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highgate21 m18

Until I feared I would lose it, I never loved to read. One does not love breathing – Harper Lee.

Reading is at the heart of Highgate’s culture and we are keen to nurture a passion for books that will last a lifetime.

With this in mind, our English Department has compiled a list of five books for each year group, with the aim that pupils read at least three titles during each year at Highgate.

Mrs Hyam, Head of English, explains: “We believe these selected books are among the most rewarding, challenging and appropriate text for each age group. If pupils read at least three of these books each year, they will leave Highgate having delved into a minimum of 21 of the finest and most enriching examples of writing across the centuries”.

Our Highgate 21 books are:

Year 7
The Diary of a Young Girl, Anne Frank
My Family and Other Animals, Gerald Durrell
His Dark Materials, Philip Pullman
A Child’s Christmas in Wales, Dylan Thomas
Joy in the Morning, PG Wodehouse

Year 8
Lord of the Flies, William Golding
I Capture the Castle, Dodie Smith
The Day of the Triffids, John Wyndham
Cider with Rosie, Laurie Lee
Collected Ghost Stories, MR James

Year 9
We Have Always Lived in the Castle, Shirley Jackson
Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen
The Great Gatsby, F Scott Fitzgerald
The Pursuit of Love, Nancy Mitford
The Big Sleep, Raymond Chandler

Year 10
The Picture of Dorian Gray, Oscar Wilde
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou
Wuthering Heights, Emily Bronte
Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, John le Carre
Slaughterhouse 5, Kurt Vonnegut

Year 11
Far From the Madding Crowd, Thomas Hardy
Catch 22, Joseph Heller
Brighton Rock, Graham Greene
Selected Stories, Alice Munro
Giovanni’s Room, James Baldwin

Year 12
Middlemarch, George Eliot
What We Talk About When We Talk About Love, Raymond Carver
The Handmaid’s Tale, Margaret Atwood
Heart of Darkness, Joseph Conrad
The God of Small Things, Arundhati Roy

Year 13
Wise Children, Angela Carter
A Handful of Dust, Evelyn Waugh
Emma, Jane Austen
In Cold Blood, Truman Capote
Bleak House, Charles Dickens

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