Queen Mary's High School

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The Learning Resource Centre

The Learning Resource Centre (LRC) sits at the heart of Queen Mary’s High School and plays a vital role in supporting reading and literacy. 

‘The library is a thriving hub throughout the day. Pupils are well supported in selecting books that are appropriate to their age, interests, and ability. As a result, they are confident, fluent readers who demonstrate a real enjoyment of reading.’ (OFSTED, 2021) 

Pupils have access to: 

  • Over 6000 books (including fiction, non-fiction and reference materials) 
  • 10 desktop computers 
  • Study space 
  • Relaxed seating area 

The library is staffed by: 

  • Mrs H Groves – Library Manager 
  • Mrs S White – Library assistant 
  • A team of pupil librarians 

For more information, please see our library policy

Borrowing books 

Pupils can borrow items for a 2-week loan period before they must be returned or renewed. 

  • Pupils in years 7-11 can borrow up to 2 items at one time 
  • Pupils in 6th form can borrow up to 4 items at one time. 

For book recommendations please see: 


Here is a list of suggested reads: 

  • S.T.A.G.S - M.A Bennett 
  • Noughts & Crosses - Malorie Blackman 
  • To Kill a Kingdom - Alexandra Christo 
  • One - Sarah Crossan 
  • A Good girl’s guide to Murder - Holly Jackson 
  • A Million to one - Adiba Jaigirder 
  • Letters to the Lost - Brigid Kemmerer 
  • Every Day - David Levithan 
  • More Than This - Patrick Ness 
  • Wonder - RJ Palacio 
  • Ghost Boys - Jewell Parker Rhodes 
  • Scythe - Neal Shusterman 
  • Everything Everything - Nicola Yoon 
  • Goodbye Days - Jeff Zentner 
  • The Book Thief - Marcus Zusak 


Here is a list of suggested reads  

  • Where Sleeping Girls Lie – Faridah Abike-lyimide 
  • Six of Crows – Leigh Bardugo 
  • The Places I’ve Cried in Public – Holly Bourne 
  • Wranglestone – Darren Charlton 
  • The Perks of Being a Wallflower – Stephen Chbosky 
  • Meat Market – Juno Dawson 
  • After the Fire – Will Hill 
  • The Outrage – William Hussey 
  • Moxie – Jenifer Matthieu 
  • I’ll Give You the Sun – Jandy Nelson 
  • Only Ever Yours – Louise O’Neill 
  • Wilder Girls – Rory Power 
  • What Kind of Girl – Alyssa Scheinmel 
  • Sadie – Courtney Summers 
  • House of Hollow – Krystal Sutherland 


Here is a list of suggested reads  

  • The Handmaids Tale – Margaret Attwood 
  • Pretending – Holly Bourne 
  • Magpie – Elizabeth Day 
  • This is How You Lose the Time War – Amal El-Mohtar 
  • Girl, Woman, Other – Bernadine Evaristo 
  • Lessons in Chemistry – Bonnie Garmus 
  • How to Stop Time – Matt Haig 
  • The Talented Mr Ripley – Patricia Highsmith 
  • A Thousand Splendid Suns – Khaled Hosseini 
  • The House in the Cerulean Sea – TJ Klune 
  • One Day – David Nicholls 
  • Nineteen Eighty Four – George Orwell 
  • My Dark Vanessa – Kate Elizabeth Russell 
  • White Teeth – Zadie Smith
  • Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow – Gabrielle Zevin


Pupils at QMHS are expected to read widely and will be encouraged to read titles that will challenge them. However, we recognise that some parents may wish for their child to be directed away from material of a sensitive nature. If you would like your child’s borrowing account to be restricted, please ensure that you return the form sent in our induction pack or contact the librarian. 

Wellbeing and Inclusion 

The LRC believes that all readers should be able to see themselves in literature. As a result, we are constantly adding to our collection to ensure our library stocks a diverse range of books. This includes: 

  • Culturally diverse fiction 
  • LGBT+ fiction 
  • Books supporting mental health and wellbeing 
  • SEND inclusive fiction 

The LRC also provides a safe space for students who may need emotional support or guidance. Library staff are trained mental health first aiders and can signpost pupils to the appropriate support. The space also offers a quiet area where pupils can take time to reflect. 

Health and Wellbeing

Here is a list of suggested reads  

  • Am I Normal Yet? - Holly Bourne 
  • Toffee - Sarah Crossan 
  • Clean - Juno Dawson 
  • Dancing at the Pity Party - Tyler Feder 
  • The Eternal Return of Clara Hart - Louise Finch 
  • The Space Between - Meg Grehan 
  • The Midnight Library - Matt Haig 
  • When We Collided - Emery Lord 
  • A Monster Calls - Patrick Ness 
  • All the Bright Places - Jennifer Niven 
  • Jessica’s Ghost - Andrew Norris 
  • Asking for It - Louise O’Neill 
  • What Kind of Girl - Alyssa Scheinmel 
  • Jemima Small vs the Universe - Tamsin Winter 
  • I Am change - Suzy Zail 

