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Frankenstein by Bernie Wrightson

Frankenstein by Bernie Wrightson

NRO’s indominatable Kathryn Jean Lopez is dropping little nuggets from Bill Bennet’s list of books every High School student should have read before he or she graduates. The list should not surprise anyone familiar with great literature. I do wonder, however, if there are teachers out there with the spine it would take to get their male students to sit down with Jane Austen’s Pride an d Prejudice.

John J. Miller could make me develop a man-crush, however, with his brief list of Science Fiction books every boy should read. Orwell’s 1984 makes Dr. Bennet’s list, but that is the only work of speculative fiction that is on the list.

Miller notes several SF books he would like to see boys read, includeing Frankenstein, Brave New World, A Canticle for Leibowitz, Fahrenheit 451, and Enders Game. He also gives a nod to The Lord of the Rings. I would love to see a list of Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror books that folks think every High School student should read. Think of it as giving these kids Dessert after the necessary eating of Lima Beans and Brussell Sprouts.

I do not think that Dessert can come without the Main Course. I have to confess to skipping far to many of the Main Dishes that Dr. Bennet lists. I know that my love for the written word came not from reading Ralph Ellison’s The Invisible Man, but from reading H. G. Wells’ The Invisible Man. Might one be more likely to entice young men with Dickens and Hawthorne if these lads know that these Gentlemen of Letters wrote ghost stories?

Something to think about.

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