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Year 8: Wide Reading List 1

Wide Reading 1

Fantasy, Science Fiction and Supernatural Genres

Artemis Fowl - Eoin Colfer
Twelve-year-old Artemis Fowl is an anti-hero - a millionaire, boy-genius—and, above all, a criminal mastermind from a legendary crime family. But even Artemis doesn't know what he's taken on when, with the assistance of his bodguard Butler, he masterminds his plan to regain the Fowls' former glory: capture a fairy and hold her ransom for the legendary fairy gold. So he kidnaps a fairy, Captain Holly Short of the LEPrecon Unit, which is an elite branch of the Lower Elements Police. These aren't the fairies of bedtime stories—they're dangerous! The plot includes a wisecracking team of satyrs, trolls, dwarfs and fellow fairies and is full of unexpected twists and turns, Artemis Fowl is a riveting, magical adventure.
The Ruins of Gorlan (Ranger's Apprentice #1) - John Flanagan
Begins with 'The Ruins of Gorlan', the first epic adventure in a bestselling series about Will and his friends from Castle Redmont. Will is small for his age, but agile and energetic. All his life, he has dreamed of becoming a great knight like the father he never knew, so he is devastated when he is rejected as an apprentice to Castle Redmont's Battleschool. Instead he is apprenticed to Halt, the mysterious Ranger whose uncanny ability to move unseen is thought to be the result of black magic. Reluctantly, Will learns to use a Ranger's secret weapons: a bow and arrow, a mottled cloak and a stubborn little pony. It may not be the sword and battlehorse he longs for, but when Will and Halt set out on a desperate mission to prevent the assassination of the King, Will finds that a Ranger's weapons are not so useless after all 

Skulduggery Pleasant series - Derek Landy
Meet Skulduggery Pleasant. Sure, he may lose his head now and again (in fact, he won his current skull in a poker match), but he is much more than he appears to be—which is good, considering that he is, basically, a skeleton. Skulduggery may be long dead, but he is also a mage who dodged the grave so that he could save the world from an ancient evil. But to defeat it, he'll need the help of a new partner: a not so innocent 12-year-old girl named Stephanie. Stephanie and Skulduggery are quickly caught up in a battle to stop evil forces from acquiring her recently deceased uncle's most prized possession—the Sceptre of the Ancients. So Stephanie and Skulduggery set off to find the Sceptre, fend off the minions of the bad guys, beat down vampires and the undead, prove the existence of the Ancients and the Faceless Ones, all while trading snappy, snippy banter worthy of the best screwball comedies.

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (The Chronicles of Narnia #2) C.S. Lewis
A children's classic. Four adventurous siblings—Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy Pevensie—step through a wardrobe door and into the land of Narnia, a land of talking animals and mythical creatures, frozen in eternal winter for over 100 years and enslaved by the power of the White Witch. But when almost all hope is lost, the return of the Great Lion, Aslan, signals a great change . . . and a great sacrifice.

Mister Monday (The Keys to the Kingdom #1) - Garth Nix
Arthur Penhaligon is not supposed to be a hero. He is, in fact, supposed to die an early death. But then he is saved by a key shaped like the minute hand of a clock. Arthur is safe but his world is not. Along with the key comes a plague brought by bizarre creatures from another realm. A stranger named Mister Monday, his avenging messengers with blood-stained wings, and an army of dog-faced Fetchers will stop at nothing to get the key back even if it means destroying Arthur and everything around him. Desperate, Arthur ventures into a mysterious house a house that only he can see. It is in this house that Arthur must unravel the secrets of the key and discover his true fate.

Eragon (The Inheritance #1) - Christopher Paolini
When Eragon finds a polished blue stone in the forest, he thinks it is the lucky discovery of a poor farm boy; perhaps it will buy his family meat for the winter. But when the stone brings a dragon hatchling, Eragon realizes he has stumbled upon a legacy nearly as old as the Empire itself. Overnight his simple life is shattered, and he is thrust into a perilous new world of destiny, magic, and power. With only an ancient sword and the advice of an old storyteller for guidance, Eragon and the fledgling dragon must navigate the dangerous terrain and dark enemies of an Empire ruled by a king whose evil knows no bounds. Can Eragon take up the mantle of the legendary Dragon Riders? The fate of the Empire may rest in his hands.

Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians #1) - Rick Riordan
In the mood for monsters and mythological heroes? Look no further than Rick Riordan's fun, fast-paced Percy Jackson series, which follows the adventures of young demigod (half mortal, half Greek god) Percy and his friends Annabeth and Grover. Percy Jackson is a good kid, but he can't seem to focus on his schoolwork or control his temper. And lately, being away at boarding school is only getting worse—Percy could have sworn his pre-algebra teacher turned into a monster and tried to kill him. When Percy's mother finds out, she knows it's time that he knew the truth about where he came from, and that he go to the one place he'll be safe. She sends Percy to Camp Half Blood, a summer camp for demigods (on Long Island), where he learns that the father he never knew is Poseidon, God of the Sea. Soon a mystery unfolds and together with his friends—one a satyr and the other the demigod daughter of Athena—Percy sets out on a quest to reach the gates of the Underworld (located in a recording studio in Hollywood) and prevent a catastrophic war between the gods.

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone - J.K. Rowling
Harry Potter has never even heard of Hogwarts when the letters start dropping on the doormat at number four, Privet Drive. Addressed in green ink on yellowish parchment with a purple seal, they are swiftly confiscated by his grisly aunt and uncle. Then, on Harry's eleventh birthday, a great beetle-eyed giant of a man called Rubeus Hagrid bursts in with some astonishing news: Harry Potter is a wizard, and he has a place at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. An incredible adventure is about to begin!
 

The Alchemyst - Michael Scott
Nicholas Flamel was born in Paris on 28 September 1330. Nearly seven hundred years later, he is acknowledged as the greatest Alchemyst of his day. It is said that he discovered the secret of eternal life. The records show that he died in 1418. But his tomb is empty and Nicholas Flamel lives. The secret of eternal life is hidden within the book he protects - the Book of Abraham the Mage. It's the most powerful book that has ever existed. In the wrong hands, it will destroy the world. And that's exactly what Dr. John Dee plans to do when he steals it. Humankind won't know what's happening until it's too late. And if the prophecy is right, Sophie and Josh Newman are the only ones with the power to save the world as we know it. Sometimes legends are true. And Sophie and Josh Newman are about to find themselves in the middle of the greatest legend of all time. 

Nevermoor - Jessica Townsend
Morrigan Crow is cursed. Having been born on Eventide, the unluckiest day for any child to be born, she's blamed for all local misfortunes, from hailstorms to heart attacks--and, worst of all, the curse means that Morrigan is doomed to die at midnight on her eleventh birthday. But as Morrigan awaits her fate, a strange and remarkable man named Jupiter North appears. Chased by black-smoke hounds and shadowy hunters on horseback, he whisks her away into the safety of a secret, magical city called Nevermoor. It's then that Morrigan discovers Jupiter has chosen her to contend for a place in the city's most prestigious organisation: the Wundrous Society. In order to join, she must compete in four difficult and dangerous trials against hundreds of other children, each boasting an extraordinary talent that sets them apart--an extraordinary talent that Morrigan insists she does not have. To stay in the safety of Nevermoor for good, Morrigan will need to find a way to pass the tests--or she'll have to leave the city to confront her deadly fate.

Retrospect - T. Harris (BBC Middle School teacher)
A fast-paced dystopian fiction novel set in Brisbane 15 years into the future, written by our very own Mr Harris. The plot delves into a number of key societal issues, giving the story a strong dose of reality. The consequences of humans trying to play GOD through Science and Technology exploitation are explored, as well as the quest for eternal life, and the power of 'Big Brother'. The protagonist is 15-year old  Noah, and the story unwinds through his conversational narration. As the plot unwinds, we discover the antagonist (Setag) has systematically hijacked an entire population using his manipulation of the Technological age. Through his cruel dictatorship, he obliterates anyone who stands in his way. Children also disappear in large numbers, leading those surviving on a mission to uncover the 'truth'. This leads to a number of shattering discoveries and sends the story to the University of Queensland Campus itself.

