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100 Reads Before You Leave

100 Reads Before You Leave
A student with some of the recommended 100 books.
Monday 28th January 2013 by C. Freeman

The Library and English department are launching a challenge to students; to see who can read the most books from a recommended 100 that are being featured over the next few weeks.

20 new suggested titles will be revealed on our website each week, as a pre-cursor to World Book Day, which takes place on Thursday 7 March. There is a display in the library and students will be encouraged to write their own reviews, with prizes available for the best ones.

Miss Blackshaw and other members of the English department came up with the list of book choices, and there is a brief description of each, so students can quickly scan the list and decide which to borrow. Miss Blackshaw said: ‘These are great books, encompassing many different genres, that are well-written, popular and will appeal to a wide variety of readers, from those who speed through books, to others who like to take their time over reading.’

Librarian Ms Adams said: ‘This is a great way to showcase all the leading fiction that we have and prizes will be on offer for the most creative reviews and also for the students who manage to read the most books, in whichever order, from the suggested titles. Students can either email their reviews to me or hand them in to the library and the best ones will be published in due course. We would like students from all year groups to really get involved in this project as there is such a lot of scope and it is a great way to discover new authors.’

The first 20 titles:

Boy Kills Man – Matt Wyman

Sonny, aka Shorty, hasn't been in a classroom in years, and he spends his days doing odd jobs on the dangerous streets of Medellín, Colombia, South America. He and his best friend Alberto have a regular gig running cigarettes for a convenience-store owner, and in this line of work Alberto meets El Fantasma, a soft-spoken crime leader with a reputation for being merciless. 'Boy Kills Man' is inspired by the true story of child assassins in Colombia.

Darkside – Tom Becker

A boy called Jonathan discovers a world hidden in London run by Jack the Ripper's family. Only the worst of the worst live here, and all too quickly Jonathan gets mixed up in a world full of murders, thieves and, of course, a werewolf and a vampire.

Tunnels – Roderick Gordon and Brian Williams

The main influence in 14-year-old Will Burrows's life is his father and they share an interest in archaeology and a fascination for the buried past. When Dr Burrows begins to notice unusual people where they live in Highfield and then promptly goes missing, Will and his friend, Chester, go in search of him.

The Cry of the Icemark – Stuart Hill

The Polypontian Empire has conquered much of the known world in recent years, largely thanks to its fearsome general, Scipio Bellorum. Bellorum has finally decided to invade his small neighbor to the north, the Icemark. After King Redrought sacrifices his entire army to stop the invasion, Thirrin, his daughter, is left alone to save the nation.

Ancient Appetites – Oisin McGann

It is the 19th century and as the British Empire begins its slow collapse, huge business empires are beginning to take its place. One of the most powerful is controlled by the Wildenstern family. When Nate Wildenstern's eldest brother, Marcus, dies in suspicious circumstances, Nate suspects foul play - for this is a family that has grown rich through ruthless ambition, whose members are trained from childhood in the arts of assassination and conspiracy. They have supernatural resilience and healing abilities and many live for more than a century. Others die early. In the Wildenstern family, it is considered acceptable to murder in order to advance your position.

Blue Sky Freedom – Gabrielle Halberstam

This is a story of love, loss and courage set against the backdrop of apartheid in South Africa in the 1970s. When Victoria's friend Maswe appears at her door, badly beaten and begging for a place to hide, she agrees to help. Soon the police are searching the house and watching Victoria's family. What has Maswe done? Victoria would do anything to keep him safe, even undertake a dangerous journey to carry a vital message to the ruthless resistance leader Godiva. But while Victoria's feelings for Maswe deepen he is impatient to return to his dangerous activist's life and the fight for freedom.

Ways to Live Forever – Sally Nicholls

Sam loves facts. He wants to know about UFOs and horror movies and airships and ghosts and scientists, and how it feels to kiss a girl. And because he has leukaemia he wants to know the facts about dying. Sam needs answers to the questions nobody will answer.

The Dubliners - James Joyce

This is a collection of 15 short stories by James Joyce, depicting Irish middle class life in and around Dublin a hundred years ago.

The Dog Catcher - Alexei Sayle

Alexei Sayle captures the morals and absurdities of our so-called ‘cool’ culture, populated by characters as recognizable as they are memorable.

Lord of the Flies – William Golding

Lord of the Flies is about a group of British boys stuck on an uninhabited island who try to govern themselves, with disastrous results.

Being – Kevin Brooks

Sixteen-year-old Robert Smith thinks he has grown up just like every other teenager in Essex, England. Sure, he can't remember much of his childhood. Memories about his birth parents feel manufactured. Hopping around from foster home to foster home through the years, he doesn't recall ever getting sick or seriously injured. All he has are his dreams, and those bad dreams feel real enough.

Angel Blood – John Singleton

Vampire hunter Elena Deveraux knows she's the best—but she doesn't know if she's good enough for this job. Hired by the dangerously beautiful Archangel Raphael, a being so lethal that no mortal wants his attention, only one thing is clear—failure is not an option...even if the task is impossible. Because this time, it's not a wayward vamp she has to track. It's an archangel gone bad. The job will put Elena in the midst of a killing spree like no other…

Road of Bones – Anne Fine

Yuri grows up in a country where no freedom of thought is encouraged, where he is told what to cheer for and who to believe in, where even the neighbours are encouraged to report any dissension to the authorities. It is still a shock when a few careless words lead him to a virtual death-sentence sent on a nightmare journey to a northern camp amid the frozen wastes. What, or who, can he possibly believe in now? Can he even survive? And is escape possible?

The Count of Monte Cristo – Alexandre Dumas

The Count of Monte Cristo is an adventure novel and one of the author's most popular works, along with the next title, The Three Musketeers.

The Three Musketeers – Alexandre Dumas

Set in the 17th century, the book recounts the adventures of a young man named d'Artagnan who travels to Paris, to join the Musketeers of the Guard. D'Artagnan is not one of the musketeers of the title; those are his friends Athos, Porthos, and Aramis, inseparable friends who live by the motto 'all for one, one for all'.

The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar – Roald Dahl

This is a collection of seven short stories written by Roald Dahl featuring a boy who can talk to animals, a man who can see with his eyes closed andtreasure, buried deep underground on Thistley Green. These stories are perfect for teen readers.

The Chrysalids – John Wyndham

The Chyrsalids is set after a devastating global nuclear war. David, the young hero lives in a tight-knit community of religious and genetic fundamentalists, always on the alert for any deviation from the norm of God’s creation. Abnormal plants are publicly burned, with much singing of hymns. Abnormal humans (who are not really human) are also condemned to destruction, unless they succeed in fleeing to the Fringes, that wild country where, as the authorities say, nothing is reliable and the devil does his work.

Brave New World - Aldous Huxley

Set in London in AD2540 (632 A.F. in the book), the novel anticipates developments in reproductive technology and sleep-learning that combine to change society. The future society is an embodiment of the ideals that form the basis of futurology. Huxley followed up this book with Brave New World Revisited and his final novel, Island.

1984 - George Orwell

George Orwell's novel of a totalitarian future society in which a man whose daily work is rewriting history tries to rebel by falling in love.

The Conquerer and Emperor series – Conn Iggulden

Intrigue and treachery roil the vast Mongol nation as the heirs of Genghis Khan fight for control of his unprecedented empire-and of his mighty armies. History will turn on the outcome of their struggle. But only one man, dismissed by all the others, will boldly rise to the challenge with the courage and vision to forge the future.

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