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Summer Reading List - I need your help!

Ok guys, guess what? I'm an English teacher! haha. I hope to get a job in September, it will hardly be a full time job but hopefully I will get some part time work like maternity cover or something. This means that I am planning to prepare BIG time over the summer. I have learned so much in the past year about how to teach etc, but I still need to get a thorough understanding of my subjects, both English and Geography. 

I thought I'd share with you a list of all the studied work on the Junior Cert Syllabus. I would absolutely love your recommendations. I need to do one novel, one drama and one film. Of course there's poetry on the course too but that's pretty much wide open and I doubt you could help with poetry haha.

One of the following novels:


BLACKMAN, Malorie - Noughts and Crosses
BOYNE, John - The Dare
BRONTË, Charlotte - Jane Eyre
CATHER, Willa - My Antonia
CONNOLLY, John - The Book of Lost Things
CROSSAN, Sarah - The Weight of Water
GLEITZMAN, Morris - Once
GOLDING, William - Lord of the Flies
HINTON, S, E - The Outsiders
JOHNSTON, Jennifer - Shadows on our Skin
KIERNAN, Celine - Into the Grey
LEE, Harper -To Kill a Mockingbird
MITCHELL, Jane - Chalkline
MULLIGAN, Andy - Trash
NESS, Patrick - The Knife of Never Letting Go
NICHOLSON, William - The Wind Singer
ORWELL, George - Animal Farm
PORTIS, Charles - True Grit
STEINBECK, John - Of Mice and Men
SWINDELLS, Robert - Stone Cold

One of the following dramas:

BREEN, John - Alone It Stands
FRIEL, Brian - Lovers (Winners and Losers)
GOGOL, Nikolai - The Government Inspector
HILL, Susan - The Woman in Black (adapted for stage by Stephen Mallatratt)
LAURENTS, Arthur - West Side Story
MORPURGO, Michael - War Horse (adapted for stage by Nick Stafford)
O’CASEY, Sean - The Shadow of a Gunman
ROSE, Reginald - Twelve Angry Men
RUSSELL, Willy - Blood Brothers
SHAKESPEARE, William
A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Henry IV, Part 1
Much Ado About Nothing
The Merchant of Venice
Romeo and Juliet
SHAW, George Bernard - Pygmalion
WILDE, Oscar - The Importance of Being Earnes


One of the following films:

BENIGNI, Roberto - Life Is Beautiful
CARO, Niki - Whale Rider
CHADHA, Gurinder - Bend It Like Beckham
JENNINGS, Garth - Son of Rambow
LAUGHTON, Charles -The Night of the Hunter
LINKLATER, Richard - School of Rock
MIYAZAKI, Hayao - Spirited Away
SHERIDAN, Jim - In America
SPIELBERG, Stephen -ET
ZEITLIN, Benh - Beasts of the Southern Wild
 
I'm thinking 'To kill a mocking bird' for the novel and 'ET' for the film. Not sure which play though. Most likely not a Shakespear one though because they find the language quiet difficult at this age, however I may be swayed because I love Shakespear especially 'A Midsummer nights dream' so at least my passion would be in it. Would really love your opinions if you have read any of these? Which ones would you be interested in studying if you were 12-15?


12 comments

Grace Christine said...

Hi Sinead! Here are my top choices from each category:
Novel - Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre - one of my absolute favorites of all time. I love the message of learning to love and appreciate yourself before being able to love another.
Drama - Shakespeare, Much Ado About Nothing - LOVE this comedy! (if you had time, there are many movie adaptations that are delightful)
Film - Linklater, School of Rock - this was my favorite movie when I was a kid :)

xx abitgraceful.blogspot.com

Anna said...

Oooh tough choices...well tough cos I don't know majority of em :) I'd say Romeo & Juliet...we did that in secondary but we watched the newer version :) xxx

Sinead said...

Thanks Grace! I agree Jane Eyre is really good. I haven't read Much Ado About Nothing, it's one of the few Shakespeare plays I haven't read! and yeah I think they would like School of Rock - just need to figure out how to find the themes and stuff in it :) x

Emma McIlroy said...

My choices would be the knife of never letting go, west side story and whale rider, because it's set in nz :) but for 12-15 I would probably say noughts and crosses and ET. Good luck with your decision!

Sinead said...

Oooh Interesting I haven't read / seen any of those! thanks so much for your suggestions. Will have to look in to Noughts and Crosses :) x

Sinead said...

Yeah Romeo and Juliet is a very popular one in schools! The only Shakespeare I did in school was King Lear though. I did about 12 other Shakespeare plays in my undergrad but not Romeo and Juliet! Definitely have to read it over the summer regardless.

Kate A said...

At that age, I read Noughts & Crosses, Jane Eyre, The Knife of Never Letting Go on my own. And I was taught Of Mice & Men and Animal Farm for GCSE. I loved all of them!!

I would suggest Of Mice and Men, I really enjoyed learning that. Or Noughts and Crosses, I think it's very striking for kids at that age (it was for me) whilst still being age appropriate

Sinead said...

Thanks Kate that's really helpful. I'm going read Noughts and Crosses because you're the second person to say it :)

Michaela Higgins said...

I had ' Kill a Mockingbird' & 'The Merchant of Venice' for my junior cert. I enjoyed them very much but I would have liked 'Bend it like Beckham'. I love any movie to do with diverse cultures :) Plus come on, Johnathan Reys Meyers :D I myself hope to do a lot more reading this summer. I'll be on the look out for recommendations from you xx

Alex Barker said...

I really recommend 'To Kill a Mockingbird' - one of my all time favourites. Also Jane Eyre is one classic I come back to again and again, but I can imagine boys not being as interested!

With regard to dramas I would choose 'The Importance of Being Earnest' - who doesn't love it?

Finally I'd say that's a great selection of films. I personally love 'Life is Beautiful', 'Whale Rider', 'Spirited Away' and 'Beasts of the Southern Wilds'.

Hope that's of some help! xx

Dib-Dab-Debs said...

I'd go with Lord of the Flies, A Midsummer's Night Dream and Life is Beautiful (La Vita E Bella). I read Lord of the Flies myself when I was about 14 and loved it, studies AMND when I was 13 and it's the only work of Shakespeare I like and Life is Beautiful is one of the best films you will ever see.
Debi x

Gema said...

I absolutely love the choices that you are thinking. For the play I actually quite liked Romeo and Juliet which we got to do in my English class last year when I was 15, we thought the language was a bit challenging but my teacher somehow made it fun. Me and my friends spend about a week talking like we were in the play! as for many others I sadly can't give my opinion on since i haven't had the chance to experience them all but good luck! :)

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