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Top 5 High School Literature Books to Read

High school students in America face similar English curricula, where they read the same books written by the same authors. At Acclaim, we selected five of the greatest books included in high school classrooms. Though all of these books are well known and loved, we decided not to include any of the canonical novels for originality’s sake. All of these books are renowned for their literary merits and are excellent for furthering your analytical abilities.

  1. Persuasion, Jane Austen. 

Similar to Austen’s acclaimed Pride and Prejudice, Persuasion is a classic Austenian romance with the archetypal characters. It is an excellent novel that highlights themes and symbols regarding social hierarchies and decisions. 

  1. To Kill A Mockingbird, Harper Lee

Harper Lee’s famous To Kill A Mockingbird is a sweet novel that also seamlessly portrays darker themes such as racism. The narrative form of the writing is critically acclaimed and certainly an aspect for students to analyze. Every character has their idiosyncrasies that one can critically think about.

  1. Madame Bovary, Gustave Flaubert

As Flaubert’s infamous novel, Madame Bovary is a masterfully written French romance. Madame Bovary, the titular character, is a woman who lives in the moment and romanticizes all facets of life. Her constant romanticization and superficiality lead her to empty disappointment and tragedy. Her eyes, along with Flaubert’s specific usage of color, are interesting aspects to observe.

  1. Taming of the Shrew, Shakespeare

What’s a high school English class without Shakespeare? Instead of the stereotypical recommendations of Macbeth and Hamlet, we at Acclaim ranked Taming of the Shrew quite highly. This is a play about two wealthy individuals romancing each other with themes about hierarchies and gender roles. There are countless academic debates and theories regarding the feminism (or lack thereof) within the play, so read it and form an opinion yourself!

  1. The Picture of Dorian Gray, Oscar Wilde

Wilde’s wildly controversial novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray artfully defines hedonism through a myriad of symbols. This novel is paradigmatic for students learning about identifying symbolism. It’s a hauntingly enticing book that will have you continuously turning pages!

All of these books are phenomenal and recognized by experts in academia. Acclaim also provides English tutoring resources, along with book club sessions, to help with comprehension and analytical skills. Furthermore, these books will also help you write better essays and raise your English grade. Happy reading!


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School

How to Survive AP Classes

If you’re taking any AP courses, you’re on track to be noticed by distinguished universities for your efforts. AP stands for Advanced Placement, and these are college-level classes that students can take in high school. Admission counselors see these classes very favorably, and AP courses can eventually benefit you. For one, you wouldn’t have to take these courses once you’re enrolled in a college, and you can save tuition expenses by graduating early! One caveat is that these classes are designed to be challenging, so here are a few ways to help you succeed in these classes:

  1. Complete all of the homework.

Your teacher assigns homework to help you further understand the lesson for the day. Sometimes, you may feel that the work is unnecessary and doesn’t supplement your understanding. Regardless, your homework is a core factor of your grade, so make sure all of your assignments are finished so that you can receive the points for them.

  1. Buy and use a prep book.

Prep books are useful because they offer specific strategies to help you on the actual AP exam. It will inform you very clearly of the time constraints you will have, and give you tips on how to efficiently eliminate wrong answers. Additionally, these books provide some textbook material for you to review before your tests and AP exam, so it will help you obtain a good grade for this class.

  1. Use different notebooks for each AP class you’re taking.

If you’re taking multiple AP classes, it’ll be easier for you to maintain focus if you devote a single notebook for each AP class you’re taking. If you’re taking just one class, take really detailed notes in a manner that will help you, whether that includes different colored pens, highlighters, or sticky notes. It is crucial that you consolidate one notebook for an individual class so that you can learn the material to your fullest potential.

  1. Have a tutor help you.

AP classes are meant to be difficult, and your teachers will expect much more from you because of the level of this class. With that, they will also grade harder on assignments, essays, and tests. Having a tutor who is an expert on the subject will be beneficial to your performance in the class. Your tutors might have also taken an AP course for this class, so they will know exactly how to help you. At Acclaim, we also provide tutoring services for an array of AP courses, and we can support you in achieving a fantastic grade in the class!

  1. Try past AP exams on the subject.

To help you score well on the actual exam in May, make sure to answer some of the sample questions that CollegeBoard provides. They also release exam questions that were actually asked in previous years, so it will give you a good idea of what kind of questions will be presented on the test. This will also help you master the knowledge you need to pass your class with the grade of your dreams!

AP classes are stimulating and challenging, and it is a large step to put your goal of attending a good college into fruition. Another step would be obtaining a good GPA; if you stay motivated and eager to learn as you are now, you can also achieve a 4.0! Sign up for our AP tutoring sessions at Acclaim to succeed in your AP courses and receive our expertise to get you into your dream school!