KS4 Recommended Reading

KS4: Some suggestions for your reading – all available from the TK Library

What I Was—Meg Rosoff

Shall I tell you about the year I discovered love? I’d been kicked out of two boarding schools and the last thing I wanted was to be here, on the East Anglian coast, in a third. But without St Oswald’s, I would not have discovered the fisherman’s hut with its roaring fire, its striped blankets, its sea monster stew. Without St Oswald’s I would not have met Finn. And without Finn, there would be no story.  A beautifully told tale by an award winning  author.

 

Ready Player One—Ernest Cline

It’s the year 2044, and the real world has become an ugly place. We’re out of oil. We’ve wrecked the climate. Famine, poverty, and disease are widespread.  Most people escape by plugging themselves into a virtual reality ,where the solving of riddles placed there could lead to real wealth and power. Wade Watts pits himself against thousands of others in a race to win.

 

At Yellow Lake—Jane McLoughlin

Etta, Peter and Jonah all find themselves at a cabin by the shore of Yellow Lake, and flung together in the terrifying series of events that follows.  As the three take shelter in the cabin, they realise that they have inadvertently stumbled onto the scene of a horrifying crime, and Kyle and his cronies have no intention of letting them escape.

 

Daughter of Smoke and Bone—Laini Taylor

A fantasy novel with a difference. Set initially in Prague, it’s the story of art student Karou. But the story quickly morphs from college classes and boyfriend troubles into something much stranger. What are the strange “errands” Karou must fulfil, and where does she go when she disappears from the city without warning?  The first of a trilogy.

 

More Than This—Patrick Ness

Seth drowns, desperate and alone. But then he wakes. Naked, thirsty, starving. But alive. And where is he? The street seems familiar, but everything is abandoned, overgrown, covered in dust. He remembers dying, his skull bashed against the rocks. Has he woken up in his own personal hell?

 

The Woman in Black-Susan Hill

Arthur Kipps, a junior solicitor, is summoned to attend the funeral of Mrs Alice Drablow, the sole inhabitant of Eel Marsh House. The house stands at the end of a causeway, wreathed in fog and mystery, but it is not until he glimpses a wasted young woman, dressed all in black, at the funeral, that a creeping sense of unease begins to take hold, a feeling deepened by the reluctance of the locals to talk of the woman in black – and her terrible purpose.

 

Running Girl—Simon Mason

Meet Garvie Smith. Highest IQ ever recorded at Marsh Academy. Lowest ever grades. What’s the point, anyway? Life sucks. Nothing ever happens. Until Chloe Dow’s body is pulled from a pond. DI Singh is already on the case. Ambitious, uptight, methodical – he’s determined to solve the mystery and get promoted. He doesn’t need any ‘assistance’ from notorious slacker, Smith. Or does he?

 

The Book Thief—Marcus Zusak

1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier. Liesel, a nine-year-old girl, is living with a foster family on Himmel Street. Her parents have been taken away to a concentration camp. Liesel steals books. This is her story and the story of the inhabitants of her street when the bombs begin to fall. The novel is narrated by Death. It’s a small story about: a girl, an accordionist some fanatical Germans, a Jewish fist fighter, and quite a lot of thievery. Death will visit the book thief three times.

 

Soulmates—Holly Bourne

Every so often, two people are born who are the perfect match for each other. Soulmates. But what if meeting your soulmate is earth-shattering – literally? After a chance meeting at a local band night, Poppy and Noah find themselves swept up in a whirlwind romance unlike anything they’ve ever experienced before. But a secret international agency is preparing to separate them and a trail of destruction rumbles in their wake.

 

Rebecca—Daphne Du Maurier

Working as a lady’s companion, the orphaned heroine of Rebecca learns her place. Life begins to look very bleak until, on a trip to the South of France, she meets Maxim de Winter, a handsome widower whose sudden proposal of marriage takes her by surprise. Whisked from glamorous Monte Carlo to his brooding estate, Manderley, on the Cornish Coast, the new Mrs de Winter finds Max a changed man. And the memory of his dead wife Rebecca is forever kept alive by the forbidding Mrs Danvers . . . A classic .

 

Frozen Charlotte—Alex Bell

Dunvegan School for Girls has been closed for many years. Converted into a family home, the teachers and students are long gone. But they have left something behind…

A chilling and spooky novel . Do not read  this alone at night!

 

Dune—Frank Herbert

The epic story of the planet Arrakis, its Atreides rulers and their mortal enemies the Harkonnens is the finest, most widely acclaimed and enduring science fiction novel of the 20th century. An absolute must for sci-fi fans.

 

The perks of Being a Wallflower— Stephen Chbosky

Charlie is a freshman. And while he’s not the biggest geek in the school, he is by no means popular. Shy, introspective, intelligent beyond his years yet socially awkward, he is a wallflower, caught between trying to live his life and trying to run from it. But Charlie can’t stay on the sideline forever. Standing on the fringes of life offers a unique perspective. But there comes a time to see what it looks like from the dance floor.

 

Shardik—Douglas Adams

This brilliantly inventive fantasy epic immerses the reader in a medieval world complete with created languages, detailed maps and elaborate traditions and rituals. Centring on the long-awaited reincarnation of a giant bear among the half-barbaric Orelgan people, Shardik’s appearance sets off a violent chain of events as faith in his divinity sweeps the land. Closest to the bear is the hunter Kelderek, a naturally pious, ignorant, well-meaning man who becomes – in his dedication to Shardik – a prophet, victorious soldier, corrupt priest-king and ruler of an empire.  A real  fantasy classic.

