Writes of Passage

Young people and adults nominated the books that have rocked their worlds, to help us create the ultimate list of 50 BOOKS that will change YOUR life and keep you reading.
Enjoy the results!

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Forever

Judy Blume

Macmillan

Do you remember the first time?

Still the bravest, freshest, fruitiest and most honest account of first love, first sex and first heartbreak ever written for teens. Forever was a book ahead of its time—and remains, after thirty years in print, a teenage bestseller.

Read an extract from Forever

The Knife of Never Letting Go

Patrick Ness

Walker

An unflinching novel about the impossible choices of growing up, by an award-winning writer.

Imagine you’re the only boy in a town of men. And you can hear everything they think. And they can hear everything you think. Imagine you don’t fit in with their plans… Todd Hewitt is just one month away from the birthday that will make him a man. But his town has been keeping secrets from him. Secrets that are going to force him to run…

Read an extract from The Knife of Never Letting Go

The Diary of a Young Girl

Anne Frank

Penguin

Discovered in the attic in which she spent the last years of her life, Anne Frank’s remarkable diary has since become a world classic—a powerful reminder of the horrors of war and an eloquent testament to the human spirit. In 1942, with Nazis occupying Holland, a thirteen-year-old Jewish girl and her family fled their home in Amsterdam and went into hiding. For the next two years, until their whereabouts were betrayed to the Gestapo, they and another family lived cloistered in the “Secret Annex” of an old office building. Cut off from the outside world, they faced hunger, boredom, the constant cruelties of living in confined quarters, and the ever-present threat of discovery and death. In her diary Anne Frank recorded vivid impressions of her experiences during this period. By turns thoughtful, moving, and amusing, her account offers a fascinating commentary on human courage and frailty and a compelling self-portrait of a sensitive and spirited young woman whose promise was tragically cut short.

Gone

Michael Grant

Egmont

Suddenly there are no adults, no answers. What would you do? In the blink of an eye, the world changes. The adults vanish without a trace, and those left must do all they can to survive.

But everyone’s idea of survival is different. Some look after themselves, some look after others, and some will do anything for power… Even kill.

For Sam and Astrid, it is a race against time as they try to solve the questions that now dominate their lives… What is the mysterious wall that has encircled the town of Perdido Beach and trapped everyone within? Why have some kids developed strange powers? And can they defeat Caine and his gang of bullies before they turn fifteen and disappear too?

It isn’t until the world collapses around you that you find out what kind of person you really are.

A chilling portrayal of a world with no rules.

Read an extract from Gone

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

Mark Hadden

Random House

Fifteen-year-old Christopher has a photographic memory. He understands maths. He understands science. What he can’t understand are other human beings. When he finds his neighbour’s dog lying dead on the lawn, he decides to track down the killer and write a murder mystery about it. But what other mysteries will he end up uncovering?

Read an extract from The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

The Rats

James Herbert

Pan Macmillan

Remember with fear…

It was only when the bones of the first devoured victims were discovered that the true nature and power of these swarming black creatures with their razor sharp teeth and the taste for human blood began to be realised by a panic-stricken city.For millions of years man and rats had been natural enemies.But now for the first time – suddenly, shockingly, horribly – the balance of power had shifted…

Read an extract from The Rats

The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones

Cassandra Clare

Walker

Discover the secrets of the Shadowhunters as they wage a terrifying war to keep the world safe from demons in the first sensational book in the Mortal Instruments trilogy.

Clary Fray is seeing things: vampires in Brooklyn and werewolves in Manhattan. Irresistibly drawn towards a group of sexy demon hunters, Clary encounters the dark side of New York City—and the dangers of forbidden love.

Read an extract from City of Bones

Jane Eyre

Charlotte Bronte

Penguin

The thrilling story of mystery, betrayal and love. Orphaned Jane Eyre endures an unhappy childhood, hated by her aunt and cousins and then sent to comfortless Lowood School. But life there improves, and Jane stays on as a teacher, though she still longs for love and friendship. At Mr Rochester’s house, where she goes to work as a governess, she hopes she might have found them – until she learns the terrible secret of the attic.

Geek Girl

Holly Smale

Harper Collins

“My name is Harriet Manners, and I am a geek.”

Harriet Manners knows that a cat has 32 muscles in each ear, a “jiffy” lasts 1/100th of a second, and the average person laughs 15 times per day. She knows that bats always turn left when exiting a cave and that peanuts are one of the ingredients of dynamite.

But she doesn’t know why nobody at school seems to like her.

