Central Catholic High School in Toledo, Ohio has chosen The Last Town on Earth by Thomas Mullen as a campus-wide read. The book, however, is not new to the campus. After hearing about it at nearby Bowling Green State University (where it also has been used as common reading) two years ago, a teacher elected to use the historical novel, which poses ethical questions following the quarantine of a small town during the 1918 flu pandemic, in his classroom each semester. Students even engaged in “Q&A” discussions with the author via e-mail.
The Last Town on Earth is not the only Random House book to make it into high school classrooms. First-Year Experience favorites Mountains Beyond Mountains, Lay That Trumpet in Our Hands, and Funny in Farsi are just a few others with roots in secondary education.
Has common reading made it to your area high schools? What are the high schoolers in your life reading?