 

Testament of Youth—Vera Brittain

In 1914 Vera Brittain was eighteen and, as war was declared, she was preparing to study at Oxford. Four years later her life – and the life of her whole generation – had changed in a way that was unimaginable in the tranquil pre-war era.

TESTAMENT OF YOUTH, one of the most famous autobiographies of the First World War, is Brittain’s account of how she survived the period; how she lost the man she loved; how she nursed the wounded and how she emerged into an altered world. A passionate record of a lost generation, it made Vera Brittain one of the best-loved writers of her time.

 

We Are Liars—E Lockhart

We are the Liars.
We are beautiful, privileged and live a life of carefree luxury.
We are cracked and broken.
A story of love and romance.
A tale of tragedy.
Which are lies?
Which is truth?

A book to blow you away

Ender’s game—Orson Scott Card

An alien threat is on the horizon, ready to strike. And if humanity is to be defended, the government must create the greatest military commander in history.

The brilliant young Ender Wiggin is their last hope. But first he must survive the rigours of a brutal military training program – to prove that he can be the leader of all leaders.

A saviour for mankind must be produced, through whatever means possible. But are they creating a hero or a monster?

 

The Fault in Our Stars—John Green

Despite the tumour-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel’s story is about to be completely rewritten.

Insightful, bold, irreverent, and raw, The Fault in Our Stars is award-winning author John Green’s most ambitious and heartbreaking work yet, brilliantly exploring the funny, thrilling, and tragic business of being alive and in love.

 

Atonement—Ian McEwan

On the hottest day of the summer of 1935, thirteen-year-old Briony Tallis sees her sister Cecilia strip off her clothes and plunge into the fountain in the garden of their country house. Watching her too is Robbie Turner who, like Cecilia, has recently come down from Cambridge. By the end of that day, the lives of all three will have been changed for ever, as Briony commits a crime for which she will spend the rest of her life trying to atone.

 

Cider with Rosie—Laurie Lee

Cider with Rosie is a wonderfully vivid memoir of childhood in Slad, a remote Cotswold village, a village before electricity or cars, a timeless place on the verge of change. Growing up amongst the fields and woods and characters of the place, Laurie Lee depicts a world that is both immediate and real and belongs to a now-distant past.

 

The Great Gatsby—F Scott Fitzgerald

Through the narration of Nick Carraway, the reader is taken into the superficially glittering world of the mansions which lined the Long Island shore in the 1920s, to encounter Nick’s cousin Daisy, her brash but wealthy husband Tom Buchanan, Jay Gatsby and the mystery that surrounds him.

Generally considered to be F. Scott Fitzgerald’s finest novel, The Great Gatsby is a consummate summary of the “roaring twenties”, and a devastating expose of the “Jazz Age”.

 

Bullet Boys—Ally Kennan

An electrifyingly dark teen thriller from the author of BEAST and QUARRY. Alex, Levi and Max follow the young soldiers from the local army camp on the moor. But harmless rivalry develops into something far more incendiary. When the boys discover a cache of buried weapons near the training grounds, deadly forces are brought into play.

 

Life: An Exploded Diagram—Mal Peet

Clem Ackroyd lives with his parents and grandmother in a claustrophobic home too small to accommodate their larger-than-life characters in the bleak Norlfolk countryside. Clem’s life changes irrevocably when he meets Frankie, the daughter of a wealthy farmer, and experiences first love, in all its pain and glory. Not only the threat of explosions, but actual ones as well, feature throughout  this novel from one of our finest writers ,sadly recently deceased.

 

The Catcher in the Rye – J D Salinger

Holden Caulfield is a seventeen- year-old dropout who has just been kicked out of his fourth school. Navigating his way through the challenges of growing up, Holden dissects the ‘phony’ aspects of society, and the ‘phonies’ themselves: the headmaster whose affability depends on the wealth of the parents, his roommate who scores with girls using sickly-sweet affection.

Written with the clarity of a boy leaving childhood behind, The Catcher in the Rye explores the world with disarming frankness and a warm, affecting charisma which has made this novel a universally loved classic of twentieth-century literature.

 

Station Eleven—Emily St John Mandel

One snowy night in Toronto famous actor Arthur Leander dies on stage whilst performing the role of a lifetime. That same evening a deadly virus touches down in North America.
The world will never be the same again.

Twenty years later Kirsten, an actress in the Travelling Symphony, performs Shakespeare in the settlements that have grown up since the collapse.
But then her newly hopeful world is threatened.

If civilization was lost, what would you preserve? And how far would you go to protect it?

 

I Capture the Castle—Dodie Smith

‘I write this sitting in the kitchen sink’ is the first line of this timeless, witty and enchanting novel about growing up. Cassandra Mortmain lives with her bohemian and impoverished family in a crumbling castle in the middle of nowhere. Her journal records her life with her beautiful, bored sister, Rose, her fadingly glamorous stepmother, Topaz, her little brother Thomas and her eccentric novelist father who suffers from a financially crippling writer’s block. However, all their lives are turned upside down when the American heirs to the castle arrive and Cassandra finds herself falling in love for the first time.