The school librarian, Mr Jones, has compiled some extensive lists of book recommendations for different year groups to stay home, stay safe, and stay entertained during the Covid-19 crisis. Here are his recommended reads for Year 11.
Chris Beckett: Dark Eden – Life is about more than survival for a group of teenagers who break away from their old leaders on a dangerous and cold alien planet and try and set up their own society. The problem is all 500 of the colony are the descendants of the same few people and so there are lots of genetic mutations. One of the most original science fiction novels of the last decade.
Anthony Burgess: A Clockwork Orange – Burgess’s still infamous nightmare vision of youth in revolt as 15-year-old Alex is sent to prison, for rape, and is given a nasty ‘cure’ in which he is brainwashed against committing further acts, meaning he can no longer defend himself. Written in a strange, but captivating, language based upon Russian, English and Hungarian.
Tom Clempson: One Seriously Messed Up Week – Seriously funny comedy about a teenager trying to find a girlfriend whilst studying for his GCSEs. This funny, easy read, book might provide some release in this stressful time.
Rachel Cohn: Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist – Funny, sassy and cool teen tale about love on the rebound. Set over one long night, drenched in very cool music which will have you looking up the playlist.
Emma Donoghue: Room – Jack is five and lives with his mother in a single, locked room. They don’t have the key. Highly original bestseller seen from the point of view who has never been outside.
Alex Garland: The Beach – The ultimate backpacker novel of the 1990s and early noughties. A young traveller finds a hidden beach near Thailand, but the dream soon turns into a nightmare as the perfect lifestyle soon disintegrates after personality clashes and worse.
Kazuo Ishiguro: Never Let Me Go – Students grow up in a darkly skewered version of 1950s England in this genre-bending modern classic in which nothing is what it seems. It’s incredibly clever and reveals its secrets very slowly, dropping sneaky clues here and there.
Josh Malerman: Bird Box – Something in the light turns people into mass-murderers in this nail-biting story of life hiding behind a blindfold. This is one of these horror novels where ‘not knowing’ is more terrifying than any physical creatures. Was turned into a successful Netflix film.
George RR Martin: A Game of Thrones Series – What can I say about possibly the best fantasy series ever written? Staggering, genius, addictive, brutal and amazing. I could go on forever about these books, which I doubt will ever be completed. But all five books are A LOT of reading!
Heather Morris: Tattooist of Auschwitz – Heart-breaking true story of love in the dreaded Auschwitz Concentration Camp written in a format that although it is a biography, reads similar to a novel.
Patrick Rothfuss: Kingkiller Chronicles – Breath-taking, adult fantasy, currently two book series, moving, gripping, musical and so good it will take your breath away. This author is also incredibly slow and only brings up a book every ten years!
Simon Scarrow: The Eagle Series – Cracking adventure series set in 600AD, following a Roman Legion in the last days of the Roman Empire as they battle across Europe. ‘Under the Eagle’ is book one and if you get into it there are almost twenty in the series.
William Sutcliffe: Are You Experienced? A traveling holiday in India turns into a hilarious nightmare for Dave, a 19-year-old who hates traveling and has only gone as he is chasing a girl who promptly dumps him after the first few days. ‘New Boy’ by the same author is equally funny.
Jonathan Trigell: Boy A – Gripping tale of a young man released from prison with a new identity for murdering a child when he was a boy. Moving story of trying to change and adapt to a new life.
Carlos Ruiz Zafon: Name of the Wind Series – Set in the Spanish Civil War, the search for a lost book and obscure author becomes a dangerous obsession in this amazing thriller which has spawned a few sequels.
The Library Firefly page has a massive resource of reading lists, crib sheets from previous book talks and ideas for what to read next. Email Mr Jones if you need any help.reco