Who, what, why: Why do children study Of Mice and Men?

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Education Secretary Michael Gove has called for children to read more books, again noting that John Steinbeck's novella Of Mice and Men dominates in many schools. Why should one American book be chosen by so many British teachers?

Michael Gove says children are reading too few books.

He says that some students only read two books in an academic year, and that a departmental survey suggests that "over 90% of schools teach Of Mice and Men to their GCSE students".

But why does a novella written in 1937 about displaced ranch workers during the Great Depression hold such enduring popularity in schools?

The answer is that Steinbeck's classic is short, comprising only six chapters, and that its themes continue to be considered relevant to 21st Century society....

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