At Ribblesdale, we actively encourage our pupils to read widely. This book list has been put together by teachers and pupils at Ribblesdale to encourage wider reading and a deeper understanding of topics studied in lessons across the curriculum. We hope you find it useful.
'A Time of Gifts' – Patrick Leigh Fermor A compelling book which glimpses - not only the events which were curdling Europe in 1933, but also of its resplendent domes and monasteries etc. The protagonist's powers of recollection have astonishing sweep and verve. A fascinating story.
'Northern Lights' – Philip Pullman As children start disappearing Lyra embarks on a dangerous journey which takes her much further than the Northern Lights, even beyond her own world… This is a beautifully written story for any girl or boy who love adventure and science fiction books.
'To Kill a Mockingbird' – Harper Lee Set in the Deep South, this is a portrayal of race and prejudice told through the eyes of a little girl. Filled with atmospheric evocations of life in the 1930s and a moral and caring sensibility. This is a modern-day tale of how prejudice must be met, fought and overcome.
'Go Set a Watchman' - Harper Lee 'To kill a Mockingbird' sequel. The characters have all moved on. This is an amazing insight into American history, which raises issues that are still topical today.
'Great Expectations' - Charles Dickens It tells the story of Pip, an English orphan who rises to wealth, deserts his true friends, and becomes humbled by his own arrogance. It also introduces one of the more colourful characters in literature: Miss Havisham.
'The Diary of a Young Girl' – Anne Frank One of the most famous accounts of living under the Nazi regime of World War II comes from the diary of a thirteen-year-old Jewish girl, Anne Frank. Today, the book has sold over 25 million copies world-wide.
'Notes from a Small Island' – Bill Bryson Before moving his family from England to his native US, Bill Bryson decides to take one last trip around the country he's been living in. He journeys from the south of England up to John O'Groat's in Scotland, exploring historic and modern cities and landmarks making amusing observations on British character along the way.
'The Picture of Dorian Gray' – Oscar Wilde Written in his distinctively dazzling manner, Oscar Wilde's story of a fashionable young man who sells his soul for eternal youth and beauty is the author's most popular work.
'Life of Pi' – Yam Martel After selling their zoo in India and moving to Canada, Santosh and Gita Patel board a freighter with their sons and a few animals. Tragedy strikes when a terrible storm sinks the ship, leaving their teenage son, Pi, as the only human survivor. However, Pi is not alone; a fearsome Bengal tiger has also found refuge aboard the lifeboat. Pi and the tiger must learn to trust each other if both are to survive.
'Lord of the Flies' – William Golding A plane carrying a group of British schoolboys is shot down over the Pacific. The pilot is killed, but many of the boys survive the crash and find themselves deserted on an uninhabited island, and have to cope alone without adult supervision.
'Lovely Bones' - Alice Sebold This is the story of a teenage girl who, after being murdered, watches from her personal heaven as her family and friends struggle to move on with their lives while she comes to terms with her own death.
'The Book Thief' – Markus Zusak Liesel is a young girl living in Germany during World War II. She arrives in a distraught state at the home of her new foster parents after her brother's death. As she copes with the trauma of her past and the violent horrors of the war-torn world around her, she embarks on a journey of self-discovery, and mostly, her life as a book thief.
'Number Freaking' – Garry Rimmer This book provides the answers to every question you ever needed to ask. - When will America collide with Japan? - Why did Elvis really die? Which is more crowded: Jakarta, Ikea or Hell? - Discover for yourself how far you walk in a lifetime, and how many people have ever lived in the ultimate guide to modern life.
'A Short History of Nearly Everything' – Bill Bryson There is still so much we don't know or understand about how our world works and how we got here today. This is a great book if you want to see how scientific disciplines interact and an overview featuring all the big historical figures throughout science.
'The Catcher in the Rye' – JD Salinger This book is set around the 1950s and narrated by a young man named Holden Caulfield. He is sixteen years old and undergoing treatment in a mental hospital, and talks about his life and experiences at that time.
'Noughts and Crosses' – Malorie Blackman In an alternative society dealing with racism, we meet Callum and Sephy who both begin High school. Situations happen that will change their friendship forever.
'Bad Alice' – Jean Ure This novel follows a renowned Harvard psychologist named Alice Howland, shortly before she is diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer's disease. Alice, is successful and ambitious but everything falls apart when she gets Alzheimer's disease. Each chapter is a month from 2003 – 2005 and is a very powerful read.
'Night School' – C.J Dauugherty Allie's brother goes missing, and her family is not coping well. When she is arrested for the third time in a year, her parents send her to the mysterious Cimmeria Academy. Soon strange things start happening and a fellow student is murdered. As Allie tries to figure out the mystery she discovers that nothing about who she thought she was is true. In fact, she is surrounded by lies and can't figure out who to believe or trust in this deadly new world of secrets.
'War of the Worlds' – H.G. Wells This is one of the earliest stories that detail a conflict between mankind and an extra-terrestrial race. The novel is the first-person narrative of two brothers living in London as southern England is invaded by Martians. The novel is one of the most commented on works in the science fiction world.
'12 Years a Slave' - Solomon Northup This book recounts the author's life story as a free black man from the North who was kidnapped and sold into slavery in the pre-Civil War South.
'The Bookseller of Kabul' Åsne Seierstad A fascinating read about the everyday lives of the people under three different kinds of repressive regimes and the struggles of one man to do what he could to preserve the history and culture of his country.
'The Element – How finding your passion changes everything' – Ken Robinson The book is rich in anecdote and story and explores the real life creativity of well-known figures such as Albert Einstein, Paul McCartney, Meg Ryan and a number of others. Many of these people were interviewed and present engaging stories about how they nearly missed out on realising their capabilities, and their dedication to push through failure.
'Catch 22' – Joseph Heller Captain John Yossarian, a World War II bombardier, who seeks to protect his own life by fleeing to the hospital, since a "catch-22" in the Air Force regulations prevents him from being grounded for illness or obtaining a leave.
'1984' – George Orwell Winston Smith is a member of the ruling Party in London, in the nation of Oceania. Everywhere he goes the Party watches him through telescreens; everywhere he looks he sees the face of the Party's leader, a figure known only as Big Brother. Currently, the Party is forcing the implementation of an invented language called Newspeak, which attempts to prevent political rebellion by eliminating all words related to it.
'Touching the Void' – Joe Simpson Two young climbers attempted to reach the summit of Siula Grande in Peru; a feat that had previously been attempted but never achieved. The peak is reached within three days, however on the descent Joe falls and breaks his leg and falls into a crevasse and Simon, assuming him dead, continues back down. Joe however survives the fall. This is the story of how he got back down.
'Brave New World' – Aldous Huxley This takes place in a futuristic society in which people are grown as nearly identical embryos in bottles and conditioned to remove strong desires, the need for human relationships and strong emotions.
'Grapes of Wrath' - John Steinbeck Tom Joad and his family are forced from their farm in the Depression-era Oklahoma, and set out for California along with thousands of others in search of jobs, land, and hope for a brighter future.