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Once Upon A Bookshelf

Where Fiction and Reality Meet

Listed: School Days

Happy Labour Day! The last long weekend of the summer; Labour Day will always mean back to school (and back to more serious pursuits) with me. I mean, some of the school boards around here decided to go back to school earlier this year because Labour Day was so late, but Labour Day really DOES mean that school’s starting again. I always love this time of the year – while not in school anymore, I still love the thought of fresh, new supplies. Binders with fresh paper in them. Notebooks that have never been written in. Sharpening brand new pencils. It’s so, so thrilling!! (Okay, I’m done geeking about school and office supplies.)

Anyway, in honour of Labour Day, here are some AWESOME books that take place in a school setting:

  1. The Murder of Bindy MacKenzie by Jaclyn Moriarty. Originally Published 2006. LOVED this book – have gone back and reread it a few times, and it’s as good each time as it was the first. Love the dynamics of the students, and it shows how clique-y school can be, yet how these students in different cliques aren’t as different as they think. Plus, possible murder plots!
  2. Capt. Hook: The Adventures of a Notorious Youth by J.V. Hart. Originally Published 2005. Captain Hook at Eton College before becoming Captain Hook? Yes please! Shows how school and personal life shaped him to be the Captain Hook that we all love to hate.
  3. Avalon High by Meg Cabot. Originally Published 2005. One of the few times I’ve really LOVED a Meg Cabot book – perhaps because it’s got Arthurian legend in it. The major characters from Arthurian legend are reincarnated to be high school students – what fun!
  4. The Mealworm Diaries by Anna Kerz. Originally Published 2009. Brilliant book. One of the main characters has some learning disabilities, and it’s awesome to see how the author handles that. The way the rest of the kids interact with him seems very realistic, and it’s a totally touching story.
  5. Jolted by Arthur Slade. Originally Published 2008. *cough* Best Canadian YA Book Ever. Boarding school in a castle on the Canadian prairies. Kilts. Pet Pigs. “The Brilliad.” READ IT. ’nuff said.
  6. Ouran High School Host Club by Bisco Hatori. First Volume Published 2003. Yeah, I don’t normally put manga on my lists, but this one is one of my favourites so it HAS to be included. School clubs! A girl pretending to be a boy to pay back a debt to the Host Club! Hilariousness ensues! Lots of antics and shenanigans!
  7. Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling. First book in the series published 1997. As if I could leave this off the list. Quite potentially the best school ever.
  8. My Teacher is an Alien by Bruce Coville. Originally Published 1989. An alien is posing as a teacher and quite possibly planning world domination. Awesomeness. First in a series. Loved as a kid.
  9. This Can’t Be Happening at Macdonald Hall by Gordon Korman. Originally Published 1973. Apparently this got updated and republished in 2003, but it’s the older version that I had fallen in love with. Troublemakers in a boarding school that play pranks on people. First in a series. Apparently was written when the author was twelve. TWELVE.
  10. Emily Climbs by L.M. Montgomery. Originally Published 1925. Second in the Emily trilogy. Emily attends Shrewsbury High School with friends. Except it means that she needs to board with Aunt Ruth, who doesn’t always see eye to eye with Emily. Emily has also promised that she will give up writing fiction while she is at high school – a big deal for Emily who survives on writing.

What are your favourite school books?

Posted by Courtney Wilson @ 8:01 am September 7, 2009.
Category: Listed

  • Erin

    Bruce Coville!!!! Yes! I loved those books!

  • shannon

    I really liked all of Gordon Korman’s books, especially No Coins Please, and the my teacher is an aliens books were great too.

  • rachel

    remember when gordon korman wrote good books? le sigh. those were the days. before frakkin’ nondescript juvy detention series #8.

    and you totally win for inserting Emily Climbs into this because that might be my favourite Emily

  • Herenya

    I LOVE the Murder of Bindy Mackenzie – except I know it as The Betrayal of Bindy Mackenzie, because that’s its Australian title. I was happy to see it listed here, because I haven’t come across many people who have read it.

    My favourite school books are probably Melina Marchetta’s Saving Francesca and On the Jellicoe Road. Although I suspect I like Emily Climbs more than either of those…

  • Court

    Erin – LOL! They were so much fun, weren’t they??

    Shannon – Oooh, No Coins Please was a VERY good one. :) Have you read any of his new stuff? I’ve heard it’s not as great. :(

    Rachel – That doesn’t surprise me that it’s your favourite Emily book, really. Though I don’t remember – is there more Dean in that one than in the others?

    Herenya – I know a few people outside of Australia that know and love it. It’s a wonderful book. It’s too bad, though, that Australian books aren’t as big here as they should be, because there are some AWESOME ones.

  • Kailana

    I WANT TO REREAD JOLTED! I don’t have time to, but you and Rachel are brutal. :( In happy news, I think his new book is finally on the way, so I have that to look forward to…

    hm… wonder if I can read Jolted really fast and sneak it in…

  • Court

    Kailana – You totally need to reread Jolted!! :) And we’re not brutal, we’re just extremely dedicated, nay obsessed, fans! XD