So when Harriet is spotted by a top model agent, she grabs the chance to reinvent herself. Even if it means stealing her best friend’s dream, incurring the wrath of her arch enemy Alexa, and repeatedly humiliating herself in front of impossibly handsome model Nick. Even if it means lying to the people she loves.

Veering from one couture disaster to the next with the help of her overly enthusiastic father and her uber-geeky stalker, Toby, Harriet begins to realise that the world of fashion doesn’t seem to like her any more than the real world did.

As her old life starts to fall apart, will Harriet be able to transform herself before she ruins everything?

Read an extract from Geek Girl

Wonder

R. J. Palacio

Random House

Wonder is the funny, sweet and incredibly moving story of Auggie Pullman. Born with a terrible facial abnormality, this shy, bright ten-year-old has been home-schooled by his parents for his whole life, in an attempt to protect him from the stares and cruelty of the outside world. Now, for the first time, Auggie is being sent to a real school – and he’s dreading it. The thing is, Auggie’s just an ordinary kid, with an extraordinary face. But can he convince his new classmates that he’s just like them, underneath it all?

Through the voices of Auggie, his big sister Via, and his new friends Jack and Summer, Wonder follows Auggie’s journey through his first year at Beecher Prep. Frank, powerful, warm and often heart-breaking, Wonder is a book you’ll read in one sitting, pass on to others, and remember long after the final page.

Read an extract from Wonder

How I Live Now

Meg Rosoff

Penguin

How I Live Now is an original and poignant book by Meg Rosoff

How I Live Now is the powerful and engaging story of Daisy, the precocious New Yorker and her English cousin Edmond, torn apart as war breaks out in London, from the multi award-winning Meg Rosoff.

Fifteen-year-old Daisy thinks she knows all about love. Her mother died giving birth to her, and now her dad has sent her away for the summer, to live in the English countryside with cousins she’s never even met.

There she’ll discover what real love is: something violent, mysterious and wonderful. There her world will be turned upside down and a perfect summer will explode into a million bewildering pieces.

How will Daisy live then?

Pride and Prejudice

Jane Austen

Penguin

Elizabeth is greatly unimpressed by the haughty Mr Darcy when he snubs her at a dance, she considers him proud and arrogant. However, as events unfold, the spirited Elizabeth discovers that a man can change his manners, and a lady her mind in this enchanting story of love, marriage and mutual understanding.

Angus, Thongs and Full Frontal Snogging

Louise Rennison

Harper Collins

There are six things very wrong with my life:

1. I have one of those under-the-skin spots that will never come to a head but lurk in a red way for the next two years.
2. It is on my nose.
3. I have a three-year-old sister who may have peed somewhere in my room.

4. In fourteen days the summer hols will be over and then it will be back to Stalag 14 and Oberführer Frau Simpson and her bunch of sadistic ‘teachers’.
5. I am very ugly and need to go into an ugly home.
6. I went to a party dressed as a stuffed olive.

Follow Georgia’s hilarious antics as she tries to overcome the dilemma’s that are weighing up against her, and muddle her way through teenage life and all that it entails: how to replace accidentally shaved-off eyebrows; how to cope with Angus, her small labrador- sized Scottish wildcat; her first kiss with Peter – afterwards known as Whelk Boy; annoying teachers; unsympathetic friends and family, and how to entice Robbie the Sex God! Phew – she’s really got her work cut out!

The Time Traveller’s Wife

Audrey Niffenegger

Random House

This is the extraordinary love story of Clare and Henry who met when Clare was six and Henry was thirty-six, and were married when Clare was twenty-two and Henry thirty. Impossible but true, because Henry suffers from a rare condition where his genetic clock periodically resets and he finds himself pulled suddenly into his past or future. In the face of this force they can neither prevent nor control, Henry and Clare’s struggle to lead normal lives is both intensely moving and entirely unforgettable.

The Outsiders

S. E. Hinton

Penguin

The Outsiders by S E Hinton is a ground-breaking, timeless story by a brilliant writer.

‘. . . the hand at the back of my neck was strong. I’m drowning, I thought . . .’

The Socs’ idea of having a good time is beating up Greasers like Ponyboy. Ponyboy knows what to expect and knows he can count on his brothers and friends – until the night someone takes things too far.

The original teenage rebel story.

A Clockwork Orange

Anthony Burgess

Penguin

In this nightmare vision of youth in revolt, fifteen-year-old Alex and his friends set out on a diabolical orgy of robbery, rape, torture and murder. Alex is jailed for his teenage delinquency and the State tries to reform him – but at what cost?

