The Results are In….

From seventh through twelfth grade we have read countless novels and short stories during our Reading and English classes. I have always wondered what the best book we ever read in school was, but because that’s too much of an opinionated question, I looked to find out as a member of the Class of 2021, what is the best book we read from 7th to 12th grade?

Now, as easy as it sounds to list every single novel, short story, play, and poem we ever read in our classes, that number seemed far too difficult to count. So instead I found a way to include all the students in the high school in my little experiment. I sent out a Google form survey to each grade asking them what their favorite book they read this year was. To my surprise, each grade brought a terrific amount of responses for me to build an article. 

None of the students have heard any responses as to which novel won, so here I have the 7-11 winners. 

  • Seventh grade- a tie between Fever 1793 and Unbroken
  • Eighth grade- with a 46% vote, The Outsiders
  • Ninth grade- a tie between The Outsiders and Tuesdays With Morrie
  • Tenth grade- Antigone
  • Eleventh grade- with 36/49 votes, The Great Gatsby

Now, you may be wondering where the twelfth grade voting is. Well, to find out the best novel, I took these responses from grades 7-11 and had the senior class vote from the winners. It was truly exciting to see how the votes teetered back and forth from one novel to the next. And so, the winner of the Neshannock Novel Survey of 2021 is…

¨The Outsiders!¨ 

This is a classic book by author S. E. Hinton and it is also well known because of the film based on its story by director Francis Ford Coppola. The summary of the story is included below:

A teen gang in rural Oklahoma, the Greasers are perpetually at odds with the Socials, a rival group. When Greasers Ponyboy and Johnny get into a brawl that ends in the death of a Social member, the boys are forced to go into hiding. Soon Ponyboy and Johnny, along with the intense Dallas and their other Greaser buddies, must contend with the consequences of their violent lives. While some Greasers try to achieve redemption, others meet tragic ends.

This novel is well known by all ages, but here at Neshannock it is read during eighth-grade reading class, with Mrs. Zion. Although the story has a touching theme of friendship and staying young, it is also considered very controversial by many school districts across the country. Many schools and libraries have banned it because of its views on gangs, as well as underage smoking and drinking. 

In my personal opinion, this book should not be banned from students reading it because it shows how through the Greasers’ difficult lives they are able to overcome all of it and just be devoted to helping their friends. It also shows a theme of not believing someone is a bad person because of one thing they do in their lives, being able to redeem themselves shows their true character. 

I hope anyone else at Neshannock High School can agree with the survey’s results. The Outsiders is truly one of the best books we have, and maybe, will ever read. Thank you to everyone who participated in my surveys and I hope you had a great school year for 2020-2021. And also a massive thank you for your time reading this and any other articles written by our senior Newspaper Journalists.

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