Top Ten Reads for Teens
Our English department have put together the top 10 books they recommend our students to read, as well as some personal recommendations.
Do take a look and try to read some of these during lockdown. We'd love to hear how you get on and what you thought of the books.
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
A teen with cancer meets and falls in love with an older boy at a support group
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
Race relations are pushed to breaking point when a white police officer kills a black teen.
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (series)
An amazing series: a young girl must fight for her life in a dystopian society
Divergent by Veronica Roth (series)
The people in power try to control and suppress the population in a post-apocalyptic Chicago.
A Swift Pure Cry by Siobhan Dowd
A young girl struggles to cope with the death of her mother, betrayal and an unwanted pregnancy in Country Cork, Ireland.
Gone by Leona Deakin
A thriller following the search for four missing people – but are they in danger or just plain dangerous?
A Gathering Light by Jennifer Donnelly
Feisty and smart Mattie is sixteen and dreams of going to college in New York, but her father will not allow it. A dead body is found in the lake where she works, and everything changes for Mattie.
Raven’s Gate by Anthony Horowitz (Power of Five series)
Matt Freeman is fourteen. When he and his friend are involved in a robbery, they get more than they bargained for. A thriller involving witchcraft in which Matt must fight for his life.
When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead
Can the future shape the present? Twelve year old Miranda lives with her single-mother in New York. Mysterious notes passed to her by a homeless man suggest someone has travelled from the future to save a life.
The Harry Potter books by J K Rowling
An absolutely amazing series of books exploring a young wizard’s quest to discover the truth about his past, his parents and what the future holds.
The English department personal recommendations:
Mrs Braggins recommends … These Shallow Graves by Jennifer Donnelly
She says: “I love this book! It follows the story of a young girl who risks it all to speak out and discover the truth. It's 1890 and Jo's wealthy family expect her to marry a rich bachelor and settle down, but she dreams of becoming a newspaper reporter. When her father dies in mysterious circumstances she begins to investigate and what she discovers sends her into a dangerous criminal underworld. It's a thrilling read and written with a teenage audience in mind.”
Mr McMillan recommends... The Maze Runner by James Dashner
He says: "My twin boys love action novels like ‘The Hunger Games’ and so love this too – it’s straight into a mad, dystopian and sinister world right from the first line where our young hero finds himself catapulted into a crazy new setting with no recollection of who he is or why he is there. Heroes, villains, and brutal violence combine to make this a really thrilling novel which isn’t just exciting but is also incredibly well written. It’s part of a series of books meaning you can get yourself hooked for weeks!"
Mr Gyamfi recommends … Refugee Boy by Benjamin Zephaniah.
He says: “This is a brilliant book about conflict and the effects that it has on one's culture and identity. Alem's parents are both Eritrean and Ethiopian. They live in Ethiopia. The problem: Ethiopia and Eritrea are at war. To escape the chaos, Alem's father takes him to London on a 'sightseeing holiday' for his fourteenth birthday. He wakes up to find his father gone and a letter. Then it dawns on him - he is now alone and a refugee in England. A truly captivating book."
Mrs McHugh recommends … The Five People You Meet In Heaven by Mitch Albom.
She says: “This novel follows the life and death of a man named Eddie who is killed and sent to heaven, where he encounters five people who had a significant impact upon him while he was alive.”
Mrs Ward recommends … Lorna Doone by R D Blackmore and The French Lieutenant’s Woman by John Fowles
She says: “As a young girl, of 14 or 15, two books instilled in me my love of literature for life. Both of these books are love stories fraught with difficulty, perfectly poetic in their prose and just spellbinding. These timeless classics will captivate anyone, in any era.”
Mrs Roe recommends … Noughts and Crosses by Malorie Blackman.
She says: “This novel takes place in a dystopian world where society as we know it is turned on it's head. Conflict and division are rife but the Romeo and Juliet inspired love story between Callum and Sephy lies at the heart of everything."
Mrs Martins recommends … Kensuke’s Kingdom by Michael Morpurgo.
She says: “I truly believe this is a treat for lovers of drama-filled stories. It tells the story of how a young boy named Michael mysteriously disappears the night before his twelfth birthday. The next morning, Michael finds himself washed up on a beach on a remote island with a bowl of water and some grilled fish next to him. Who is on the island with him? You won’t be disappointed with the many twists and turns”
Mr Reynolds recommends … 1984 by George Orwell
He says: “1984 is arguably one of the single most important pieces of literature in modern history. The novel extends to us the political crisis of a world fractured politically by ideals and warfare. In London we follow Winston who lives like all others: ruled by Big Brother, the omniscient totalitarian leader of Ingsoc, a political party that seeks to control the masses of "proles", that it keeps in blinded and oblivious ignorance. Winston, our protagonist, is left to make a decision: defy his party, fight against its repression and risk his life doing so, or remain a puppet in a political game that relies on the repression of human nature and freedom”
Mr Carragher recommends … A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness.
He says: “This almost had me reaching for the tissues – sad but powerful! A Monster Calls tells the story of a young boy whose mother is terminally ill with cancer. She loses her battle with the illness and the story follows Connor as he attempts to deal with his pain and loss. This pain manifests as a fantasy-type monster that comes to visit him each night, an escape from his saddened reality.”
Miss Samson recommends … Looking for Alaska by John Green.
She says: "Perhaps the lesser known of the John Green novels. Pudge is fascinated by famous last words, and he goes to boarding school to seek François Rabelais' 'great perhaps'. Split into 'before' and 'after', Looking for Alaska examines what it means to be human in the face of uncertainty. Heart-wrenching and beautifully written, John Green's first novel is a must read."
Mrs Tucker recommends … A Fault in our Stars' by John Green.
She says: "This heart-warming novel will stay with you forever. Narrated by Hazel-Grace and her teen boyfriend Augustus, the teens become star crossed lovers and this story follows their journey of love and hope. When the teens stare death in the face through childhood cancer, their ability to love and laugh prevails through some very heart-breaking moments all told with a little humour and lots of sarcasm. A must read for every teen; Green puts family, friendship and the importance of fighting into a very different perspective”