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This guide will provide you with information and resources that will assist with your studies of English at each year level.
Last Updated: Feb 13, 2017 URL: http://libguides.sje.vic.edu.au/english Print Guide RSS Updates

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War and Peace

The Running Man


Michael Gerard Bauer

For a long time, fourteen-year-old Joseph has wondered about old Tom Leyton, his reclusive next-door neighbor. Gossip and rumors suggest that something terrible happened to Tom in the past.
Then Joseph is asked to draw Tom for a school art project, and that means Joseph has the opportunity to uncover the truth about this man who passes his days tending silkworms and keeping dark secrets.

Private Peaceful

Michael Morpurgo

For young Private Peaceful, looking back over his childhood while he is on night watch in the battlefields of the First World War, his memories are full of family life deep in the countryside: his mother, Charlie, Big Joe, and Molly -- the love of his life. Too young to be enlisted, Thomas has followed his brother to war and now, every moment he spends thinking about his life, means another moment closer to danger.

The Bog Child

Siobahn Dowd

Digging for peat in the mountain with his Uncle Tally, Fergus finds the body of a child, and it looks like she’s been murdered. As Fergus tries to make sense of the mad world around him—his brother on hunger-strike in prison, his growing feelings for Cora, his parents arguing over the Troubles, and him in it up to the neck, blackmailed into acting as courier to God knows what—a little voice comes to him in his dreams, and the mystery of the bog child unfurls.

Blackwater

David Metzenthen

When Farren Fox's father is missing at sea, all Farren wants is for his brother, Danny, to come home from Gallipoli. But when Danny does return from the war, he is vastly changed. And with the arrival of the mysterious child Souki, the sole survivor of a midnight shipwreck, the lives of both Fox brothers are altered forever.

Soldier Boy

Anthony Hill

On 28th June 1915, young James Martin sailed from Melbourne on the troopship Berrima, bound ultimately for Gallipoli. He was just 14 years old. This is Jim's extraordinary story of how an inexperienced & enthusiastic school boy became Australia's youngest Anzac.

The wrong boy

Suzy Zail

The story of a Jewish girl sent to Auschwitz with her family. She falls in love with the wrong boy – the German son of the camp commander.

 

Love and Loss

My Sisiter Lives on the Mantelpiece


Annabel Pitcher and David Tennant

Ten-year-old Jamie hasn't cried since it happened. He knows he should have - Jasmine cried, Mum cried, Dad still cries. Roger didn't, but then he is just a cat and didn't know Rose that well, really.
Everyone kept saying it would get better with time, but that's just one of those lies that grown-ups tell in awkward situations. Five years on, it's worse than ever.

If I Stay


Gayle Forman

In the blink of an eye everything changes. Seventeen year-old Mia has no memory of the accident; she can only recall what happened afterwards, watching her own damaged body being taken from the wreck. 

Little by little she struggles to put together the pieces- to figure out what she has lost, what she has left, and the very difficult choice she must make.

 

A Straight Line to my Heart


Bill Condon

School is over, not just for the year, but forever. Tiff and Kayla are free, which is what they've always wanted, but now summer is nearly at an end and that means life decisions.Tiff is smart with words and rarely does tears, but in one short week she discovers that words don't always get you there; they don't let you say all the stuff from deep in your heart.

Lost Property


James Moloney

Josh, who has just finished year eleven, has a holiday job in the Lost Property Office at a Railway Station. Lost items can represent more than their physical value, and for Josh, they represent widening his knowledge of the human condition. Josh is seventeen, and superficially, has an easy, routine, materialistically comfortable life. His family supported him in all aspects of his life. However, it is gradually revealed that this is a family that is only appearing to be holding itself together, but is covering for the absence of one of its members – each member is pretending in their own way.

 

Zac & Mia


AJ Betts

The last person Zac would expect in the room next foor is a girl like Mia, angry and feisty with questionable taste in music. In the real world he wouldnt be friends with her. But in hospital different rules apply. What begins from a knock on the wall leads to a note and later a friendship neither of them has seen coming. Theres a difference between the real world and this world. And in one of these worlds Zac needs Mia. And in the other Mia needs Zac. Or maybe they bother need each other, always. 

The Fault In Our Stars


John Green

Hazel Grace Lancaster, as she battles cancer. Not only is Hazel trying to live the normal life of a 16-year-old girl, but she is also struggling with what it will be like for her parents after she dies.

 

In Your Own Words

Joel and Cat Set the Story Straight

Nick Earls and Rebecca Sparrow

CAT AND JOEL HAVE A love-hate relationship ... without the love part. Cat loathes him because he used to go out with her best friend, Emma - until Cat spotted him getting cosy with another girl.

After 15 months of non-communicado, the pair are forced to work together on a tandem writing assignment organised by their English teacher. Each night, Cat and Joel must write one paragraph and email it to each other.

