Integrate Little Rock’s Central High by Melba Pattillo Beals for my history class last year. It was a memoir from one of the Little Rock Nine, talking about her experience. The whole novel was eye-opening and just an amazing and impacting read that I recommend to everyone. The fall release that I’m most excited to read is CROOKED KINGDOM by Leigh Bardugo. I picked up SIX OF CROWS last year on a whim and fell in love with it so I’m super excited to finally read the sequel! Usually I balance assigned and personal reading by focusing on assigned during the weeknights and personal during weekends. But if there’s a major release coming out, I’ll plan ahead. For example, last year I read a week in advance of my assigned reading just so I could only focus on reading LADY MIDNIGHT by Cassandra Clare as soon as it came out. Worth it! --- Brynn S.

The best book I've ever had to read for school is probably THE GIVER by Louis Lowry. I'm super excited for the novel HEARTLESS by Marissa Meyer. In order to juggle reading for school and for pleasure I plan to read my school books early, finish all the work then have plenty of time to read books for pleasure. --- Carolyn C.

I discovered my FAVORITE classic of all time, FRANKENSTEIN by Mary Shelley, through a school reading assignment. I've now read the book three times. All credit to my English teacher! --- Aliza M.

Both of my favorite school reads have animals as main characters, and both I read sophomore year. The first one was ANIMAL FARM by George Orwell, and the second one is THE COMPLETE MAUS by Art Spiegleman, which both explored the extent of affect dictatorship can have on citizens. Except, in these, animals represented humans, and different animals represented different heritages. I felt that the use of animals was a great way to approach dictatorship, which is hard to address.  But, while those were great, I still like reading books that I choose. I try to allow myself to read 30 pages of a book I enjoy before I start doing my homework, and I read a ton on the weekend. This month I am looking forward to the release of OUR CHEMICAL HEARTS by Kyrstal Sutherland, which sound like a really nice quirky romance. --- Reanna H.

The best book I was assigned to read during a recent school had to have been NIGHT by Elie Wiesel. Although it was rather depressing at times, it was a wonderful story and gave you a first person view of the way Jewish people were treated during World War II. I highly recommend it. This fall I am most excited to read THE FEVER CODE by James Dashner. The first four books of The Maze Runner series were phenomenal and I cannot wait to read the fifth book. The way I juggle assigned reading with personal reading probably isn't the best way to go about things, but it works for me. I read my personal book in my free time and most nights. I read the assigned chapters the night before the day they are suppose to be read by. Like I said, not the smartest thing to do, but I manage. --- Ashley D.

Most of the books I have to read for school are classics, and I’ve fallen in love with classic literature like TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD and THE COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO, to name a few. Last year, however, I had to read THE THINGS THEY CARRIED for English, which is newer than my typical reading assignments. I loved the unique perspective on war that THE THINGS THEY CARRIED offered, along with the idea that truth may vary between one beholder and to another. Right now, I’m really looking forward to the release of HEARTLESS by Marissa Meyer, as I love fairytale spin-offs (like A COURT OF THORNS AND ROSES by Sarah J. Maas and THE WRATH & THE DAWN by Renée Ahdieh – both of which I’d recommend to teen readers). I try to read for at least half an hour every night on weekdays and spend hours reading on weekends to be able to juggle school with personal reading! --- Niraja S.

The best book I have been assigned to read during a recent school year was TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD by Harper Lee. I love this book and it has one of the best endings in my opinion. The book that I am most excited to read outside of school is CROOKED KINGDOM by Leigh Bardugo! --- Rebecca D.

