Snow days are the perfect downtime—unplanned, unexpected, and totally free. With that in mind, it’s worthwhile to have some reading lists around. Below are five books that should definitely be on a snow day reading list.
1. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
Set in New York during Christmastime, this book chronicles 16-year-old Holden Caulfield’s adventures after he drops out of an elite boarding school. Caulfield is coming to terms with young adulthood in a chaotic, confused, and honest way, trying to reconcile a childish sense of wonder with increasing disillusionment. The messy and relatable manner in which he navigates this new terrain solidifies this book as an enduring American classic.
2. Flowers For Algernon by Daniel Keyes
This science-fiction novel explores the world of a mentally disabled man, Charlie Gordon, as he becomes the first human to undergo an operation to increase his intelligence. Told in a series of progress reports, the book charts Charlie’s transformation, especially as it parallels that of Algernon, the laboratory mouse who underwent the intelligence-increasing operation first.
3. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
This novel, set in the 1990s, follows introverted Charlie through his first year of high school in a suburb of Pittsburgh. As he moves through the year, Charlie grapples with issues surrounding his family, introversion, and fitting in. The way he toes the line between adolescence and adulthood, and the poignant questions explored by the book, is engaging and relatable.
4. The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros
Told in vignettes, The House on Mango Street explores the perspective of Esperanza, a young woman living in an impoverished Latinx neighborhood in Chicago. Readers begin with anecdotes of her childhood, all the way through her growth to a young woman who desires to rise above her circumstances. The book provides a great, original perspective, written in a voice that is at times heartfelt, sincere, empathetic, and sad.
5. My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult
This novel follows thirteen-year-old Anna Fitzgerald. Her older sister Kate has cancer of the blood and bone marrow, and Anna was born specifically to donate to Kate and save her life. While she has gone along with it thus far, she discovers that her parents expect her to donate a kidney, and petitions for medical emancipation with the help of a lawyer. The book explores interesting, complex themes related to family, love, and obligation.