13 Books You Need to Read, Chosen by Forfar Academy Pupils

Cover of City of Bones
The Mortal Instruments Series
by Cassandra Clare

The Mortal Instruments books are a series by Cassandra Clare. There are six books in the series and all are really good. The books are basically about Shadowhunters who protect humans from demons.There is a man named Valinterie who they have to try and stop from getting rid of all downworlder (warlocks, vampires, werewolves etc.). So together they try to keep him from doing that. The books are really good and very well written. If you like things like vampires and werewolves and mythical things in general then you would love these books because they have a lot of that.  All the characters in the book are shown/brought in with their own personalities and you really get to know them and their personality throughout the book. This series is one of my favourites, and I would recommend it to anyone who loves mythical things (creatures) and adventures. People who are a fan of Harry Potter should definitely read them.

Eden Racionzer (S3)

Legend by Marie Lu

June is the Republic’s most celebrated soldier. Day is the most wanted criminal in the country. When June’s brother is killed by Day, she is determined to avenge his death. She discovers the Republic is riddled with lies, secrets and plots. Can she discover the truth before it is too late?

This book is gripping, a rollercoaster ride from start to finish. There are so many plot twists, I couldn’t put it down! The whole series is a masterpiece!

Catriona Hackwood (S2)

Cover of Frozen Charlotte
Frozen Charlotte
by Alex Bell

Frozen Charlotte is a horror book about porcelain dolls that turn evil.  A girl called Sophie teams up with Cameron (who has a burnt arm) and Lillias who has a fear of bones.  All three of them try to solve the mysterious death of Sophie’s cousin Rebecca (who is Cameron and Lillias’s sister). While they see the true face of Cameron and Lillias’s other sister Piper, who is too good to be true. Read if you dare!

Wiktoria Draganek (S2)

Chinese Cinderella by Adeline Yen Mah

The novel Chinese Cinderella by Adeline Yen Mah is a heart-wrenching tale of family, love, loss and a young child’s fight for acceptance from both her father and her society.  Chinese Cinderella is a true story and a document of Adeline’s life as she grew up in China. From birth she was unwanted and practically abandoned by her family, and so she journeys to prove herself. This heart-warming tale is a touching masterpiece that changed my own perception of the world and encouraged me to reconsider my own life and not only become more thankful for what I have been blessed with but also encouraged me to always fight for myself in my own struggles and to never give up.

Erin McIntosh (S5)

Hand of Blood by Charles Butler

Hand of Blood is a horror book about a girl named Meg who saved her sister from a terrible dog named Jet, but her hand was bitten and chewed up. The doctors give Meg a new hand. Becky Green was killed in a hit and run, so Meg has a new hand but it wants revenge. It killed Amber, Jet’s sister, and left a note “I did it for you. Now you do it for me!”  Meg was determined to find out who killed Becky. Does Meg find him? What happens to the hand? What happens to Meg? Read the book and find out! I give this book 5 stars out of 5.

Sarah Dean (S1)

Pupils from Forfar Academy



Cover of While The Others Sleep
While the Others Sleep
by Tom Becker

While the Others Sleep by Tom Becker is a chilling and scary ghost story.

It is about a boy called Alfie who has insomnia and has been sent to a sanatorium ‘to get better’ but with the recent funeral of Richard Harker things have become scarier. That’s the least of everyone’s worries, the scrapers are hunting on those who stay awake at night. Perkins disappears and the scrapers' next target is the fiend.

Personally I think this book is amazing and one of the best horror novels I have read in a while and has thrilling and exciting plot twists at every chance Tom Becker got. A very well done book.

Dillon Bricknal (S2)

How to Save a Life by Sara Zarr

A fantastic book, How to Save a Life is the story of how love comes from where you least expect it, and that first impressions do not always reflect the person within. A must read for all young adults.

