Suggested Reading List for Readers

Aged 12 to 13 year olds 

(Year 8)

  • Jan

    Unbearable by Paul Jennings

    A collection of short stories to start the year.

  • Feb

    I am David by Anne Holm

    International Orphan Week is the first week of February 

  • Mar

    The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

    The first day of spring is on the 1st. 

  • Apr

    I'm the King of the Castle by Susan Hill

    A book about bullying.

  • May

    The Hounds of the Baskervilles by Arthur Conan Doyle

    Arthur Conan Doyle was born

    22nd May 1859 

  • Jun

    The Flame Trees of Tjika by Elspheth Huxley

    Day of the African Child is on the 16th 

  • Jul

    The Giver by Lois Lowry

    World Population Day os on the 11th

  • Aug

    The Dam Busters by Paul Brickhill

    World Water Week is the third week of August.

  • Sep

    How I live Now by Megan Rosoff

    On 1st September 1939,  3.5 million British children were evacuated

  • Oct

    The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

    World Space week is the the second week of October.

  • Nov

    Journey to the River Sea by Eva Ibbotson

    Across the Continent of South America the Day of the Dead is celebrated this month

  • Dec

    A Kestrel for a Knave by Barry Hines

    A book about a different kind of gift.

  • Madam Doubtfire by Anne Fine

    Troubled that he has little access to his children, divorced Daniel Hillard hatches an elaborate plan. With help from his creative brother Frank, he dresses as an older British woman and convinces his ex-wife, Miranda, to hire him as a nanny. "Mrs. Doubtfire" wins over the children and helps Daniel become a better parent -- but when both Daniel and his nanny persona must meet different parties at the same restaurant, his secrets may be exposed.

  • Animal Farm by George Orwell 

    Animal Farm by The animals of the Manor Farm lived badly. Their farmer Mr. Jones, a mean and drunken man, exploited them. One day Old Major, the pig who led the animals, called a meeting of all the animals. A classic fable and allegory of a communist revolutionary dictatorship and the tyranny which develops, told through the story of the animals of Manor Farm. Orwell 

  • The Day of the Triffids by John Wyndham 

    After meteors enter Earth's atmosphere, blinding much of the planet's population in the process, plantlike creatures known as Triffids emerge from the craters and begin to take over. Military officer Bill Masen, one of the few sighted people left alive, meets with other survivors in England and tries to find a safe haven from the vicious vegetation, as scientist Tom Goodwin desperately seeks a way to defeat the leafy extraterrestrials.

  • The Hounds of the Baskervilles by Arthur Conan Doyle

    Hugo captured and imprisoned a young country lass at his estate in Devonshire, only to fall victim to a marauding hound of hell as he pursued her along the lonesome moors late one night. Ever since, Mortimer reports, the Baskerville line has been plagued by a mysterious and supernatural black hound. Can Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson help? 

If you intend to take an exam in English, here are the books you should be reading this year!                                            

  • Animal Farm by George Orwell 

  • The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon

  • The Day of the Triffids by John Wyndham 

  • The Flame Trees of Thika by Elspheth Huxley 

  • The Hitchhiker's Guild to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

  • The Hounds of the Baskervilles by Arthur Conan Doyle

  • A Kestrel for a Knave by Barry Hines

  • Lord of the Flies by William Golding

  • Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell 

  • Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck 

  • The Women in Black by Susan Hill

  • The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

  • Treasure Island by R.L. Stevenson 

  • Of Mice and Men by Jon Steinbeck 

Why read these books?

These books are the cornerstones of the school library. Every book you read after, every book you read in preparation for an exam and every book you read for the exam will make the assumption that you have read these. Story tellers refer back to the books they have read, those references are easy to spot in their work and to understand. Many of the books on this list are what is know as dystopian novels, meaning the world/life has gone dreadfully wrong and how the individual finds a way to survive.  Each book builds upon the last read. When you are not in the know, when you miss the references and miss the allusions - basically you not in the conversation!

I know from talking with many teenagers - these books are hard going! Spending weeks on them in school is torture and by the time the teacher say your finished you haven't got a clue what the story was all about. Best way forward is to reduce the length of time you spend with some of these books and the negative gloom they spread. It is very important you know the stories but you can cut the time down by listening to them on audio book.   

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