Year 9 Reading List

Year 9 Reading List

The books in this list have all been enjoyed by many students.  Read the synopsis to decide which book you would like to read next.

FAPThings Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe

The first part of Achebe's African Trilogy, Things Fall Apart is the compelling story of one man's battle to protect his community against the forces of change. . . Okonkwo is the greatest wrestler and warrior alive and his fame spreads throughout West Africa like a bush-fire in the harmattan. But when he accidentally kills a clansman, things begin to fall apart. Okonkwo returns from exile to find missionaries and colonial governors have arrived in the village. With his world thrown radically off-balance he can only hurtle towards tragedy.

"Simple buyt very powerful."

INSI'm Not Scared by Niccolo Ammaniti

One relentlessly hot summer, six children explore the scorched wheat fields that enclose their tiny Italian village. When the gang find a dilapidated farmhouse, nine-year-old Michele Amitrano makes a discovery so momentous that he dare not tell a soul. It is a secret that will force Michele to question everything and everyone around him, and will bring his innocent world toppling down.

"The book turns on its head all notion of what is normal, with the essence of good and evil explored subtly and with devestating effect."

LWGA Long Way Gone by Ishmael Beah

The first-person account of a 26-year-old who fought in the war in Sierra Leone as a 12-year-old boy.

‘My new friends have begun to suspect that I haven't told them the full story of my life. “Why did you leave Sierra Leone?” “Because there is a war.” “You mean, you saw people running around with guns and shooting each other?” “Yes, all the time.” “Cool.” I smile a little. “You should tell us about it sometime.” “Yes, sometime.”’

"A stark but beautiful narrative."

BRSBlack Rabbit Summer by Kevin Brooks

Pete Boland was busy doing nothing that summer. Long, stiflingly hot, lazy days stretched ahead of him. Then she called. It was Nicole. 'Listen, Pete, you know that funfair, up at the recreation ground. I thought we could all meet up, you know, for old times sake.' But, where there are old times there are old tensions. And as secrets, bitterness and jealousies resurface, five old friends are plunged into the worst night of their lives.

"Dark, tense and gripping."


39 stepsThe Thirty Nine Steps by John Buchan

Adventurer Richard Hannay has just returned from South Africa and is thoroughly bored with his London life - until a spy is murdered in his flat, just days after having warned Hannay of an assassination plot that could plunge Britain into a war with Germany. An obvious suspect for the police and an easy target for the killers, Hannay picks up the trail left by the assassins, fleeing to Scotland, where he must use all his wits to stay one step ahead of the game - and warn the government before it is too late. 

"A fast moving and exciting yarn."


VIIIVIII by H. M. Castor

Destined for greatness - tormented by demons. VIII (Eight) is the untold story of Henry VIII, a gripping examination of why he turned from a charismatic teenager to the cruel tyrant he became in later life. Hal is a young, handsome and gifted warrior, who believes he has been divinely chosen to lead his people. But throughout his life, he is haunted by a ghostly apparition, and, once he rises to power, he turns to murder and rapacious cruelty.

"Without doubt the best book I have read this year, the most exciting, the most thoughtful and one I would recommend without reservation."


CCMCaptain Corelli's Mandolin by Louis de Bernieres

It is 1941 and Captain Antonio Corelli, a young Italian officer, is posted to the Greek island of Cephallonia as part of the occupying forces. At first he is ostracised by the locals but over time he proves himself to be civilised, humorous and a consummate musician. When Pelagia, the local doctor's daughter, finds her letters to her fiancé go unanswered, Antonio and Pelagia draw close and the working of the eternal triangle seems inevitable. But can this fragile love survive as a war of bestial savagery gets closer and the lines are drawn between invader and defender?

"Hypnotic... A vast tapestry woven in tiny, colourful, intricate detail."

