Many students attending schools in America will enroll in their freshman year of high school without ever having heard of Chekhov, Dostoyevsky or Tolstoy.
It is likely they will not be able to meaningfully enter into any conversation about "Oliver Twist," "Animal Farm," or "Around The World In Eighty Days."
The names of Cervantes and Octavio Paz will probably elicit nothing more than a cursory shrug of non-recognition.
This is a tragedy of significant proportion, for which our education system bears the full onus of blame.
Instead of introducing children to great works of literature in their original or competently abridged form, and thus inculcating in them a love and passion for books, many teachers, under the gun of an out-of-control accountability system, are engaged in the quotidian task of training their students to pass state-mandated reading tests.