GCSE Reading List: How Many Have You Read?

GCSE reading list

Ignoring the fact that most of us follow the academic calendar more closely than the Gregorian one, we have a New Year’s challenge for you, ourselves and your students…how many titles on the GCSE reading list have you devoured?

A quick Internet search on January 1st revealed a plethora of different reading challenges, including one with a “foolproof plan on how to read 300 books in 365 days”. Unless that plan incorporates a) jacking in work or b) students’ exercise books (in which case, what a doddle!), then 300 books looks like a pipedream to us. The average English teacher would dearly love to read hundreds of books each year but reality sadly dictates that available reading time is severely restricted.

We have therefore compiled a much more practical reading list taking in every text from every exam board (35 in total). It is rightly expected that an English teacher is well-read but we would nevertheless be wowed if there are any out there who are versed in each and every one of these. Our compiler’s record stands at 65%, with Anita and Me top of his reading list for 2019. As a company, Twinkl fare rather better – we currently have resources online for 80% of these texts and will be aiming for 100% in time for September.

Can you beat us by ticking everything off the GCSE reading list before then? We could probably all tick off Romeo and Juliet or An Inspector Calls several times over! Who knows – maybe one of those unchecked boxes could lead to a freshening up of your teaching texts for 2019-20. And, as well as providing this competitively motivational kick-start, Twinkl are here to help so do let us know if you have any specific resource requests relating to any of these texts. Happy reading!


  • Henry V (EDUQAS)
  • Julius Caesar (AQA)
  • Macbeth (AQA, Edexcel, EDUQAS, OCR)
  • The Merchant of Venice (AQA, Edexcel, EDUQAS, OCR)
  • Much Ado About Nothing (AQA, Edexcel, EDUQAS, OCR)
  • Othello (EDUQAS)
  • Romeo and Juliet (AQA, Edexcel, EDUQAS, OCR)
  • The Tempest (AQA, Edexcel)
  • Twelfth Night (Edexcel)

19th-century novel

  • Jane Austen – Pride and Prejudice (AQA, Edexcel, EDUQAS, OCR)
  • Charlotte Brontë – Jane Eyre (AQA, Edexcel, EDUQAS, OCR)
  • Charles Dickens – A Christmas Carol (AQA, Edexcel, EDUQAS, OCR)
  • Charles Dickens – Great Expectations (AQA, Edexcel, OCR)
  • Sir Arthur Conan Doyle – The Sign of Four (AQA)
  • George Eliot – Silas Marner (Edexcel, EDUQAS)
  • Mary Shelley – Frankenstein (AQA, Edexcel)
  • Robert Louis Stevenson – The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde (AQA, Edexcel, EDUQAS, OCR)
  • H G Wells – The War of the Worlds (EDUQAS, OCR)

Modern prose

  • William Golding – Lord of the Flies (AQA, Edexcel, EDUQAS)
  • Susan Hill – The Woman in Black (Edexcel, EDUQAS)
  • Kazuo Ishiguro – Never Let Me Go (AQA, EDUQAS, OCR)
  • Stephen Kelman – Pigeon English (AQA)
  • George Orwell – Animal Farm (AQA, Edexcel, OCR)
  • Meera Syal – Anita and Me (AQA, Edexcel, EDUQAS, OCR)
  • Various – Telling Tales (AQA)
  • Jeanette Winterson – Oranges are not the Only Fruit (EDUQAS)


  • Alan Bennett – The History Boys (AQA, EDUQAS)
  • Harold Brighouse – Hobson’s Choice (Edexcel)
  • Shelagh Delaney – A Taste of Honey (AQA, EDUQAS)
  • Charlotte Keatley – My Mother Said I Never Should (OCR)
  • Dennis Kelly – DNA (AQA, OCR)
  • J B Priestley – An Inspector Calls (AQA, Edexcel, EDUQAS, OCR)
  • Willy Russell – Blood Brothers (AQA, Edexcel, EDUQAS)
  • R C Sheriff – Journey’s End (Edexcel)
  • Simon Stephens – The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (AQA, EDUQAS)

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