One of my most memorable school assigned reads is BRAVE NEW WORLD by Aldous Huxley. This sci-fi dystopian (and the essay that I was assigned alongside it) made me question the definition of the "perfect society". It introduces us to conditioned happiness in which people are taught from a young age to just be happy and content doing whatever it is they do. A way my teacher explained it was, would you want an 'A' if everyone else also got an 'A'?  Some of us would argue no, that because only a few get A's is what makes the letter grade so special and if you were to give everyone the same grade regardless of the individual effort, then that would destroy the entire point of the grade. Other argued that they wouldn't mind getting the letter grade the same as everyone else if as long as it still meant that they got the highest grade possible. That way everyone is succeeding and happy right?  The latter would be an example of artificial happiness that Huxley demonstrates in his novel. I think that a lot more people would be willing to enter said happiness, than those who are willing to admit it aloud. Reading it made me come with an entirely new appreciation for the faults that we humans have. It was a great novel and I am happy that it was a required reading. This upcoming Fall  I am most excited to read GEMINA (The Illuminae Files #2). I listened to the audiobook of The Illuminae Files during the summer and absolutely loved it. There were so many different types of narrators and it made the story so much more exciting!  It definitely exceeded my expectations.  Not only was the audiobook great, but the actual novel was told through emails, transcripts, reports and a whole bunch of other creative formats.  It was action-packed and caused me a few days of sleep deprivation, but all the best books do!  I cannot wait for the second book in the trilogy, I am basically counting down the days. --- Sabina Z.

I liked reading THE OUTSIDERS by S.E. Hinton, which I read in 8th grade. It was very interesting and it gave a moving view of the two gangs, the Greasers and the Socs. I loved each powerful character in the book, such as Pony Boy Curtis and Dally. It also delivers a powerful message of honor, sacrifice and standing up for family.  I'm very excited to read THE FEVER CODE by James Dashner, because I am a big fan of The Maze Runner series. I prefer personal reading over assigned reading, however for THE OUTSIDERS, it was a leisure activity for me since I enjoyed it so much. --- Jeremy H.

I think the last book that I had to read for school that I really enjoyed was THE OUTSIDERS by S.E. Hinton in seventh grade. I usually do not like the books that I am required to read because they are usually not the genres that I enjoy. A fall release that I am anxiously waiting for is GEMINA by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff. Sometimes I find it difficult to balance assigned reading and personal reading. I manage this by prioritizing the books that I am required to read. I normally give myself the weekend to read what I want to read, and during the week I mostly read what I have to read. --- Grace P.

The best assigned book I've read in a recent year has to be "Romeo & Juliet" by William Shakespeare. Although it's a story everyone generally knows about, it was fun to actually read, analyze and act it out. I usually treat assigned reading like homework. I'll take about 30 minutes each day to read, and whenever I have free time that's when I'll read my personal reading book. The fall release I'm most excited about is SWARM by Scott Westerfeld, Margo Lanagan, and Deborah Biancotti. I've been anticipating this sequel ever since I read the first book, ZEROES, last year. --- Asia H.

Actually a long time ago when I was in 8th grade I read THE GIVER by Lois Lowry, which was assigned and I actually enjoyed that assigned reading a lot. When I was in 7th grade I was assigned AND THEN THERE WERE NONE by Agatha Christie which I absolutely loved. I think that the best way to balance assigned reading and personal reading is to unwind with a book that you are reading for fun, at night. If you have any free time in school such as a break between your classes or study hall or if you finish something early then that’s a good time to start reading your book. When I am overwhelmed with homework and I need to take a break reading a book helps me to refresh and get focused. And the fall release I am most excited for is the illustrated version of HARRY POTTER AND THE CHAMBER OF SECRETS by J.K. Rowling! --- Shannon C.

My favorite book that I was assigned to read  in class was a book called NIGHT, which is a non-fiction experience of being held in a concentration camp during World War 2. While this may sound very morbid of me to say it's my favorite, I really enjoyed how the author, Elie Wiesel, told his story. His use of descriptive words portrayed the scene so realistic I felt as if I was there. I felt his emotions as he dealt with the hardships of the camps. It was one of the most powerful books I have ever read and continues to blow my mind that thousands of people had to live through the same situations. I'm excited to read a book called KEEP HER by Leora Krygier. It is a spin on the classic teen romance novels, that sounds super interesting and new. I am able to balance need for some good reading time and school through the power of lots of free time. I enjoy my down time before I turn in for the night. I make sure to do all my homework as soon as I can so I can have as much time as I can to do my favorite hobbies, which includes reading. Without this balance of school and relaxing, I would go bonkers. Reading helps calm my crazy life. --- McKenzie S.

One of the best books that I was assigned to read during a school year was SAVVY by Ingrid Law. I loved it so much that I completed a project and wrote two book reports on it. I loved this book because it had the perfect blend of surrealism, humor, family, and of course, romance. Outside of school, I'm most excited to read UNITED by Melissa Landers as I have been following the Alienated Series for a while now, and it's always interesting to see a new book come out. I love this series because it blends fantasy, adventure and romance beautifully. As for juggling my school reading with my own personal reading, I try to balance these two by rewarding myself by reading for pleasure after I read what is assigned to me. However, I usually end up taking an interest in my assigned reading and I'm rewarded twice --- once with my assigned reading and once with my reading for pleasure! --- Vaishnavi S.

