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Year 8: English

The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

Wide Reading Recommended List of Books - 1

Click HERE to see a list of excellent

  • Fantasy, Science Fiction and Supernatural books 
  • Thrillers and Mystery books

Holes by Louis Sachar

Wide Reading Recommended List of Books - 2

Click HERE to see a list of excellent

  • History and War books 
  • Humour, Sports, Animals and General books

Fantasy - Plausible Impossibilities

Science fiction deals with improbable possibilities, fantasy with plausible impossibilities.”   
―    Miriam Allen de Ford

What is fantasy? How can one identify a fantasy story? When we speak of just the word itself we are referring to an imagined dream or event. We also refer to the word when we are speaking of wishful thinking. When we refer to fantasy in the context of literature we are referring to stories that have certain definable elements that make the story unreal. There are many such elements. They vary from mythical beasts roaming an imagined world to natural settings in which animals take on human characteristics. There are recognizable conventions of fantasy, such as toys coming to life, tiny humans, articulate animals, imaginary worlds, magical powers, and time-warp tales. A story needs to possess only one of these features in order to be classified as fantasy. However, some great stories use a combination of fantasy elements. I tell my students simply this: a fantasy is any story in which at least one element cannot be found in our human world. (Karlene McGowen from visited 20/03/14)

Elements of Fantasy include:

Other Worlds:

Examples include Narnia, Hobbiton, Middle-Earth, Deltora, Lilliput, Alagaesia


Charlotte's Web, Harry Potter, Deltora Quest

Universal Themes

Eg good v evil, quests, facing dangers, long journeys where identities are discovered

Talking Animals

Eg The beavers in Narnia, Charlotte's Web, James and the Giant Peach


Eg. Frodo, Gandalf, 

Other Creatures

Eg nymphs, centaurs, witches, wizards, unicorns, vampires, werewolves, giants, little people, gnomes, dwarves, dragons

Unusual Objects

Eg horcruxes, wands, spells, special powers within objects, jewels, paintings, swords