Year 8  


Black and British by David Olusoga 

A short, essential introduction to Black British history 
When did Africans first come to Britain? 
Who are the well-dressed black children in Georgian paintings? 
Why did the American Civil War disrupt the Industrial Revolution? 
These and many other questions are answered in this essential introduction to 1800 years of the Black British history: from the Roman Africans who guarded Hadrian's Wall right up to the present day. 

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Boy 87 by Ele Fountain 

Shif is just an ordinary schoolboy who loves chess and playing with his best friend. But, one day, he is forced to leave home to avoid conscription into the army. He embarks on an epic journey, in which he encounters dangers and cruelties - and great acts of human kindness - as he bravely makes his way to a future he can only imagine. 
Told in the powerful first person, this startling debut novel will encourage understanding and empathy in young readers, and allow the news headlines of the day to resonate with the humanity involved in creating them. 

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Mud, Sweat and Tears by Bear Grylls 

An Inspiring Journey in the Life of One of the Most Inspiring Persons in Our Generation. 
Bear Grylls comes clean from childhood to manhood. Readers learn about his childhood, family life and values, his time in the elite Special Air Service (SAS), expeditions into the wild and unknown, his love life, education, you name it.  

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The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins 

For years, the Hunger Games was massively popular, but I can promise you, this trilogy deserves all the hype. It is a thrilling tale of a post-apocalyptic society where the government forces teenagers to kill each other on live television. Only the winner makes it out of the arena alive. 

The Hunger Games


The Girl of Ink and Stars by Kiran Millwood- Hargrave 

Forbidden to leave her island, Isabella Riosse dreams of the faraway lands her father once mapped. 
When her closest friend disappears into the island’s Forgotten Territories, she volunteers to guide the search. As a cartographer’s daughter, she’s equipped with elaborate ink maps and knowledge of the stars and is eager to navigate the island’s forgotten heart. 
But the world beyond the walls is a monster-filled wasteland – and beneath the dry rivers and smoking mountains, a legendary fire demon is stirring from its sleep. Soon, following her map, her heart and an ancient myth, Isabella discovers the true end of her journey: to save the island itself. 

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Lord of the Flies by William Golding 

At the dawn of the next world war, a plane crashes on an uncharted island, stranding a group of schoolboys. At first, with no adult supervision, their freedom is something to celebrate; this far from civilization the boys can do anything they want. Anything. They attempt to forge their own society, failing, however, in the face of terror, sin and evil. And as order collapses, as strange howls echo in the night, as terror begins its reign, the hope of adventure seems as far from reality as the hope of being rescued. Labelled a myth, even a vision of the apocalypse, Lord of the Flies is perhaps our most memorable novel about “the end of innocence, the darkness of man’s heart.” 

Lord of the Flies: Educational Edition: a novel


Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens 

Born to a single mother who gave birth secretly, Oliver Twist seemed to have a dim future. The charities that took care of him, convinced that sooner or later he would end up on the gallows like all the beings of his generation, barely gave him enough to survive. Essentially this is a novel about grinding poverty, desperation, fear, temptation and the eventual triumph of good in the face of great adversity. 

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Under the Persimmon Tree by Suzanna Fisher Staples 

Under the Persimmon Tree is about Najmah, a girl of about eleven, who watches the Talaban kidnap her father and brother, and later her mother and baby brother are killed in an air raid. At the same time, the story of Nusrat, who is a blonde white girl from New York, who met and married Faiz, a doctor from Afghanistan. Faiz hearing about the war in Afghanistan feels he must return home and help his people. Nusrat returns with him and teaches school at a refugee camp in Peshawar, Pakistan. In alternating chapters, these stories are told. Najmah’s story of traveling toward Peshawar and Nusrat’s story of worrying about her husband who is helping his people in Mazar-i-Sharif, Afghanistan and teaching the refugee children. There is much discussion of the political climate in Afghanistan during this period. 

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