Next term we want to challenge all of our students to increase their reading outside of the classroom. In order to do this we have decided to run a reading competition and have put together the following recommended reading list for Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4.

In order to be in with a chance of winning a prize you need to read ten of the books listed by the Easter holidays; completing a the mini book review on each of the books you have read. Each review will need to be handed to Mrs Merrick; entries can be put into Mrs Merrick’s pigeonhole, passed to an English teacher or emailed to [email protected] Please use the Book Review Template we have created to complete your review.

Key Stage 3 Recommended Reading List

Easy *                             

Medium **                          

Difficulty  ***

War Horse by Michael Morpurgo  **

Thought provoking novel on the life of a horse and his thoughts during numerous battles under different masters.

The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne **       

Incredibly emotional story set around the time of the Holocaust. Saying anything else will give away the ending!

Noughts and Crosses by Malorie Blackman **

In an alternative world the issues of racism are tackled in a society, which only has two types of people. The Novel is about friendship that goes beyond these barriers.

Holes by Louis Sachar*

A novel about a miscarriage injustice that sends the protagonist to a juvenile detention prison to dig holes.

How I live Now by Meg Roscoff *

Set during an undisclosed war with an American teenage girl getting to know her family in England.

Face by Benjamin Zephaniah **

Realistic story of how a boy is disfigured in a car accident and has to start living a new life with his disfigurement.

His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman ***

One of the most brilliant trilogies of the last 20 years. Has more surprises scares and twists than you can cope with!

Curious incident of the Dog in the Night Time by Mark Haddon **

A cult classic! A boy with autism investigated the ‘murder’ of his neighbour’s dog. Funny, original and moving.

The Life of Pi by Yann Martel ***

A previous Booker Prise winner concerning oceanic wanderings of a boy stranded at sea on a raft with some animals.

The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak ***

Death takes an interest in an orphaned girl This Nazi Germany set novel is steeped in humility and compassion.

Paper Towns by John Green **

Dark American comedy as a popular school girl goes off the rails and is helped by a friend from her days in bursary school.

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green **

When a ploy twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at a Cancer Kids Support Group, Hazel’s story is completely rewritten. Insightful, bold and raw, The Fault in Our Stars brilliantly explores the funny, thrilling and tragic business of being alive and in love.

Before I Die **

Engrossing look at teenage terminal illness. However, this ultimately uplifting book is a celebration of life not death.

The Hunger Games **

One person from each district in the country is selected to fight to the death in a reality TV lottery. Katniss vows to win.

The Twilight Saga by Stephanie Meyer **

Teen Isabella Swan starts at a new school and quickly has to tread a fine line between romance and dangerous vampires.


Key Stage 4 Recommended Reading List

Easy *                               

Medium   **                            

Difficulty  ***

Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro ***

Told as a series of flashbacks, Kathy tried to make sense of her childhood at the seemly perfect Hailsham School. The story reveals a shocking dystopia, which forces the reader to confront the horrors of modern society.

The Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger**           

Ground breaking rebellion novel featuring two days in the life of a cynical teenager just expelled from school.

Room by Emma Donoghue **

Told in the inventive, funny and poignant voice of Jack. A celebration of resilience and a powerful story of a mother and son whose love lets them survive the impossible.

Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks**

Stephen moves to live with a family in northern France and soon falls in love. But as tensions rise in the build up to the First World War, so do tensions in his relationship. He escapes to fight for his country, not at all realising what awaits him.

Lord of the Flies by William Golding * 

A plane carrying a group of British schoolboys is shot down over the Pacific Ocean. The pilot of the plane is killed, but many of the boys survive the crash and find themselves on a deserted island where they are alone without adult supervision.

The Wasp Factory by Iain Banks ***

16 Year old Franks thinking killing various family members was just a stage he was going through. A brilliantly written horror story with strong themes and an unforgettable twist.

The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold **

Suzie is a victim of a brutal serial killer. Narrated by her dead spirit, this book tells the story of her life and her family in the past, present and future.

The Time Traveller’s Wife by Audrey Niffennegger **

A love story about a man with a genetic disorder that causes him to time travel unpredictably, and about his wife, who has to cope with his frequent absences and dangerous experiences.

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood ***

A dystopian novel set in the near-future New England, in a totalitarian state, which has overthrown the US government focusing on the journey of the protagonist Offred.

The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath ***

Esther is a bright 19-year old working as an editorial intern at a woman’s magazine in New York. Despite her academic promise and ambition, she feels isolated from society and discouraged about her future.

Atonement by Ian McEwan **

13-year old Briony stumbles upon something shocking which sets into events a downward spiral and life-changing crime.

1984 by George Orwell **

The dystopian novel without which the world would not have Big Brother. Still highly relevant in the modern world of spin and media.