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What books did you do at school?

(234 Posts)
Nagasaki Thu 21-Aug-14 22:46:03

Just reminiscing with DH about books I did at school (mid-nineties). I vaguely remembered one called Z for Zachariah which was a post-apocalyptic sci-fi children's novel (fun!) which must have been done in 2nd or 3rd form. So, 12 or 13 years old?

Off I merrily go to Wikipedia to remind myself of the plot.

Fuck me, it's grim. en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Z_for_Zachariah

Anyone else remember books they did in school that have seriously sinister plots? Or ones that you have a fond memory of?

(I also found a copy of Animal Farm from GCSEs that I seem to have furiously annotated. One gem: "Old Major's name equals a high rank". Yeah, no shit, Sherlock...)

I did Z For Zachariah in the mid 80s. We got to see Anthony Andrews' bottom in the video.

The Children Of Dynmouth is one I remember as being pretty sinister.

Smartiepants79 Thu 21-Aug-14 23:01:03

We did something called King of the Castle which was pretty dark. Kid commits suicide at the end because of bullying. Can't remember how old I was though. Maybe 14.

CardiffUniversityNetballTeam Thu 21-Aug-14 23:04:57

1984
Merchant of Venice
Macbeth
To Kill a Mockingbird

Were my set texts for GCSE (mid/late 90s)

CitronVert Thu 21-Aug-14 23:06:14

We did that one too Smartiepants. It was incredibly depressing. We also did Romeo and Juliet so had no letups from the tragic early deaths.

Something a bit lighter might have been nice...

CitronVert Thu 21-Aug-14 23:06:56

That was for English lit o level <old>

juneybean Thu 21-Aug-14 23:07:08

Of Mice and Men
Macbeth
The Outsiders
Romeo & Juliet

I can't think of anything else

EBearhug Thu 21-Aug-14 23:07:16

GCSE was Thomas Hardy Far From the Madding Crowd and Orwell Animal Farm. We also did To Kill a Mocking Bird and The Mayor Casterbridge (Dorset school so surfeit of Hardy.) I know we read other books, but I can't remember any of them off-hand.

mumatron Thu 21-Aug-14 23:07:46

Macbeth and maya angelou I know why the caged bird sings.

Gcse, late 90's

BreadForBrains Thu 21-Aug-14 23:07:52

Late 90s
Flowers for Algernon
To Kill a Mockingbird
1984
Erm, loads of Shakespeare!

Nagasaki Thu 21-Aug-14 23:08:34

God, no wonder teenagers are angsty...

HalfSpamHalfBrisket Thu 21-Aug-14 23:09:07

I can remember being read to at junior school so clearly (and I'm in my 40s).

The Ghost of Thomas Kempe (Penelope Lively)
The Minnow on the Say (Philippa Pearce)
Conrad the Factory Built Boy (Christine Nostlinger)
The Wheel on the School (Meindert DeJong
And The Lost World (Arthur Conan Doyle) - because half way through, after many gruesome deaths, the teacher decided it was too disturbing (we were 8-9) and changed to a new book.

I think it's a real shame there is not that quiet time in the day to be read to any more in primary (esp KS2 - I still manage to read with my reception class)
I still ADORE reading children's literature, especially if it's a bit disturbing, dystopian or supernatural.

fortyplus Thu 21-Aug-14 23:11:31

What about 'Lord of the Flies'? Horrid book

OscarWinningActress Thu 21-Aug-14 23:11:49

Heart of Darkness is pretty depressing. We also did the Grapes of Wrath which is a depressing book about the depression. Good Times.

RainbowB7 Thu 21-Aug-14 23:12:57

Of mice and men (same as basically everyone!)
Carol Ann Duffy poems
Various Shakespeare eg romeo and Juliet, Macbeth, midsummer nights dream, measure for measure, can't remember which others!
Various World War One things eg I birdsong, pat barker regeneration trilogy, Wilfred owe etc

When younger, the silver sword, buddy, animal farm

Can't think what else!

Reading it out in turn killed it for me, fortyplus. I just associate it with deep boredom now, which is a shame.

bigoldbird Thu 21-Aug-14 23:14:19

Funnily enough we were talking about this at work today. For O level English I did Romeo and Juliet, Under Milkwood, The Mayor of Casterbridge, all of which I loved. Inspired me to take A level English which was Macbeth (OK), Henry IV part two (dull dull dull), Redgauntlet (unreadable), Middlemarch (unreadable), Canterbury Tales (brilliant), Paradise Lost (hated at the time, like it a bit better now).

NellVarnish Thu 21-Aug-14 23:14:24

The Crucible (Arthur Miller)
Sunset Song (Lewis Grassic Gibbon)

There were others obviously, in Ye Olden Times.

<old>
<Scottish>

Nagasaki Thu 21-Aug-14 23:18:58

We did The Crucible and The Scarlet Letter in the same year. I remember my budding inner feminist being particularly cross.

plus3 Thu 21-Aug-14 23:21:01

Thomas Hardy for me as well - the Mayor Of Casterbridge & Far from the Madding Crowd loved them both..I can't remember what we did for GCSE & what I read myself though..

themonsteratemyspacebaragain Thu 21-Aug-14 23:25:12

Macbeth
Of mice and men
Romeo and Juliet
A dolls house
Blood brothers (now seen the play 10+ times blush)
And some dark sinister book about an old army officer who used to pick up homeless people and kill them and hide them under the floorboards shockhmmconfused
Would love to remember the name of that book as i've never heard of it since!
Oh and the Importance of being Earnest. Still never understood that!

CooCooCachoo Thu 21-Aug-14 23:26:07

The Playmaker by Thomas Keneally along with the usual suspects..Shakespeare, Chaucer et al... Really liked this one though as it was by the author of Schindlers Ark (later Schindlers List) and I had preconceived ideas about content. Less about Nazis, more about transportation of convicts to Oz...really good.

BackforGood Thu 21-Aug-14 23:26:53

Romeo and Juliet, Midsummer Night's Dream, Merchant of Venice, and Henry 1Vth Pt1 were our Shakespeares.
We did Animal Farm, 1984 (which my dc think is weird that I read it quite a long time before 1984 grin), Cider with Rosie, Pigmallion, Oliver Twist, Wuthering Heights, Scoop, Lord of the Flies, Far From the Madding Crowd (which I think is the only book I've ever failed to finish), A Christmas Carol... probably a few more. It's a LONG time ago since I was at school.

BlinkingHeck Thu 21-Aug-14 23:29:01

GCSE's in 1995.
The Crucible,
Macbeth,
To Kill a Mockingbird,
Role of Thunder Hear my Cry.

EvilTwins Thu 21-Aug-14 23:29:37

Stone Cold?? (Army officer killing homeless people)

I did Jane Eyre, Macbeth, Billy Liar, some War Poetry and Lord of the Flies. All cheery stuff.

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