Even in a time of digital revolutions, we all need to unplug. And, arguably, one of the best ways to do this is with a good book.
When National Literacy Month 2021 kicked off, we asked scholars what their must-read titles are. The results were impressive.
We received over 426 responses through Instagram and learned a lot about our scholars. Somehow in their busy schedules, between their academic studies and extra-curriculars, most find free time to read what they like.
• 63% of our scholars read for fun
• 37% of our scholars focus on reading for school
• Fiction was the favorite book category, with 69% preferring it
• Nonfiction received 20% of the scholars’ votes
• Graphic novels weren’t forgotten either—they won 8%
Lastly, we polled our scholars and asked what their favorite book was and what they recommend reading—the book list spanned various genres and generations. Some reads are timely, and others timeless.
The following titles rose to the top of the Envision Scholar Book List:
The Harry Potter Series, J.K. Rowling
This fantasy novel series following Harry Potter, at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry and beyond, in his struggle against Lord Voldermort is beloved by many, including countless muggles and Envision scholars.
1984, George Orwell
This dystopian science fiction novel by the English writer George Orwell was published over 70 years ago, but many scholars see this book as prophetic and thrilling!
Nancy Drew Mystery Stories, Carolyn Keene
Scholars can certainly stay busy with the 175 titles and eight revisions of these detective stories. “Carolyn Keene” is a pen name for the various authors, but Edward Stratemeyer oversaw the creation of Nancy Drew as well as many other youth adventure books, including The Bobbsey Twins and the Hardy Boys.
The Outlander Series, by Diana Gabaldon
Where history and fantasy meet, you’ll find Outlander. The series follows Claire Randall, a British nurse in 1946 who travels back in time to 18th-century Scotland. Featuring romance, adventure, and a bit of medicine in the mix—these books are page turners and a scholar fave!
The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings Series, J.R.R. Tolkien
If there was ever a timeless saga, scholars agree it’s The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. J.R.R. Tolkien’s fictional universe serves as the backdrop of a homebody-hobbit-turned-hero, Bilbo Baggins, and his epic journey to the great treasure, guarded by Smaug the Dragon. From whimsy to danger and everywhere in between, this book series covers a lot of physical and metaphysical territory.
The Color Purple, Alice Walker
Alice Walker won a Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and the National Book Award for Fiction for this piece of work. With more than five million copies of The Color Purple sold, it’s no wonder the book inspired an Academy Award-nominated film and was adapted into a Tony-nominated Broadway musical. For Envision scholars, there’s just something about the story of resilience and courage!
The Book Thief, Markus Zusak
Scholars enjoyed this historical novel that explores the adventures of young Liesel Meminger in Nazi Germany during World War II. The book provides a unique glimpse into the lives of Holocaust victims, where "Death" is personified—it’s equal parts heavy and beautiful.
Refugee, Alan Grants
What was it like for a 13-year-old fleeing Nazi Germany, 1990s Cuba, and modern-day Syria? Envision scholars wanted to know! Refugee follows the journeys of three young people as they courageously face unimaginable dangers in their quest for a new home.
The Twilight Saga, Stephenie Meyer
When the first of the vampire-themed fantasy romance novels emerged in 2005, one might have never expected the Team Edward and Team Jacob debate that followed. Yet three novels, two companion novels, and one novella later, the suspense of a love between human and vampire lives on and still piques the interest of our scholars.
Arc of a Scythe Book Series, Neal Shusterman
A technology and computer-controlled society in the far future creates a frightening reality for two teens who are recruited as apprentices to “glean” the society from people. Envision scholars report chills!
Did any of your favorites make the list? Tell us what books you would add!