Graffiti Moon

Cath Crowley

It’s the end of Year 12. Lucy’s looking for Shadow, the graffiti artist everyone talks about.
His work is all over the city, but he is nowhere.
Ed, the last guy she wants to see at the moment, says he knows where to find him. He takes Lucy on an all-night search to places where Shadow’s thoughts about heartbreak and escape echo around the city walls.
But the one thing Lucy can’t see is the one thing that’s right before her eyes.

So Much To Tell You 

John Marsden

Scarred, literally, by her past, Marina has withdrawn into silence. Then, at her new boarding school, she is set the task of writing a diary by her English teacher, and finds a way of expressing her thoughts and feelings and of exploring the traumatic events that have caused her distress.

Dash & Lily's Book of Dares

Rachel Cohn and

David Levithan

Lily has left a red notebook full of challenges on a favorite bookstore shelf, waiting for just the right guy to come along and accept its dares. But is Dash that right guy? Or are Dash and Lily only destined to trade dares, dreams, and desires in the notebook they pass back and forth at locations across New York?

Letters to Leonardo


Dee White

On his fifteenth birthday, Matt receives a card from his mother – the mother he grew up believing was deceased. Feeling betrayed by both his parents, Matt’s identity is in disarray and he begins writing letters to Leonardo da Vinci as a way to sort out the ‘mess’ in his head. Through the connections he makes between his own life and that of Leonardo, Matt unravels the mystery that his life has become and discovers his mother’s secrets and the reasons behind his abandonment.

The Absoluely True Diary of a Part Time Indian

Sherman Alexie

The lovable narrator of The Absolutely True Diary is a fourteen-year-old Native kid named Arnold Spirit, Jr.Arnold is funny, sensitive, and a budding artist (as Ellen Forney's amazing illustrations indicate). Arnold, though, is not only a teenage Indian going through all of the usual coming of age stuff. Arnold is also a hydrocephalic with a stutter and a lisp who is picked on mercilessly. Arnold Spirit, Jr. is the reservation outcast and has been beaten to a pulp more times than is probably healthy.

 

Friendship

Lord Of The Flies 

William Golding

During an unnamed time of war, a plane carrying a group of British schoolboys is shot down over the Pacific. The pilot of the plane is killed, but many of the boys survive the crash and find themselves deserted on an uninhabited island, where they are alone without adult supervision..

No & Me

Delphine de Vigan

Parisian teenager Lou has an IQ of 160, OCD tendencies, and a mother who has suffered from depression for years. But Lou is about to change her life—and that of her parents—all because of a school project about homeless teens. While doing research, Lou meets No, a teenage girl living on the streets. As their friendship grows, Lou bravely asks her parents if No can live with them, and is astonished when they agree. No’s presence forces Lou’s family to come to terms with a secret tragedy. But can this shaky, newfound family continue to live together when No’s own past comes back to haunt her?

 

The 10 pm question

Kate de Goldi

Twelve-year-old Frankie Parsons is a talented kid with a quirky family, a best friend named Gigs, and a voice of anxiety constantly nibbling in his head......

Deftly told with humor, poignancy, and an endearing cast of characters, The 10 P.M. Question will touch everyone who has ever felt set apart.

 

Finding Violet Park

Jenny Valentine

Sixteen-year-old Lucas Swain becomes intrigued by the urn of ashes left in a cab office. Convinced that its occupant - Violet Park - is communicating with him, he contrives to gain possession of the urn, little realising that his quest will take him on a voyage of self-discovery and identity, forcing him to finally confront what happened to his absent (and possibly dead) father...

The Shattering

Karen Healey

Seventeen-year-old Keri likes to plan for every possibility. She knows what to do if you break an arm, or get caught in an earthquake or fire. But she wasn’t prepared for her brother’s suicide, and his death has left her shattered with grief. When her childhood friend Janna tells her it was murder, not suicide, Keri wants to believe her. After all, Janna’s brother died under similar circumstances years ago, and Janna insists a visiting tourist, Sione, who also lost a brother to apparent suicide that year, has helped her find some answers.

 

The Outsiders

S.E. Hinton

According to Ponyboy, there are two kinds of people in the world: greasers and socs. A soc (short for "social") has money, can get away with just about anything, and has an attitude longer than a limousine. A greaser, on the other hand, always lives on the outside and needs to watch his back. Ponyboy is a greaser, and he's always been proud of it, even willing to rumble against a gang of socs for the sake of his fellow greasers--until one terrible night when his friend Johnny kills a soc. 

Tomorrow When The War Began

John Marsden

Eight teenagers thought they would have a few relaxings day out camping before returning to reality and going on with their lives. But it was not what they expected. After the return from their camping trip,  the town was deserted, the houses were abandomed and this was only the beginning of their battle. Eight young teenagers would be tested during the time of invasion of their small country town. 

Deadly Unna

 

Is This a Perfect World?

Incarceron

Catherine Fisher

Incarceron -- a futuristic prison, sealed from view, where the descendants of the original prisoners live in a dark world torn by rivalry and savagery. It is a terrifying mix of high technology -- a living building which pervades the novel as an ever-watchful, ever-vengeful character, and a typical medieval torture chamber -- chains, great halls, dungeons. A young prisoner, Finn, has haunting visions of an earlier life, and cannot believe he was born here and has always been here. In the outer world, Claudia, daughter of the Warden of Incarceron, is trapped in her own form of prison -- a futuristic world constructed beautifully to look like a past era, an imminent marriage she dreads. She knows nothing of Incarceron, except that it exists. 