Hunger Games - Suzanne Collins
In a post-apocalyptic North America, where the rulers of Panem maintain control of its 12 poorer districts through an annual televised survival competition.  As a continuing punishment, and reminder of the power and grace of the Capitol, each district must yield one boy and one girl between the ages of 12 and 18 through a lottery system to participate in the games. The 'tributes' are chosen during the annual Reaping and are forced to fight to the death, leaving only one survivor to claim victory. 16-year-old Katniss's skills are put to the test when she volunteers to take her younger sister's place

Divergent - Veronica Roth
In 16-year old Beatrice Prior’s dystopian Chicago world, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue—Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is—she can’t have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself

Gone - Michael Grant
A series centred on the fictional Southern Californian town of Perdido Beach, in which every human aged 15 and older vanishes. The town and surrounding areas become encased within an impenetrable energy barrier, with many of its inhabitants developing supernatural powers. The books follow the exploits of the protagonist, Sam Temple, as he battles antagonists Caine Soren and Drake Merwin, as well as a mysterious, malevolent creature, known as the Darkness.

Maze Runner - James Dashner
Some teenagers ("The Gladers") are left in a strange place called "The Glade". Beyond its walls lie an ever-changing maze, with its horrifying creatures. Every month a newcomer joins the Gladers, sent by a lift with all past memories wiped out. The ultimate goal of the remaining Gladers is to find a way out. To do so, runners venture out into the maze to map it in an attempt to find a pattern that would lead them to find an exit. When Thomas, an extra-curious newcomer, arrives at the Glade and ventures into the maze, unusual things begin to happen 

Tomorrow, When the War Began - John Marsden
Six teenagers spend five idyllic days camping in a remote and tranquil beauty spot called Hell. But when they return to their homes they find their families gone, their farms deserted and the animals lying dead in the fields. That's when they begin to understand the real meaning of hell.

I Am Number 4 (Lorien Legacies #1) - Pittacus Lore
Six teenagers spend five idyllic days camping in a remote and tranquil beauty spot called Hell. But when they return to their homes they find their families gone, their farms deserted and the animals lying dead in the fields. That's when they begin to understand the real meaning of hell. 

The Fifth Wave - Rick Yancey
16-year-old Cassie Sullivan is trying to survive a world devastated by the waves of an alien invasion; now it's the dawn of the 5th wave, and Cassie runs from Them. They are the beings who only look human, who roam the countryside killing anyone they see, who have scattered Earth's last survivors. To stay alone is to stay alive, Cassie believes, until she meets Evan Walker. Beguiling and mysterious, Evan Walker may be Cassie's only hope for rescuing her brother-or even saving herself. But Cassie must choose: between trust and despair, between defiance and surrender, between life and death. To give up or to get up. while trying to save her five-year-old brother Sam from a training camp that was created by the Others (the aliens). 

Legend - Marie Lu
Once known as the western coast of the U.S., the Republic is now a nation perpetually at war with its neighbours, the Colonies. Born into an elite family in one of the Republic's wealthiest districts, fifteen-year-old June is a military prodigy. Obedient, passionate, and committed to her country, she is being groomed for success in the Republic's highest circles. Born into the slums of the Republic's Lake Sector, fifteen-year-old Day is the country's most wanted criminal. But his motives may not be as malicious as they seem

The Spook's Apprentice (The Last Apprentice / Wardstone Chronicles #1) - Joseph Delaney 
Tom Ward is the seventh son of a seventh son. As the Spook's apprentice, he will face boggarts, witches, ghosts, and other terrifying creatures of the night. Other apprentices have come before him. Some have failed. Some have fled. Some have died. Will Tom be the one who survives—especially when he becomes the target of the world's greatest evils?

