English Year 9 Reading List

Year 9 Reading List

What you should be reading NOW!

Noughts and Crosses by Malorie Blackman

The first book in a ground breaking series which tackles racism, terrorism and forbidden love from an unusual viewpoint. This is hard hitting and extremely thought provoking.


Twilight by Stephenie Meyer
This book needs no introduction and although some have criticised the writing style, it is undoubtedly the best thing to happen in children’s/teen fiction since the Harry Potter phenomenon and has spawned a huge explosion in ‘dark romance’ publishing and books with black covers!



The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
“The Hunger Games is amazing” said Stephenie Meyer and she was right. This is a dystopian tale set sometime in the future where a Big Brother type society arranges the Hunger Games, a reality TV event in which a boy and girl from each district are chosen to take part in a fight to the death. Full of action, suspense and a love triangle, this is the first in a hugely popular trilogy.



Looking for JJ by Anne Cassidy
This is a gripping story straight from the newspapers. A child is murdered by one her friends and 6 years later, the murderer, now a teenager, is released with a new identity. The circumstances of the case are slowly revealed throughout the book as we learn if, in an age of huge media interest, a killer can maintain a new identity.



Martyn Pig by Kevin Brooks
Martyn’s alcoholic father accidentally dies, but he panics and doesn’t immediately call the police. The body is still in the house as days go by and Martyn gets caught up in a web of secrets and lies.
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon
This multi-award winning book follows Christopher, an autistic boy who is determined to solve the case of a dead dog on the lawn, in the manner of his hero Sherlock Holmes. This cross-over novel is a brilliant depiction of autism as well as being hugely entertaining and empathetic.
Girl, Missing By Sophie McKenzie

Lauren knows she was adopted, but while doing a school project finds an American website listing missing children. Could Lauren have been snatched as a baby? Although some of the plot is rather contrived, this is a real page turner and is thought provoking about family life.



The Recruit by Robert Muchamore
A real favourite of teenage boys over the last few years, this title was the first in a series of thrillers (Cherub) which is still going today. An ordinary Year 7 boy gets into trouble at school and ends up in a school training child spies. A thoroughly enjoyable, if undemanding read.
Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater
One of the many ‘Dark Romance’ supernatural titles to emerge after Twilight, this is a gripping romance about a girl who falls in love with a boy who periodically changes into a wolf. Sounds like hokum, but this is a wonderfully absorbing read and is a book which could be a stand-alone title, though is in fact the first of a trilogy.
Cirque Du Freak by Darren Shan

Darren Shan has written two extremely popular horror series – ‘The Demonata’ and ‘The Saga of Darren Shan’, of which this title is the first. Combining horror, adventure and humour, Shan is a popular author with many teenage readers, particularly boys.



Does My Head Look Big In This? by Randa Abdel-FattahAmal is a 16 year old Muslim Australian who has all the normal teenage girl preoccupations- shopping, boys and friends, but when she decides she wants to wear the hijab, she faces prejudice and discrimination and even her family are not sure about her decision. Randa has also written two other popular books, Ten Things I Hate about Me and Where the Streets Had a Name.



Ostrich Boys by Keith Gray15 year old Ross has died and his three friends steal his ashes and decide to take them on a ‘road trip’ to Ross in Scotland . As with all good road trip stories, they learn a lot about themselves and Ross and the circumstances of his death, along the way.



How We Live Now by Meg RosoffOriginally published in 2004 with a very different cover, this award winning novel is a real ‘talk about’ book. Set slightly in the future, 15year old American, Daisy, comes to the UK to stay with her English cousins and is particularly attracted to her cousin Edmond . Suddenly, England is invaded by unnamed aggressors and the cousins have to live their lives under occupation. This is an unusual book, but typical of Meg Rosoff’s style.



The Book Thief by Markus ZusakThis is a brilliant best selling novel from Young Adult writer Markus Zusak. Set in Nazi Germany and narrated by Death, this may sound like a depressing book, but it is ultimately life-affirming and has a strong message about the power of books and the dangers of censorship.



The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick NessThis award winning book, the first in the Chaos Walking series features a boy called Todd, the only boy in a town of men, after a virus killed all the women and everyone is able to hear everyone else’s thoughts, including those of animals. He is just one month away from the birthday which will make him a man, and when he finds a place of silence, he realises that despite the ‘noise’ of all the thoughts, secrets are being kept from him.


Before I Die by Jenny Downham16 year old Tessa is dying of cancer after being ill for some years and has a wish list of things to do before she dies This is an emotional rather than sentimental story as Tessa is a bolshie character and the first thing on her list is to have sex. This book will make you cry.


Gone by Michael GrantOne day Sam is in class and suddenly his teacher disappears into thin air. Soon everyone over the age of 15 has disappeared and the remaining children have to learn to survive in a world without adults while all the time coming closer to the time they will be gone as well. This is the first in a popular series.


(Un) arranged Marriage by Bali RaiThis was the title which brought the popular teen author Bali Rai to the world’s attention and he has followed this with other bestsellers like ‘Rani and Sukh’ and ‘The Crew’. The book is written from the standpoint of a British Asian boy who is tricked into going to the Punjab to go through an arranged marriage. As so much press is given to the problem of forced marriages from the female point of view, this book is refreshing to read from a male standpoint.



If I Stay by Gayle FormanMia has a wonderful family and boyfriend and is trying to decide whether to take up a place at Julliard when she and her family are involved on a terrible car accident which leaves her in a coma. As the fate of the rest of her family becomes clear, Mia has to decide whether to wake up or let go of her life. This is a wonderful emotional tear jerker.



Candor by Pam Bachorz

This book has just been published in the UK and is set to become hugely popular. Oscar Banks lives in the perfect town of Candor . It’s perfect because all teenagers are being given subliminal messages to study hard, eat healthily and not get too close to the opposite sex. But is this really perfection? Oscar knows a way to get round the messages and get teenagers away to live a normal life, but at what cost to his own safety?


Read all of these? Come and speak to an English teacher or Librarian for help on choosing your next book.