Sparx Readers



Astrea Reads 

Every day at Woodfields is designed to end in a calm and purposeful manner. As such, our academy day ends with the Astrea Reads programme. In Astrea Reads, scholars Apollo tutors will read a novel to the class aloud and scholars are required to track the reading. Primarily, Astrea Reads teaches scholars how to read fluently whilst also being a critical part of encouraging scholars to develop a love for reading. In Astrea Reads sessions, scholars will read British classics, coming of age and sci-fi texts allowing scholars to find the genre that they most enjoy developing their independent reading habits. Scholars will read six novels each academic year through the Astrea Reads programme.

STRAND 1: Astrea Reads aloud

Summary of each text read across KS3 and Year 10.

Each year group will read 6 novels per academic year, within these 6 novels they will be exposed to 19th century classic British Literature, Sci-Fi and dystopian versions of reality, as well as coming of age texts exploring issues such as relationships, racism, identity and sexuality.

Key Stage 3

Year 7 (Class of 2030)

The Boy in the Tower – Polly Ho-Yen

The plot is a dystopian one – triffid-like plants are consuming and collapsing buildings and their deadly spores are preventing the emergency services performing a search and rescue. Everyone who can get out has got out but narrator Ade is stuck in the last remaining tower block because his mother can’t go out.

The Boy at the Back of the Class – Onjali Q Rauf

When a new boy joins their class, a group of children try to befriend him. They soon learn that Ahmet is a refugee and has been separated from his family. None of the grown-ups seem to be able to help him, so the friends come up with a daring plan, embarking on an extraordinary adventure.

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland – Lewis Carroll

The story tells of a young girl who falls down a rabbit hole into a hallucinogenic world populated by talking packs of cards, and animals who look at pocket watches, smoke pipes and have tea parties.

Wonder – PJ Palcio

The main plot of Wonder is that August, a ten-year-old with facial differences, goes to a traditional school for the first time in fifth grade. In school, August makes new friends, has conflicts with friends and deals with a bully. The experiences help August to see that he is capable of being independent.

The Hobbit – JRR Tolkein

The unwilling hero of The Hobbit, Bilbo Baggins, is persuaded to join Thorin and his 12 dwarfs to recover their stolen treasure, which is being guarded by the dragon Smaug. During the expedition, Bilbo finds a magical ring that renders the wearer invisible, which figures prominently in The Lord of the Rings.

Mythos – The Greek Myths Retold – Stephen Fry

From the birth of the universe to the creation of humankind, Stephen Fry – who fell in love with these stories as a child – retells these myths for our tragic, comic, fateful age. Witness Athena, born from the cracking open of Zeus’s great head and follow Persephone down into the dark realm of Hades.

Year 8

The Call of the Wild – Jack London

The story opens at a ranch in Santa Clara Valley, California, when Buck is stolen from his home and sold into service as a sled dog in Alaska. He becomes progressively more primitive and wild in the harsh environment, where he is forced to fight to survive and dominate other dogs.

Chinglish – Sue Cheung

Jo Kwan is a teenager growing up in 1980s Coventry with her annoying little sister, too-cool older brother, a series of very unlucky pets and utterly bonkers parents. But unlike the other kids at her new school or her posh cousins, Jo lives above her parents’ Chinese takeaway. Jo is on a journey of self discovery and breaking away from the expectations of running her parents’ takeaway herself when she leaves school, instead attending college and finding her own path.

Northern Lights – Phillip Pulman

Lyra, in a bid to save her friend Rodger from the ‘Gobblers’, escapes kidnappers and travels from Oxford to Svalbard (by barge, ship, hot air balloon and polar bear). She encounters armoured bears, witches and uncovers a terrible plot which has personal repercussions.

Great Expectations – Charles Dickens

Great Expectations follows the childhood and young adult years of Pip, a blacksmith’s apprentice in a country village. He suddenly comes into a large fortune (his great expectations) from a mysterious benefactor and moves to London where he enters high society.

I am Malala – Malala Yousafzai

I AM MALALA is the remarkable tale of a family uprooted by global terrorism, of the fight for girls’ education, of a father who, himself a school owner, championed and encouraged his daughter to write and attend school, and of brave parents who have a fierce love for their daughter in a society that prizes sons.

