Read Around the Curriculum

Reading Around the Curriculum

Searching Heritage, the Library catalogue, for a particular topic, will produce a list including fiction, poetry etc on that topic - a great way for pupils to find something good to read on a theme and for staff to broaden pupils' reading experiences and add a different dimension to lessons.

Some ways in which staff might use these suggestions:

  • read a juicy extract to begin the topic and provoke interest!
  • 'wave and rave' one or two of the books to your pupils, urging them to the Library to borrow a copy for themselves!
  • include a suitable extract as part of the activities in a lesson
  • borrow one yourself, read it and then tell the pupils about it
  • never underestimate the power of leaving a copy lying around on your desk!

Here are just a selection, adapted originally from an initial list provided by Alec Williams, covering a wide variety of agegroups and abilities: (before recommending, check with the Librarian about suitability)

Quick jump to:
Art | Design and Technology | Geography | History | Maths | Modern Languages | Music | PE/Sport | PSE/Citizenship | RE | Science


  • BALLIETT, Blue. Chasing Vermeer (compelling 'whodunnit' mystery revolving around the theft of a Vermeer painting)
  • BALLIETT, Blue. The Wright Three (second in this art mystery series, this time dealing with a coded message left by Frank Lloyd Wright)
  • BALLIETT, Blue. The Calder Game (third in this series features the work of Alexander Calder)
  • BOYCE, Frank Cottrell. Framed (art treasures from National Gallery stored in Welsh slate mine village)
  • BROWNE, Anthony. The Shape Game (drawing/imagination; fun to play!)
  • BROWNE, Anthony. Willy's Pictures (famous artworks given Anthony Browne treatment)
  • CHAMBERS, Aidan. Postcards from No-Man's Land (on his journey of self-discovery, Jacob finds echoes of himself in Rembrandt painting)
  • CHEVALIER, Tracy. Girl with a Pearl Earring (servant girl sits for Vermeer)
  • HEARN, Julie. Ivy (sits for pre-Raphaelite painter)
  • REES, Celia. The Wish House (creepy, unsettling read about arty bohemian family and their dark secrets)


  • ASQUITH, Ros. I Was a Teenage Worrier (teenage concerns)
  • BELL, Julia. Massive (food obsession, diet, weight)
  • BERTAGNA, Julie. The Opposite of Chocolate (teenage pregnancy)
  • BLACKER, Terence. The Angel Factory (paradise syndrome)
  • BLACKMAN, Malorie. Noughts and Crosses/Knife Edge/Checkmate/Double Cross (racism)
  • BOWLER, Tim. River Boy (death)
  • BRESLIN, Theresa. Divided City (football, prejudice, sectarianism)
  • BURGESS, Melvin. Billy Elliott (peer pressure, stereotyping)
  • BURGESS, Melvin. Junk (drugs - heroin)
  • CHOLDENKO, Gennifer. Al Capone Does My Shirts (autism)
  • DOHERTY, Berlie. Dear Nobody (pregnancy)
  • DOWNHAM, Jenny. Before I Die (teenager with months to live)
  • GIBBONS, Alan. Caught in the Crossfire (racism)
  • GIBBONS, Alan. The Dark Beneath (asylum seekers)
  • GIBBONS, Alan. The Edge (domestic violence)
  • HATHORN, Libby. Way Home (homelessness)
  • HORNBY, Nick. Slam (pregnancy)
  • KENNEN, Ally. Berserk (teenage boy writing to murderer on Death Row)
  • LA FLEUR, Suzanne. Love, Aubrey. (young girl coming to terms with father and sister's death in accident; moving novel yet Aubrey's courage makes it also an uplifting read)
  • LAIRD, Elizabeth. The Garbage King (homelessness in Ethiopia)
  • LAIRD, Elizabeth. A Little Piece of Ground (Palestinian conflict)
  • LEVENKRON, Steven. Best Little Girl in the World (anorexia)
  • LEVITHAN, David. Every Day (gender/sexuality)
  • LOTT, Tim. Fearless (dystopia)
  • NICHOLLS, Sally. Ways to Live Forever (12 year-old boy dying of leukaemia)
  • PETERS, Andrew Fusek & PETERS, Polly. Poems with Attitude (teenage themes and issues)
  • PETERS, Andrew Fusek & PETERS, Polly. 'Plays with Attitude' series (teenage themes and issues)
  • ROSEN, Michael. Michael Rosen's Sad Book (death)
  • RUSHTON, Rosie. Last Seen Wearing Trainers (running away from home)
  • SATRAPI, Marjane. Persepolis (autobiographical graphic novel set in Iran during Islamic Revolution)
  • SWINDELLS, Robert. Ruby Tanya (racism)
  • TAN, Shaun. The Arrival (beautiful wordless picturebook about immigration)
  • TAN, Shaun. The Red Tree (thought-provoking and beautifully illustrated picturebook about depression)
  • TRUEMAN, Terry. Stuck in Neutral (cerebral palsy)
  • VALENZUELA, Ali. Weighing It Up (author's own account of her experience of anorexia)
  • WESTERFELD, Scott. Uglies, Pretties, Specials, Extras (series which makes reader think about pursuit of beauty and fame)
  • WILSON, Jacqueline. The Suitcase Kid (about life of young person shunted between parents)
  • ZEVIN, Gabrielle. Elsewhere (moving, yet at times funny, uplifting story about life after death, where the ageing process runs backwards)