In the past, my schools haven’t assigned reading. But this year, we’re supposed to start reading in class, classics such as TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD and “Romeo and Juliet,” both of which I’m excited to read. The book I’m most excited to get that comes out this fall has got to be THE HAMMER OF THOR, book two in Rick Riordan’s Norse Mythology series. October 4th, here I come. --- Rebecca N.

Assigned reading might seem boring at times, so I focus on the good points of the story, and try the make it as interesting as possible. So far, I’ve read a lot of good ones, but my favorite would have to be THE HOBBIT by J. R. R. Tolkien. It was one of those books that I’d always wanted to read, but kept pushing it back as I found new books, and it being assigned in class gave me a reason to read it. Outside of school, there are so many fantastic books coming out this fall and I’m so excited to read them, but I’m probably looking forward to EMPIRE OF STORMS by Sarah J. Maas the most. Although I have a lot of assigned reading, as well as school work, I somehow always manage to fit in personal reading books, like EMPIRE OF STORMS. To do so, is set away my phone, other books or any type of distraction and focus on just my school reading. This allows me to finish it quickly, so I can still have time for my own personal books. --- Jessica K.

One of my all time favorite classics that I have been required to read in school so far is TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD by Harper Lee. I really enjoyed the characters and the way that important themes, such as racial discrimination, were discussed throughout the plot. It was very well written and I definitely recommend it to anyone who hasn't read it yet. I am most excited to read EMPIRE OF STORMS by Sarah J. Maas this fall. I actually already have it so it's all about finding time to read it now. I find that time by always setting aside at least five minutes before I go to sleep to pick up a good book and read for pleasure. In the midst of essays and required reading, that is definitely a breath of fresh air. --- Danielle F.

My favorite school-assigned book was definitely LORD OF THE FLIES by William Golding which we read last year. I found it more exciting than the typical assigned book & enjoyed delving into the themes. I'm excited to read the new HARRY POTTER AND THE CURSED CHILD by J.K. Rowling. I balance school reading with pleasure reading by always making sure I get my school reading done first and then enjoy being able to jump into a book I want to read once I finish with it. --- Maggie L.

Recently I read THE BOOK THIEF by Markus Zusak for English class.  Not only was this book the best school book I read, but one of my personal favorite books of all time. Zusak was able to incorporate historical events and facts into a well written story narrated by Death, who describes life and destruction during World War II. This novel opened my eyes to German society during WWII, revealing horrifying discrimination through a first hand experience. This Fall, I am looking forward to reading DIPLOMATIC IMMUNITY by Brodi Ashton. This novel centers around Piper Baird who decides to write an exposé on over privileged kids for her elite journalism high school, Chiswick Academy. Piper centers her story around Rafael, a son of an affluent ambassador, who she initially wants to gather information from, but ends up falling in love with. As an aspiring writer myself, this novel intrigues me as the main character is a writer and I cannot wait to get my hands on a copy! Now that school has commenced, I will have to balance reading this novel with homework, which is always a challenge. But, I will find it do-able by giving myself a couple study breaks a night to read a chapter or two or making time on the weekends to read for pleasure. Whether this be in the mornings during breakfast, a break from homework or activities in the late afternoon or at night before I fall asleep, I always manage my schedule so that I have time to read for pleasure in addition to my assigned reading. --- Ryan H.

My favorite assigned reading has got to be PRIDE AND PREJUDICE. I'm reading it right now for my A Level English class and it is so interesting, and way easier to read than most writing I've read from that time era (I totally thought I would be lost with the vocabulary)!. The fall release I'm most excited for is Marissa's Meyer HEARTLESS. I've heard a lot of good things about Meyer as an author, so I definitely want to get my hands on a copy as soon as it comes out! --- Rachel D.

