Believe it or not, I had never read The Catcher in the Rye until this past week. Don’t ask me how I had escaped reading it in high school or university (I was an English major!), but I’ve read it now and can officially declare myself a member of the Holden Caulfield fan club. At first, I found Holden to be self-absorbed and whiny and I wasn’t sure I’d be able to get through it, but I plowed on and ultimately found myself unable to put the book down. I think there’s a little bit of Holden Caulfield in all of us, and I have to give Salinger credit for basically beginning the whole movement of writing books with teen/young adult characters who are full of angst. If it weren’t for The Catcher in the Rye, we probably wouldn’t have such wonderful contemporary young adult literature that I love to fill the library shelves with.
Speaking of contemporary young adult literature, my all-time favorite young adult novelist, John Green, has a few video blogs (vlogs) about The Catcher in the Rye. Check out the first, second, and third installations of his series on this classic novel. (YouTube is blocked at school, though, so you’ll have to watch these from home or a public library computer.)
Highly recommended for grades 9-12