I participate in Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, and this week the theme is Top Ten Favourite Books With X Setting.
As a teenager, I rarely read books set in schools, probably because I didn’t read that many books aimed at actual teenagers, but also because did not enjoy school very much. Now, in fiction, school seems much more fun – and dangerous. I enjoy watching The OC, One Tree Hill, Pretty Little Liars and Gilmore Girls, and I especially love books set in boarding schools, so here’s ten books with school settings that I have – and haven’t – read.
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J.K. Rowling
All right, let’s just get this one out of the way! I included it as a bonus choice because is there anyone else doing the same theme who won’t pick Harry Potter? Hogwarts is one of the coolest schools of all time. Fact.
The Austere Academy by Lemony Snicket
From the best school ever to the worst school ever, The Austere Academy is my favourite A Series of Unfortunate Events book. Have you not always wanted to go to a school whose motto is Memento Mori (Remember You Will Die)?
Chinese Cinderella and the Secret Dragon Society by Adeline Yen Mah
Chinese Cinderella is a little-known book, but it’s utterly heartbreaking, and this is the sequel. Set during World War II, we see ‘CC’ join the Secret Dragon Society, part of a martial arts school, and join her as she becomes part of the Chinese Resistance movement.
Looking for Alaska by John Green
Who doesn’t secretly wish they could hang out and play pranks with Miles, Alaska and Chip?
Insignia by S.J. Kincaid
Hands up who would like to attend Pentagonal Spire, an elite military academy? I know it’s probably bad and everything, but would totally send my classmates viruses. Also, FIGHTING ROBOTS IN SPACE!
Follow Me Down by Tanya Byrne
But I really would not want to attend this school, Crofton College. Adamma, our protagonist, passionately and loyally deals with some pretty horrific experiences, from the disappearance of her best friend Scarlett to the suspected rape of a school friend.
Angels Unlimited by Annie Dalton
‘What’s this doing here?’, you ask. Well, Angels Unlimited was one of my favourite series’ as a young teenager. I wanted to attend Angel Academy, which would enable me to travel back in time to London during the Blitz or meet young Shakespeare. Utterly thrilling!
The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart
I still do not know why I’ve not started this trilogy. It sounds wonderful. “Are you a gifted child looking for special opportunities?” ad attracts dozens for mind-bending tests readers may try. Only two boys and two girls succeed for a secret mission, undercover and underground into hidden tunnels. At the Learning Institute for the Very Enlightened, the only rule is – there are no rules.
The Secret History by Donna Tartt
I picked this up – for only 50p – because I’d heard it was one of the best mystery novels. Richard Papen arrived at Hampden College in New England and was quickly seduced by an elite group of five students. As Richard is drawn into their inner circle, he learns a terrifying secret that binds them to one another…a secret about an incident in the woods in the dead of night where an ancient rite was brought to brutal life…and led to a gruesome death.
The Girls of St. Augustine’s by Margaret H. Ironside
The Girls of St. Augustine’s is one of my favourite old books. It sounds adorable and I cannot wait to read it. I love a good old-fashioned school story.
Honourable mentions: Prep, The Princess Diaries, The Art of Fielding, Night School, Anna and the French Kiss, The Name of the Star, School of Fear, The Mysterious Howling, Vampire Academy & Bloodlines, and St. Clare’s & Malory Towers.