 

Doppelganger

Michael Parker

A black tunnel began to form around me. My room started to spin. Desperately I tried to cry out but I couldn't make a sound. Then, like shattering glass, I crashed straight through the tunnel and out to the other side. Propelled out of his safe, ordinary world, Andrew is caught in the midst of a desolate city, torn apart by vicious gang wars. Here, the rules of survival are simple - you follow the pack, or you die. Dragged into one gang's brutal takeover campaign, Andrew has no choice but to embark on an unthinkable mission, in an attempt to sever the connection between the two worlds forever. If he succeeds, he will destroy everything in his life. But if he fails, hundreds will die - in both worlds.

 

The Hunger Games

Suzanne Collins

Katniss, 16, takes her sister's place in the televised annual Hunger Games, competing against Peeta, the boy who gave them bread to survive after their father died. The cruel Capitol forces each of 12 districts to submit a boy and girl 12-18, to fight to the death. Only one can survive and be rewarded. President Snow manipulates behind the scenes.

Legend

Marie Lu

From very different worlds, June and Day have no reason to cross paths—until the day June’s brother, Metias, is murdered and Day becomes the prime suspect. Caught in the ultimate game of cat and mouse, Day is in a race for his family’s survival, while June seeks to avenge Metias’s death. But in a shocking turn of events, the two uncover the truth of what has really brought them together, and the sinister lengths their country will go to keep its secrets.

 

 

Matched

Ally Condie

Cassia has always trusted the Society to make the right choices for her: what to read, what to watch, what to believe. So when Xander's face appears on-screen at her Matching ceremony, Cassia knows with complete certainty that he is her ideal mate... until she sees Ky Markham's face flash for an instant before the screen fades to black.

 

 

The Sky so heavy

Claire Zorn

 

For Fin, it's just like any other day - racing for the school bus, bluffing his way through class, and trying to remain cool in front of the most sophisticated girl in his universe, Lucy. Only it's not like any other day because, on the other side of the world, nuclear missiles are being detonated. 

 

Home Grown

Chasing Charlie Duskin


Cath Crowley

Charlie Duskin is running. Fleeing from failures and memories of friends who have given up on her. And she’s not only running, she’s chasing things – like a father who will talk to her, friends who don’t think she’s invisible.But Charlie Duskin is about to have the best summer of her life. She’s about to meet a friend who’ll change her forever. She’s about to fall in love. She just doesn’t know it yet.

Beautiful Monster

Kate McCaffrey

Lena Duchannes is unlike anyone the small Southern town of Gatlin has ever seen, and she's struggling to conceal her power and a curse that has haunted her family for generations. But even within the overgrown gardens, murky swamps and crumbling graveyards of the forgotten South, a secret cannot stay hidden forever.
Ethan Wate, who has been counting the months until he can escape from Gatlin, is haunted by dreams of a beautiful girl he has never met. When Lena moves into the town's oldest and most infamous plantation, Ethan is inexplicably drawn to her and determined to uncover the connection between them.
In a town with no surprises, one secret could change everything.

Six Impossible Things

Fiona Wood

Fourteen year old nerd-boy Dan Cereill is not quite coping with a reversal of family fortune, moving house, new school hell, a mother with a failing wedding cake business, a just-out gay dad, and an impossible crush on Estelle, the girl next door. His life is a mess, but for now he's narrowed it down to just six impossible things...

Swerve

PhillipGwynne

One of Australia's finest young cellists, 16 year-old Hugh Twycross has a very bright future. A future that has been mapped out by his parents, his teachers, by everybody, it seems, except Hugh Twycross. 
Hugh has a secret, though: he loves cars and he loves car racing. When his newly discovered grandfather, Poppy, asks him to go on a road trip to Uluru in his 1970 Holden HT Monaro, Hugh decides, for once in his life, to do the unexpected.

The Comet Box

Adrian Stirling

Tense and moving novel, set in the new housing estates of 1980s Melbourne – the heart of the Australian suburban dream. It’s as well-written, psychologically true and compulsively readable as Adrian’s first novel, Broken Glass, but the central characters in The Comet Box could be you or your friend or anyone in your class – what happens to them could happen to any one of us, as they discover that their perfect world isn’t so perfect after all, and the more they know about the people around them, the more they want to forget…

Pool

Justin D'ath

Sixteen-year-old Wolfgang Mulqueen works at the public swimming pool in New Lourdes, Victoria, where pilgrims from across the world travel to test the waters curative powers. In the course of a long hot summer, Wolfgang is forced to confront his own strengths and limitations. D'Ath juxtaposes intriguing characters, metaphors and events - a blind girl, a black butterfly, a tragic 18-year-old mystery - to create a truly original work. Pool is a powerful and moving novel about love, death, faith and family.

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