My favorite book that I was assigned to read is TUCK EVERLASTING by Natalie Babbitt. It was a super cute and light-hearted story that included some very lovable characters! On top of my assigned reading, I am looking forward to reading CROOKED KINGDOM by Leigh Bardugo which comes out this fall. I read SIX OF CROWS over the summer, and I absolutely loved it, so I can’t wait to see how Bardugo wraps up another wonderful series. Keeping up with assigned reading while also keeping up with the latest releases can be a challenge! I always try to get my assigned reading out of the way as soon as possible, so I have plenty of time for personal reads. --- Makayla H.

By far my favorite book I have read for school was ENDER'S GAME by Orson Scott Card. I usually do not have trouble balancing school and personal reading because I never feel pressured to finish books I am only reading for fun, which is why I am definitely ready to read CROOKED KINGDOM by Leigh Bardugo this fall! --- Kaela N.

For me, the very idea of assigned reading can make a book seem more like a task than something enjoyable. Sometimes, though, assigned reading has led me to amazing novels that I never would have read otherwise! In fact, I found my favorite book through my freshman year teacher --- LIFE OF PI by Yann Martel. It was an intimidating read that I likely wouldn’t have picked up on my own, but I would say that it is one of the most incredible stories I’ve ever read. Similarly, assigned books have opened my eyes to new perspectives and concepts, pushed me to think differently, and challenged my understanding of certain subjects. THE COLLECTOR by John Fowles is another favorite book I found through required reading. Outside of school, I am eagerly awaiting the release of HEARTLESS, the newest novel by Marissa Meyer, author of The Lunar Chronicles series. I'm sure that the magic and adventure present in those books will carry over effortlessly into this newest venture of hers. --- Laura T.

The best book I was assigned to read in a recent school year was “Romeo and Juliet.” Although I had heard the story many times, I'd never actually read the play from start to finish. I'll always remember reading this classic love story in my English class as a freshman, especially considering I'm named after one of the characters! I'm looking forward to several fall releases, including INTERFERENCE, by Kay Honeyman and SOMETHING IN BETWEEN by Melissa de la Cruz. I hope to see the reviews on teenreads.com! It'll definitely be hard to juggle assigned reading with personal reading since I've recently started school. I'm reading Shakespeare's “Hamlet” in English class right now, but I'm planning to save some time each weekend to read books that interest me. --- Juliette G.

My favorite assigned reading has got to be ANIMAL FARM by George Orwell.  A solid 4 stars for sure.  One of the many great things about ANIMAL FARM is that it is so universal.  You could put that story in any timeline past, present or future and it would still be relevant.  One of the few classics (in my opinion) that truly deserves the title classic.  As for my most anticipated fall release thus far would have to be THE FORGETTING by Sharon Cameron. --- Rachel A.

I will forever remain grateful to my English teacher for assigning our class “Hamlet” over the summer. I, like every student who has summer homework, waited till the last possible second to read it but when I did, my world shifted on its axis. In Hamlet (the character), I found myself and my soulmate. I felt like Hamlet and I were the same person and my greatest source of misery that summer was the fact that he would never be real. My infatuation with Hamlet got so real that even some of my classmates acknowledge that I have dibs over Hamlet. Outside reading is not easy to do during school, especially when you're a senior. However, I sneak in a little reading of something light every week. This is usually when I am eating or right before I go to bed but I think it is very important to spend a little time reading for your own pleasure. --- Pranshu A.

I loved THE GREAT GATSBY by F. Scott Fitzgerald, but THE KITE RUNNER by Khaled Hosseini is a close second. Both stories are so different in their own ways, but each has compelling plots, well developed characters, and important messages. The fall release I'm most excited for is  HOLDING UP THE UNIVERSE by Jennifer Niven. I read ALL THE BRIGHT PLACES and it is one of my favorite YA contemporaries, so I'm excited to see what else she has in store! One thing I found extremely helpful when reading during a school year is to read before going to bed. If there is no other time to read during the day, I make sure to have time in the night. I try to read at least a chapter before going to sleep, in order to make sure I'm making at least a little progress. --- Hannah C.

This is not a book from a recent school year, but in eighth grade, our teacher read us passages from THE TIGER RISING by Kate DiCamillo. Even though it is a book aimed toward younger readers, it tugged on my heartstrings and still affects me to this day. My most anticipated fall release is BLACK WIDOW: RED VENGEANCE by Margaret Stohl. For personal, fun reading like that book, I sometimes have to make myself a deal when my assigned reading gets in the way. If I read a certain amount of pages for my assigned reading, I can also read a certain amount of pages from my personal book. It doesn't always work, but it allows me to read both books at the same time, and still enjoy each of them! --- Sheridan N.

