Books Assigned in School Influence Character

Annabella Agosto, Staff Writer

No matter what age you are, you can probably remember one book from your childhood that you loved. Whether it was something as simple as The Cat in the Hat, or something as complex as Moby Dick, one thing is for certain: it influenced who you are today.  Here are some examples that you may not have noticed: 

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The Giving Tree

Every student is almost guaranteed to read this book during their elementary school years, and for a good reason. The Giving Tree is a simple story with powerful messages about both appreciating what you have and not overworking yourself to please others. Because of this, people who have read The Giving Tree can trace the roots of their compassion and empathy all the way back to its story.  

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The Lorax 

The Lorax is another story that nearly every student at Woodson has heard. Even if their exposure to the story was the 2012 film instead of reading the classic story in elementary school, the lessons are still present. The Lorax not only shows the effect that greed has on all of us as humans, it also teaches us the value of our planet and its resources. If The Lorax was a story that resonated with you, you most likely have a strong love for earth and all of its life, as well as find more joy in giving to others than receiving gifts yourself. 

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The Hate U Give

The Hate U Give covers bold subjects that have been news talking points for the past couple months including the effects of police brutality, white privilege and the distinction between violent and peaceful protests, told from the perspective of a teenager. Many of the students who read this book have a deep understanding of the struggles of others, especially minority groups, and most likely are passionate about social justice.


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To Kill a Mockingbird

Even though you may not have realized its effect on you while reading it, the book forces the reader to feel the frustration many others have experienced when the justice system fails them. Because of this, those who have read To Kill a Mockingbird are able to recognize unfairness and inequality while acknowledging the experiences of others. 


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Through his writing, Elie Wiesel provides powerful descriptions of his life as a Jewish person during World War II and his experience in a concentration camp. After reading Night, it is likely that readers began reflecting on the hardships of those who had to endure suffering, which made them appreciate those around them and pay more attention to modern-day atrocities.