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‘Gritty and Gripping’ Books For Years 10+

‘Gritty and Gripping’ Books For Years 10+


Danielle Bowe
Danielle Bowe
‘Gritty and Gripping’ Books For...
Following year 10 parents’ evening, we had several requests for book recommendations. Regular reading is so important for success at GCSE and beyond, yet it’s exactly at this time we often see a drop off in students’ reading habits. As parents, it’s sometimes difficult to know what to buy or borrow to encourage positive reading patterns in reluctant readers. This is why we are so lucky at Bushey Meads to have Mrs Turton, our fantastic LRC manager. She has worked tirelessly over the last few years to successfully improve the quality of our book stock as well as the reading experience of all students under our care. There isn’t much you can’t ask Mrs Turton about books!
This week she launched her Gritty and Gripping’ recommended book list for years 10 and above. These are all available in our LRC or on SORA (online reading app). She has many other genre / themed lists for different year groups so please come along and ask for a suggestion or leaflet. 
 
Take a look at this list – does something grab your attention?
 

After The Fire, Will Hill   (ebook)

Father John controls everything inside The Fence. And Father John likes rules. Especially about never talking to Outsiders. Because Father John knows the truth. He knows what is right, and what is wrong. He knows what is coming. But Moonbeam is starting to see the lies behind Father John’s words. She wants him to be found out. What if the only way out of the darkness is to light a fire?

Assassin, (Bodyguard Series),  Chris Bradford

Russia – the most dangerous place on earth to be a bodyguard. Teenage bodyguard Connor Reeves faces his deadliest assignment yet. In a country governed by criminals, he must protect Feliks, the only son of Russian billionaire and politician, Viktor Malkov. Viktor wants to change Russia for the good of all its people. But the mafia have different plans and a contract is out for the billionaire’s life. Connor must join forces with his rival Jason to act as a bulletproof shield against blackmail, assassination and kidnapping.. With a deadly assassin on the loose it could be their first and last mission together…

Brighton Rock, Graham Greene

A gang war is raging through the dark underworld of Brighton. Seventeen-year-old Pinkie, malign and ruthless, has killed a man. Believing he can escape retribution, he is unprepared for the courageous, life-embracing Ida Arnold. Greene’s gripping thriller, exposes a world of loneliness and fear, of life lived on the ‘dangerous edge of things’.

Creature of the Night,  Kate Thompson (ebook)

When Bobby’s mother moves the family into a rented house in the country, a neighbour tells him that a child was once murdered there. Bobby doesn’t care. All he wants is to get back to Dublin and to resume his wild life there, stealing from the crowded shopping streets and racing stolen cars at night. But getting his old life back doesn’t turn out to be so easy, and the longer he spends in the old cottage, the more convinced he becomes that something very strange is going on there. Was there really a murder? And if so, was it the one he has been told about?

Death Cure, James Dashner

The Trials are over. WICKED have collected all the information they can. Now it’s up to the Gladers to complete the blueprint for the cure to the Flare with a final voluntary test. But something has happened that no-one at WICKED has foreseen: Thomas has remembered more than they think. And he knows WICKED can’t be trusted… The time for lies is over. But the truth is more dangerous than anyone could have imagined. With the Gladers divided, can they all make it

Evil Star (The Power of Fiveseries)  Anthony Horowitz

The second story in the bestselling fantasy series The Power of Five by Anthony Horowitz. After his experiences at Raven’s Gate, fourteen-year-old Matt Freeman thinks his days of battling evil are over. But he is pulled into another horrifying adventure when he discovers a second gate exists. Matt and his friend Richard travel to Peru and, assisted by a secret organization known as the Nexus, follow a series of clues to the gate’s whereabouts. But there is a traitor in the Nexus… Richard is kidnapped. Matt manages to escape with the help of Pedro, a local boy. The pair travel to the Nazca desert and Matt realizes the horrifying truth: the Nazca lines are the second gate – it is about to open. But, this time, will he have the strength to prevent it?

Gone, Michael Grant

Everyone over fifteen is disappearing in Sam’s town and the ones left behind are turning to him for help. In this story, teens must unite and find a way to rule themselves while preparing to battle supernatural elements. A story of reluctant heroes, rivalry, and revenge.

Lord of the Flies, William Golding

A plane crashes on an uninhabited island and the only survivors, a group of schoolboys, assemble on the beach and wait to be rescued. By day they inhabit a land of bright fantastic birds and dark blue seas, but at night their dreams are haunted by the image of a terrifying beast. In this, his first novel, William Golding gave the traditional adventure story an ironic, devastating twist. The boys’ delicate sense of order fades, and their childish fears are transformed into something deeper and more primitive. Their games take on a horrible significance, and before long the well-behaved party of schoolboys has turned into a tribe of faceless, murderous savages.

Maximum Security (CHERUB series), Robert Muchamore

James has to bust an inmate out of a high-security US prison. Under American law, kids convicted of serious crimes can be convicted as adults. 280 of these child criminals live in the sunbaked desert prison of Arizona Max. In one of the most dangerous CHERUB missions ever, James Adams has to undercover inside Arizona Max, befriend an inmate and the bust him out. CHERUB kids are trained professionals, working in everyday situations; their essential advantage – adults never suspect that children are spying on them.  For official purposes, these children do not exist.