  • BRADBURY, Jason. Dot.Robot (high-tech action where computer gaming, mathematical and engineering skills are given the spotlight)
  • COLFER, Eoin. Artemis Fowl (high-tech gadgets and action aplenty!)
  • CORMIER, Robert. The Chocolate War (gangs, chocolate sold in school)
  • DAHL, Roald. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
  • DAHL, Roald. Roald Dahl's Revolting Recipes
  • HERGE. Red Rackham's Treasure (The Adventures of Tintin)
  • HUGHES, Ted. The Iron Man (classic story in which metal-munching Iron Man wreaks havoc)
  • HUNTER, Norman. The Incredible Adventures of Professor Branstawm (funny stories of madcap inventions)
  • OPPEL, Kenneth. Airborn (airships in alternative Victorian era)
  • PULLMAN, Philip. Clockwork (chilling Grimm-style fairytale)
  • REEVE, Philip. Mortal Engines (first in brilliant inventive series)
  • SELZNICK, Brian. The Invention of Hugo Cabaret (automata)
  • SHEARER, Alex. Bootleg (Imagine a future where chocolate is banned - or at least officially...)
  • SHEARER, Alex. Tins (If you like urban myths, you'll love this gross black comedy)
  • SMITH, Alexander Gordon & WEBB, Jamie. The Inventors (inventions)
  • WORMS, Penny. Curse of the Were-Rabbit Novelization (inventions)


  • ASHLEY, Bernard. Little Soldier (Africa)
  • BERTAGNA, Julie. Exodus / Zenith (an imagined future where Britain is drowning as global warming reaches epic proportions)
  • CROSS, Gillian. Calling a Dead Man (Russia)
  • ELLIS, Deborah. The Breadwinner / Parvana's Journey / Mud City (Afghanistan under the Taliban)
  • ELLIS, Deborah. Prison Runner (Bolivia and the drugs trade)
  • FUNKE, Cornelia. The Thief Lord (Italy)
  • GARDNER, Sally. The Red Necklace (French Revolution)
  • GLASS, Linzi. Ruby Red (time of Apartheid)
  • HEARN, Lian. Across the Nightingale Floor (Feudal Japan)
  • HOEG, Peter. Miss Smilla's Feeling for Snow (murder mystery set in Copenhagen)
  • HOSSEINI, Khaled. The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns (Afghanistan)
  • IBBOTSON, Eva. Journey to the River Sea (Amazon, Brazil)
  • JENKINS, Martin. Jonathan Swift's Gulliver
  • LAIRD, Elizabeth. The Garbage King (Ethiopia)
  • MANKELL, Henning / THOMPSON, Laurie (transl). Bridge to the Stars (Sweden)
  • MORPURGO, Michael. The Wreck of the Zanzibar (Isles of Scilly)
  • NAIDOO, Beverley. The Other Side of Truth (South Africa)
  • SEDGWICK, Marcus. Floodland (future vision of Britain flooded and underwater)