Social prophecy? Black comedy? Study of freewill? A Clockwork Orange is all of these. It is also a dazzling experiment in language, as Burgess creates a new language – ‘nadsat’, the teenage slang of a not-too-distant future.

Lord Loss

Darren Shan

Harper Collins

The first book in the Demonata, the demonic symphony in ten parts by multi-million-copy bestselling horror writer Darren Shan…

When Grubbs Grady first encounters Lord Loss and his evil minions, he learns three things:
• the world is vicious,
• magic is possible,
• demons are real.

He thinks that he will never again witness such a terrible night of death and darkness.

He is wrong.

Read an extract from Lord Loss

Before I Die

Jenny Downham

Random House

Tessa has just a few months to live.

Fighting back against hospital visits, endless tests, drugs with excruciating side-effects, Tessa compiles a list. It’s her To Do Before I Die list. And number one is sex.

Released from the constraints of ‘normal’ life, Tessa tastes new experiences to make her feel alive while her failing body struggles to keep up.

Tessa’s feelings, her relationships with her father and brother, her estranged mother, her best friend, her new boyfriend, all are painfully crystallized in the precious weeks before Tessa’s time finally runs out.

Before I Die is a brilliantly-crafted novel, heartbreaking yet astonishingly life-affirming. It will take you to the very edge.

Read an extract from Before I Die

The Catcher in the Rye

J. D. Salinger

Penguin

Holden Caulfield is a seventeen- year-old dropout who has just been kicked out of his fourth school. Navigating his way through the challenges of growing up, Holden dissects the ‘phony’ aspects of society, and the ‘phonies’ themselves: the headmaster whose affability depends on the wealth of the parents, his roommate who scores with girls using sickly-sweet affection.

Written with the clarity of a boy leaving childhood behind, it explores the world with disarming frankness and a warm, affecting charisma which has made this novel a universally loved classic of twentieth-century literature.

The Great Gatsby

F. Scott Fitzgerald

Penguin

Jay Gatsby is the man who has everything. But one thing will always be out of his reach …

Everybody who is anybody is seen at his glittering parties. Day and night his Long Island mansion buzzes with bright young things drinking, dancing and debating his mysterious character. For Gatsby—young, handsome, fabulously rich—always seems alone in the crowd, watching and waiting, though no one knows what for. Beneath the shimmering surface of his life he is hiding a secret: a silent longing that can never be fulfilled. And soon this destructive obsession will force his world to unravel.

Divergent

Veronica Roth

Harper Collins

For sixteen-year-old Tris, the world changes in a heartbeat when she is forced to make a terrible choice. Turning her back on her family, Tris ventures out, alone, determined to find out where she truly belongs. Shocked by the brutality of her new life, Tris can trust no one. And yet she is drawn to a boy who seems to both threaten and protect her. The hardest choices may yet lie ahead…

The first book in the Divergent series that has swept the globe, selling millions of copies world-wide.

Read an extract from Divergent

The Hunger Games

Suzanne Collins

Scholastic

Set in a dark vision of the near future, a terrifying reality TV show is taking place. Twelve boys and twelve girls are forced to appear in a live event called The Hunger Games. There is only one rule: kill or be killed. When sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen steps forward to take her younger sister’s place in the games, she sees it as a death sentence. But Katniss has been close to death before. For her, survival is second nature.

Read an extract from The Hunger Games

The Fault in Our Stars

John Green

Puffin

Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel’s story is about to be completely rewritten.

Insightful, bold, irreverent, and raw, The Fault in Our Stars is award-winning author John Green’s most ambitious and heartbreaking work yet, brilliantly exploring the funny, thrilling, and tragic business of being alive and in love.

The Wasp Factory

Iain Banks

Abacus

Two years after I killed Blyth I murdered my young brother Paul, for quite different reasons than I’d disposed of Blyth, and then a year after that I did for my young cousin Esmerelda, more or less on a whim. That’s my score to date. Three. I haven’t killed anybody for years, and don’t intend to ever again. It was just a stage I was going through.’

Enter—if you can bear it—the extraordinary private world of Frank, just sixteen, and unconventional, to say the least.

‘The most imaginative novelist of his generation - The Times

Read an extract from The Wasp Factory.

Percy Jackson series

Rick Riordan

Puffin

Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief is the first bestselling book in Rick Riordan’s phenomenally successful Percy Jackson series.

Half boy. Half God. ALL Hero.

