Reading Introduction

At Ark Pioneer, we know reading is incredibly important and we support every pupil to read at their chronological age and to gain enjoyment from pleading for pleasure

Here at Ark Pioneer Academy, we want pupils to understand the positive impact reading can have on their lives and develop a culture where reading is a go-to hobby.

This starts in the summer before pupils join us in Year 7, with our summer reading challenge. Every year, pupils have a summer reading project which encourages and challenges them during the summer break.

We run reading initiatives throughout the school year, such as our 'Real People Read' where staff read a section of their favourtie book or short story for pupils during lunch time. We also create films and events for pupils as part of our World Book Day celebrations where teachers read and discuss extracts from their favourite books. Click here to see last year's film. "We want to share our love and passion for reading with pupils," said Ms Ferguson, our Head of English, "as we realise just how important reading is!"

Reading Suggestions

We love to encourage pupils to delve into new texts, authors and genres

The English department loves to put their heads together on the best reads for our pupils! Below you can see a range of recommendations. The selection of texts include modern classics, autobiographies and texts from a diverse range of authors. Team English has carefully chosen texts that are important and enjoyable. Some of the texts deal with very complex and pertinent issues in society: by reading these texts our pupils are engaging with great writing, developing as readers and becoming more empathetic and knowledgeable about the world.

Our reading list

 for Year 7:

Our reading list

 for Year 8:

Our reading list

for Year 9:

Nineteenth Century Literature:

Little Women (also Good Wives, Little Men and Jo’s Boys) by Louisa May Alcott

Peter Pan by J.M.Barrie

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll  

Oliver Twist and A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens  

Little Lord Fauntleroy by Frances Hodgson Burnett  

Treasure Island and Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson  

The Black Arrow: A Tale of Two Roses by Robert Louis Stevenson  

Black Beauty by Anna Sewell  

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain



Nineteenth Century Literature:

Sense and Sensibility and Lady Susan by Jane Austen

The Coral Island by R.M.Ballantyne

A Study in Scarlet, The Sign of the Four and The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle

Nicholas Nickleby and Great Expectations by Charles Dickens  

Mary Barton by Elizabeth Gaskell

The Happy Prince and Other Stories and Lord Arthur Savile’s Crime and Other Stories by Oscar Wilde  

Nineteenth Century Literature:

Persuasion by Jane Austen

Villette by Charlotte Brontë

The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins

Tale of Two Cities and David Copperfield by Charles Dickens

The Mill on the Floss and Adam Bede by George Eliot

Last of the Mohicans by James Fenimore Cooper

Cranford and North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell

The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne

The Hunchback of Notre Dame by Victor Hugo

Rip Van Winkle and The Legend of Sleepy Hollow (short stories) by Washington Irving

Billy Budd by Herman Melville

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

Dracula by Bram Stoker

The Woodlanders and Far From The Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy


Twentieth Century Literature:

Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Restaurant at the End of the Universe and Life, the Universe and Everything by Douglas Adams

Watership Down and Shardik by Richard Adams

Skellig by David Almond

Noughts and Crosses and Pig Heart Boy by Malorie Blackman  

The Thirty-Nine Steps by John Buchan

Murder on the Orient Express, Death on the Nile, Evil Under the Sun and The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie

The Murder at the Vicarage, The Body in the Library, They Do It With Mirrors and The Mirror Crack’d by Agatha Christie  

Over Sea, Under Stone and Greenwitch by Susan Cooper  

Bud, Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis

The Otterbury Incident by Cecil Day-Lewis

Johnny Tremain by Esther Forbes  

The Diary of A Young Girl by Anne Frank (950L)

Bilgewater by Jane Gardam

A Little Princess and The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett  

King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table by Roger Lancelyn Green

Tales of the Greek Heroes and Tale of Troy by Roger Lancelyn Green  

Myths of the Norsemen by Roger Lancelyn Green

Anne of Green Gables and Anne of Avonlea by L.M.Montgomery  

War Horse by Michael Morpurgo

Five Children and It/The Railway Children by E.Nesbit  

The Ivory Horn and The Silver Sword by Ian Seraillier  

I Capture The Castle by Dodie Smith

The Eagle Of The Ninth, The Silver Branch and The Lantern Bearers by Rosemarie Sutcliff

The Hobbit and The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R.Tolkien  

The Secret Diary Of Adrian Mole Aged 13 ¾ and The Growing Pains of Adrian Mole by Sue Townsend  