  • REEVE, Philip. Here Lies Arthur (retelling of Arthurian legend)


  • GERAS, Adele. Troy
  • LAWRENCE, Caroline. The Thieves of Ostia (first in the 'Roman Mysteries' series)

Middle Ages:

  • BRESLIN, Theresa. The Medici Seal (Italy at the time of the Renaissance)
  • CROSSLEY-HOLLAND, Kevin. The Seeing Stone/At the Crossing Places/King of the Middle March (Arthur series)
  • CROSSLEY-HOLLAND, Kevin. Gatty's Tale (set at the time of the Crusades)
  • LAIRD, Elizabeth. Crusade
  • ROSE, Malcolm. Kiss of Death (Black Death)


  • BENNETT, Veronica. Shakespeare's Apprentice

17th Century:

  • GARDNER, Sally. I, Coriander (Civil War London)
  • HOOPER, Mary. Petals in the Ashes (Great Fire of London)
  • HOOPER, Mary. At the Sign of the Sugared Plum (Great Plague)
  • REES, Celia. Witch Child (young girl accused of witchcraft)

18th Century:

  • GARDNER, Sally. The Red Necklace (French Revolution)
  • GAVIN, Jamila. Coram Boy
  • HEARN, Julie. Follow Me Down (freak shows - Bartholomew Fair in London)

19th Century:

  • BURNETT, Frances Hodgson. The Secret Garden [also available - abridged version 'Fast Track Classics']
  • DICKENS, Charles. A Christmas Carol [also available - abridged version 'Fast Track Classics']
  • LAIRD, Elizabeth. Secrets of the Fearless (Napoleonic Wars)
  • MORGAN, Nicola. Fleshmarket (Edinburgh at time of Burke and Hare)
  • RIORDAN, James. Rebel Cargo (slavery)
  • WILSON, Jacqueline. The Lottie Project (Victorian serving girl)

20th Century:

  • FINE, Anne. The Road of Bones (Russian totalitarian state)
  • HEARN, Julie. Hazel (Suffragettes)
  • LINGARD, Joan. Across the Barricades (Ireland - Protestant/Catholic troubles)
  • LINGARD, Joan. Tell the Moon to Come Out (Spanish Civil War)
  • SEDGWICK, Marcus. Blood Red, Snow White (Russian Revolution)

World War I:

  • BARKER, Pat. Regeneration
  • BRESLIN, Theresa. Remembrance
  • FAULKS, Sebastian. Birdsong
  • FOREMAN, Michael. War Game
  • MORPURGO, Michael. Private Peaceful
  • MORPURGO, Michael. War Horse
  • NIMMO,Jenny. The Rinaldi Ring
  • REMARQUE, Erich Maria. All Quiet on the Western Front
  • SEDGWICK, Marcus. The Foreshadowing

World War II:

  • BOYNE, John. The Boy in Striped Pyjamas [DVD also available; Cert 12]
  • CHAMBERS, Aidan. Postcards from No-Man's Land
  • ELLIOTT, Laura M. Under a War-Torn Sky
  • FOREMAN, Michael. War Boy
  • GLEITZMAN, Morris. Once (Holocaust)
  • GLEITZMAN, Morris. Then (Holocaust)
  • HOLM, Ann. I Am David
  • KERR, Judith. When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit
  • MAGORIAN, Michelle. Goodnight Mr Tom
  • McEWAN, Ian/INNOCENTI, Roberto. Rose Blanche (concentration camps)
  • MORPURGO, Michael. The Amazing Story of Adolphus Tips (D-Day)
  • NEMIROVSKY, Irene. Suite Francaise
  • NEWBERY, Linda. Sisterland (Holocaust/Alzheimer's)
  • PEET, Mal. Tamar (Dutch Resistance)
  • PRATCHETT, Terry. Johnny and the Dead
  • RICHTER, Hans Peter. I Was There
  • SERRAILLIER, Ian. The Silver Sword
  • SPIEGELMAN, Art. Maus I / Maus II (sophisticated graphic novel about National Socialism & the Jews)
  • WEIN, Elizabeth. Code Name Verity / Rose Under Fire
  • ZUSAK, Markus. The Book Thief


