Five Older Books That Are Still Relevant Today


Older books may seem outdated and hard to relate to nowadays since the world has changed so much, but many old books have a lot to teach us and are still relevant today. Here are six examples.
This classic that was published in 1999 tackles relevant topics for all teens. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky gives a stark insight on victims of childhood sexual abuse, teen dating violence, stigmatism of LGBT+ people in society, and the effects of child abuse on adults. Told through the eyes and ears of freshman Charlie, this novel explores abuse, sexuality, familial relationships, friendships, dating, drugs, and mental illness.
In a world filled with conflicting media, electronic screens, and hot topic issues, Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury is a timeless tale written in a time where technology we see as commonplace today was just being created. The people in the dystopian society within the story were unempathetic, indifferent, and afraid to talk about what matters or topics that make them uncomfortable. As Bradbury famously wrote in his poignant novel, “You don’t have to burn books to destroy a culture; just get people to stop reading them.”
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee is an alarming story of sexism, classism, and most prominently, racism. Uniquely told from a child’s perspective, the main character navigates through these issues from within her small town.
Les Miserables by Victor Hugo is a monster of a book, but it gives great insight on poverty. The story that takes place in France during the French Revolution is told by different characters throughout the story. It first is told by a wealthy bishop who lets in a struggling former convict by the name of Jean Valjean, or as Javier calls him, 24601. One of the biggest moments of this section is when the bishop defended Valjean stealing from him and gave him even more than he stole. Other narrators include, Fantine, an exhausted and poor worker who had to resort to prostitution to care for her child, Jean Valjean as he adjusts to a new life after being convicted for stealing a loaf of bread, a love-struck teenage Marius, and a beautiful and privileged Cosette.
This book is relatable for teens of any time and entertaining for anyone. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger is a novel about growing up. Narrated by 16-year-old Holden Caulfield, this book shows the hilarity, angst, and sadness of growing up amongst a bunch of “phonies”. This is a book that anyone of any generation or age can enjoy.
Older books may seem outdated, but they share many common themes that relate to our lives, even as teenagers in 2019. They have much to teach us and for us to relate to.