Accelerated Reader

Accelerated Reader at The Winstanley School 

At The Winstanley School, we work continuously to improve our students’ reading abilities and experiences. Since 2021 we have been using Accelerated Reader with all students in years 7 and 8. You and your child may well already be familiar with the programme but if not, please read the information below (taken directly from The Parents’ Guide to Accelerated Reader). The link, which follows this, provides more information if you are keen to know more. 

Accelerated Reader is a computer program that helps teachers and librarians manage and monitor children’s independent reading practice. Your child picks a book at his own level and reads it at his own pace. When finished, your child takes a short quiz on the computer. (Passing the quiz is an indication that your child understood what was read.) Accelerated Reader gives children, teachers, and librarians feedback based on the quiz results, which the teacher then uses to help your child set goals and direct ongoing reading practice.

Children using Accelerated Reader choose their own books to read, rather than having one assigned to them. This makes reading a much more enjoyable experience as they can choose books that are interesting to them.

Teachers and librarians help your child choose books at an appropriate readability level that are challenging without being frustrating, ensuring that your child can pass the quiz and experience success.

If your child does not do well on the quiz, the teacher or librarian may help your child:

  • Choose another book that is more appropriate.
  • Ask more probing questions as your child reads and before your child takes a quiz.
  • Pair your child with another student, or even have the book read to your child.

In most cases, children really enjoy taking the quizzes. Since they’re reading books at their reading and interest levels, they are likely to be successful. This is satisfying for most children. Best of all, they learn and grow at their own pace.


Research shows that students who read regularly, either independently, to and with others, perform better in school in a range of subjects than many of those who do not. This is because they are likely to obtain and understand a wider vocabulary as well as improving their spelling skills. We want to work with you on encouraging your child to read. 

In school, we will give students time to read books of their choice and take the quizzes on them and we hope that you will support your child with their reading at home by encouraging them to do it, listening to them and by discussing their book choices with them too. 

All students will be expected to keep a reading log updated and this will be checked by tutors fortnightly and we will be asking all students to always have a reading book in their school bags so they can read at any time!


Have a browse of the book list. These are suggestions of books which typically 11-13 olds might enjoy and ones for which there are Accelerated Reader quizzes are written. Don’t feel restricted by it though…read away! 


Recommended Reads: Years 7/8

Action & Thrillers

Bodyguard or Young Samurai (& sequels); Bullet Catcher or Gamer by Chris Bradford*

Alone by DJ Brazier

Mortal Chaos, Speed Freaks, The Everest Files (& sequels) or Lie, Kill, Walk Away – Matt Dickinson 