The Enemy - Charlie Higson 
When the sickness came, every adult fell ill. The lucky ones died. The others are crazed, confused and hungry. Only children under 14 remain, and they’re fighting to survive. Now there are rumours of a safe place to hide. And so a gang of children begins its quest across London, where all through the city the grown-ups lie in wait. But can they make it there – alive?


 

Cirque du Freak (The Sage of Darren Shan #1) - Darren Shan
In the tradition of Stephen King's 'Salem's Lot, Cirque Du Freak is the frightening saga of a young boy whose visit to a mysterious freak show leads him on a journey into a dark world of vampires. Filled with grotesque creatures, murderous vampires, and a petrifying ending, Cirque Du Freak will chill, thrill, and leave readers begging for more.

 

Lockwood & Co: The Screaming Staircase - Jonathan Stroud
When the dead come back to haunt the living, Lockwood & Co. step in.For more than fifty years, the country has been affected by a horrifying epidemic of ghosts. A number of Psychic Investigations Agencies have sprung up to destroy the dangerous apparitions. Lucy Carlyle, a talented young agent, arrives in London hoping for a notable career. Instead she finds herself joining the smallest, most ramshackle agency in the city, run by the charismatic Anthony Lockwood. When one of their cases goes horribly wrong, Lockwood & Co. have one last chance of redemption. Unfortunately this involves spending the night in one of the most haunted houses in England, and trying to escape alive. S

 

Thriller and Mystery Genres

The Recruit (Cherub series #1) - Robert Muchamore
CHERUB agents are highly trained, extremely talented--and all under the age of seventeen. For official purposes, these agents do not exist. They are sent out on missions to spy on terrorists, hack into crucial documents, and gather intel on global threats—all without gadgets or weapons. It is an exceptionally dangerous job, but these agents have one crucial advantage: adults never suspect that teens are spying on them. James is the latest CHERUB recruit. He’s a bit of a troublemaker, but he’s also brilliant. And CHERUB needs him. James has no idea what to expect, but he’s out of options. Before he can start in the field he must first survive one hundred grueling days of basic training, where even the toughest recruits don’t make it to the end. The most borrowed book in the history of BBC Library!
Silverfin (Young Bond series #1) - Charlie Higson
James Bond will one day become the world’s most famous spy, but at the moment his challenge is to fit in at his new school - making friends, learning the rules and facing up to bullies. Unknown to James though, there is an even tougher challenge awaiting him- something mysterious and deadly lurking in the water. Something called SilverFin.
 

Stormbreaker (Alex Rider series #1) - Anthony Horowitz
They told him his uncle died in an accident. He wasn't wearing his seatbelt, they said. But when fourteen-year-old Alex finds his uncle's windshield riddled with bullet holes, he knows it was no accident. What he doesn't know yet is that his uncle was killed while on a top-secret mission. But he is about to, and once he does, there is no turning back. Finding himself in the middle of terrorists, Alex must outsmart the people who want him dead. The government has given him the technology, but only he can provide the courage. Should he fail, every child in England will be murdered in cold blood.

Evil Genius - Catherine Jinks
Cadel Piggott has a genius IQ and a fascination with systems of all kinds. At seven, he was illegally hacking into computers. Now he's fourteen and studying for his World Domination degree, taking classes like embezzlement, misinformation, forgery, and infiltration at the institute founded by criminal mastermind Dr. Phineas Darkkon. Although Cadel may be advanced beyond his years, at heart he's a lonely kid. When he falls for the mysterious and brilliant Kay-Lee, he begins to question the moral implications of his studies for the first time. But is it too late to stop Dr. Darkkon from carrying out his evil plot? An engrossing thriller with darkness and humor, freaks and geeks, Evil Genius explores the fine line between good and evil in a strange world of manipulations and subterfuge where nothing is as it seems.

