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The following are book recommendations for Junior Cycle level students (1st to 3rd Year).

A majority of the books (and their descriptions!) are recommended by the students themselves:

Knights of the Borrowed Dark - Dave Rudden

Denizen Hardwick is an orphan, and his life is, well, normal. Orphans are just kids without parents. At least that’s what Denizen thought. On a particularly dark night, the gates of Crosscaper Orphanage open to a car that almost growls with power…

The Book Thief - Markus Zusak

A story about a Jewish girl who befriends a young man in hiding. Narrated by Death and set in Nazi Germany.

Artemis Fowl - Eoin Colfer

Artemis Fowl is a millionaire criminal mastermind. And he’s only twelve years old. The first book in a hugely popular series sees Artemis bite off more than he can chew when his cunning plot to steal all the fairy gold goes horribly wrong.

Apple and Rain - Sarah Crossan

When Apple’s mother returns after eleven years of absence, Apple feels whole again. She will have an answer to her burning question – why did you go? And she will have someone who understands what it means to be a teenager – unlike Nana. But just like the stormy Christmas Eve when she left, her mother’s homecoming is bittersweet, and Apple wonders who is really looking after whom.

The Diary of a Young Girl - Anne Frank

In the summer of 1942, fleeing the horrors of the Nazi occupation, Anne Frank and her family were forced into hiding in the back of an Amsterdam warehouse. Aged thirteen when she went into the secret annexe, Anne kept a diary in which she confided her innermost thoughts and feelings.

Daideo - Aíne Ní Ghlinn

Tá Liam ag éalú óna thuismitheoirí ar an traein go Baile Átha Cliath.

Níl éinne eile leis agus tá sé ag folú ó fhear na dticéad. Buaileann sé le seanduine ar an traein agus ansin tosaíonn siad ag caint. Tá said cosúil lena chéile, Liam agus an seanduine. Tá an seanduine ag éalú freisin ar an traein. An mbuaileann Liam le cara nua agus é ar a theitheadh?

Noughts and Crosses - Malorie Blackman

Sephy is a Cross – a member of the dark-skinned ruling class.

Callum is a Nought – a ‘colourless’ member of the underclass who were once slaves to the Crosses. The two have been friends since early childhood. But that’s as far as it can go. Against a background of prejudice and distrust a romance builds between Sephy and Callum – a romance that is to lead both of them into terrible danger…

Chinese Cinderella - Adeline Yen Mah

It is about a little girl neglected by her big family in China, a sort-of autobiography of the author.

The recruit Cherub series:

This series is about the secret organisation CHERUB composed of teenage spies. The main character James Adam gets recruited in this organisation where he goes on to complete near death missions infiltrating enemy organisations.

Anne of Green Gables - Lucy Maud Montgomery

This is about a sister and a brother living together and they decide they want a little boy to help them with gardening and overall help around the house and when they go to the station to collect the boy something is wrong …

Murder Most Unladylike (series) - Robin Stevens

It is a series that is based on two freshman year girls solving crimes and murders, all while trying to stay out of trouble themselves…

The Boy at the Back of the Class - Onjali Rauf

This book is a fictional story about a normal boy and one day a refugee from Syria comes to their school, they try to help him have a good life there and most importantly, find his mum.

Aquel Ultimo Verano

It's a Spanish book about two neighbours that met each other in their village and about their romance. (recommended for those with good standard of Spanish)


For those who like a challenge in their reading:

Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe

This is a historical fiction novel. It depicts pre-colonial life in Igboland and the invasion by Europeans during the late 19th century.

To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee

A coming-of-age story about a young girl witnessing her father navigate a criminal trial steeped in racism, set in a small town in Alabama during the Great Depression

A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder (series) - Holly Jackson

This is about a girl named Pip who re-opens a town murder case that was unsolved. She works with the suspect’s brother and once they reopen the case, they cannot stop.

Holes - Louis Sachar

This is about a boy who has really bad luck, and so did all of his family. He got sent to a strange camp instead of jail because he got blamed for taking a famous person’s shoe

The Making of Mollie - Anna Carey

This book is about a girl called Molly, based in Dublin in 1912. It is about her sneaking out, doing things she shouldn’t as her part in fighting for women’s rights.

Coraline - Neil Gaiman

A surreal read packed with tension and fantastic imagery. The main character Coraline gets trapped in a parallel world on the other side of her sitting- room wall.

The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien

The classic bestseller behind this year’s biggest movie, this film tie-in edition features the complete story of Bilbo Baggins’ adventures in Middle-earth.

Rebel, Bully, Geek, Pariah - Erin Lange

Sam’s used to hiding her personality and scars under her grubby hat, but when she finds herself fleeing an accident in a stolen npolice car along with three of her classmates she’s forced to reveal her true self.

Even more:

  • Bog Child - Siobhan Dowd
  • The Weight of Water - Sarah Crossan
  • Between Shades of Grey - Ruth Sepetys
  • Being Miss Nobody - Tasmin Winter