GEGreat Expectations by Charles Dickens

Pip doesn't expect much from life. His sister makes it clear that her orphaned little brother is nothing but a burden on her. But suddenly things begin to change. Pip's narrow existence is blown apart when he finds an escaped criminal, is summoned to visit a mysterious old woman and meets the icy beauty Estella. Most astoundingly of all, an anonymous person gives him money to begin a new life in London. Are these events as random as they seem? Or does Pip's fate hang on a series of coincidences he could never have expected?

"This is an incredibly gripping story with many twists and turns."


AAnnexed by Sharon Dogar

Everyone knows about Anne Frank, and her life hidden in the secret annexe - or do they? Peter van Pels and his family are locked away in there with the Franks, and Peter sees it all differently. He's a boy, and for a boy it's just not the same. What is it like to be forced into hiding with Anne Frank, to hate her and then find yourself falling in love with her? To know you're being written about in her diary, day after day? What's it like to sit and wait and watch whilst others die, and you wish you were fighting?

"It was so true to life that I had to keep reminding myself that it was a story!"

BCBog Child by Siobhan Dowd

Digging for peat in the mountain with his Uncle Tally, Fergus finds the body of a child and it looks like she's been murdered. As Fergus tries to make sense of the mad world around him; his brother on a hunger-strike in prison, his growing feelings for Cora, his parents arguing over the troubles and him, in it up to the neck, blackmailed into acting as courier to God knows what. A little voice comes to him in his dreams and the mystery of the bog child unfurls.

"My favourite book of the year - an astonishing read and the kind of book that holds you in a trance."

RWAVA Room with a View by E. M. Forster

Lucy has her rigid, middle-class life mapped out for her until she visits Florence with her uptight cousin Charlotte, and finds her neatly ordered existence thrown off balance. Her eyes are opened by the unconventional characters she meets at the Pension Bertolini: flamboyant romantic novelist Eleanor Lavish, the Cockney Signora, curious Mr Emerson and, most of all, his passionate son George. Lucy finds herself torn between the intensity of life in Italy and the repressed morals of Edwardian England, personified in her terminally dull fiancé Cecil Vyse. Will she ever learn to follow her own heart?

2It is easy to see why this book is a classic. I think it is totally deserving of that status."

DOJThe Day of the Jackel by Frederick Forsyth

1963. An anonymous Englishman is hired by the Operations Chief of French terrorist organisation O.A.S. to murder the French president, General Charles de Gaulle. A failed attempt in the previous year means the target will be nearly impossible to reach.  Only one man could do the job: an assassin of legendary talent known only as The Jackal. This remorseless and deadly killer must be stopped. But he is a man without a name, without an identity; a lethal spectre. How can you stop an assassin nobody can identify? The task falls to the best detective in France, and the price of failure is unthinkable.

"Make sure you have nothing else to do when you start reading this book because once you start reading, you will not want to stop."

RRRuby Red by Linzi Glass

In Ruby Winters' world, colour opens some doors and slams others shut. Her opulent Johannesburg neighbourhood is a far cry from the streets of Soweto, where anger and hatred simmer under the surface.

Ruby can’t resist the blue-eyed Afrikaans boy who brings her the exciting rush of first love, but whose presence brings hushed whispers and disapproving glances. She might not see race, colour or creed, but it seems everybody else does. 

"A total love story, full of compassion and shows you the world of racism. I cannot say a bad word about this book."

LFLord of the Flies by William Golding

A plane crashes on a desert island.

The only survivors are a group of schoolboys. By day, they discover fantastic wildlife and dazzling beaches, learning to survive; at night, they are haunted by nightmares of a primitive beast.  Orphaned by society, it is not long before their innocent childhood games devolve into a savage, murderous hunt ...

"Reading this story is similar to looking at one of those optical illusion drawings, depending on how you look at it, you see something different"

FPFever Pitch by Nick Hornby

For many people watching football is mere entertainment, to some it is more like a ritual; but to others, its highs and lows provide a narrative to life itself. But, for Nick Hornby, his devotion to the game has provided one of few constants in a life, where the meaningful things like growing up, leaving home and forming relationships, both parental and romantic, have rarely been as simple or as uncomplicated as his love for Arsenal.