Look, I didn’t want to be a half-blood. I never asked to be the son of a Greek God.

I was just a normal kid, going to school, playing basketball, skateboarding. The usual. Until I accidentally vaporized my maths teacher. Now I spend my time battling monsters and generally trying to stay alive.

This is the one where Zeus, God of the Sky, thinks I’ve stolen his lightning bolt – and making Zeus angry is a very bad idea.

Skulduggery Pleasant

Derek Landy

Harper Collins

Meet the great Skulduggery Pleasant: wise-cracking detective, powerful magician, master of dirty tricks and burglary (in the name of the greater good, of course).

Oh yeah. And dead.

Then there’s his sidekick, Stephanie. She’s… well, she’s a twelve-year-old girl. With a pair like this on the case, evil had better watch out…

Stephanie’s uncle Gordon is a writer of horror fiction. But when he dies and leaves her his estate, Stephanie learns that while he may have written horror, it certainly wasn’t fiction.

Pursued by evil forces intent on recovering a mysterious key, Stephanie finds help from an unusual source – the wisecracking skeleton of a dead wizard.

When all hell breaks loose, it’s lucky for Skulduggery that he’s already dead. Though he’s about to discover that being a skeleton doesn’t stop you from being tortured, if the torturer is determined enough. And if there’s anything Skulduggery hates, it’s torture… Will evil win the day? Will Stephanie and Skulduggery stop bickering long enough to stop it? One thing’s for sure: evil won’t know what’s hit it.

Read an extract from Skulduggery Pleasant

Northern Lights

Philip Pullman

Scholastic

Lyra is no ordinary child. Plucky, wild, feisty and fey, she leads a wild and carefree life tramping the roofs of Jordan College, Oxford, and fighting with the Gyptian children on the canal. But now children are mysteriously disappearing. A reign of terror is coming. And when Lyra’s friend Roger vanishes, she sets off on a mission to save him. It’s a journey into a glittering Arctic north of ice and snow, where witch-queens ride the skies, armoured bears roam the snow… and scientists are conducting experiments of unspeakable terror. Does one girl have the courage and cunning to stop them?

Read an extract from Northern Lights

Of Mice and Men

John Steinbeck

Penguin

George and his large, simple-minded friend Lennie are drifters, following wherever work leads them. Arriving in California’s Salinas Valley, they get work on a ranch. If they can just stay out of trouble, George promises Lennie, then one day they might be able to get some land of their own and settle down some place. But kind-hearted, childlike Lennie is a victim of his own strength. Seen by others as a threat, he finds it impossible to control his emotions. And one day not even George will be able to save him from trouble.

Of Mice and Men is a tragic and moving story of friendship, loneliness and the dispossessed.

Twilight

Stephenie Meyer

Atom

Bella Swan’s move to Forks, a small, perpetually rainy town in Washington, could have been the most boring move she ever made. But once she meets the mysterious and alluring Edward Cullen, Bella’s life takes a thrilling and terrifying turn. Up until now, Edward has managed to keep his vampire identity a secret in the small community he lives in, but now nobody is safe, especially Bella, the person Edward holds most dear.

Deeply romantic and extraordinarily suspenseful, Twilight captures the struggle between defying our instincts and satisfying our desires. This is a love story with bite.

The Color Purple

Alice Walker

Phoenix

Set in the deep American South between the wars, The Color Purple is the classic tale of Celie, a young black girl born into poverty and segregation. Raped repeatedly by the man she calls ‘father’, she has two children taken away from her, is separated from her beloved sister Nettie and is trapped into an ugly marriage. But then she meets the glamorous Shug Avery, singer and magic-maker – a woman who has taken charge of her own destiny. Gradually Celie discovers the power and joy of her own spirit, freeing her from her past and reuniting her with those she loves.

The Lord of the Rings

J.R. R. Tolkein

Harper Collins

Sauron, the Dark Lord, has gathered to him all the Rings of Power – the means by which he intends to rule Middle-earth. All he lacks in his plans for dominion is the One Ring – the ring that rules them all – which has fallen into the hands of the hobbit, Bilbo Baggins.

In a sleepy village in the Shire, young Frodo Baggins finds himself faced with an immense task, as his elderly cousin Bilbo entrusts the Ring to his care. Frodo must leave his home and make a perilous journey across Middle-earth to the Cracks of Doom, there to destroy the Ring and foil the Dark Lord in his evil purpose.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower

Stephen Chbosky

Simon & Schuster

Charlie is shy, introspective and intelligent beyond his years. Caught between trying to live his life and trying to run from it, he is attempting to navigate through the uncharted territory of high school—the world of first dates and mix tapes, family dramas and new friends. The world of sex, drugs, and music – when all one needs to feel infinite is that perfect song on that perfect drive.

