In Dubious Battle-First off Grapes of Wrath is one of the best books I've ever read, but Dubious seems like a more more balanced, less romantic look at the time period.
1984-I love this book, I remember using it to critique the way Boy’s State was run back in 11th grade. It was great.
Ender’s Game and Ender’s Shadow-Reading these in conjunction would give students a great example of what Point of View is.
The Chronicles of Narnia-I am just now reading this series, I’m liking it.
Dream of Reason-I remember in Highschool we had to read Sophie’s World to learn about philosophy, this is a much superior text.
Lord of the Flies-It’s a classic.
Siddhartha-Once you realize Siddhartha and the Buddha are on in the same it becomes one of the best books out there.
The Orestrian Trilogy by Aeschylus- One of my favs.
So, if you had kids read these books and write papers about them they would be educated and ready for college. Maybe.