Reading Lists 

Are you stuck on what to read? Not sure which genre is for you? Take a look through our suggested reading lists. With books from virtually any genre, you are sure to find a book that will take you on an adventure. 

Reading lists are sorted by year so if you want to stretch yourself, you can try having a look at the next year's booklet. On the other hand, if reading is a struggle for you, you can look at the reluctant reader section or the list for the year group below you. 

These guides provide links to trailers and extracts so you can see if the book will be a good choice for you. 

Remember, if you have any questions, you can always ask your librarian or English teacher!

Reading Lists

Updated: 29/06/2022 2.73 MB
A list of books that are perfect for our year 7 readers.
Updated: 29/06/2022 2.17 MB
A list of books that are perfect for our year 8 readers.
Updated: 29/06/2022 2.52 MB
A list of books that are perfect for our year 9 readers.

Reluctant Readers

In July 2011, the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Education wrote a report on Overcoming the Barriers to Literacy. Here are some statistics highlighted by the report:

  • 1 in 5 11 year olds are below their expected reading ages with this figure rising to 1 in 3 in deprived areas.
  • 5% of adults in England have literacy skills at 7 years old of younger.
  • 57% of pupils in secondary schools are classed as having weak or very weak literacy.

But reading skills and the love of reading for pleasure is so important. Those who read at home do ‘significantly better’ across all of their curriculum subjects (including science and maths). Reading helps with better sleep patterns and is shown to benefit those who suffer with anxiety, stress and depression. Reading significantly reduced the feelings of loneliness in people ages 18 - 64 and helps to develop empathy and understanding of the self and others. Lastly, those who read for pleasure have been shown to secure more managerial/ professional jobs and overall, reading is a greater indicator of academic success; far exceeding social background or parent’s level or education.  Thus supporting your child with reading is one of the most important things that you can do in for their education and future.  

So how are we ensuring that all of our pupils leave Derby Cathedral School with not only great literacy skills, but also as avid readers who enjoy reading for pleasure?

What are we doing?

Derby Cathedral School already has a dedicated reading programme. At our school, your child will:

  • Take part in LRC lessons. These are English lessons specifically set aside for reading. LRC lessons take place in our school’s library with pupils undertaking a variety of active and academic activities based upon reading. Everything that pupils do in these lessons earn them class chart points and entries into the end of term raffle, with the chance to win a £25 Amazon voucher.
  • DEAR time. DEAR (drop everything and read) takes place everyday. DEAR time sees pupils and staff stop the lesson to read for 15 minutes.
  • The LRC. We are so proud of our ever growing LRC. In just one year, we have more than doubled our provision of fiction and non-fiction books. This is just the start. With diverse collections including manga, magazines, poetry, music scores, classics, and general fiction (to name a few) we are confident that there is a section in the LRC which will attract every pupil.

  • Book club and Book Awards. The book club is a lunchtime club run for students by the librarian. It is a place to not only relax and talk about your favourite books, but also to challenge pupils to read outside of their favourite genre. As part of the school’s book club, we have taken part in two book awards this year: The Derbyshire School’s Book Awards and the YOTO Carnegie and Greenaway award. Pupils have been challenged to read a set number of books in just a few weeks and during book club, we discussed each books merits and shortcomings. At the end of both awards, we have been lucky to go on a trip to Derby University and West Park School, to join other schools in celebrating these books and watch the winner be announced.

  • Book Buzz. Each year 7 will be presented with a brand new fiction book from a pre-set list for free.
  • Reading Challenges. Over the summer holidays, pupils are expected to take part in the Summer Reading Challenge – Book-opoly. Here, pupils try to read a monopoly plus one station/ utility over the summer holidays. If they succeed, they are entered into a prize draw!
  • Class Chart Points. Pupils will earn class chart points throughout the year for excellent behavior and work. They can they exchange these points for a book at one of our scholastic book fairs – absolutely free!

How can parents encourage reading?

  • Encourage your child to read for at least 15 minutes a day. This can be at any time but try and schedule the time in, just like cleaning your teeth.
  • The reading environment should be calm. Try and turn off or silence any devices and make them comfortable with pillows and good lighting.
  • If your child has barriers to reading as a result of dyslexia Barrington Stoke books are an amazing resource to help you. They are produced with tinted pages, special fonts, and thick paper.
  • Take your child to visit your local library. Derby has a wealth of libraries in every suburb. They have lots of events and challenges on. You can search catalogues on line, read eBooks and even listen to audio books! Libraries are a great resource of free books. Take a look at their website here for more information: .
  • Does your child have a favourite author? Derby runs its very own book festival each year. They often have very popular children’s authors come to give talks, readings, and to sign books.
  • Check in and talk to your child about what they are reading. Be enthusiastic and ask they lots of questions. This could be an excellent dinner time chat. You could even talk about you book.
  • Paired reading. You could take some time to either sit and listen to your child read, or for you both to read the same book. You could read the book aloud to your child, even if they are a fluent reader.
  • Offer incentives for reading books. For example, if your child finishes a certain number of books, they then will earn a day trip out or a video game they have been desperate for. You could even create a competition between children or between yourself and your child to see how many books you can get through.
  • If your child really loves gadgets, try using a gadget to read! There are lots of ways to get ebooks for phones, Ipads and PC. You can try apps such as Amazon Kindle, Wattpad, Nook, apple books, and Google Play Books.

How can pupils help themselves?

  • Find a book on a subject that you enjoy. Think about what you like to watch on TV or of your hobbies. If you enjoy football, you may enjoy Keeper by Mal Peet. If you love animals, then a Michael Morpurgo or Holly Webb book may be for you.
  • If you are unsure on what to read, try looking at our reading lists under the Reading Support page on the school’s website. These lists are broken down by year and then into genres.
  • If you find books difficult, why not try graphic novels? We have a large selection in the LRC ranging from manga to graphic novel versions of classic books like Animal Farm and To Kill a Mockingbird. Additionally, books like the Diary of a Wimpy Kid and Tom Gates are fantastic at combining text with images and doodles.
  • If you may have barriers to reading due to dyslexia, Barrington Stoke books are an amazing resource to help you. They are produced with tinted pages, special fonts, and thick paper. They are quite short but definitely not babyish!
  • Try reading a book that is also a film. You can read the book first and then compare it to the film version. That way, you are reading and get a fun film night with popcorn!
  • You could try listening to audiobooks whilst going to sleep or on journeys. Derby libraries have a wealth of audiobooks for you to choose from for free. Additionally, there are some out of copyright classics turned into an audio book that are free on YouTube or BBC sounds. For more modern books, you could try an audible subscription.
  • Try following an author of social media. Tag them in questions you may have about a book. Most authors are happy to respond!