  • McCAUGHREAN, Geraldine. The White Darkness (Titus Oates / Antarctica)


  • ANDERSON, M.T. Feed (future in which brains are wired directly into the Internet)
  • BLACKMAN, Malorie. Hacker
  • BRADBURY, Jason. Dot.Robot (high-tech action where computer gaming, mathematical and engineering skills are given the spotlight)
  • GIBBONS, Alan. The Shadow of the Minotaur (computer games and virtual reality)
  • PRATCHETT, Terry. Moving Pictures (Discworld series)


  • AGARD, John. Einstein, the Girl Who Hated Maths (poetry on maths theme)
  • BRADBURY, Jason. Dot.Robot (high-tech action where computer gaming, mathematical and engineering skills are given the spotlight)
  • FOSTER, John (ed). Word Whirls and other shape poems
  • HADDON, Mark. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time
  • MILLS, Steve & KOLL, Hilary. Counting on Leroy
  • SCIESZKA, Jon & SMITH, Lane. Maths Curse (poetry)
  • POSKITT, Kjartan. Murderous Maths series - includes titles such as:
    • The Essential Arithmetricks
    • Numbers: The Key to the Universe
    • The Phantom X
    • Desperate Measures
    • The Mean and Vulgar Bits: Fractions and Averages
    • Do You Feel Lucky? The Secrets of Probability


  • GOSCINNY, Rene & UDERZO, Albert. Asterix series
  • FILOPOVIC, Zlata. Zlata's Diary (girl growing up in Sarajevo)
  • FRANK, Anne. The Diary of Anne Frank
  • FUNKE, Cornelia. Inkheart ('Tintenherz' in original German)
  • GUENE, Faiza. Just Like Tomorrow (Parisian setting)


  • BOWLER, Tim. Starseeker
  • CROSS, Gillian. Chartbreak
  • FUNKE, Cornelia. The Thief Lord
  • GAVIN, Jamila. Coram Boy
  • HORNBY,. Nick. High Fidelity
  • NICHOLSON, William. The Wind Singer (Wind on Fire trilogy)
  • RIORDAN, James. Sweet Clarinet (Second World War)


  • AHLBERG, Allan. Friendly Matches (football poems)
  • ARKSEY, Neil. Playing on the Edge (future where world dominated by football)
  • BURGESS, Melvin. Billy Elliott
  • CHILDS, Rob. Soccer series
  • DHAMI, Narinder. Bend it Like Beckham (football)
  • FORDE, Catherine. Fat Boy Swim (swimming, obesity, bullying)
  • FOSTER, John. Football Fever (football poems)
  • FREEDMAN, Dan. The Kick-Off (and others in the Jamie Johnson series)
  • GIBBONS, Alan. Julie and Me...and Michael Owen Makes Three
  • GOWAR, Mick. Sir Gawain and the Rugby Sevens (bitesize read on rugby theme)
  • HARDCASTLE, Michael. Hit It... (Graffix)
  • HORNBY, Nick. Fever Pitch (football)
  • ORME, David. 'Ere We Go! (football poems)
  • PALMER, Tom. Foul Play/Dead Ball (detective series with football background)
  • PEET, Mal. Keeper (football, South America)
  • PEET, Mal. The Penalty (football, South America)
  • RAI, Bali. Soccer Squad series


  • ABDEL-FATTAH, Randa. Does My Head Look Big In This?
  • ABDEL-FATTAH, Randa. Ten Things I Hate About Me
  • ALBOM, Mitch. Five People You Meet in Heaven
  • ALMOND, David. Clay
  • ATWOOD, Margaret. The Handmaid's Tale
  • BLACKMAN, Malorie. Noughts and Crosses
  • McCAUGHREAN, Geraldine. Not the End of the World (story of Noah after the Ark)
  • NEWBERY, Linda. The Shell House (faith)
  • PULLMAN, Philip. His Dark Materials trilogy
  • RAI, Bali. (Un)arranged Marriage
  • SWINDELLS, Robert. Abomination (religious cults and intolerance)
  • TAYLOR, G.P. Shadowmancer
  • ZEPHANIAH, Benjamin. Refugee Boy