Boy Soldier - Andy McNab
Danny Watts' grandfather, Fergus, was a Deniable Operator in the SAS before he was betrayed, imprisoned, and falsely denounced as a traitor. Now Fergus has escaped, but the real traitor is determined to silence Fergus and Danny for good. Together Danny and Fergus are forced to go on the run in an against-the-odds battle for survival. As they try to clear Fergus' name, Danny learns all the military field craft, trade skills, and covert operations techniques that are second nature to his grandfather. When Fergus is recaptured, Danny must put those skills to the test and rescue Fergus before it's too late.

Survival (Alpha Force series #1) - Chris Ryan
Five kids: Alex, Li, Paulo, Hex and Amber bond on board a sailing ship. When they are marooned on a desert island, they must face the ultimate test - survival! Killer komodo dragons, sharks and modern day pirates are amongst the dangers they face. The team is born. The first in an exciting new series for children from ex-SAS officer and bestselling adult author Chris Ryan.

January (Conspiracy 365 series #1)- Gabrielle Lord
On New Year's Eve, Cal is chased down the street by a crazed man with a deadly warning:''They killed your father.
They'll kill you. You must survive the next 365 days'! Forced into a life on the run, Cal finds himself hunted by ruthless criminals and the police. Somehow he must uncover the truth about his father's mysterious death and solve the Ormond Singularity, a secret from the past, before the year is up. But who can he turn to when the whole world seems to want him dead? The clock is ticking. Any second could be his last. Callum Ormond has been warned. He has 365 days. The countdown has begun.

Death Cloud (Young Sherlock Holmes #1) - Andrew Lane
1868 England. Sherlock Holmes, age 14, unexpectedly summers with Farnham relations and befriends orphan Matt. Why does a dark cloud float from a corpse covered in red boils? Sherlock fights, runs, gets caught, drugged, whipped, ordered killed; defending bystander is fatally knifed. Americans logical tutor Amycus Crowe and daughter Virginia in well-fitting breeches help.

 

The Billionaire's Curse (Billionaire series #1) - Richard Newsome
Gerald Wilkins never considered himself a particularly exceptional thirteen-year-old. But that was before he inherited twenty billion pounds, a Caribbean island, a yacht, and three estates from a great-aunt he never knew. With this fortune, however, comes a letter. One from his great-aunt Geraldine. One that tells Gerald that she was murdered, and that it's up to him to find out why. Along with his friends Ruby and Sam, Gerald embarks on a journey that will lead him from the British Museum to dodgy social clubs for the disgustingly rich to mansions in the English countryside to secret places far underground. Who was Geraldine Archer? And what secrets was she hiding? Unless Gerald, Sam, and Ruby can find out before the killer does, they may be next.

H.I.V.E. : Higher Institute of Villainous Education - Mark Walden

Otto Malpense may only be thirteen years old, but so far he has managed to run the orphanage where he lives, and he has come up with a plan clever enough to trick the most powerful man in the country. He is the perfect candidate to become the world's next supervillain. That is why he ends up at H.I.V.E., handpicked to become a member of the incoming class. The students have been kidnapped and brought to a secluded island inside a seemingly active volcano, where the school has resided for decades. All the kids are elite; they are the most athletic, the most technically advanced, and the smartest in the country. Inside the cavernous marble rooms, floodlit hangars, and steel doors, the students are enrolled in Villainy Studies and Stealth and Evasion 101. But what Otto soon comes to realize is that this is a six-year program, and leaving is not an option. Can Otto achieve what has never been done before and break out of H.I.V.E.?

Theodore Boone - John Grisham
In the small city of Strattenburg, there are many lawyers, and though he’s only thirteen years old, Theo Boone thinks he’s one of them. Theo knows every judge, policeman, court clerk—and a lot about the law. He dreams of being a great trial lawyer, of a life in the courtroom. But Theo finds himself in court much sooner than expected. Because he knows so much—maybe too much—he is suddenly dragged into the middle of a sensational murder trial. A cold-blooded killer is about to go free, and only Theo knows the truth. The stakes are high, but Theo won’t stop until justice is served. Brimming with the intrigue and suspense that made John Grisham a #1 international bestseller and the undisputed master of the legal thriller, Theodore Boone: Kid Lawyer will keep readers guessing and pages turning.

