More Required Reading & Contemporary Pairings


A few years back, I paired up books often required by schools with their newer counterparts, and it’s always been one of my favorite lists. In the spirit of this week’s Back to School themed Top Ten Tuesday, it’s time to revisit the topic with a few more matches. There have been a number of recent retellings (Eligible, Re Jane, etc.) that fit the bill pretty perfectly, but I’m aiming more for general themes than specific stories. Here we go!


The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood & The Natural Way of Things by Charlotte Wood

The stories are vastly different, but there are definite parallels between the unforgiving, misogynistic worlds Atwood and Wood created.


One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey & Challenger Deep by Neal Shusterman

Though Challenger Deep is a YA novel, its focus on the effects and stigma of mental illness ties it closely to Ken Kesey’s classic novel.


Brave New World by Aldous Huxley & The Beautiful Bureaucrat by Helen Phillips

At first glance, the world Phillips creates seems similar to our own, but its dark, Brave New World-esque details emerge as the book progresses.


The Awakening by Kate Chopin & Hausfrau by Jill Alexander Essbaum

Hausfrau‘s tale of loneliness and adultery connects well with several classics, including Chopin’s The Awakening.


To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee & Welcome to Braggsville by T. Geronimo Johnson

Welcome to Braggsville updates Harper Lee’s look at small town racism with a modern perspective, language, and satire.