Top Five Future Classics

Top 5 future classics

Top 5 Wednesday is currently being hosted by Sam at ThoughtsOnTomes. If you want to learn more about the group or are considering joining in, check out the Goodreads group. Each week has a different topic and you just post 5 books that fit that topic. All links will take you to Goodreads. This week’s topic is top five future classics. Since I read YA pretty exclusively, these will all be YA books that might become classics aka books that might be taught in middle school or high school English classes a few decades from now.

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins book cover

Truthfully, I’m not really sure if this will end up a classics since it’s part of a series and since I read all three books back-to-back, I’m not sure how well it would stand on its own and therefore may not be able to be taught in English classes which, to me, is a marker of whether or not a book is a classic. Regardless, I think this could become a classic simply because it has a lot of social commentary elements to it which is a big theme in classic literature.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky book cover

I think this is already starting to be seen as a classic, especially when talking about classic YA lit. At almost 20 years old, it’s still well-known and frequently read and I’m pretty sure there are already English classes that teach this book. This book again has social commentary aspects to it as well as a coming-of-age storyline, both really popular themes/stories for classics.

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

the book thief by markus zusak book cover

Not only has The Book Thief received tons of awards, but I think the fact that it’s a very well-written yet enjoyable book could turn The Book Thief into a classic in the future. And since I was actually assigned to read this book when I was in high school, I’d say it definitely meets my whole “could I see English teachers using this book in classes?” requirement.

Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson

Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson book cover

Like The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Speak feels as though it’s already becoming a classic. Another book that’s almost 20 years old, it’s still widely read and remains a popular book, showing that it can stand the test of time. Again, it has a lot of the social commentary and “overcoming struggles” themes that are popular among classic literature. I’d honestly be surprised if this didn’t end up becoming a classic book.

Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys

Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys book cover

Between Shades of Gray is another one, like THG, where I’m not totally sure if it’ll become a classic, but I could see it happening. It’s another WWII historical fiction book, but it deals with the Soviet side of the war which I feel like not many books do. So it definitely has educational value to it. On top of that, it’s beautifully written and a book that really sucks readers in. I guess I’m just not quite sure whether or not it’s popular enough for it to remain popular over time, especially considering that not many people aside from YA historical fiction fans seem to know about this book (which is honestly really surprising to me).

These are 5 books that I think could become future classics. Do you agree? What others would you add to the list?


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47 thoughts on “Top Five Future Classics

  1. I live in Texas and many of the middle schools already teach The Hunger Games! I’m not sure if it’ll continue, or even how they did it because I was already in high school, but I know my cousin had to read it.

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  2. Ooh, I agree with all of these. I could see any of them becoming classics. I actually think THG is already being taught in schools! I definitely see Speak and Perks as modern classics already. I really need to read Between Shades of Gray– historical fiction is one of my favorite genres, and I’ve enjoyed Ruta Sepetys’s other books. Great list, Kourtni!

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    • Yup, someone else commented and said their cousin had to read THG in school. I think that’s awesome – I had no idea schools were teaching it! Between Shades of Gray is phenomenal and if you like historical fiction, it’s really a must-read!

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  3. I only know the first three and have only read the Hunger Games series. I watched The Book Thief as a movie which was probably a mistake and have yet to read/see The Perks of Being a Wallflower .

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  4. I feel like Hunger Games could probably hold up and become a classic. I know it’s being taught in some schools though I haven’t experienced it to know quite how. When I was in school I remember reading a couple of books that were the first in series and at times our teachers wouldn’t even tell us that. We’d only find out later when we were doing a project or something and came across the information.

    Now that I’m thinking about it though, I think the first book could stand on its own largely because the 75th games are contained and provide a sort of separate story. You don’t get much about the war in that book. Katniss doesn’t even know there’s a rebellion until the end of Catching Fire, so I can see how you could keep the focus on just one book. Because it’s YA, I also think it would be approachable to kids in a way that Brave New World or 1984 might not be. Not that it should replace those books entirely, but it could, at the very least, introduce some of the same ideas before reading those books.

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    • I had no idea that schools were already teaching THG, but I’ve had a few people comment saying so! I definitely agree that it could be more approachable to teens than some of the current dystopian classics that are taught in school. It could absolutely be a good introduction into the genre!

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  5. Great choices! I really need to read The Book Thief and Between Shades of Gray. From what I’ve heard about them, they would make great classics someday.

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  6. I’ve never read Perks of Being a Wallflower but it’s so many people’s favorites. I really need to read it. Also haven’t read Speak or Between Shades of Gray, despite hearing only great things about it. I have books to catch up on. As for The Hunger Games and the Book Thief are definitely ‘classic material’. Great choices!

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  7. 2,3,4 are classics. Now that I think about it, how long does it take to be considered a classic? A century?
    I don’t think THG would be a classic but I have to agree, it would remain popular. But that’s coming from someone who ditched the first book. 😅

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    • I honestly have no idea, haha. I’m not sure that there is actually a strict cut-off post. For me, I would say books need to be 50 years old to be considered a classic but I’m sure plenty of people would disagree with me, haha.
      I think THG will definitely be popular for quite awhile but I’m not sure if it’ll reach classic status. Guess we’ll have to wait and see 😜

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  8. I’ve been meaning to read between shades of gray for so long! I’ve read the author’s book Salt to the Sea which was brilliant, if BSOG is anything like the standard of that then I know I will love it and it could definitely be a classic!

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  9. I have only read the first two (I will get around to the others soon!) but I agree that TPOBAW is a modern classic. I’ve recently written a review of it on my blog because it’s one of my favourite books and one of the first books that really emotionally affected me.
    As for The Hunger Games I think, because of it’s wild success in the YA genre and the fact that it is in 3 parts, people probably don’t consider it to be a serious enough novel to qualify as a classic. I guess a things that young people like are often not taken seriously, but it is a politically charged novel and I personally think the story is compelling (perhaps not the main characters all of the time) and the message is an important one. Great post 🙂 xx

    https://tenmoreminutesblog.wordpress.com/

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