Unlike the author of the article, when I was in HS, we could certainly trash our assigned reading in class discussions and assignments. I can't recall any English teacher who ever made us treat the books like sacred cows, as long as we could back up our opinions.
I'm surprised--shocked--that the author despised Catcher in the Rye. That was one the few assigned books that was fun.
I do think that assigned reading can be overanalyzed and lessons can get bogged down in discussions of symbolism.