The Reading List Project

Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo

Recommended by Rachel Cook (@dramateech) Form and genre: novel written in verse Length: 371 pages Summary: Narrated between two girls who lose their father in a plane crash and ultimately learn about each other as long lost sisters. Age recommendation and challenging content: Contains death and grief. Would recommend for Y8 and above. Notable reasons for recommending this book: This is a …

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The Boxer by Nikesh Shukla

Recommended by Naomi Murcutt (@NaomiMEnglish) Form and genre: contemporary young adult fiction, prose Length: 288 pages Summary: The Boxer focuses on the life of a young Asian boy, Sunny, who has moved from London to Bristol. When he is the victim of a racially motivated attack, he joins a boxing club and befriends Keir, a white teen with a family …

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The Tiffin by Mahtab Narsimhan

Recommended by Vina Vekria (@VVekria) Form and genre:  Prose novel Length: 170 pages Summary: Journey of an orphaned boy in Mumbai trying to find his birth mother using the tiffin delivery service. My students love it! Age recommendation and challenging content: Child abuse – protagonist is hit by carer. Hints of sexual exploitation but students often miss it. Recommended for year …

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The Watcher in the Shadows by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

Recommended by Ruth Holder (@MrsRHEnglish) Form and genre: prose, gothic, action, mystery Length: 270 pages Summary: Irene’s family moves after her father dies and her mother gets a job as housekeeper for enigmatic toymaker, Lazarus Jann, whose sick wife has been shut away for years.. Strange events and figures, mechanical and shadowy creatures, chases…an exciting story! Age recommendation and challenging …

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Black Enough edited by Ibi Zoboi

Recommended by Michelle Ings (@michelle_ings) Form and genre: Short stories Length: 416 pages Summary: (From Amazon) Black is male, Black is female, Black is straight, Black is gay, Black is urban, Black is rural, Black is rich. And poor. Black is mixed-race, Black is immigrants, Black is more. There are countless ways to be BLACK ENOUGH. Featuring some of the most acclaimed bestselling American black authors writing for teens today, Black Enough is an essential collection of captivating stories about what …

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Poor by Caleb Femi

Recommended by Philippa (@P_Hardy) Form and genre: Poetry Length: 160 pages Summary: Written by an ex student of mine, Caleb writes about life growing up on an estate in North Peckham. He describes what it’s like to be young and black growing up in a concrete jungle. It’s a mixture of photography and poetry but above all functions as a …

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