Chinese Cinderella and Falling Leaves by Adeline Yen-Mah  

Twentieth Century Literature:

The Plague Dogs by Richard Adams  

Mapp and Lucia, Queen Lucia and Miss Mapp by E.F.Benson  

Girl with a Pearl Earring and The Virgin Blue by Tracy Chevalier  

Roald Dahl’s Books of Ghost Stories by Roald Dahl  

The Lost World by Arthur Conan Doyle  

The Lord Of The Flies by William Golding  

Goodbye To All That by Robert Graves  

Enigma and Archangel by Robert Harris

I’m the King of the Castle and Strange Meeting by Susan Hill  

The Flame Trees of Thika by Elspeth Huxley

Red Sky in Morning, Kiss the Dust and The Garbage King by Elizabeth Laird

The Earthsea Trilogy (The Wizard of Earthsea, The Tombs of Atuan and The Farthest Shore) by Ursula K.LeGuin

To Kill A Mockingbird and Go Set A Watchman by Harper Lee

The Pursuit of Love and Love in a Cold Climate by Nancy Mitford

Big Mouth and Ugly Girl by Joyce Carol Oates

Flambards, The Edge of the Cloud and Flambards in Summer by K.M. Peyton

His Dark Materials Trilogy (Northern Lights, The Subtle Knife and The Amber Spyglass) by Philip Pullman

A Town Like Alice and On the Beach by Nevil Shute  

I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith  

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith

Of Mice and Men, The Pearl and The Red Pony by John Steinbeck  

The True Confessions of Adrian Mole and The Queen and I by Sue Townsend  

Scoop by Evelyn Waugh  

The Code of the Woosters, French Leave, Heavy Weather, Laughing Gas by P G Wodehouse

The Day Of The Triffids and The Midwich Cuckoos by John Wyndham

Twentieth Century Literature:

Empire of the Sun by J.G.Ballard

Shosha by Isaac Bashevis Singer

Fahrenheit 451 and The Ilustrated Man (short stories) by Ray Bradbury

The Good Earth by Pearl Buck

The Big Sleep and Farewell, My Lovely by Raymond Chandler

Captain Corelli’s Mandolin and The Troublesome Offspring of Cardinal Guzman by Louis De Bernières

The Mystery of Edwin Drood by Leon Garfield (and Charles Dickens)

The Great Gatsby and Flappers and Philsophers, the Collected Short Stories by F. Scott Fitzgerald

A Room With A View by E.M. Forster

I, Claudius by Robert Graves

Chocolat by Joanne Harris

Beowulf, a new poetic translation by Seamus Heaney

The Remains of the Day and Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro

The Life of Pi by Yann Martel

The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison

Purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

The Prestige by Christopher Priest

All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque

Franny and Zooey and Raise High the Roofbeam, Carpenters and Seymour: An Introduction (two novellas in one volume) by J.D. Salinger

The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie and The Ballad of Peckham Rye by Muriel Spark

The Mosquito Coast and Great Railway Bazaar (travel writing) by Paul Theroux

The Color Purple by Alice Walker

Twenty-First Century Literature:

Clay, Jackdaw Summer and My Name is Mina by David Almond  

Red Leaves and Jasmine Skies by Sita Bhramachari

Framed and Millions by Frank Cottrell Boyce  

The Seeing Stone, At the Crossing Places and King of the Middle March by Kevin Crossley-Holland  

The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Nighttime by Mark Haddon

Pompeii by Robert Harris

Wonder and Auggie and Me: Three Wonder Stories by Raquel Jaramillo Palacio  

Private Peaceful and An Eagle in the Snow by Michael Morpurgo  

Just in Case by Meg Rosoff  

Twenty-First Century Literature:

Boys Don’t Cry by Malorie Blackman

The Hunger Games, Catching Fire and Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

Gatty’s Tale by Kevin Crossley-Holland

Coram Boy Jamila Gavin

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon

The Lie Tree by Francis Hardinge

Crusade by Elizabeth Laird

Mr Creecher by Christopher Priest

Witch Child and Sorceress by Celia Rees

Luka and the Fire of Life by Salman Rushdie

I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai and Patricia McCormick (non-fiction)

The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak

Twenty-First Century Literature:

The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay and Gentlemen of the Road by Michael Chabon

Mao’s Last Dancer by Lee Cunxin (autobiography)

A Short History of Nearly Everything and Shakespeare, The World as a Stage (non-fiction) by Bill Bryson

The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini

Birds Without Wings by Louis de Bernières

The Islanders by Christopher Priest