Moving Beyond ‘Catcher’ On School Reading Lists : NPR

Moving Beyond ‘Catcher’ On School Reading Lists : NPR:

“The Catcher in the Rye, J.D. Salinger’s beloved novel, once banned and full of frank four-letter words, will continue to be assigned to high school reading lists this year.

But Anne Trubek, a professor of English at Oberlin College, argues that it’s time to update Salinger’s coming-of-age tale.

This article provides a link to the sound version of Trubek’s discussion with NPR’s Scott Simon and lists a few of Trubek’s suggestions for books to replace “Catcher” on a list of required reading for today’s teenagers.

As a baby boomer, I’m one of the millions who read about Holden Caulfield while growing up. I reread the book when my daughter was in high school and found it just as compelling the second time. Moreover, my daughter (who, admittedly, is now 30 herself) seemed to have no problem comprehending Holden’s teenaged angst.

What’s your take on this? Is Holden Caulfield outdated for today’s young people? Do you have your own memories of reading “Catcher in the Rye”?

2 thoughts on “Moving Beyond ‘Catcher’ On School Reading Lists : NPR”

  1. Hi, Mom! I’ll have to listen to the audio when I get home tonight, but my inclination is to leave Catcher on the reading list. As you pointed out, I am 30 myself, so my perspective is a bit skewed. From what I remember of reading Catcher back in high school, I didn’t have trouble understanding Holden, and while I didn’t really like him, I did like getting a glimpse of a different time.

    I like that there is room for discussion about required reading lists and that they’re being updated to expose students to different perspectives, cultures, and writing styles, but there’s also something to be said for leaving a book like Catcher in. It’s a tie back to the past and a common experience that parents can share and discuss with their children. Or that strangers can share. I’ve had interesting discussions on the bus and with my coworkers about books we have in common, largely through our high school reading lists.

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