I am more inclined to teach more modern literature based on thematic units to my non-honors classes, or classes with relatively few students who are college bound. Originally, my goal was to prepare all of my students for college work. Then, I realized I was teaching in a school where most students were on a vocational path and likely not seeking a 4 year post-high school degree.
In a public school system which requires 4 years of English for graduation, it quickly became my goal to peak student interest in reading and literature, and hopefully spark new reading habits in a school where the majority of my students claimed to "hate" reading.
Ender's Game is my go-to novel for hard-to-inspire classes and students. Our entire 10th grade department taught Night. Two 12th grade teachers incorporated Cold Mountain into their AP reading list. Other non-classics I've used in class include Monster and House on Mango Street.