Ahhh, September. Time for newly sharpened pencils, fresh notebooks, and the routine of school. Although this year looks different, our students are all ready to begin their newest learning adventures. For some fun, here is a list of fiction books that take place in schools. From creepy boarding schools to social cliques and magic lessons, check out some of these adult fiction titles for a different spin on back-to-school.
The Harry Potter series – J.K Rowling’s series about a boarding school for budding wizards. What could go wrong except for a few rotten professors and spells gone awry? Watch Harry grow up through the series and begin to understand his talents. If you haven’t yet, start with Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. Written for kids, but enjoyed by adults worldwide!
The Art of Fielding – Chad Harbach. A “novel about family and friendship and love” set at a small college on the shores of Lake Michigan.
The Secret History – Donna Tartt. A group of eccentric students push the boundaries of morality in this story set at an exclusive New England college.
The Guineveres – Sarah Domet. Set in a convent school, four girls share the name Guinevere, but share other dark secrets as well.
Ninth House – Leigh Bardugo. A high school dropout is given a second chance – she can attend Yale on a full scholarship, but is tasked with monitoring the school’s secret societies. She finds that these societies partake in sinister activities even worse than she can imagine.
Ghosts of Harvard – Francesca Serritella. Cady enrolls as a Freshman at Harvard the year after her brother supposedly committed suicide as a student. She has many questions regarding his death and begins to hear voices from the past leading her on a trail to discover the truth. Everything is not as it seems in this debut by the daughter of Lisa Scottoline.
The Ancient Nine – Ian Smith. More secret societies set against the prestigious Harvard backdrop. Pre-med student and basketball player Spencer is tapped to join the elite Delphic Club. What does that mean for him and what are the answers to the centuries-old mysteries surrounding the club?
The Secret Place – Tana French. Detectives Moran and Conway delve into the cliques and rivalries at a Dublin boarding school to solve the case of a murdered boy.
Prep – Curtis Sittenfeld. A girl from the midwest transfers to a private New England boarding school and gets swept up in the drama. A coming of age story in a school setting.
The Lying Game – Ruth Ware. Secrets from their time at a school near the English Channel come back to haunt 4 grown women in suburban London.
Gentlemen and Players – Joanne Harris. A new young teacher and former alum joins the faculty at a prestigious private school with one goal – destroy the school.
Such Fine Boys – Patrick Modiano. Adult men who graduated from a Parisian boys’ school deal with the repercussions of their time there.