Without the pressures of academic study, exploring these literary masterpieces once again may be a completely different (and better!) experience. Featuring enthralling adventures, moving stories and canon classics, see below for 10 books you read at school that you should totally read again.
This riveting read is both a gripping detective thriller and a philosophical play about social conscience and the collapse of middle-class values. A respectable household is stunned when a mysterious man visits them shortly after dinner - and proceeds to unravel their prejudices and lies...
This touching tear-jerker tells the story of two American drifters: the sharp, small George and his big, childlike friend, Lennie. Both are searching for work in the fields and valleys of California, dreaming that they'll find a place of their own one day and realise the American dream. But gentle giant Lennie doesn't know his own strength and lands himself in a lot of trouble, especially with the boss's daughter-in-law. It is up to George to protect his friend - but even he will struggle to save him. 1920s America is vividly brought to life, as is the unique friendship of two unforgettable characters.
Afghanistan, 1975. 12-year-old Amir is desperate to win the local kite-fighting tournament alongside his faithful friend, Hassan. But neither of the boys can foresee the terrible things that will happen to Hassan that afternoon, an event that will shatter their lives. After the Russians invade and the family is forced to flee to America, Amir realises one day that he must return to Afghanistan under Taliban rule to seek the one thing his new world cannot offer him: redemption. This novel will grip you from first page to last.
This classic novel has proved controversial in its time, but is nonetheless an iconic and exhilarating read. Join a group of boys on an uninhabited island, the only survivors of a tragic plane crash. The boys must try to work together, but it's not long before cracks appear in their friendships, their primal impulses take over and their memories of home and family vanish. This story offers a sharp commentary on society, posing many questions about how we live and what our ideals should be.
This tumultuous love story takes place in the wild and desolate Yorkshire moors, a darkly meaningful and ominous setting. It follows Catherine Earnshaw and Heathcliff, a foundling adopted by Catherine's father. Heathcliff, bullied and humiliated by Catherine's brother Hindley, falls deeply in love with Catherine. Believing this love to be unrequited, he leaves Wuthering Heights, only to return years later - determined to wreak a terrible revenge for his former miseries and enduring anguish. This haunting masterpiece is sure to shock and thrill its readers.
This inspiring and engrossing story is told from the perspective of six-year-old Scout, a little girl who lives in the American Deep South. Her father, lawyer Atticus Finch, is determined to defend a black man wrongly accused of raping a white woman. Animosity and prejudice against Scout's family inevitably follow, and Scout comes to truly comprehend the magnitude of the injustice present in her own hometown. Powerful and thought-provoking, this novel is simply a must-read.
This beloved book follows the provincial middle-class Bennet family. When Elizabeth Bennet first meets eligible bachelor Fitzwilliam Darcy, she thinks he's an arrogant, narcissistic individual, and has no interest in him. Similarly, he is indifferent to her beauty and vibrant mind. When Darcy starts to interfere in the relationship between his friend Bingley and Elizabeth's sister Jane, Elizabeth is determined to loathe him more than ever - but instead ends up falling in love. When it comes to romance, you can't beat this much-loved classic.
Victor Frankenstein, obsessed with the idea of creating life itself, ransacks graveyards for the material necessary to fashion a new being. He shocks the creature into life with electricity, but his botched being, rejected by Frankenstein and denied human companionship, sets out to destroy its creator and all that he holds dear. This spine-chilling Gothic novel is full of moral quandaries, and remains one of the world's most famous horror stories.
This shocking and illuminating tale follows Willie Beech, a deprived child who lives in London with an abusive mother. When war breaks out, Willie is evacuated and taken into the home of Tom Oakley, an old man whose initial cold facade soon gives way to his kindness and compassion. Willie makes a close friend in fellow evacuee Zach, who loves to go cycling. But what will happen when Willie's mother demands he come home - and tragedy strikes? This heartrending book features trauma and loss, but ends with Willie's realisation that those who die will always be alive in his mind and memories.
Join young orphan Pip on all his adventures in this timeless classic. Pip couldn't have imagined how a terrifying encounter with a convict would later transform his life. But he's even more troubled by his visits to the strange old Miss Havisham, whose house full of memories disturbs him, and the beautiful Estella, who makes him feel ashamed of his country manners and coarse hands. Surely a young blacksmith's apprentice could never dream of winning Estella - but Pip's future may not turn out quite as he expected...
Looking for more literature you can lose yourself in? Check out our full range of the very best children's books.
Books read in school you should read again
- An Inspector Calls by J.B. Priestley
- Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
- The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
- Lord of the Flies by William Golding
- Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
- To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
- Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
- Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
- Goodnight Mister Tom by Michelle Magorian
- Great Expectations by Charles Dickens