Year 10 Summer Reading and Book List

Welcome to English at UTC@MediaCityUK.  This September you will embark on your GCSE English Language and GCSE English Literature journey.  As well as developing an exciting curriculum, the English team are aiming to incorporate as much media-based learning into lessons so you can learn by doing what you love.

We are pleased to share that we have set up an account for each of you with RM Books so that you can start reading and preparing for your GCSEs in English Language and Literature over the Summer. There are a range of free books available for you. Plus, by completing the activities we’ve set for you, you could win a prize!

RM Books

To access your RM Books account please click here and then enter your username (followed by and password.

If you don’t know your username and password for this, please email us at and we’ll send it to you.

If you are having difficulty with your login, check whether you have capslock on – the username may or may not need to be capitalised. Please note that the passwords have been randomly created as a default which you may change after your first login to something more memorable for you. If you are still unable to login, please contact us at and we will try to resolve your issue.

For a quick start guide to how to use RM Books, click here.

GCSE English

To give you an idea of the course, here’s an outline of the assessments you will start working towards in September.  For both qualifications, you will sit two exam papers at the end of Year 11; there is no coursework or controlled assessment for either:

GCSE English Language GCSE English Literature
Paper 1 (1hr45min; 40% of GCSE)Section A – Reading: You will answer a number of questions on an unseen 19th Century text.Section B – Writing: You will complete one of two writing tasks thematically linked to the text you examined in Section A. Paper 1 (1hr45min; 50%)Section A – Shakespeare: A two part question, the first task will focus on an extract from a play you have studied. The second task will focus on how a theme reflected in the extract is explored elsewhere in the play.Section B – Post-1914 British play or novel: You will answer one essay question based on the text you have studied in class.
Paper 2 (2hr; 60% of GCSE)Section A – Reading: You will answer questions on two unseen non-fiction extracts from the 20th and 21st Century.Section B – Writing:  You will complete one of two writing tasks linked by theme to the reading in Section A. Paper 2 (2hr15min; 50%)Section A – 19th-century novel: A two part question, the first part will focus on an extract from a novel you have studied. The second part is an essay question exploring the whole text.Section B – Poetry: You will answer one question comparing a named poem from the Pearson Poetry Anthology collection to another poem from that collection.  Then you will answer one question comparing two unseen contemporary poems.


To kick start your preparation for this exciting and varied course, you can start reading a range of texts.  The more you read, the better you will become at English; that’s a fact.  Here are some ideas for what you should be reading over the summer:

  • Newspapers – You should try a mixture of tabloid and broadsheet. The weekend papers include a wide range of interesting sections for you to read including travel, lifestyle and sport and you can pick up the Metro or Manchester Evening News in the City Centre for free.
  • Magazines – Again, read all sorts. For example: newspaper supplements, sports, gossip, fashion, lifestyle, hobbies, political.
  • A selection of books from the book list below.

As well as a book list, we’ve created five activity pages to help you to engage with the reading you are doing.  Aim to fill all of these in before the start of term; you can access these on the school website and there are prizes up for grabs for outstanding work.

Happy reading!

Book List

This is a suggested book list; none of these books are compulsory and you do not have to read all of the books on this page before the start of term. If you want to read something else, or just a selection, that’s fine. To choose your reads, start by looking on the internet at what the books are about and what people think of them.  Some of these texts are difficult reads so have a go but don’t get too anxious if you don’t quite get to the end before you start something else (although try to stick with it – these are all brilliant books!). Most of these books are available to take out on RM Books but you may have to make a trip to your library or local book shop to find some of them.


Pre-1901 Fiction Post-1901 Fiction Post-1901 Fiction cont. Non Fiction

Arthur Conan Doyle, The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes
Join Sherlock in his quest for the truth.

Emily Bronte, Wuthering Heights
The wild story of a dark romance.

Thomas Hardy, Tess of the D’Urbervilles
One innocent girl; one tragic story.

Robert Louis Stevenson, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
In pursuit of his inner self, Dr Jekyll finds a monster.

Charles Dickens, Three Ghost Stories
Three encounters with the supernatural.

Jane Austen, Emma
Can Emma play cupid for those she loves?  And what about her own heart?

Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness
One man’s disturbing journey through the Congo jungle.

Henry James, The Turn of the Screw
A key text from the gothic genre.




John Green, Paper Towns
A gripping story of love and mystery.Markus Zusak, The Book Thief
The story of one girl’s experience of Germany during WW2.John Steinbeck, Of Mice and Men
Two friends chase their dream but will they ever achieve it?Harper Lee, To Kill A Mockingbird
An exploration of conscience, judgement and justice.Susan Hill, The Woman in Black
A terrifying yet tragic ghost story written in the classic style.George Orwell, Animal Farm
It’s time the animals took over.Mark Haddon, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time
A murder mystery like no other.

Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray
A modern classic: gothic and intense.

William Golding, Lord of the Flies
A plane crashes.  All the adults are dead.  How will the children survive?

Charlotte Gilmore-Perkins, The Yellow Wallpaper
A bored woman loses her mind.

Graham Greene, Brighton Rock
A gripping thriller centred on gang warfare.Kazuo Ishiguro, Never Let Me Go
The lives of students in a skewed version of contemporary England.Cormac McCarthy, The Road 
A father and son’s story of survival in an apocalyptic world.Ian Fleming, Casino Royale
Another classic James Bond adventure.Patrick Ness, The Knife of Never Letting Go
Imagine you’re the only boy in a town of men. And you can hear everything they think. And they can hear everything you think.Jon McGregor, If Nobody Speaks of Remarkable Things
A terrible event shatters the quiet of the early summer evening.Nick Hornby, Fever Pitch
The life of one man and his love of football.

SE Hinton, The Outsiders
Teenage rivalry becomes something much more sinister.

Stephen Chbosky, The Perks of Being a Wallflower
One boy realises that one day he has to stop looking in and start taking part.

Essays and journals:Various, The Library Book
Famous authors write about what libraries mean to them.Books about language:David Crystal, The Story of English in 100 words
The history of the English Language.Bill Bryson, The Mother Tongue
Another history of the English language.Biographies and real life:Anne Frank, The Diary of Anne Frank
The diary of Anne Frank as she hid from persecution during WW2.

Tim Butcher, Blood River: A Journey in to Africa’s Broken Heart
Butcher follows in the footsteps of H.M. Stanley’s famous journey down the Congo river.


E H James, The Road to En-dor

A true story of a stunning wartime escape.