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Red Kite Learning Trust

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Reading at HGS

BooksOur aim is for all students to develop a life-long passion for reading and we have a culture where reading is enjoyed and celebrated. 

Reading is a core skill which not only helps to improve spelling, increase vocabulary and written skills but also stimulates the imagination and challenges beliefs and perspectives. Reading for pleasure boosts brain and memory function, reduces stress, promotes relaxation and improves sleep; this is why reading regularly is so important.

All students have access to a vibrant and inspiring library, where fiction and non-fiction texts can be borrowed. Whether these texts are complementary to their wider curricular studies or are simply being read for pleasure, our library has something for every reader.

The library can be accessed by all students before and after school and during every morning break and lunch times. Students in Year 7 and 8 also experience one library lesson per fortnight, in which they are able to browse the library, listen to motivating author talks and book recommendations and participate in engaging reading activities. 

To achieve excellence in reading, we actively promote reading through form time and via home learning. We celebrate our annual Harrogate Grammar School Reading Week and participate in many national activities and competitions.

Recommended Reading

To support students and parents, we regularly share reading recommendations, please click on the links below to access the recommended reads for this academic year.

Autumn Term 2023 - September

Autumn Term 20223 - Halloween reads

Autumn Term 2023 - Festive reads

Spring Term 2024 - January 

February Recommended Reads

Chinese New Year

Key stage 3

Dragon's Green

Dragon's Green - Scarlett Thomas

After the worldquake, magic is seeping into our world.

Effie Truelove is a new pupil at the Tusitala School for the Gifted, Troubled and Strange, with its twisted grey spires and an English teacher so frightening she gives the class nightmares.

When her beloved grandfather is brutally attacked, Effie promises to look after his magical books.  But then shady book-collector Leonard Levar gets his hands on them and Effie has to embark on the most dangerous adventure of her life...

Effie must travel to the mysterious Otherworld, unlock the hidden meaning of an old book called Dragon's Green, and brave the terrifying Diberi, a secret organisation with plans that could destroy the entire universe.

But Effie can't face the Diveri alone.  Can her new school friends Maximilian, Wolf, Lexy and Raven combine their gifts and discover their true powers in time?

Dragon Rider

Dragon Rider - Cornelia Funke

A dragon. A boy. A journey.

Firedrake, a brave young dragon, embarks on a magical journey to find the legendary place where silver dragons can live in peace forever. Along the way, he discovers extraordinary new friends and a courage he never knew he had.

But the greatest enemy of all is never far behind - a heartless monster intent on destroying the last dragons on earth...

Key Stage 3/4

Six Crimson Cranes

Six Crimson Cranes - Elizabeth Lim

Shiori'anma, the only princess of Kiata, has a secret.

Forbidden magic runs in her veins.  And on the morning of her betrothal ceremony, Shiori loses control.

At first, her mistake seems like a stroke of luck, forestalling the wedding she never wanted, but it also catches the attention of Raikama, her steopmother.  A sorceress in her own right, Raikama banishes the young princess, turning her brothers into cranes, and warning Shiori that she must speak of it to no one: for with every word that escapes her lips, one of her brothers will die. Penniless, voiceless and alone, Shiori searches for her brothers, and uncovers a dark conspiracy to seize the throne.

Only Shiori can set the kingdom to rights, but to do so she must place her trust in a paper bird, a mercurial dragon, and the very boy she fought so hard not to marry.  And she must embrace the magic she's been taught all her life to contain - no matter what it costs.

The Hobbit

The Hobbit - J.R.R. Tolkien

The Hobbit is the unforgettable story of Bilbo, a peace-loving hobbit, who embarks on a strange and magical adventure.

Bilbo Baggins enjoys a quiet and contented life, with no desire to travel far from the comforts of home.

Then one day the wizard Gandalf and a band of dwarves arrive unexpectedly and enlist his services as a burglar on a dangerous expedition to raid the treasure-hoard of Smaug the dragon.


Eragon - Christopher Paolini

When Eragon finds a polished stone in the forest, he thinks it is the lucky discovery of a poor farm boy: perhaps it will buy his family meat for the winter.

But when the stone brings a dragon hatchling, Eragon soon realises he has stumbled upon a legacy nearly as old as the Empire itself.

Overnight his simple life is shattered and he is thrust into a perilious new world of destiny, magic and power.

With only an ancient sword and the advice of an old storyteller for guidance, Eragon and the fledgling dragon must navigate the dangerous terrain and dark enemies of an Empire ruled by a king whose evil knows no bounds.

Can Eragon take up the mantle of the legendary Dragon Riders?

Key stage 4

This woven kingdom

This Woven Kingdom - Tahereh Mafi

To all the world, Alizeh is a disposable servant, not the long-lost heir to an ancient Jinn kingdom forced to hide in plain sight.

The crown prince, Kamran, has heard the prophecies foretelling the death of his king.

But he could never have imagined that the servant girl with the strange eyes, the girl he can't put out of his mind, would one day soon uproot his kingdom and the world.

Perfect for fans of Leigh Bardugo, Sarah J Maas, and Chloe Gong, this is the explosive first book in a new fantasy trilogy from the New York Times bestselling and National Book Award nominated author,, Tahereh Mafi.

Key stage 5

The Priory of the Orange Tree

The Priory of the Orange Tree - Samantha Shannon

An enthralling, epic fantasy about a world on the brink of war with dragons - and the women who must lead the fight to save it.

The House of Berethnet has ruled Inys for a thousand years.

Still unwed, Queen Sabran the Ninth must conceive a daughter to protect her realm from destruction but assassins are getting closer to her door. Ead Duryan is an outsider at court.  Though she has risen to the position of lady-in-waiting, she is loyal to a hidden society of mages.

Ead keeps a watchful eye on Sabran, secretly protecting her with forbidden magic.  Across the dark sea, Tana has trained to be a dragon rider since she was a child,, but is forced to make a choice that could see her life unravel.

Meanwhile, the divided East and West refuses to parley, and forces of chaos are rising form their sleep...

New Arrivals in the LRC

Heart Stopper The door of no return Glee Club Marcus Rashford The Alchemist's Prophecy Lewis Hamilton Nightjar

Harrogate Grammar School is part of Red Kite Learning Trust, a charitable company limited by guarantee registered in England and Wales with company number 7523507, registered office address: Red Kite Office, Pannal Ash Road, Harrogate, HG2 9PH

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