The best book I was assigned to read during a recent school year would most likely be TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD by Harper Lee. Unlike other books I have read as an assignment, I was actually really intrigued by the content and the characters in this novel. Through this story, I learned more about how discrimination played an important role in during the Great Depression and the lifestyles of people who lived during that time period. My most anticipated read this fall would definitely be EMPIRE OF STORMS by Sarah J Maas. Even though it has already been released, I haven't had the chance to pick it up yet, due to my busy schedule. When it comes to juggling assigned reading and personal reading, it is important to prioritize your tasks and make sure to find time for both. I usually try to finish my assigned readings first so that I have the rest of the time to fully immerse myself in the book that I want to read. --- Kaleigh L.

The best assigned book I have read was WHALE TALK by Christopher Crutcher. It was captivating throughout the plot and it provided thorough development of all of the major characters. This fall, I am most excited to read THE LOST AND THE FOUND by Cat Clarke. Her newest novel looks to be a promising tale featuring the heartwarming story of a missing girl found after thirteen years. To balance assigned reading with personal reading, I typically do my assigned reading first to keep up with class discussions. If I have additional free time it is devoted to personal reading. --- Emily G.

My favorite book that I was assigned to read last year was THE OUTSIDERS. I had read this book previously but enjoyed it just as much the second time. I think my most anticipated fall release would be EMPIRE OF STORMS by Sarah J Maas. I actually bought it a few days ago but haven't had the chance to read it yet. Assigned reading and personal reading have never been a problem for me. I try to go into every book with an open mind and find that assigned reading is not all that different from reading for pleasure. --- Alanna B.

My school doesn't really do much assigned reading, but my favorite book that I've read in class would definitely be PAPERQUAKE: A Puzzle by Kathryn Reiss! I found it almost impossible to put down, and I ended up reading the whole book before lunch because it was so good! I think that the books I'm most excited for this fall are HEARTLESS by Marissa Meyer and TALES FROM THE SHADOWHUNTER ACADEMY by Cassandra Clare. I loved the Lunar Chronicles and I am definitely excited to read a twist on Alice in Wonderland, which is one of my favorite Disney movies. The Shadowhunter world is one that I just can't get enough of and after meeting Cassandra in the spring I am even more excited for another short story collection! --- Breck G.

The best book I was assigned to read during the school year was GRAPES OF WRATH by John Steinbeck. There's not really a specific book that I'm excited to read for this fall (I honestly don't keep up with new releases unless I stumble upon one); but, I juggle my assigned reading and personal reading by only reading assigned books during the weekdays and only reading my personal book during the weekends. --- Alyssa L.

I don't typically like school reading. More often than not, the books bore me. I get tired of having to read certain chapters by certain times. The schedules prevent me from just reading it all --- and promptly forgetting every single plot point. Honestly, I'd be fine with choosing your own book and reading at your own pace, but many people would just never read the book and get a 0. Two years ago, I did read UNWIND by Neal Shusterman. Which wasn't too bad. The first time I read it, it was just meh, and reading it for school didn't improve the book. On the other hand, it's much better than FAHRENHEIT 451 or THE LORD OF FLIES. Those old books drive me insane. The books are walking metaphors, and my mind can't wrap itself around the basic concept. I can't stand them. On a lighter note, CROOKED KINGDOM by Leigh Bardugo is coming! It's very exciting. I loved SIX OF CROWS so much, and I can't wait to revisit that wonderful world again. It's going to be amazing. --- Wren L.

I have to say my favorite book I've been assigned to read was BRAVE NEW WORLD By Aldous Huxley. I thought it was an interesting dystopia and a very real example of what could happen to our world if we start to obsess over conforming to society. The book I'm most excited to read outside of school has to be the new CROOKED KINGDOM in the Six of Crows series. I'm a huge fan of Leigh Bardugo, so I can't wait to see what the second book will bring the table. When it comes to juggling outside reading and school reading, I just try to balance my time wisely. When it comes to the school reading, I might split up the chapters into one per night across a whole week. But, then I'll spend the rest of my night reading my personal book. --- Linnea P.