The 39 Clues series (choose any) - multiple authors

A series of adventure novels which  chronicle the adventures of two siblings, Amy and Dan Cahill, who discover that their family, the Cahills, has been the most influential family in history. The first story concerns Dan and Amy's quest to find the 39 Clues, which are ingredients to a serum that can create the most powerful person on Earth.

Two Wolves - Tristan Bancks
Ben Silver is an ordinary Aussie kid in an extraordinary situation, forced by circumstances to be brave, positive and strong. One afternoon, after police officers show up at his front door, Ben’s parents arrive home and he and his little sister Olive are bundled into the car and told they're going on a holiday. But it doesn't take long for Ben to realise that his parents are in trouble, as he gathers evidence and tries to uncover what his parents have done. He is faced with the quandary of what to do, and is constantly torn between family loyalty and doing the right thing. Should he stay quiet, or keep the secret and live life on the run? The story examines the powerlessness and sense of betrayal children often experience at the hands of adults, and the slipperiness of truth. 

Hardy Boys series (choose any) - Franklin W. Dixon
The classic mystery series for boys. The Hardy Boys, Frank and Joe Hardy,  are fictional teen sleuths who appear in various mystery series for children and teens. They are the sons of the celebrated private and ex-NYPD ace detective Fenton Hardy and his wife, Laura. Visiting or living with them (depending on the book) is Fenton's elder sister, "Aunt" Gertrude Hardy. They reside in an unspecified Northeastern state's seaboard city of Bayport, located near the Atlantic Ocean on Barmet Bay. The Boys are highly mobile and have a car, motorcycles and a motorboat, The Sleuth, and seemingly unlimited funds to take plane trips and the like. Frank and Joe are accompanied on all their adventures by their good friend, the chubby farmboy Chet Morton.

The London Eye Mystery - Siobhan Dowd

Monday, 24 May, 11.32 a.m. Ted and Kat watch their cousin Salim get on board the London Eye. He turns and waves and the pod rises from the ground. Monday, 24 May, 12.02 p.m. The pod lands and the doors open. People exit in all shapes and sizes – but where is Salim? Ted and his older sister Kat become sleuthing partners since the police are having no luck. Despite their prickly relationship, they overcome their differences to follow a trail of clues across London in a desperate bid to find their cousin. And ultimately it comes down to Ted, whose brain runs on its own unique operating system, to find the key to the mystery.

The Falcon's Malteser (Diamond Brothers series #1) - Anthony Horowitz
A hilarious story about the world's worst detectives by the bestselling author of the Alex Rider series, Anthony Horowitz.Meet the Diamond Brothers, the world's most defective detectives, by the author of the number one bestselling Alex Rider series. When a dwarf comes into the office and leaves a package, Tim Diamond, the world's worst private-detective, is faced with his toughest case yet. The office is ransacked and the package is found to contain
simply a box of Maltesers. Who was the dwarf ... and why was he murdered shortly after his visit?  

Virals - Kathy Reichs
Tory Brennan, niece of acclaimed forensic anthropologist Temperance Brennan (of the Bones novels and hit TV show), is the leader of a ragtag band of teenage "sci-philes" who live on a secluded island off the coast of South Carolina. When the group rescues a dog caged for medical testing on a nearby island, they are exposed to an experimental strain of canine parvovirus that changes their lives forever. As the friends discover their heightened senses and animal-quick reflexes, they must combine their scientific curiosity with their newfound physical gifts to solve a cold-case murder that has suddenly become very hot if they can stay alive long enough to catch the killer's scent. Fortunately, they are now more than friends. They're a pack. They are Virals.