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  • Writer's pictureTerrie

Top 10 Tuesday: Books that take place in a school setting

Jana @ That Artsy Reader Girl is hosting another week of Top Ten Tuesday. I enjoy participating each week for a couple reasons. I'm a compulsive list maker and love a good list. And, I love a connection with other readers as I wander their book blogs. In honor of back-to-school time, this week's prompt is to share books having to do with education - something in the title, set in a school, about schooling, featuring kids in school, etc. I actually thought of most of these without having to look at my list! Here goes.


Binti by Nnedi Okorafor

Genre: Sci Fi

Published 2015; 356 pages (3 novellas)

A girl traveling across worlds to attend university and her experiences at school. Then she returns home and tries to apply what she learned.

Reviewed here

The Secret Place #5 Dublin Squad by Tana French

Genre: Mystery

Published 2014; 541 pages

One of my favorites of this series. Set in a girls boarding school, there's all the jealousies, anger, and angst of teen girls and it erupts in a murder. Which girl is the killer? Can totally be read as a standalone.

The Magicians #1 by Lev Grossman

Genre: Fantasy

Published 2009; 402 pages

A COA story about a boy obsessed with magic who finds himself unexpectedly admitted to a very secret college where he learns many of the usual things learned in college - friendship, loyalty, love, sex, and boredom - but also magic.

Normal People by Sally Rooney

Genre: General Fiction

Published 2018; 273 pages

The story follows a boy and girl from high school through college as they fall in and out of like and love.

Reviewed here

The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach

Genre: General Fiction

Published 2011; 512 pages

Somehow I've never reviewed this book - set in college, it follows several boys as they mature, explore their sexuality, and play sports (primarily baseball) and how that influences their decisions. LGBTQ

Portrait of a Thief by Grace D. Li

Genre: General Fiction

Published 2022; 384 pages

A group of Asian college students decide to steal historical art pieces and return them to China.

Reviewed here

The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune

Genre: Fantasy

Published 2020; 394 pages

A delightful story of a very special school for very special (and UNUSUAL) children.

Reviewed here

The Broken Girls by Simone St. James

Genre: Mystery

Published 2018; 336 pages

A school for girls that is rumored to be haunted - the troublemakers, the illegitimate, the ones no one wants attend and try to survive. Four unlikely friends and one goes missing.......

Reviewed here

A Deadly Education #1 by Naomi Novik

Genre: Fantasy

Published 2020; 336 pages

Taking place in a school for the magically gifted where failure means certain death (for real) — until one girl, El, begins to unlock its many secrets.

The Ninth House #1 by Leigh Bardugo

Genre: Fantasy

Published 2019; 459 pages

A misfit of a girl gets a surprise invitation to attend Yale and discovers she gets the invite because she sees ghosts - so she fits right into the underground part of college that revolves around magic and ghosts.

Reviewed here

And there you have it - 10 books I've read that take place in a school setting - it appears mostly college. I'm eager to see what the rest of you bloggers have found with a school theme....and, how some of you have adapted the theme to suit yourselves. I always look forward to the creative ways people interpret the suggested themes.

Welcome to Bookshelf Journeys.

It's my goal to provide real reviews of the books I read without totally rehashing every plot. I'll never spoil a story by giving away a plot twist! Hopefully you'll find one or two of interest and will discover a new book or author to add to YOUR TBR list.  Take a moment to explore, read a couple reviews, and let me know what you think.


For your convenience, I use #hashtags in the reviews and when you click on one, you'll find more books with that theme. Hopefully you'll find it a helpful way to navigate the site and find books you'll enjoy. I've also recently added tags that will show up at the end of each review that serve the same purpose.

The review ratings are based on a 5 star  (1/2 stars sometimes) system with a 3 being an average read for me. I hope you find that helpful. Knowing, of course, that all opinions are just that - my opinion!  Let me know if you agree or disagree - I'd love to hear from you.

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