Standing on the fringes of life, Charlie has a unique perspective of the world around him, but there comes a time to stop being a wallflower and see what it looks like from the dance floor.

This haunting novel about the dilemma of passivity versus passion, told in a series of letters written by Charlie, has become a modern classic. Charlie’s letters are singular and unique, hilarious and devastating and through Charlie, Stephen Chbosky has created a deeply affecting story that will spirit you back to those wild and poignant roller coaster days known as growing up.

Read an extract from The Perks of Being a Wallflower

The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13 3/4

Sue Townsend

Puffin

At thirteen years old, Adrian Mole has more than his fair share of problems – spots, ill-health, parents threatening to divorce, rejection of his poetry and much more – all recorded with brilliant humour in his diary.

The Kite Runner

Khaled Hosseini

Bloomsbury

Afghanistan, 1975: Twelve-year-old Amir is desperate to win the local kite-fighting tournament and his loyal friend Hassan promises to help him. But neither of the boys can foresee what will happen to Hassan that afternoon, an event that is to shatter their lives. After the Russians invade and the family is forced to flee to America, Amir realises that one day he must return to Afghanistan under Taliban rule to find the one thing that his new world cannot grant him: redemption.

Read an extract from The Kite Runner

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

Douglas Adams

Picador

One Thursday lunchtime the Earth gets unexpectedly demolished to make way for a new hyperspace bypass. It’s the final straw for Arthur Dent, who has already had his house bulldozed that morning. But for Arthur, that is only the beginning . . .
In the seconds before global obliteration, Arthur is plucked from the planet by his friend Ford Prefect – and together the pair venture out across the galaxy on the craziest, strangest road trip of all time.

A Street Cat Named Bob

James Bowen

Hodder

When James Bowen found an injured, ginger street cat curled up in the hallway of his sheltered accommodation, he had no idea just how much his life was about to change. James was living hand to mouth on the streets of London and the last thing he needed was a pet.
Yet James couldn’t resist helping the strikingly intelligent tom cat, whom he quickly christened Bob. He slowly nursed Bob back to health and then sent the cat on his way, imagining he would never see him again. But Bob had other ideas.
Soon the two were inseparable and their diverse, comic and occasionally dangerous adventures would transform both their lives, slowly healing the scars of each other’s troubled pasts.

A Street Cat Named Bob is a moving and uplifting story that will touch the heart of anyone who reads it.

Read an extract from A Street Cat Named Bob

I Capture the Castle

Dodie Smith

Vintage

‘I write this sitting in the kitchen sink’ is the first line of this timeless, witty and enchanting novel about growing up.

Cassandra Mortmain lives with her bohemian and impoverished family in a crumbling castle in the middle of nowhere. Her journal records her life with her beautiful, bored sister, Rose, her fadingly glamorous stepmother, Topaz, her little brother Thomas and her eccentric novelist father who suffers from a financially crippling writer’s block. However, all their lives are turned upside down when the American heirs to the castle arrive and Cassandra finds herself falling in love for the first time.

Diary of a Wimpy Kid

Jeff Kinney

Puffin

The hilarious and original global bestseller Diary of a Wimpy Kid—perfect for readers of 8+ and also reluctant readers, everyone loves the adventures of Greg Heffley. You can also discover Diary of a Wimpy Kid on the big screen in the major motion blockbusting Wimpy Kid Movie franchise.

Let me get something straight: this is a JOURNAL, not a diary. This was Mom’s idea, not mine. But if she thinks I’m going to write down my “feelings” in here or whatever, she’s crazy.

The only reason I agreed to do this at all is because I figure later on when I’m rich and famous, this book is gonna come in handy.

But for now I’m stuck with a bunch of morons.

Today is the first day of school, so I figured I might as well write in this book to pass the time.

Just don’t expect me to be all “Dear Diary” this and “Dear Diary” that.

Harry Potter series

J. K. Rowling

Bloomsbury

Strange things always seem to happen when Harry Potter is around. Things that unsettle his guardians, the Dursleys. They strongly disapprove of strangeness. It’s only when a letter arrives, delivered by a shaggy giant of a man called Hagrid, that Harry learns the truth that will transform his entire future: his parents were killed by the evil Lord Voldemort, and he, Harry, is a wizard.

