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I think the classics are important to read because they help us learn about the time they were written, and they help us gain a new perspective for our present day lives.

But have you read them all? I certainly haven’t. Some I just cannot connect to, but I’ve read a few, some recently, and let me tell you, these stand the test of time. These five classics never go out of style.

Five Classic Books That Never Go Out of Style

1. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith

I lived in Brooklyn for a year and always intended to read this book because of it, and this novel didn’t disappoint.

Funnily enough, this novel was set in an area of Brooklyn that I actually lived in, and it was interesting to read about the neighborhoods I lived in for 2014 and 2015 from a different perspective.

Written in 1943 but set in the early 1900s, there were definitely some changes to the area 100 years later, though some bits and pieces of the landscape stayed the same! Betty Smith captures what it was like to live in in Brooklyn at the turn-of-the-century (the early 1900s, that is) and grow up in poverty, while urging human compassion and understanding in this coming-of-age novel.

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2. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

I know this is a high school English class classic, but it stands up to the changes that technology could bring us.

This novel makes you think about the dystopian/utopian ideal and the risks we could face as humans if we let certain aspects of science and technology develop beyond our means to control them.

3. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

I also read this classic in high school, but I still constantly think about the effects we have on the environment and literature.

Censorship is a sensitive topic, and an important one to discuss, especially in our current political climate. If you haven’t read this banned book about banned books, I urge you to do so!

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4. Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck

I just read this book last month, after long loving Steinbeck’s writing and wanting to read this American classic.

Steinbeck captures a time of diaspora and dust, following the Joad family on their move West as they search for a new livelihood during the dust bowl.

My grandparents were born right after the dust bowl ended and this gave me a glimpse into the lives our grandparents and great-grandparents lived. It also made me think about the current state of immigration and migration, and how we treat those who are entering our cities, states, and countries.

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5. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Harper Lee’s novel has taught generations of middle and high schoolers about race, justice, and the importance of kindness and acceptance.

We can never have enough kindness in the world, and sometimes we need a reminder to listen, to have faith in others, and to be honest and just.

These reads all stand the test of time in our eyes. They cover topics that are both timely and timeless. What classic books never go out of style in your mind?