HMA Bookshelf: Our Favorite School Books

Required reading was probably something you either loved or loved to hate when you were in school. Every once in a while, an assigned school book turns into an all-time favorite. We decided to share some of our assigned books that became some of our most loved books. Read on to see which required school books the HMA-ers enjoyed most and maybe you’ll find a new novel to add to your reading list. Please share some of your favorite school books in the comments so we can compare notes.

“My love of reading probably began when I was assigned to read Bridge to Terabithia. The book wasn’t due for a few weeks, but I clearly remember being so wrapped up in the story that I raced to finish it by flashlight one night after my parents thought I was asleep. I fell in love with all kinds of dystopian fiction, but both Ayn Rand’s Anthem and Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 stand out to me.” – Colleen Hofmann, Interactive Marketing Manager

“One book series that I found absolutely fascinating during my time in elementary and middle school was the book series Animorphs. In short, the Animorphs were a group of kids that were given the power to morph into other animals, to help fight against an alien invasion. Each book was narrated through the eyes of a different kid or Animorph. And just like J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter, leaving you counting down the days until the next book was released, these books kept your heart racing and your imagination level on high.” – Jason Getz, Interactive Designer

“When I went to school, which wasn’t too long ago, required reading was the worst. I think in my whole life I have only read a fistful of novels: Animal FarmTo Kill a Mockingbird (x2), HamletThe OdysseyThe Taming of a Shrew and The RoadThe Taming of the Shrew and Hamlet probably do not count, because they are plays. And I have only read two of these books front to back: Animal Farm and The Road.

My most productive reading involved me finishing two books in the span of a full year; they both were for class. Luckily, as a product of the internet era, I had little need to read books with websites like SparkNotes, PinkMonkey and (in all teachers’ minds) the perpetually bad source, Wikipedia, which always seemed to be right to me, especially about Super AIDS.

It took me forever to realize why ladies like Shakespeare. Mainly because his plays are romantic comedies where everyone dies, which for some reason is super dramatic. You might be asking yourself, “Hey, there was nothing funny Shakespeare!” To that I doth protest that the wayeth theyeth talketh iseth the comedy…eth.

And again you might ask yourself, “How can someone who places words together like a fine Dali painting or someone who makes elegant contractions and loving sentences out of mundane words, not like reading.” And to that I say Wikipedia and Google are good enough for me. Late night random trains of thought keep me on my toes. One night I might want to know how many times Christopher Walken says, “I need more cowbell!” or the square root of infinity.” – LeMaire Lee, Interactive Developer

“My bookshelf has been expanding so much over the past decade! With all of the amazing things I’ve read throughout my life so far, there are two pieces that truly stick out in my mind as pure favorites from my school days. One is I Am One of You Forever by Fred Chappell. The novel is filled with fantasy and imagination, but on a level that truly relates to real-life and the characters that come along with it. I came away with an even greater appreciation for my crazy family and the many adventures and memories we share together.

Some of the poetry from Federico Garcia Lorca‘s collection has also left quite an impact on me. Once I dove into his work, I couldn’t escape my love of Spanish and Latin-American poetry. There are so many amazing pieces from him, Neruda, Borges and so on that I continue to read them over and over again. To me, their poetry is filled with passion, and, many times, a sadness that is so perfectly conveyed through mere words that you cannot help but become lost in it.” – Amanda Vera, Vice President

What books did you discover in school and now love?


  1. A Separate Peace, by John Knowles. A classic read when I was in school, and even more fun revisiting it and discussing with our sons as they read it in school. It’s still a great read — a rites of passage heart-warmer!

Leave a Reply