  • AGARD, John. Hello H2O (poetry on science theme)
  • ALLAN, Nicholas. Where Willy Went (fun picturebook which will be a sure-fire hit!)
  • BARLOW, Steve and SKIDMORE, Steve. Vernon Bright and the Magnetic Banana (and others in the Vernon Bright series) (Science experiments with Vernon have a knack of getting out of hand! Fun reading guaranteed!) [now available to download as interactive e-books for i-Pod Touch and i-Phone]
  • BLACKMAN, Malorie. ANTIDOTE (ethics of animal testing)
  • BROOKS, Kevin. Being (medicine)
  • BROWN, Dan. Angels and Demons (conflict between religion and science)
  • COLE, Babette. Hair in Funny Places (funny picturebook)
  • CRICHTON, Michael. Jurassic Park (and others)
  • DAVIES, Nicola. Bat Loves the Night (information book which reads beautifully)
  • DAVIES, Nicola. Big Blue Whale (information book which reads beautifully)
  • DAVIES, Nicola. One Tiny Turtle (information book which reads beautifully)
  • HAWKING, Lucy & Stephen. George's Secret Key to the Universe (space & physics)
  • LEWIS, Anne. The Ship That Fell Like a Star
  • MAYO, Simon. Itch (periodic table, passion for science)
  • MORGAN, Nicola. Fleshmarket (history of medicine)
  • ORME, David. Boffin Boy series (comic strip style for 8-14 year olds with reading age of 6-8)
  • PATTERSON, James. Maximum Ride series (young people with extraordinary powers caused by genetic experimentation)
  • PFEFFER, Susan. Life as we knew it (asteroid's imminent collison with the moon causes irrevocable changes to life; life becomes a struggle for survival)
  • PFEFFER, Susan. The Dead and the Gone (story of survival and faith after global disaster strikes)
  • PULLMAN, Philip. Northern Lights (& The Subtle Knife and The Amber Spyglass) (physics)
  • SHEARER, Alex. The Speed of the Dark
  • STEWART, Paul & RIDDELL, Chris. Stormchaser (second in fantasy adventure series involving questions of physics and environmental parallels)
  • ROSE, Malcolm. Final Lap / Blood Brother (& others in Luke Harding series) (forensic science)
  • ROSE, Malcolm. Scene of the Crime (murder mystery where the reader becomes the forensic investigator, solving the clues)
  • SCIESZKA, Jon & SMITH, Lane. Science Verse (poetry)
  • THOMPSON, Kate. The Alchemist's Apprentice (alchemy)
  • UPDALE, Eleanor. Montmorency series (scientific experiments)
  • WINTERSON, Jeanette. Tanglewreck (black holes, physics)


  • BOYCE, Frank Cottrell. Framed (art treasures from National Gallery stored in Welsh slate mine village)
  • COOPER, Susan. The Grey King (The Dark is Rising: 4)
  • CROSSLEY-HOLLAND, Kevin. Arthur: The Seeing Stone / Arthur: At the Crossing Places / Arthur: King of the Middle March
  • CROSSLEY-HOLLAND, Kevin. Gatty's Tale
  • HARLEY, Rex. Now That I've Found You (set in Cardiff)
  • MAGORIAN, Michelle. Goodnight Mr Tom
  • REES, Celia. The Wish House
  • TUCKER, Mike. The Nightmare of Black Island (Doctor Who: 10)
  • There is a collection of Welsh folktales and myths and legends too - the Mabinogion, Arthurian legends and Beddgelert, for example.

Opening Hours:
Monday - Friday
8.10 am - 4.30 pm

Pembroke School Library · Bush · Pembroke · Wales · SA71 4RL · Tel. 01646 623305
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