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Quick Picks: Best In Class – The Top 5 ‘School’ Books


I’m an avid reader, there’s no doubt about that, so picking today’s ‘Top 5’ was a little tricky for me. But here we go…my picks for the Top 5 ‘School’ books / series – books that are very much tied to their school setting more than anything else, just in time for graduation. Pick one or the whole set up to get your kid, niece / nephew, grandchild, etc. to keep their brains sharp before jumping into the big, bright world of college next year.

Prep by Curtis Sittenfeld ($13)
This novel follows Lee Fiora, an outsider scholarship student at a fancy East Coast prep school. What was intended to be a time for reinvention turns into a humbling, insular experience for the judgmental, shy, but savvy Lee – who accurately captures so many elements of being a teenager in the four years we follow her through school.

Secret Society Girl by Diana Peterfreund ($12)
Liked what you saw of the league of secret societies in movies like The Skulls or even The Social Network? Diana Peterfreund’s four-book ‘Ivy League’ series takes you behind the skull & dagger routine through the eyes of Amy Haskel, an unsuspecting wannabe writer that’s tapped to join a secret society, without any realization of how much it’ll impact her life.


Sloppy Firsts
by Megan McCafferty ($13)
These books are practically a manual to growing up. From teen angst to college autonomy to the great big question of NOW what when it’s all over, Megan McCafferty’s ‘Jessica Darling’ five-book series are told through Jessica’s intimate diary entries (for the most part) and reveal the best and worst parts about figuring out life. Books 1 & 2 cover high school, while 3 is an accurate snapshot of college life.

Cum Laude by Cecily von Zeigesar ($17)
If your giftee is ready to graduate high school – and von Zeigesar’s infamous ‘Gossip Girl’ high-school set series with it – then consider upgrading to her foray into college fare. Cum Laude takes place at a small but ritzy liberal arts college in Maine and follows the scandalous lives of Manhattan‘s the college’s beautiful and the damned. It’s her typical mix of relationship switch-ups, sex, and drugs, but it’s frothy fun that’ll totally be a misleading portrayal of dorm life for the future college student.

The Harry Potter series by JK Rowling ($134)
If you know a youth that hasn’t encountered JK Rowling’s spellbinding series, let this be the summer they do so. The adventures of the ‘boy who lived’, an unsuspecting wizard named Harry, are incredibly intertwined with his life at Hogwarts School for Witchcraft & Wizardry – so much so that we rarely see Harry during the mundane summer breaks. See, school CAN be fun.

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