KS4 Reading List

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Reading as many of these texts as possible will certainly help your son/ daughter in their quest for the top grades in this subject. A wider depth and breadth of reading, and exposure to more complex vocabulary, forms and themes will benefit them not just in English but in all of their subjects.

As you may expect from more difficult texts, some deal with adult themes. Please discuss this with your child/children before reading the text.


The Wasp Factory by Iain Banks

Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell

White Teeth by Zadie Smith

Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks

Asylum by Patrick McGrath

Captain Corelli’s Mandolin by Louis de Bernieres

A History of the World in 10½ Chapters by Julian Barnes

The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy



Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad T

he Stranger by Albert Camus

The Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkein

Catch-22 by Joseph Heller

The Trial by Franz Kafka

One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez

The Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger

Jazz by Toni Morrison

The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck T

hings Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe

The Great Gatsby by F Scott Fitzgerald

The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler

Brighton Rock by Graham Greene

Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway

The Code of the Woosters by P G Wodehouse

Of Mice and Men – John Steinbeck



The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas

Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

David Copperfield by Charles Dickens

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë A

nna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

Moby-Dick by Herman Melville

Middlemarch by George Eliot

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott


The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

1984 by George Orwell

A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess

The War of the Worlds by HG Wells

A Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

The Road by Cormac McCarthy

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

High Rise by J G Ballard

The Iron Heel by Jack London


In Cold Blood by Truman Capote

Nothing to Envy by Barbara Demick

A People’s History of the United States by Howard Zinn

The Picador Book of Sportswriting edited by Nick Colman and Nick Hornby

The Sports Gene by David Epstein

The Numbers Game: Why Everything You Know About Football is Wrong by Chris Anderson and David Sally

Freakanomics by Steven Levitt

If This is a Man by Primo Levi

Chasing the Scream by Johann Hari


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