The Book Thief – Markus Zusak

The Book Thief is a story narrated by a compassionate Death who tells us about Liesel, a girl growing up in Germany during World War II. She steals books, learns to read, and finds comfort in words. She and Max, the Jew her family protects, are the only main characters that survive the war.

The Giver – Lois Lowry

Jonas is a boy living in a community based on Sameness, and he is selected as the Receiver of Memory, and The Giver (the old Receiver) begins giving Jonas ancient memories. The Receiver acts as a source of wisdom for the community.

Year 9

The Boxer – Nikesh Sukla

A seventeen year old feeling isolated and disconnected in the city he’s just moved to, Sunny joins a boxing club to learn to protect himself after a racist attack. He finds the community he’s been desperately seeking at the club, and a mentor in trainer Shobu, who helps him find his place in the world.

The Time Machine – HG Wells

A Victorian-era scientist (played by Rod Taylor) invents a machine that transports him through time. He travels forward to flee the warlike world of 1900. He stops the machine in 1917, in 1940, and in 1966, but he finds the world at war on all three occasions.

The Outsiders – S E Hinton

The Outsiders is about two weeks in the life of a 14-year-old boy. The novel tells the story of Ponyboy Curtis and his struggles with right and wrong in a society in which he believes that he is an outsider.

Lord of the Flies – William Golding

A group of British boys are stranded on an uninhabited island and the novel follows their disastrous attempts to govern themselves. The central concern of Lord of the Flies is the conflict between two competing impulses that exist within all human beings: the instinct to live by rules, act peacefully, follow moral commands, and value the good of the group against the instinct to gratify one’s immediate desires, act violently to obtain supremacy

I know why the Caged Bird sings – Maya Angelou

Marguerite (Maya) Johnson and her brother, Bailey Johnson Jr., are three- and four-years-old at the beginning of the story, and on a train from California to Arkansas to live with their grandmother (Momma) and Uncle Willie in their Store. The children move in with her and her latest boyfriend who sexually abuses and rapes Maya when she is eight years old. ​

​Maya tries to keep the abuse a secret, but her family discover what happens and after being released from jail the abuser is kicked to death. Maya feels that the man’s death is her fault and decides to never speak again until she meets Mrs Flowers a year later and is introduced to poetry.

The Tennant of Windfell Hall – Anne Bronte

The novel tells the story of Helen Huntington and her disastrous marriage to her husband along with the challenges she faces raising her young son on her own.

Year 10

To Kill a Mocking Bird – Harper Lee

Atticus Finch, a widowed lawyer in Depression-era Alabama, defends a Black man against an undeserved rape charge, and tries to educate his young children against prejudice.

1984 – George Orwell

1984 is the story of a man questioning the system that keeps his futuristic but dystopian society afloat and the chaos that quickly ensues once he gives in to his natural curiosity and desire to be free

Life of Pi – Yann Martel

After deciding to sell their zoo in India and move to Canada, Santosh and Gita Patel board a freighter with their sons and a few remaining animals. Tragedy strikes when a terrible storm sinks the ship, leaving the Patels’ teenage son, Pi, as the only human survivor. However, Pi is not alone; a fearsome Bengal tiger has also found refuge aboard the lifeboat. As days turn into weeks and weeks drag into months, Pi and the tiger must learn to trust each other if both are to survive.

The Midnight Library – Matt Haigh

The Midnight Library tells the story of Nora, a depressed woman in her 30s, who, on the day she decides to die, finds herself in a library full of lives she could have lived, where she discovers there’s a lot more to life, even her current one, than she had ever imagined.

The Great Gatsby – F Scott Fitzgerald

The Great Gatsby is an American classic following Jay Gatsby’s quest to win back his long-lost love by faking a successful life, depicting the struggles around love, relationships, societal standing, and consumerism of people in the “roaring” 1920s.

Fahrenheit 451 – Ray Bradbury

Set in a future society where books are banned and “firemen” burn any that are discovered. Follows the protagonist, Guy Montag, a fireman who begins to question his duty to the state and ultimately has to choose between his personal beliefs and his loyalty to the government.

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