We are the first to say that holiday time is about escaping the school gate routine. At the same time the school gate is not only a physical location but also a microcosm of human interactions, relationships, and community dynamics. It is a rich setting that has inspired several novels recently. Here is a list of our recommended reads over the summer holidays:
“It could never happen here” by Eithne Shortall
We love a good thriller and this is the book we are most looking forward to. Here is a recent Independent review “Thought-provoking, with well-drawn characters, It Could Never Happen Here has already been described as perfect for fans of Motherland and Catastrophe on TV. While the themes of frequently floundering motherhood, tempered by empathy and witty humour draw many comparisons, the extra element of a complex whodunnit sets this novel apart and takes it to another level.”
“At the School Gate” by Sandra Nicole Roldan
Our Classlist schools are located across the globe and this book has International appeal. A precis from Goodreads “Days after her father disappeared, Ella Cortez sees someone waiting for her at the school gate. Before the night is over, Ella realises: "This is just like Martial Law all over again. The only difference was that no one else knew about it. Just us and Them." Based on the author's experiences with her family during the Marcos dictatorship in the Philippines and the years after, this story shows there are many different ways to be brave during difficult times.”
"The Hive" by Gill Hornby
In "The Hive," Gill Hornby explores the intricacies of a group of parents who form a social committee, known as "The Hive," at an elite school. The novel delves into the power struggles, alliances, and rivalries that arise within the committee as parents navigate their own personal challenges. With a humorous and insightful narrative, Hornby explores themes of identity, friendship, and the desire for social acceptance, providing a satirical commentary on the dynamics of school gate communities.
"Class Mom" by Laurie Gelman
Laurie Gelman's "Class Mom" presents a humorous take on the experiences of a class mom, Jen Dixon, as she navigates the responsibilities and drama associated with the role. Through a series of witty emails and interactions with other parents, Gelman highlights the various personalities and quirks found within school communities. The novel offers a light-hearted yet relatable exploration of the challenges, humour, and camaraderie that can be found at the school gate.
"The Gifted School" by Bruce Holsinger
Set in an affluent Colorado town, "The Gifted School" by Bruce Holsinger delves into the fierce competition among parents vying to secure spots for their children in an exclusive new school for gifted students. The novel explores the lengths to which parents go to gain an advantage and the resulting strain on relationships and friendships. It examines the ethical dilemmas, ambition, and parental anxieties that arise within high-stakes school environments, shedding light on the impact of academic pressure on both children and parents.
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