Saturday, 15 September 2018

5 books every senior school should have

We are well into September now which for most 11-18 year olds in the UK that they are heading back to school or are already there. One of my best friends is an English teacher at a senior school and I love donating YA books to her classroom to provide them with a variety of books to read, especially if they convey an important message that the students may relate to. Here are my top five books that cover a variety of topics that I think schools should have available to students.

books that are important in YA1. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
Important for: racial awareness
Starr Carter witnessed her childhood friend shot by a policeman. He was unarmed and giving Starr a lift home after a party but that is not how it is betrayed afterwards by the police and media. Having always living between two worlds, residing in a poor area but attending a good prep school, the shooting truly awakens Starr to all the problems there are to do with race and she soon realises how she has been acting like two different people in her different situations.
This is an incredibly important read to do with the black lives matter movement and raising awareness, unsurprisingly this was a break out hit of 2017 and is being turned into a film.

books that are important in YA
2. The Art of Being Normal by Lisa Williamson
Important for: LGBT - trans
School is a tough place when you are sixteen years old and David Piper knows this all too well. Everyone at school thinks he is gay and treat him like an outsider, but to David this is preferable to everyone than knowing the real truth, which is that we wants to be a girl.
Leo is new to the school this year and he and David strike up an unlikely friendship, seeing as Leo just wants to keep as low a profile as possible which is unlikely when David is around, but Leo has his own secrets too.
Many teenagers will know by school if they are questioning their gender, or if they are trans etc, this book covers it very well and will hopefully by helpful to any who are questioning or looking for a way to express themselves.

3. Moxie by Jennifer Mathieu
books that are important in YAImportant for: Feminism
Moxie girls fight back! Vivian Carter is fed up with the guys on the football squad getting away with everything, including sexist comments and games that are essentially sexual harassment so when she see's her mums old zines from the '90s, Vivian decides to take inspiration from them and create her own zine to call out the awful behaviour of guys and inspire girls to get together and take action against it.
We all know school is full of cliques so Vivian was surprised to see just how many girls reacted to her zine and the new friendships that are formed.
After reading this book I immediately gave this to my thirteen year old cousin to read. This is a great introduction to feminism for teens and so inspiring, females should not have to get used to cat calls and abuse and it's important we stick together.

books that are important in YA4. Simon vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli
Important for: LGBT - gay
Simon is sixteen years old and he is gay. He knows it, but no one else does until Martin, a guy from school threatens to leak his emails that Simon has been writing to an unknown student who is also gay which would instantly out him, unless Simon can get Martin a date with Simon's friend, Abby.
This book is really funny and sweet, and is another one that now has a movie adaptation of it. It's great for anyone who is looking to come out about their sexuality and also a nice little reminder to be careful what you put online and about internet security!

books that are important in YA5. Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella
Important for: Mental health awareness
I first started getting anxiety and depression when I was studying for a levels so this is one I can really relate to and I think mental illness is something that is typically related with older people so it's important that teenagers are aware of it.
Audrey has anxiety, because of that she is on medication and struggles to do things many people would consider normal, such as going to Starbucks with a boy, until she meets her brothers friend Linus. She likes him so much that she works through the scary thoughts until things start to seem achievable.
This book really shows how difficult it can be to live with anxiety and the ups and downs on the road to recovery. With many mental illnesses there is no magic cure and it quite often it never goes away. All of this is covered in Finding Audrey, along with medication and the importance of it alongside therapy when it's really needed, something that is quite often swept under the rug.
My Finding Audrey review.

Many of these books have a bit of controversy around them as they cover quite deep topics, but that is why I love them and think it's good for school kids to challenge themselves by reading something that may either help them, or help them understand what other people are going through. What books would you add to this list?



  1. I want to read the hate you give, all of them sound like great books with great message

  2. These look great. Simon vs the homo sapiens agenda would be good for me as im lgbt

  3. I've definitely read the art of being normal and I loved it, I'm pretty sure I've read finding Audry too x


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