Toni Paton (S6)

Cover of First and Only
First and Only (Gaunt’s Ghosts)
by Dan Abnett

First and Only is about a regiment of Imperial Guards called the Tanith First-And-Only, and it’s “First-And-Only” for a reason. Tanith is a secret world with constantly shifting trees, giving the Tanith naturally good senses of direction.

Then Tanith explodes. Yeah, BOOM!!! The regiment leader Colonel-Commissar Ibran Gaunt only just manages to escape with one full regiment.

Fast forward to present day though, first the Ghosts (the nickname for the regiment, bestowed by their master sniper Hlaine ‘Mad’ Larkin) are trapped in the grinding trench warfare of the Forge World of Fortis Binary, one of the many warzones of the Sabbat Worlds Crusade, against heretics called The Shriven, then on a break on Pyrites, where an old friend of Gaunt’s gives him a crystal to protect with his life. Then on the ship Absalom where the Ghosts are hit with some regimental rivalry when the 1st Jantine Patricians assault them, then on Mezanoid Epsillon for the grand finale.

All in all a brilliant start to a long (14 books!) running Fething epic.

Five Tanith Cap Badges!

Duncan Cameron (S1)

The Trylle Series by Amanda Hocking

The Trylle series consists of three books, Switched, Torn and Ascend by Amanda Hocking.  They are about a girl who had never fitted in at school or anywhere and one day she discovers she was switched at birth and is really the princess of the Trylle. The Trylle are a community in a secluded compound down the Mississippi river. It is a fantastic book and an excellent read and I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys fantasy, romance and action genres.

Andrea Storrier (S3)

Cover of great expectations
Great Expectations
by Charles Dickens

This book has been taken out of our library lots, and for good reason! I would recommend this book to 14-year-olds and up, unless you are an avid reader as it is quite a hard book. Written in 1860, Dickens is still getting his books read and, most importantly, loved! Set in Miss Havisham’s mansion, “the graveyard”, the Thames etc. (London), Great Expectations is filled with lots of excitement around every corner. I won’t tell you more about the plot as ut will just spoil your enjoyment of the book. Definitely a really good read.

Abigail Butchart (S2)

Girl on a Plane by Miriam Moss

A surprising hit with our boys, Girl on a Plane is a fictional retelling of the author’s real-life experience of a plane hijacking. Set in 1970, 15-year-old Anna’s plane from Bahrain to England is hijacked by Palestinian guerrillas. Travelling alone, she is forced to cope with this terrifying ordeal by herself. As someone who really is not keen on flying, I found it all too easy to picture this scenario. However, ultimately I found this book helped to allay my fears as I was left with the positive and uplifting message that the human spirit can overcome terrible events.

Mrs Page (Librarian)

The Lost and the Found by Cat Clarke

A gripping thriller, The Lost and the Found is an exploration of sibling relationships.Faith’s sister was abducted as a child, and she has grown up in the shadow of her sister.The book, narrated by Faith, explores what happens when her sister returns to the family.The fast pace pulls you along, encouraging you to read just a bit more to find out what happens, and it has a tremendous twist that I didn’t see coming. 

Mrs Page (Librarian)

Cover of Am I Normal Yet?
Am I Normal Yet?
by Holly Bourne

Am I Normal Yet? is an amazing book and is a rollercoaster of emotion. You will end up falling in love with these fantastic characters and if you read this you have to read the rest of the series by Holly Bourne.

Niamh McLaughlin (S3)


This is the second in our Pupils Recommend series - stay tuned for more top picks from primaries and secondaries across the country! Email us if you'd like to take part.

Forfar Academy recently placed second in our graphic novel competition for the Scottish Teenage Book Prize - check out the top 3 in this blog post.

Looking for more recommendations? Check out our book lists, or have a look at the fantastic list for primary pupils on the First Minister's Reading Challenge website.

Autonomy and choice are two important aspects of building a reading culture in school. Check out the rest of our blog posts on creating a reading culture for some more ideas.