The Trap by John Smelcer. Inside the hut in the Arctic winter, a well-kept fire is essential to life. Outside in 20 below Andrew's 80-year old grandfather is checking his traps, and he is alone.
Hatchet by Gary Paulsen. The plane in which Hatchet is flying crash lands in a remote lake in Canada. Brian must fend for himself with no idea of when, or if, he will be rescued. A hugely popular story of survival. There are more in the series.
Unbelievable by Paul Jennings. Short stories to amuse. Jennings is the master of short, dark stories with wonderful twists. There are more books in this series including Unreal, Unbearable etc. Look for them in Humour at the top of the stairs.
The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier. What happens when you don't want to play by the rules? This story is set in an American high school, but it could be a school near you.
Hell Island by Matthew Reilly. The Scarecrow and his team are dropped on a remote island to discover why communications have failed.
The Blurred Man by Anthony Horowitz. The Diamond Brothers are detectives, but they are not very good. Great series.
A gripping, psychological thriller. Set in 1910 in the frozen north, the book opens with 15-year old Sig alone in the cabin with his father. His father is dead.
Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury. Classic sci-fi about the temperature at which books burn.
War Horse by Michael Morpurgo. Set during the First World War and told by a master storyteller.
The Old Man And The Sea by
Classic tale of a man who doesn't give up.
Billy Elliot by Melvin Burgess. Billy wants to be a ballet dancer but in his world you become a coal miner when you grow up.
The Perks Of Being A Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky. Coming-of-age tale of a boy who doesn't fit in. For older readers.
Of Mice And Men by John Steinbeck. Classic tale of poverty and friendship in the 1930's Great Depression.
One Day In The Life Of Ivan Denisovich by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. Ivan is a Russian prisoner in one of Stalin's forced work camps. Cold, hard and repetitive. This is a challenging read for Y12/13.
Animal Farm by George Orwell. Classic story of animals taking control of a farm. The parallels with Communist Russia led to the book being banned in that country. Often studied for English (78 pages).
Danny The Champion Of The World by Roald Dahl. Where is Danny's father going when he disappears?
A Study in Scarlet by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. A famous mystery story.
Skelling by David Almond. Who is the strange, emaciated man that Michael finds in his garage? This is an extraordinary story - not one you will have ever read before. Multi-award winner.
The Thirty-Nine Steps by John Buchan. Classic adventure set across England and Scotland just before WW1. Just 104 pages of brilliant story-telling.
The Rifle by Gary Paulsen. The rifle is made before the American Revolution and then the story follows it's different owners across the years.
Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad. In the heart of Africa, deep in the jungle, Marlow's mission is to captain a steamer up the river. Recommended for Y13.
Six, short, difficult tales from Kafka. In the title story, Samsa woke one morning from uneasy dreams to find himself transformed into a giant insect.
Recommended for Y13.
More Tales of the Unexpected by Roald Dahl. From one of the best story-tellers of all time comes a short book of dark tales with twisted endings.
The Outsider by Albert Camus. A deep and philisophical story of a man who kills a stranger. Recommended for Y13.