Whisked away to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, Harry discovers a world of enchantments, ghosts, Quidditch, and friends who will stand, throughout everything, by his side. But when Harry hears of a stone with great powers, he finds that his school has its own dark secrets – and an adventure that will become the stuff of legend begins…

The Book Thief

Markus Zusak

Random House

1939, Nazi Germany.

Liesel Meminger’s life is changed when she picks up a single object, partially hidden in the snow. So begins a love affair with books and words, as Liesel, with the help of her foster father, learns to read. Soon she is stealing books from Nazi book-burnings, the mayor’s wife’s library, wherever there are books to be found.

Read an extract from The Book Thief

My Sister’s Keeper

Jodi Picoult

Hodder

Anna Fitzgerald doesn’t want her sister to die. But she’s sick of helping her to live.

Anna was born to be a perfect genetic match for Kate, who at just two years old was diagnosed with a rare form of leukaemia. For thirteen years, she has acted as donor to her sister.

Now, Kate needs a kidney, and nobody is asking Anna how she feels about it, they’re just assuming she will donate.

Until the Sheriff serves the papers that will rock their family’s world: Anna is suing her parents for the rights to her own body . . .

Catch 22

Joseph Heller

Vintage

Set in the closing months of World War II in an American bomber squadron off the coast of Italy, Catch-22 is the story of a bombardier named Yossarian who is frantic and furious because thousands of people he has never even met keep trying to kill him. Joseph Heller’s bestselling novel is a hilarious and tragic satire on military madness, and the tale of one man’s efforts to survive it.

1984

George Orwell

Penguin

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.

The Life of Pi

Yann Martel

Canongate

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.

Read an extract from The Life of Pi

Noughts and Crosses

Malorie Blackman

Random House

Sephy is a Cross – a member of the dark-skinned ruling class. Callum is a nought – a ‘colourless’ member of the underclass who were once slaves to the Crosses.

The two have been friends since early childhood. But that’s as far as it can go. Against a background of prejudice, distrust and mounting terrorist violence, a romance builds between Sephy and Callum – a romance that is to lead both of them into terrible danger . . .

Read an extract from Noughts and Crosses

The Shining

Stephen King

Hodder

Danny is only five years old, but in the words of old Mr Hallorann he is a ‘shiner’, aglow with psychic voltage. When his father becomes caretaker of the Overlook Hotel, Danny’s visions grow out of control.

As winter closes in and blizzards cut them off, the hotel seems to develop a life of its own. It is meant to be empty. So who is the lady in Room 217 and who are the masked guests going up and down in the elevator? And why do the hedges shaped like animals seem so alive?

Somewhere, somehow, there is an evil force in the hotel – and that, too, is beginning to shine . . .

Rebecca

Daphne du Maurier

Virago

Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again…

Working as a lady’s companion, the heroine of Rebecca learns her place. Life begins to look very bleak until, on a trip to the South of France, she meets Maxim de Winter, a handsome widower whose sudden proposal of marriage takes her by surprise. She accepts, but whisked from glamorous Monte Carlo to the ominous and brooding Manderley, the new Mrs de Winter finds Max a changed man. And the memory of his dead wife Rebecca is forever kept alive by the forbidding Mrs Danvers…

Not since Jane Eyre has a heroine faced such difficulty with the Other Woman. An international bestseller that has never gone out of print, Rebecca is the haunting story of a young girl consumed by love and the struggle to find her identity.

Wuthering Heights

Emily Bronte

Penguin

Lockwood, the new tenant of Thrushcross Grange on the bleak Yorkshire moors, is forced to seek shelter one night at Wuthering Heights, the home of his landlord. There he discovers the history of the tempestuous events that took place years before: of the intense passion between the foundling Heathcliff and Catherine Earnshaw, and her betrayal of him. As Heathcliff’s bitterness and vengeance is visited upon the next generation, their innocent heirs must struggle to escape the legacy of the past.

War Horse

Michael Morpurgo

Egmont

From master storyteller, Michael Morpurgo comes an incredibly moving story about one horse’s experience in the deadly chaos of the First World War.

In 1914, Joey, a young farm horse is sold to the army and thrust into the midst of the war on the Western Front. With his officer, he charges towards the enemy, witnessing the horror of the frontline.

But even in the desolation of the trenches, Joey’s courage touches the soldiers around him.

Read an extract from War Horse

To Kill a Mockingbird

Harper Lee

Random House

‘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. 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.