Top Ten Tuesday: 10 Books I Read at School

Blog - Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. If you love books and making lists, this is the meme for you! This week’s topic is:

Back To School Freebie

Which means we can do anything “back to school” related – I have decided to share with you a selection of 10 books, plays and poems I was required to read back when I was at school (ordered alphabetically):

~ 1 ~

The Wolves of Willoughby Chase by Joan Aiken

A children’s novel which was first published in 1962 and features an alternative history of England, where rural areas are terrorised by packs of wolves. I read this early on in secondary school but other than I enjoyed it I don’t remember a great deal about it.

~ 2 ~

Jabberwocky by Lewis Carroll

A nonsense poem included in the children’s novel Through the Looking Glass; Alice’s second adventure in Wonderland. I also read this early on in secondary school and thought it was so much fun!

~ 3 ~

The Withered Arm by Thomas Hardy

A short story which was first published in 1888. I read this later in secondary school, as I was getting ready to take my GCSEs. I found it really depressing and it put me off reading anything else by Hardy for years.

~ 4 ~

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

A Pulitzer Prize winning, American novel which was first published in 1960, that tackles the issues of race, class, courage, compassion and gender in the American ‘Deep South’. This was one of my set GCSE texts in secondary school – I thought it was a powerful and touching read.

~ 5 ~

A View from the Bridge by Arthur Miller

An American play that, after revision, premiered in 1956 and chronicles life in the Italian American neighbourhood in New York, which sits in the shadow of the Brooklyn Bridge. I read this in secondary school but I sadly don’t remember a great deal about it.

~ 6 ~

The Highwayman by Alfred Noyes

A narrative poem that follows the exploits of the highwayman and his one true love, set in 18th century England and first published in 1906. A beautiful, tragic tale that I first read in primary school and it has stayed with me all these years.

~ 7 ~

Tom’s Midnight Garden by Philippa Pearce

A Carnegie Medal winning, children’s time-slip novel that was first published in 1958. A charming tale of Tom’s adventures in the past – I have very fond memories of Mr Lord, in primary school, reading this to the class at the end of long, cold school day.

~ 8 ~

An Inspector Calls by J B Priestley

Priestley’s best known play that critiques Edwardian society in England, when out of the blue an inspector comes to call on a prosperous upper middle-class family, which had it’s UK premiere in 1946. Another one of my set GCSE texts in secondary school which is still one of my favourite plays!

~ 9 ~

Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare

Elizabethan tragedy that follows the fate of two young star-crossed lovers – a play known, read and performed all over the world! Another one of my set GCSE texts in secondary school, however school almost put me off it for life as we read it 4 out of our 5 years there! Fortunately I came to appreciate it again in college.

~ 10 ~

Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

An American novella that follows two ranch hands struggling through the Great Depression in the USA. My final set GCSE text in secondary school which was another touching, tragic and powerful read.

What books did you read at school? Also, please let me know and link in the comments if you have taken part in this week’s Top Ten Tuesday topic.


8 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: 10 Books I Read at School

  1. The only overlap in our lists, comparing mine as an Ontario, Canada schoolgirl, is Harper Lee’s novel (which was assigned to us in grade 9) and “Romeo and Juliet” (grade 13). But I did have another Steinbeck (The Red Pony, in 7th grade) and another Arthur Miller (Death of a Salesman, in grade 13). As for English fare, we were assigned Robert Westall’s The Machine Gunners and Meade’s Moonfleet, and Animal Farm, and some stories (like D.H. Lawrence and poems) but also lots of Canadian writers of course. Most of the text ended up being favourites because even then I loved getting to the details of specific stories. It’s interesting to look back, isn’t it?

    1. B.I.P while we didn’t read exactly the same books it is interesting to hear, even though we grew up in different countries, we read 4 of the same authors. And, yes It has been really nice to look back 🙂

  2. oh quite a few I haven’t read! We read different books in school here (German classics) and some other works by authors, like a different Shakespeare and Miller’s Salesman instead. I still want to read The Wolves of Willoughby Chase, it sounds like an important read!

  3. Aww, the Wolves of Willoughby Chase – I hadn’t thought of that for ages – and, like you can barely remember it although I’m sure I liked it!
    Lynn 😀

  4. Several there that I read at school too – they must rarely change the curriculum! Of Mice and Men is the book that made me cry most in my life, I think! We also read Grahame’s Greene’s The Power and the Glory, so sometimes schools do introduce you to authors that become life-long favourites… 🙂

    1. Yeah FF I don’t think they do change the curriculum very often – my little brother and cousins read a lot of these for GCSE too. However I sadly have to admit I have never read anything by Grahame Greene!

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