LeaValleyReads-Suggested Reading

Not certain what to pick?  Here is a selection of books that are popular with secondary school readers, by year group but challenge yourselves or indeed choose something you've previously enjoyed.

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School Stories

  • The Weight of Water by Sarah Crossan - armed with a suitcase and a old laundry bag full of clothes, Kasienka and her mother head for England. Life is difficult then someone special enters her life.
  • Wonder by R. J. Palacio - born with a facial abnormality, shy, bright 10 year old Auggie Pullman is being sent to a school for the first time ever and he's dreading it.
  • There's a Boy in the Girls' Bathroom by Louis Sachar - there are so many ways that a boy like Bradley Chalkers can humiliate himself at school. No-one wants to sit next to him until a new pupil arrives.

Animal Stories

  • My Family and Other Animals by Gerald Durrell - a family move to the Greek island of Corfu to escape the dreary wet weather of 1930's England.
  • Animal Farm by George Orwell - A group of animals grow tired of their cruel, drunken employer and take over the farm.
  • War Horse by Michael Morpurgo - Albert wonders if he will ever find his beautiful, red-bay horse again after his father sold it to the army.

Crime and Mystery Stories

  • The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon - a murder mystery with a narrator who understands lots about maths but very little about human beings.
  • Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer - is a criminal mastermind but even he doesn't know what he's taken on when he kidnaps a fairy
  • The Ruby in the Smoke by Phillip Pulman - Sally Lockhart searches for a priceless ruby in Victorian England and uncovers even greater mysteries.

…….more to follow soon




KS4  & KS5

Real Life

The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo

Chinglish by Sue Cheung

Moonrise by Sarah Crossan

We Come Apart. Sarah Crossan & B. Conaghan

The Bone Sparrow by Zana Fraillon

Paper Butterflies by Lisa Heathfield

After the Fire by Will Hill

The Smell of Other People’s Houses by BS


The Girl in the Broken Mirror by Savita Khan

I Am Thunder by Muhammad Khan

Kick the Moon by Muhammad Khan

The Names they Gave us by Emery Lord

The Stars at Oktober Bend by Glenda Millard

Beck by Mal Peet

My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece. A. Pitcher

Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds

Orbiting Jupiter by Gary D. Schmidt

The 57 Bus by Dashka Slater

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

Encounters by Jason Wallace The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner

Real Life: History

Max by Sarah Cohen-Scali

Bone Talk by Candy Gourlay

The Night Diary by Veera Hiranandani

Things A Bright Girl Can Do by Sally Nicholls

Salt to the Sea by Ruta Septys

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak


Real Life: Mental Health

Beautiful Broken Things. Sara Barnard

Are We All Lemmings & Snowflakes? H. Bourne

A Change is Gonna Come. Alisha Busby

The Perks of Being a Wallflower. S. Chbosky Toffee. Sarah Crossan

Darius the Great is Not Okay. Adib Khorram

Dumplin’. Julie Murphy

I’ll Give You the Sun. Jandy Nelson

Holding Up the Universe. Jennifer Niven

The Million Pieces of Neena Gill . Smith-Barton

All the Things We Never Said. Y. Rahman Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon


Real Life: Romance

What If It’s Us? Adam Silvera

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before. J. Han

History is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera

Happy Girl Lucky by Holly Smale

Only Love Can Break Your Heart. K. Webber The Sun is Also A Star by Nicola Yoon




Internment by Samira Ahmed

The Marrow Thieves by Cherie Dimaline

The Giver by Lois Lowry

More Than This by Patrick Ness

Delirium by Lauren Oliver

Divergent by Veronica Roth

Scythe by Neal Shusterman

The Extinction Trials by S.M. Wilson Red Blood Road by Moira Young


City of Saints & Thieves. N. C. Anderson

The Diviners by Libba Bray

Follow Me Back by Nicci Cloke

Truth About Lies by Tracy Darnton

A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder. H. Jackson

One of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus

There’s Someone Inside Your House by Stephanie Perkins

This Lie Wil Kill You by Chelsea Pitcher

Patron Saints of Nothing by Randy Ribay Pretty Little Liars by Sara Shepard

Lying About Last Summer by S. Wallman

Fantasy / Sci Fi

Children of Blood and Bone by T. Adeyemi

The Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo

The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

Witch Hunter by Victoria Boecker

Ink by Alice Broadway

Last Bus to Everland by S. Cameron

Out of the Blue by Sophie Cameron

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

The Boneless Mercies by April G. Tucholke

We Hunt the Flame by Hafsah Faizal

The Edge of Everything by Jeff Giles

A Skinful of Shadows by Frances Hardinge

The Next Together by Lauren James

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan

The Call by Peadar O’Guilin

Carry On by Rainbow Rowell

Skyward Brandon Sanderson

Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson

Enchantee by Gita Trelease

Uglies by Scott Westerfeld

The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

Action / Adventure

Not if I Save You First by Ally Carter

Gone by Michael Grant

Wolf by Wolf by Ryan Graudin

Dread Nation by Justina Ireland

Orphan Monster Spy by Matt Kileen

WarCross by Marie Lu

Books by Geraldine McCaughrean

The General by Robert Muchamore

White Rabbit / Red Wolf by Tom Pollock

Run, Riot by Nikesh Shukla

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein


Hitchhiker’s Guide Galaxy by Douglas Adams

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton

A Wizard of Earthsea by U. K Le Guin

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

White Fang by Jack London

1984 by George Orwell

Hatchet by Gary Paulsen

The Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger

The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck

Treasure Island by Robert L. Stevenson

Dracula by Bram Stoker

The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien

The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

Day of the Triffids by John Wyndham



 So our bodies may be in lockdown, but our imaginations don't have to be - pack a virtual bag and pick your destination!