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  • Writer's pictureJOY PETERSON

What makes a classic?

Updated: Aug 25, 2019

I love to read classics. Rereading a classic feels like catching up with an old friend. I've had a lot of students ask me to help them find a classic book to read, and have asked me what makes a particular book a classic?

To be considered a "classic" a book must be an outstanding example of a particular genre or style. A classic is a book that can be read again and again, discovering something new with each rereading. A classic has elements that people of all ages, races, and genders can find something to connect with. A classic is timeless; readers are just as captivated by the story a hundred years later.

Here are some of my favorite classics. What books would you add?

-A Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, by Douglas Adams

-To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee

-Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen

-From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, by E. L. Konigsburg

-The Outsiders, by S.E. Hinton

-A Wrinkle in Time, by Madeleine L 'Engle

-Watership Down, by Richard Adams

-A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, by Betty Smith

-A House with a Clock in Its Walls, by John Bellairs

-Walk Two Moons, by Sharon Creech

-Lord of the Flies, by William Golding

-Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

-Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

-The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane

-Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery

-The Lord of the Rings by J.R. Tolkien

-The Headless Cupid by Zilpha Keatley Snyder

-The Call of the Wild by Jack London

-Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain

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