"I have never read a book where there are no chapters - just match reports!"


BNWBrave New World by Aldous Huxley

Everyone belongs to everyone else. Welcome to New London. Everybody is happy here.

Our perfect society achieved peace and stability through the prohibition of monogamy, privacy, money, family and history itself. Now everyone belongs. You can be happy too.

All you need to do is take your Soma pills.

"A view of the future that appears to be our present - I cannot stop thinking about it!"

KAMTo Kill a Mockingbirg by Harper Lee

Shoot all the Bluejays you want, if you can hit 'em, but remember it's a sin to kill a Mockingbird.'

A lawyer's advice to his children as he defends the real mockingbird of Harper Lee's classic novel, a black man charged with the rape of a white girl. Through the young eyes of Scout and Jem Finch, Harper Lee explores with exuberant humour the irrationality of adult attitudes to race and class in the Deep South of the thirties. The conscience of a town steeped in prejudice, violence and hypocrisy is pricked by the stamina of one man's struggle for justice. But the weight of history will only tolerate so much.

"You will never regret reading this book, it is great."

LoPLife of Pi by Yann Martel

One boy, one boat, one tiger . . .

After the tragic sinking of a cargo ship, a solitary lifeboat remains bobbing on the wild, blue Pacific. The only survivors from the wreck are a sixteen-year-old boy named Pi, a hyena, a zebra (with a broken leg), a female orang-utan - and a 450-pound Royal Bengal tiger. The scene is set for one of the most extraordinary and best-loved works of fiction in recent years.

"Everyone in this world should read this book."

KNLGThe Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness

Prentisstown is not like other towns. Everyone can hear everyone else’s thoughts in a constant, overwhelming Noise. There is no privacy. There are no secrets. Then Todd Hewitt unexpectedly stumbles on a spot of complete silence....which is impossible.

And now he is going to have to run… 

"An unflinching novel about the impossioble world of growing up."


Tamar by Mal PeetTamar by Mal Peet

When her grandfather dies, Tamar inherits a box containing a series of clues and coded messages. Out of the past, another Tamar emerges, a man involved in the terrifying world of resistance fighters in Nazi-occupied Holland half a century before. His story is one of passionate love, jealousy and tragedy set against the daily fear and casual horror of the Second World War -- and unraveling it is about to transform Tamar's life forever.

"This is the sort of book you could read twice to pick up all the clues you missed the first time round. Stunning writing."


TBJThe Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath

I was supposed to be having the time of my life . . .

Working as an intern for a New York fashion magazine in the summer of 1953, Esther Greenwood is on the brink of her future. Yet she is also on the edge of a darkness that makes her world increasingly unreal. Esther's vision of the world shimmers and shifts: day-to-day living in the sultry city, her crazed men-friends, the hot dinner dances...

"I never thought of my life as being like a fig tree before."


ToMaITales of Mystery and Imagination by Edgar Allen Poe

This collection of Poe's best stories contains all the terrifying and bewildering tales that characterise his work. As well as the Gothic horror of such famous stories as 'The Pit and the Pendulum', 'The Fall of the House of Usher', 'The Premature Burial' and 'The Tell-Tale Heart', all of Poe's Auguste Dupin stories are included.

These are the first modern detective stories and include 'The Murders in the Rue Morgue', 'The Mystery of Marie Roget' and 'The Purloined Letter'.

"I did not knonw what the word macabre meant until I read this book."

TWThe Whisper by Bali Rai

The Crew didn't think things could ever get that bad again. They were seriously wrong. Things have calmed down for the Crew (Billy, Ellie, Della, Jas and Will) and life in the Ghetto is ticking on as usual. But things are about to kick-off all over again. The police have launched Operation Clean-up and dealers are regularly being pulled off the street and into the police station. Someone's got to be grassing them up, and soon Nanny and the Crew are getting blamed. Billy is mugged, Ellie is picked on in school, and Billy's house is being targeted. The Crew need to find out who's pointing the finger before things get really serious.

