Wednesday, January 02, 2008

A New Year...but No New School

I always get a bit nostalgic as the new year starts and I wish I could be starting a new semester. I am one of those foolish (or life-avoiding) people who could have stayed in school forever. I loved getting my new textbooks, the reading lists, the syllabus calendar, and even the assignments. Luckily, working in a library is a bit like being in school all the time and I can content myself with very entertaining books about life at school.
I think I fell in love with books about prep schools in the late '60s when I read Caroline Glyn's Don't Knock the Corners Off. Does anyone out there remember loving this book about life at boarding school by its brilliant and funny 15-year old author? I was in 6th grade and couldn't believe someone just a bit older than I could actually write this wonderful book! Anyway, Glyn's book started my infatuation with school stories ranging from A Separate Peace to The Chocolate War to, of course, the students at Hogwarts.
Here are some others in that category that may be less familiar but are awfully good too. They run a wide gamut from coming-of-age stories to humorous tales to sinister plots! All are Grade A+ reads!

Gentlemen and Players by Joanne Harris
Prep by Curtis Sittenfeld
The Headmaster's Dilemma by Louis Auchincloss
I Am Charlotte Simmons by Tom Wolfe
Special Topics in Calamity Physics by Marisha Pessl
The Headmaster Ritual by Taylor Antrim
The Secret History by Donna Tartt


  1. New titles to add to the list:
    Home School by Charles Webb
    The Crazy School by Cornelia Read
    The Sixth Form by Tom Dolby
    All Souls by Christine Schutt

  2. I loved that Caroline Glyn book when I was in junior high. My other favorite school stories were the books by Antonia Forest beginning with Autumn Term.


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