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Year 8 Books

White Fang by Jack London

Set in the frozen forests of the Yukon Territory, Canada, during the Klondike Gold Rush of the 1890s, ‘White Fang’ tells the story of a young wolf-dog’s journey from the wild into human territory. White Fang learns that civilisation is every bit as vicious and violent as nature.

  • Adventure story
  • Theme of mankind and the natural world
  • Timeless American classic

Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson

Following the demise of bloodthirsty buccaneer Captain Flint, young Jim Hawkins has discovered a map that will lead him to the fabled Treasure Island. But a host of villains, wild beasts and deadly savages stand between him and the stash of gold.

  • Canonical English Literature
  • Adventure story
  • Important cultural knowledge

I am Malala by Malala Yousafzai

Jung-ling's family considers her bad luck because her mother died giving birth to her. They discriminate against her and make her feel unwanted yet she yearns and continuously strives for her parents' love. Only her aunt and grandfather offer her any love and kindness.

  • Inspirational life story
  • Important cultural knowledge
  • Memoir writing
  • Ideas about identity

Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

George and his childlike friend Lennie have nothing in the world except the clothes on their back - and a dream that one day they will have some land of their own. Eventually they find work on a ranch in California's Salinas Valley, where their dreams are really put to the test.

  • Timeless American classic
  • Ideas about the American Dream
  • Important cultural knowledge
  • Curriculum links to the Great Depression

A Little History of Science by William Bynum

From ancient Greek philosophers through Einstein and Watson and Crick to the computer-assisted scientists of today, men and women have wondered, examined, experimented, calculated, and sometimes made discoveries so earthshaking that people understood the world-or themselves-in an entirely new way.

  • Important cultural knowledge
  • Non-fiction genre
  • Links to art, English, history, science and Religious Studies curriculum
  • Links to Big Ideas and Big Dates

Toast by Nigel Slater

Whether recalling his mother’s surprisingly good rice pudding, his father’s bold foray into spaghetti and his dreaded Boxing Day stew, or such culinary highlights as Arctic Roll and Grilled Grapefruit, this remarkable memoir vividly recreates daily life in 1960s England.

  • Memoir writing
  • Introduction to Classical mythology
  • Relationship between food and identity

Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred Taylor

The Mississippi of the 1930s was a hard place for a black child to grow up in, but still Cassie didn't understand why farming his own land meant so much to her father. During that year, though, when the night riders were carrying hatred and destruction among her people, she learned about the great differences that divided them, and when it was worth fighting for a principle even if it brought terrible hardships.

  • Important cultural knowledge
  • Themes of racism in 1930s Deep South America
  • Links to slavery in year 10 history curriculum