Interesting points these kids raise, don't you think?
I'm not going to begin to suggest that they shouldn't read the classics...
...but isn't it better that they are reading something rather than NOT READING?
I'm a fan of giving students reasonable choices in school. It seems to me that in all avenues of life, we are more likely to be enthusiastic about tasks we have to do if we have some say in how we do them. (Side note: If you're interested in this idea, I highly recommend Dan Pink's book Drive as an exploration of research into intrinsic motivation. In brief: "Carrots & sticks are so last century. Drive says for 21st century work, we need to upgrade to autonomy, mastery & purpose." [from the "Twitter summary" of the book])
Please note that I'm all for giving students reasonable choices. I'm not suggesting that school should be a free-for-all...that doesn't make any sense to me. Curriculum is still curriculum. Good pedagogy is still good pedagogy. But if students have some voice in the matter? That sounds like a good thing to me. What do you think?