This post was originally published at Novelicious.com and is now at WritingTipsOasis.com. WritingTipsOasis.com acquired Novelicious.com in June 2022.
Since having children, the year gets broken up into term time (which has now ended) and school holidays (which have just begun). Term time is filled with homework, having a clean PE kit and finding matching school socks. It can be a bit of a drag if I'm honest. Yet, conversely, some of my favourite books as a child and as an adult are based around schools.
1. Prep by Curtis Sittenfeld – Curtis Sittenfeld's first novel is about a shy fourteen year old girl who moves from a small town in Indiana to a boarding school in Massachusetts. She soon learns that school life isn't all like the glossy brochure suggests. There are rules, social rituals and a pecking order in which she must find her place.
2. Class by Jane Beaton – Maggie, a teacher in a Glaswegian comprehensive, applies for a job at a boarding school in Cornwall and gets it. Instead of breaking up fights, now Maggie has to learn how to teach girls who are privileged and maybe a little spoilt. This novel was followed up by Rules.
3. Split by a Kiss by Luisa Plaja – This is a YA book about Jo, an average girl, who has just moved to America with her mum. On attending her new school she is adopted by the It girls and invited to one of their parties. At the party she plays the kissing in the closet game and Jake, the hottest boy in school, picks Jo. But it isn't all that. Jo has a choice. Kiss Jake, and become a cool, accepted member of the It crowd. Or reject Jake, and give up her promised position in the It girl group…
4. Summer Sisters by Judy Blume – Judy Blume's books were the books to read at school when I was a teenager. She has also written adult books and Summer Sisters is one of them. Vix and Caitlin meet at school and spend their summers together at Martha's Vineyard – until a local boy changes everything. Now Caitlin is getting married and begs Vix to return to come to her wedding.
5. Polly by Freya North – Polly Fenton is taking the plunge and going to America for a year to teach. But she's leaving behind her gorgeous boyfriend, Max. Will she fall for Chip the school athletics coach? And will Jen, her exchange partner, take hold of her boyfriend's heart?
7. Old School Ties by Kate Harrison – Tracey had a great time at school. She was popular, had a great gang and was going out with a cute boy. Now her life revolves around a philandering husband, two children and The Tweenies. So when a TV company want to make a programme about a school reunion she jumps at the chance. The only thing is – Tracey made a girl called Suzanne's life a misery. And Suzanne wants payback.
8. The Learning Curve by Melissa Nathan – Nicky is a teacher at the local primary school. She loves her job and her class of ten year olds idolise her. Especially Oscar. Oscar's dad, Mark, is a frazzled single father. Nicky knows that Mark is a workaholic who doesn't send much time with his son. Mark thinks Nicky is an interfering busy body.
9. The Playgroup by Janey Fraser – Gemma is taking over the running of Puddleducks Playgroup. She loves her job and can't wait to get stuck in. Only Joe Balls, an ex-banker, and the new head of the infant school, is soon dampening her enjoyment.
10. English as a Second Language by Megan Crane – Alexandra is working in a dead-end job in New York when she is told by an ex that she's never make it to graduate school in the UK. So she applies to the University of York in England and wonders what on earth she's done.