More Than This, Patrick Ness

A boy drowns, desperate and alone in his final moments. He dies. Then he wakes, naked and bruised and thirsty, but alive. How can this be? And what is this strange deserted place?

As he struggles to understand what is happening, the boy dares to hope. Might this not be the end? Might there be more to this life, or perhaps this afterlife?

Nineteen Eighty-Four, George Orwell

‘Who controls the past controls the future: who controls the present controls the past’ Hidden away in the Record Department of the sprawling Ministry of Truth, Winston Smith skilfully rewrites the past to suit the needs of the Party. Yet he inwardly rebels against the totalitarian world he lives in, which demands absolute obedience and controls him through the all-seeing telescreens and the watchful eye of Big Brother, symbolic head of the Party. In his longing for truth and liberty, Smith begins a secret love affair with a fellow-worker Julia, but soon discovers the true price of freedom is betrayal.

Railhead: Philip Reeve

The Great Network is a place of drones and androids, Hive Monks and Station Angels. The place of the thousand gates, where sentient trains criss-cross the galaxy in a heartbeat. It is also a place of great dangers – especially for someone who rides the rails and rides his luck the way Zen Starling does. Once Zen was just a petty thief, stealing to support his family and living by his wits. Now everything has changed. Zen is still a thief – but it could be that the key to the whole universe rests on finding out what else he is …

Salt to the Sea, Ruta Sepetys

A group of people trek across Germany, bound together by their desperation to reach the ship that can take them away from the war-ravaged land. Four young people, each haunted by their own dark secret, narrate their unforgettable stories.

Based on a true story from the Second World War: When the German ship the Wilhelm Gustloff was sunk in port in early 1945 it had over 9000 civilian refugees, including children, on board. Nearly all were drowned. Ruta Sepetys, brilliantly imagines their story.

Slow Horses, Mick Herron

Slough House is the outpost where disgraced spies are banished to see out the rest of their derailed careers. Known as the ‘slow horses’ these misfits have committed crimes of drugs and drunkenness, lechery and failure, politics and betrayal while on duty.

In this drab and mildewed office these highly trained spies don’t run ops, they push paper. Not one of them joined the Intelligence Service to be a slow horse and the one thing they have in common is they want to be back in the action.

When a boy is kidnapped and held hostage, his beheading is scheduled for live broadcast on the net. And whatever the instructions of their masters at the Intelligence Service headquarters, the slow horses aren’t going to just sit quiet and watch.

The Bunker Diary, Kevin Brooks

‘I can’t believe I fell for it. It was still dark when I woke up this morning. As soon as my eyes opened I knew where I was. A low-ceilinged rectangular building made entirely of whitewashed concrete. There are six little rooms along the main corridor. There are no windows. No doors. The lift is the only way in or out. What’s he going to do to me? What am I going to do? If I’m right, the lift will come down in five minutes. It did. Only this time it wasn’t empty.’

When your worst nightmare comes true, how will you survive?

The Hate U Give, Angie Thomas

Sixteen-year-old Starr lives in two worlds: the poor neighbourhood where she was born and raised and her posh high school in the suburbs. The uneasy balance between them is shattered when Stan is the only witness to the fatal shooting of her unarmed best friend, Khalil, by a police officer. Now what Starr says could destroy her community. It could also get her killed. Inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, this is a powerful and gripping YA novel about one girl’s struggle for justice.

The Road, Cormac McCarthy

A father and his son walk alone through burned America. Nothing moves in the ravaged landscape save the ash on the wind. It is cold enough to crack stones, and when the snow falls it is grey. The sky is dark. Their destination is the coast, although they don’t know what, if anything, awaits them there. They have nothing; just a pistol to defend themselves against the lawless bands that stalk the road, the clothes they are wearing, a cart of scavenged food—and each other.

The Woman In Black, Susan Hill

The Classic English Ghost Story.  Arthur Kipps, a junior solicitor, is summoned to attend the funeral of Mrs Alice Drablow, the sole inhabitant of Eel Marsh House. The house stands at the end of a causeway, wreathed in fog and mystery, but it is not until he glimpses a wasted young woman, dressed all in black, at the funeral, that a creeping sense of unease begins to take hold, a feeling deepened by the reluctance of the locals to talk of the woman in black – and her terrible purpose.

Without Fail, Lee Child

Jack Reacher walks alone.

No job, no ID, no last known address. But he never turns down a plea for help. Now a woman tracks him down. A woman serving at the very heart of US power. A woman who needs Reacher’s assistance in her new job.

Her job? –  Protecting the Vice-President of the United States.

Her problem? – Someone wants the VP dead.

You Are A Champion, Marcus Rashford.

How to  be the best you can be.

An inspiring, positive and practical guide for kids from Marcus Rashford MBE, footballer and child food poverty campaigner.

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