Suggested Reading List for Readers
Aged 13 to 14 year olds 
(Year 9)

  • Jan

    Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret by Judy Blume

  • Feb

    Hatch by Gary Paulsen

  • Mar

    The Mosquito Coast by Paul Theroux

  • Apr

    Noah Can't Even by Simon James Green

    LGBT History Month

  • May

    Empire of the Sun by J.G. Ballard 

    Japanese Memorial Day is on the 3rd

  • Jun

    Shakespeare: The World as a Stage by Bill Bryson

  • Jul

    Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

    World Population Day is on the 11th

  • Aug

    Paddy Clarke Ha, Ha, Ha by Roddy Doyl

  • Sep

    Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro

  • Oct

    Scoop by Evelyn Waugh

  • Nov

    Philip Larkin - Collected Poems

    National Poetry Day is on the 7th 

  • Dec

    The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas 

    A Christmas treat of a read.

  • Empire of the Sun by J.G. Ballard

    Jamie Graham, a privileged English boy, is living in Shanghai when the Japanese invade and force all foreigners into prison camps. Jamie is captured with an American sailor named Basie, who looks out for him while they are in the camp together. Even though he is separated from his parents and in a hostile environment, Jamie maintains his dignity and youthful spirits, providing a beacon of hope for the others held captive with him.

  • Shakespeare: The World as Stage by Bill Bryson

    The focus of the book is to state what little is known conclusively about Shakespeare, and how this information is known, with some discussion of disproved theories, myths, and that which is believed by the public but not provable. It also explores the political, social, cultural and economic background to Shakespeare's work.

  • Philip Larkin - Collected Poems

    Philip Larkin's Collected Poems contains all of this best-loved poet's work, in the order of his published collections: The North Ship, The Less Deceived, The Whitsun Weddings and High Windows.

  • The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas

    The classic story of an innocent man wrongly, but deliberately imprisoned and his brilliant strategy for revenge against those who betrayed him. Dashing young sailor Edmond Dantes is a guileless and honest young man whose peaceful life and plans to marry the beautiful Mercedes are abruptly shattered when his best friend Fernand, who wants Mercedes for himself, deceives him.  Reappearing as the rich Count of Monte Cristo, Dantes begins his revenge on the three men responsible for his unjust imprisonment: Fernand, now Count de Morcerf and Mercedes' husband; Danglars, now a baron and a wealthy banker; and Villefort, now procureur du roi.

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


  • Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

  • Brighton Rock by Graham Green 

  • Catch-22 by Joseph Heller

  • The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger

  • Philip Larkin - Collected Poems

  • The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas 

  • Dracula by Bram Stoker

  • Empire of the Sun by J.G Ballard

  • Frankenstien by Mary Shelley

  • I, Claudius by Robert Graves

  • The Old Man and the Sea by Earnest Hemingway 

  • One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey 

  • Scoop by Evelyn Waugh 

  • To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

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. These books are the past statements on what it is to be human and what it is be human in a particular culture. 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!

If, like me, you are dyslexic, a lot of these books are going to be a tough read. Best way forward is to listen to these on audio book in the unabridged format. Let somebody else do the decoding for you, whilst you listen carefully to the story line and the complex themes. 

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