The Clasp by Sloane Crosley These Shallow Graves by Jennifer Donnelly Sofia Khan is Not Obliged by Ayisha Malik

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Wish Were Taught In Schools

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week's theme is: Top Ten Books I Wish Were Taught In Schools.

I will preface this by saying, I don't think we have required reading as such in our schools in the UK (UK teachers, please correct me if I am wrong). Not in the way I've seen the PDF's from various US high school classes. Partly because we just had compulsory English lessons from year 7-11 (ages 11-16) and these weren't split into levels or specific topics. I tried to speak to a few English teachers to gain a better insight but couldn't get an answer in time. From what I remember, I was only given a reading list in year 7 to complete the library challenge and in year 12 to help with our A Level English exam. The year 12 list contained what you'd probably expect from an English Literature reading list. Anyway, this might be worth discussing another time but for now...

1. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak - I'm sure this will be on nearly everyone's lists today but it's a phenomenal piece of writing. I don't remember reading much (if anything at all) from the German perspective of WWII, so it would be a marvellous teaching tool. 

2. Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher- Actions have consequences. Sometimes people need a little reminder. I would've loved to read something like this for school. 

3. The Plague by Albert Camus - This little book contains so much food for thought. It would tie in nicely with the ethics modules in RE/Philosophy. 

4. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Alexie Sherman - Or something similar set in Britain (isn't it terrible I couldn't think of a counterpart - I must read more British YA. I am ashamed). 

5. Noughts & Crosses by Malorie Blackman - There's a reason why Malorie Blackman is now the Waterstone's Children's Laureate. I think this book is actually read in schools and quite rightly so. If you haven't come across it before now, definitely get yourself a copy.  

6. Heart Shaped Bruise by Tanya Byrne - When I read this book, I remember thinking if I were a teenager right now, I could definitely relate to this book. It is very modern but there's a lot of teaching material in there too. 

7. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins - Obviously. I'm sure it is taught in classes now anyway. Especially with the film companion. Our teachers loved it when there was a film version to show snippets from to get us quiet for ten minutes. 

8. Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro - Could be discussed for months on end. 

9. Stolen by Lucy Christopher - Again, there's so much to talk about when reading this novel. Obviously there'd need to be a few lessons on Stockholm Syndrome.

10. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone by J.K Rowling - This should be read as soon as the kids start year seven. It would get them excited about secondary school and make their English teacher seem like one of the coolest.  


  1. Let's let students read books they will be passionate about! Agree!

    Here are my thoughts on the Best Required Reading!

    1. Yes, definitely. There's a book out there that will charm even the most stubborn 'non-reader'.

  2. Part-time Indian and The Hunger Games are 2 of my favorite books and I'd love to see them in schools.

    (On a completely unrelated note, not sure if you know nut the font-size, color and type are really hard to see and read).

    Tanya Patrice

    1. I'm sure The Hunger Games is being read in schools because there's so much teaching material in there.

      Thank you for the note on presentation- it's always good to get feedback!

  3. Interesting list! I haven't read most of those (except Harry Potter and Hunger Games), but they seem interesting. I've definitely heard good things about Noughts and Crosses. We did study Camus in high school, though it was L'Etranger instead of The Plague.

    1. Thanks Maggie! I haven't read The Stranger but feel like I should at some point.

  4. Great choices, haven't read any of them but may do so soon.

    1. Thank you-I hope you enjoy whichever one you end up reading.


Thank you for commenting!