"Tough and uncompromising."

TBBThe Blue Book of Nebo by Manon Steffan Ros

Dylan was six when The End came, back in 2018: when the electricity went off for good, and the normal 21st-century world he knew disappeared. Now 14, he and his mam have survived in their isolated hilltop house above the village of Nebo in north-west Wales by learning new skills and returning to old ways of living. However, despite their close understanding, the relationship between mother and son changes subtly as Dylan has to take on adult responsibilities. And they each have their own secrets - which emerge as they take it in turns to jot down their thoughts and memories in a found notebook – the Blue Book of Nebo.

"It made me think about what makes me happy and about how I get on with my Mum."

MVPFinding Violet Park by Jenny Valentine

The mini cab office was up a cobbled mews with little flat houses either side. That's where I first met Violet Park, what was left of her. There was a healing centre next door, a pretty Sixteen-year-old Lucas Swain becomes intrigued by the urn of ashes left in a cab office. Convinced that its occupant – Violet Park – is communicating with him, he contrives to gain possession of the urn, little realising that his quest will take him on a voyage of self-discovery and identity, forcing him to finally confront what happened to his absent (and possibly dead) father.

"I did not expect Vilet Park to be dead right from the beginning!"


OOSOut of Shadows by Jason Wallace

Zimbabwe, 1980s. The fighting has stopped, independence has been won and Robert Mugabe has come to power, offering the end of the Old Way and promising hope for black Africans. For Robert Jacklin, it’s all new: new continent, new country, new school. And very quickly he learns that for some of his white classmates, the sound of guns is still loud, and their battles rage on.
Boys like Ivan. Clever, cunning Ivan. He wants things back to how they were, and he’s taking his fight to the very top.

"It was impossible to put this book down."

PMTPiecing Me Together by Renee Watson

Jade is a girl striving for success in a world that seems like it is trying to break her. She knows she needs to take every opportunity that comes her way, and she has, every day Jade rides the bus away from her friends to a private school where she feels like an outsider, but where she has plenty of opportunities. But some opportunities Jade could do without but with a college scholarship promised at the end of it, how can Jade say no?

Jade feels like her life is made up of hundreds of conflicting pieces. Will it ever fit together? Will she ever find her place in the world? More than anything, Jade just wants the opportunity to be real, to make a difference.

"Jade's voice is so strong and compelling and real. I love, love, love her in all her strength, vulnerability and passion."

TSOTWhe Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

Hidden in the heart of the old city of Barcelona is the 'cemetery of lost books', a labyrinthine library of obscure and forgotten titles that have long gone out of print. To this library, a man brings his 10-year-old son, where Daniel is allowed to choose one book from the shelves and pulls out La Sombra del Viento by Julian Carax. As Daniel grows up, several people seem inordinately interested in his find. Then, one night, as he is wandering the old streets once more, Daniel is approached by a figure who reminds him of a character from La Sombra del Viento.  This man is tracking down every last copy of Carax's work in order to burn them. What begins as a case of literary curiosity turns into a race to find out the truth behind the life and death of Julian Carax.

"A page turning exploration of obsession in literature and love, and the places that obsession can lead."

TBTThe Book Thief by Markus Zusak

Here is a small fact - You are going to die

1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier. Liesel, a nine-year-old girl, is living with a foster family on Himmel Street. Her parents have been taken away to a concentration camp. Liesel steals books. This is her story and the story of the inhabitants of her street when the bombs begin to fall.

Some important information - This novel is narrated by Death

"This book is amazing! Original, moving and stark writing"

If you have already read these, try others by the same authors, or look on the Academy website for other reading lists and the Library Catalogue.

Library QR Code

Nicky Raddon - January 2024