Characters with SEND

Here is a list of suggested reads  

  • A Taxonomy of Love - Rachael Allen 
  • A Different Sort of Normal - Abigail Balfe 
  • A Quiet Kind of Thunder - Sara Barnard 
  • El Deafo - Cece Bell 
  • Lark & Kasim Start a Revolution - Kacen Callender 
  • Frankie’s World - Aoife Dooley 
  • The First Thing About You - Chaz Hayden 
  • Not if I Can Help It - Carolyn Mackler 
  • A Kind of Spark - Elle McNicoll 
  • Show Us who You Are - Elle McNicoll 
  • Wonder - RJ Palacio 
  • The Boy Who Made Everyone Laugh - Helen Rutter 
  • Can You See Me? - Libby Scott 
  • Spectrums - Maxfield Sparrow 
  • Wired Differently - Joe Wells 

Dyslexia Friendly

Here is a list of suggested reads  

  • Know My Place – Eve Ainsworth 
  • What Magic is This? – Holly Bourne 
  • Thicker Than Water – Anne Cassidy  
  • Letting Go – Cat Clarke 
  • The Disconnect – Keren David 
  • Grave Matter – Juno Dawson 
  • At the World’s End – Catherine Fisher 
  • Jet Black Heart – Teresa Flavin 
  • The Climbers – Keith Gray 
  • Run Wild – Gill Lewis 
  • Trapped – Sophie McKenzie 
  • Welcome to Camp Killer – Cynthia Murphy 
  • Shadow Girl – Sally Nicholls 
  • Seven Ghosts – Chris Priestley 
  • A Sudden Storm – Bali Rai 


Here is a list of suggested reads  

  • The Black Flamingo – Dean Atta 
  • Cinderella is dead – Kalynn Bayron 
  • Felix Ever After – Kacen Callender 
  • What’s the T – Juno Dawson 
  • Queerly Autistic – Erin Ekins 
  • The Deepest Breath – Meg Grehan 
  • The Outrage – William Hussey 
  • The Henna Wars – Adiba Jaigirder 
  • Queerbook – Malcolm McKenzie 
  • Like a Love Story – Abdi Nazemian 
  • Heartstopper – Alice Oseman 
  • Queer There and Everywhere – Sarah Prager 
  • Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe – Benjamin Alire Saenz 
  • More Happy Than Not – Adam Silvera 
  • Proud – Various Authors 

Culturally Diverse

Here is a list of suggested reads  

  • Ace of Spades – Faridah Abike-lyimide 
  • The Poet X – Elizabeth Acevedo 
  • Asha and the Spirit Bird – Jasbinder Bilan 
  • Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race – Reni Eddo Lodge 
  • The Black Kids – Christine Hammonds Reed 
  • And the Stars Were Burning Brightly – Danielle Jawando 
  • Safiyyah’s War – Hiba Khan 
  • Zara Husaain is Here – Sabina Khan 
  • Ghost Boys – Jewell Parker Rhodes 
  • Oxygen Mask – Jason Reynolds 
  • The Hate U Give – Angie Thomas 
  • The Sun is Also a Star – Nicola Yoon 
  • I Am Malala – Malala Yousafzai 
  • Windrush Child – Benjamin Zephaniah 
  • Fight Back – A M Dassu 


Key Stage 3 Reading Programme 

All pupils in Key Stage 3 have a timetabled library lesson once per fortnight. The purpose of these lessons is to: 

  • promote reading for pleasure amongst ALL students  
  • make reading an authentic ‘in school’ activity; to encourage its continuation throughout education and into life.  
  • develop reading enjoyment and attainment by providing time & access to books.  
  • provide designated time to read independently and choose books with guidance from library staff 
  • develop the social aspect of reading by encouraging conversation and student response to texts.  
  • offer students opportunity to respond to their reading and develop inference & critical thinking skills as well as supporting their personal development.  
  • nurture a positive attitude to reading from the outset, by focusing on individual feelings to reading.  


The lessons provide independent reading time, followed by activities to develop reading response. Activities include: 


  • debates 
  • quizzes 
  • reading restaurants 
  • themed discussions (Banned Books Week, Children’s Mental Health etc) 

and more… 


Poetry by Heart 

Pupils across all key stages are invited to take part in the national Poetry by Heart competition during the Spring Term. Pupils who enter learn and perform two poems by heart and perform them for a live audience. Winners are then chosen to represent the school at regionals with finalists selected to perform at the Globe Theatre in London during the Summer term. 

Poetry and Novels

Here is a list of suggested reads  

  • Clap when You Land – Elizabeth Acevedo 
  • The Black Flamingo – Dean Atta 
  • Everything all at Once -  Steven Camden 
  • Moonrise – Sarah Crossan 
  • Three Things I know are True – Betty Culley 
  • The Final Year – Matt Goodfellow
  • The Deepest Breath – Meg Grehan 
  • Milk and Honey – Rupi Kaur 
  • The Sun and Her Flowers – Rupi Kaur 
  • Run Rebel – Manjeet Mann 
  • Gloves Off – Louisa Reid 
  • Long Way Down – Jason Reynolds 
  • Punching the Air – Ibi Zoboi & Yusef Salaam 
  • Hold Your Own – Kae Tempest 
  • Somebody Give his Heart a Pen – Sophie Thakur 

Library Activities 

The library hosts a calendar of events and competitions throughout the school year. Previous activities include: 

  • Book club 
  • Award shadowing 
  • Reading for Wellbeing 
  • Once Upon a Crime Murder Mystery 
  • Primary storytelling 
  • Bookopoly 
  • World Book Day 
  • Book adaptation quiz 
  • Harry Potter Evening 
  • Book Fairs 
  • Author talks 

and more… 

More than Reading Challenge