Lord of the Flies," and "In Cold Blood," but had to endure "1984," "The Jungle," "Catcher In The Rye," and "The Grapes of Wrath."
(Last night I watched a TV show where Gordon Ramsey witnessed a woman rub red chili peppers into her eyes. My wife just said, "Why?") These books gave me as much literary pleasure as a capsaicin eye-wash.
All of the above were inflicted upon us as tender young high school students without the experience and gumption to cry, "Bullshit!" Such assigned reading easily explains why I chose a career in math, science and technology.
Star Trek techno-babble notwithstanding, science, technology, engineering, and math have the common virtue of having to work. If you bluff your way through a degree in one of those fields, something big can fall down--say a bridge or a building. People tend to notice those sorts of failures a lot more than when little Johnny doesn't know compound interest or thinks that voting for Santa Claus is sound fiscal policy.
My first inclination is that forcing kids to read lame novels should be a firing offense. On the other hand, lame novels can drive smart kids so far from literature that they'll become Engineers instead. Nothing wrong with that, I suppose.
Let the little dears wait until they are enrolled in a hard-science major and then they can discover Robert Heinlein.