Lightning Girl (& sequels) by Alesha Dixon 

The London Eye Mystery by Siobhan Dowd 

Silverfin or The Enemy (& sequels) by C Higson

Stormbreaker (& sequels) by A. Horowitz*

Girl Missing (& sequels) by Sophie McKenzie

The Recruit (& sequels) by R. Muchamore*

Hatchet by Gary Paulsen

Wolf Wilder, The Good Thieves, The Explorer, Rooftoppers by Katherine Rundell

Night Speakers or Carjacked by Ali Sparkes

Murder Most Unladylike (& sequels) – R Stevens

Lost (Choose Your Own Adventure) -T Turner


Dystopian & Science Fiction

Ink (& sequels) by Alice Broadway

Gone or BRZK (& sequels) -Michael Grant

The Boy Who Flew by Fleur Hitchcock

The Giver and Gathering Blue by Lois Lowry 

The Knife of Never Letting Go (& sequels)-P Ness 

MetaWars: Fight for the Future (&sequels)- Norton

Railhead & Mortal Engines (& sequels)-P Reeve 

Remade (& sequels) or Time Riders – Alex Scarrow

Dry, Scythe, Unwind (& sequels) – N Shusterman 

Contagion or Slated (& sequels) by Teri Terry

The 5th Wave (& sequels) by Rick Yancey 


Fantasy, Magic Realism, Horror & Ghost

Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

The House With Chicken Legs & The Girl Who Speaks Bear by Sophie Anderson

Cogheart by Peter Bunzl

Mind Writer by Steve Cole*

Artemis Fowl (& sequels) by Eoin Colfer 

The Dark is Rising by Susan Cooper 

The Stormkeeper’s Island by Catherine Doyle

Rumblestar by Abi Elphinstone

Who Let the Gods Out (& sequels) by Maz Evans 

Ranger’s Apprentice or Brotherband – J Flanagan

Inkheart (& sequels) by Cornelia Funke 

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman 

Blackberry Blue by Jamila Gavin 

Girl of Ink and Stars by Kiran Millwood Hargrave 

Skulduggery Pleasant (& sequels) by Derek Landy

Zom-B or Cirque du Freak (& sequels) by D. Shan*

Eragon (& sequels) by Christopher Paolini

Tales of Terror, Mister Creecher –Chris Priestley

Northern Lights (& sequels) by Phillip Pullman 

Goth Girl (& sequels) by Chris Riddell*

Mrs Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar ChildrenRiggs

Percy Jackson or Kane Chronicles series by Riordan

Thunderstruck or Unleashed by Ali Sparkes*

The Edge Chronicles by P Stewart and C Riddell 


Humorous books

Little Badman &[…] Killer Aunties by Humza Arshad

Millions, Cosmic or Broccoli Boy by Frank C Boyce

The Last Kids on Earth (& sequels) by Max Brallier

Fenway and Hattie by Victoria Cole*

Adventures of a Wimpy Vampire(&more)T.Collins*

To Be a Cat by Matt Haig

Cookie & the Most Annoying Boy… by Konnie Huq*

Enginerds (& sequels) by Jarrett Lerner*

Disaster Diaries: Zombies (&sequels)-R McGeddon*

The Donut Diaries series – A McGowan*

The Accidental Billionaire series- T McLaughlin

The World of Norm series by Jonathon Meres*

Planet Omar by Zanib Mian

Timmy Failure series by Stephan Pastis*

Middle School series by James Patterson*

Tom Gates series by Liz Pichon (dyslexia-friendly)*

Big Nate series by Lincoln Peirce* 

Killer Animals series by Tracey Turner


Relationships & Tough Situations

Boy Underwater by Adam Baron

Noughts and Crosses, Cloud Busting, Boys Don’t Cry or Pig-Heart Boy by Malorie Blackman 

Blubber or anything by Judy Blume 

Artichoke Hearts or Jasmine Skies -S. Brahmachari

A Pocketful of Stars by Aisha Bushby

One, Apple &Rain, Moonrise, Toffee -S Crossan 

Blended or Out of My Mind by Sharon Draper

Running on Empty by S.E. Durrant

Mind the Gap, Being Billy or Saving Daisy – P Earle*

The Many Worlds of Albie Bright –Chris Edge

Mockingbird by Kathryn Erskine 

Tulip Touch, Goggle Eyes or Flour Babies by A. Fine

Lenny’s Book of Everything by Karen Foxlee

Check Mates & The Bubble Boy by Stewart Foster

Unstoppable by Dan Freedman *

George by Alex Gino

Tall Story or Shine by Candy Gourlay

The Island at the End of Everything–KM Hargrave

After the Fire by Will Hill 

Boy in the Tower by Polly Ho-Yen

A Different Dog by Paul Jennings*

Race to the Frozen North or 1783 by C Johnson*

Red Sky in the Morning by Elizabeth Laird 

Scarlet Ibis by Gill Lewis

Lark (& series) by Anthony McGowan

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness 

No Fixed Address or Word Nerd by Susan Nielsen

Wonder by R.J. Palacio 

Pax by Sarah Pennypacker 

Freak the Mighty by Rodman Philbrick

My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece by A Pitcher 

Unboxed by Non Pratt *

Long Way Down, Look Both Ways, Ghost or Patina by Jason Reynolds*

Esperanza Rising by Pam Munoz Ryan

The Marvels or Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick*

The Boxer by Nikesh Shukla 

Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli 

Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred Taylor 

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas 

Goldfish Boy by Lisa Thompson

A Boy Called Hope by Lara Williamson

Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson 



Booked, Crossover or Rebound – K. Alexander* 

Charlie Merrick’s Misfits… by David Cousins*

Stat Man by Alan Durant *

The Beautiful Game series by Dhami (girls’ football)

Man of the Match (& series) by Dan Freedman

The Number 7 Shirt or The Lion Roars – A Gibbons*

Kick by Mitch Johnson

The Fix by Sophie McKenzie*

Ultimate Football Heroes Collection – M&T Oldfield

Football Academy or Foul Play series–Tom Palmer*

Soccer Squad, Dream On (& series) by Bali Rai*

Pay Attention, Carter Jones by Gary Schmidt*


War, Conflict and the Refugee Experience

Soldier Dog or A Horse Called Hero – Sam Angus

The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas by J Boyne 

Illegal by Eoin Colfer * 

Wolf Children, Red Shadow, Eleven Eleven,  Auslander & True Stories books – Paul Dowswell

Under a War-Torn Sky by L.M. Elliott 

Boy 87 by Ele Fountain

The Bone Sparrow by Zana Fraillion 

Once (& sequels) by Morris Gleitzman * 

Bone Talk by Candy Gourlay 

Grenade by Alan Gratz

Orphan Monster Spy by Matt Killeen 

Inside Out and Back Again by Thanhha Lai 

Buffalo Soldier or Apache by Tanya Landman 

Every Falling Star (North Korea) by Sungju Lee 

Dog Tags: Semper Fido or Strays by C A London*

Number the Stars by Lois Lowry

The Skylarks’ War by Hilary McKay

War Horse or Private Peaceful by M Morpurgo 

Sunrise Over Fallujah by Walter Dean Myers*

A Night Divided by Jennifer Nielson

Armistice Runner or Over the Line by Tom Palmer*

A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park

The Red Pencil by Andrea David Pinkney

The Boy at the Back of the Class by Onjali Rauf 

Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys 

Eagle of the Ninth by Rosemary Sutcliffe 

Refugee Boy by Benjamin Zephaniah


Note to parents: Some books from this list are written for young adult readers; this means there may be ‘gritty’ content. Generally by Key Stage 3 young people are ready for this, but parents know their children best; if you have queries about suitability, please check online reviews or ask your child’s teacher.

*  =  Top picks for reluctant readers