When I was in high school, I was assigned to read a lot of Shakespeare. Many would say that the Bard should be required reading for high school students. Ashley Lauren has other, less expected suggestions about what books teenagers should be picking up. Lauren works as a high school English teacher in the suburbs of Chicago, Illinois. She recently told alternative parenting blog Offbeat Families her picks for the 5 books that every teenager should read.
One of Lauren's recommended reads is actually somewhat expected: The Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger. But I must say that The Catcher in the Rye was not assigned reading for me in either high school or college, despite my being in AP English in the former and an English major in the latter. So I didn't end up reading Salinger's signature novel until I was in early adulthood. The fact that I chose to read it made it all the more enjoyable. I don't know what my teenaged self would've gotten out of it.
Lauren's other suggestions are less conventional: The Perks of Being a Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky; Columbine, by Dave Cullen; Reality Bites Back, by Jennifer Pozner; and A Raisin in the Sun, by Lorraine Hansberry. I wasn't required to read A Raisin in the Sun until college, but I will give my high school English teacher credit for assigning Their Eyes Were Watching God, thus exposing us to the less well-known Zora Neale Hurston.
For descriptions of Ashely Lauren's picks and why she chose them, go HERE.
* Above image of the first-edition publication of Lorraine Hansberry's A Raisin in the Sun is from http://www.betweenthecovers.com.