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Key Stage 4 Summer Reading

Whilst school is officially out for Summer; Key Stage 4 learners may want to seize the opportunity to read around their subjects and get ahead of the game in their quest for the Grade 9. So, with no further ado, here are our top summer recommendations:


Bess of Hardwick: First Lady of Chatsworth – Mary S. Lovall

Bess of Hardwick was one of the most remarkable women of the Tudor era and owner of Hardwick Hall, the focus for our historical environment study in Y11.


Blood and Guts: A Short History of Medicine – Roy Porter

Mankind’s battle to stay alive is the greatest of all subjects. This brief, witty and unusual book by Britain’s greatest medical historian compresses into a tiny span a lifetime spent thinking about the quest to cheat death. An academic read for those wishing to stretch their understanding of the History of Medicine.


Prohibition: Thirteen Years that Changed America – Edward Behr

A rip-roaring history of the government’s attempt to end America’s love affair with liquor-which failed miserably.


The Rock and the River – Kekla Magoon

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A novel based on life for a thirteen-year-old, the son of known civil rights activist Roland Childs.



Le Petit Nicholas – René Goscinny

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Le Petit Nicolas,written by René Goscinny and illustrated by Jean-Jacques Sempé. Published in 1959, it’s an idealized and nostalgic memory of what it was like to be a kid growing up in France in the 1950s.

Le Petit Prince – Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

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This is the story of a grown-up meeting his inner child, embodied by a Little Prince. Traveling from an asteroid, he left his rose there to discover the world. 



Papelucho – Marcela Paz

Papelucho” is a series of twelve books written between the 1940s-1970s about an eight-year-old middle class boy called Papelucho. The stories, written in diary form, detail Papelucho’s everyday life in Santiago de Chile and are based on the author’s own childhood experiences.


Cuentos de la selva – Horacio Quiroga

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Quiroga spent many years living in the jungle of Misiones, Argentina and used his experiences to bring the jungle to life in these short stories.


A Short History of Nearly Everything

Everything you need to know about science in a witty and easy to understand style.


Does anything eat Wasps? Why don’t Penguins Feet Freeze? Do Polar Bears get Lonely? – New Scientist

Answers to all those unusual science questions.


What if? Serious scientific answers to absurd hypothetical questions – Randall Munroe

Ever wanted to know what happened if the world stopped turning? Now you can find out.



Where Underpants Come from: From Checkout to Cotton Field – Joe Bennett

All you need to know — in fact, probably more — about this mystery of global commerce. Leaving his supermarket trolley behind Joe embarks on an odyssey to the new factory of the world, China, to trace his pants back to their source.


The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini

Forced migration due to conflict and the impact of returning back.

An Inconvenient Truth – Al Gore

The truth about the climate crisis is an inconvenient one that means we are going to have to change the way we live our lives. Our climate crisis may at times appear to be happening slowly, but in fact it has become a true planetary emergency and we must recognise that we are facing a crisis. So why is it that some leaders seem not to hear the clarion warnings?


Earth – The Power of the Planet – Dr Iain Stewart and John Lynch

Earth has survived four and a half billion years of being ‘stirred from below and bombarded from above’ but at the start of the twenty-first century our planet faces new threats, brought about by human actions.


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