Reading Links
  Wide Reading
  Library Reading Lists
  Literature Reading List
  Best Books
  Reading Links
  Classic Films
  Wide Reading  

The “Best Books” debate is currently being hotly debated in England because the Poet Laureate, Andrew Motion, has compiled a list of books that he believes all children should be expected to read before they have left school.

Your task is to consider what you regard as “Must Reads” and what books would you put on the “Ultimate List”. Compile your report and justify it.

Andrew Motion's list

The Odyssey, Homer
Don Quixote, Miguel de Cervantes
Hamlet, William Shakespeare
Paradise Lost, John Milton
Lyrical Ballads, Samuel Taylor Coleridge and William Wordsworth
Jane Eyre, Charlotte Brontë
Great Expectations, Charles Dickens
Portrait of a Lady, Henry James
Ulysses, James Joyce
The Waste Land, TS Eliot

Weighing into the debate 2 popular authors have contributed their lists which are as follows:

JK Rowling

Wuthering Heights, Emily Brontë
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Roald Dahl
Robinson Crusoe, Daniel Defoe
David Copperfield, Charles Dickens
Hamlet, William Shakespeare
To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee
Animal Farm, George Orwell
The Tale of Two Bad Mice, Beatrix Potter
The Catcher in the Rye, J D Salinger
Catch-22, Joseph Heller

Philip Pullman

Finn Family Moomintroll, Tove Jansson
Emil and the Detectives, Erich Kästner
The Magic Pudding, Norman Lindsay
The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, Samuel Taylor Coleridge
Where the Wild Things Are, Maurice Sendak
The Ballad of Sir Patrick Spens, (or other good anonymous ballads)
First Book of Samuel, Chapter 17 (the story of David and Goliath)
Romeo and Juliet, William Shakespeare
A good collection of myths and legends
A good collection of fairytales

Read about the debate

Last up-dated 12 November, 2012
Website originally designed and constructed by V. Karvelas, 2004
Up-dated and constructed and maintained by G. Marotous, 2007
© George Marotous. Melbourne High School English Faculty