25 boarding school novels that are better than your class reunion

25 boarding school novels that are better than your class reunion

School looks different for everyone this year and it’s making me feel wistful about my own school days gone by. I can’t help but think about the many books set at school, including one educational experience I never had: boarding school.

Don’t get me wrong: I’m glad school is long behind me. But there’s something about this time of year that makes me want to revisit those years through fictional characters, even as my own kids are doing their homework.

When a reader asked for books set at boarding schools on our What Should I Read Next Instagram account as a WSIRNReaderRecs request, we received a ton of great suggestions. We curated those suggestions for today’s book list, and added a stack of our in-house favorites, too. As so often happens when we ask our community for book recommendations, my TBR grew as a result.

Today I’m sharing books you love, books I love, and some I’m eager to read because of your enthusiastic recommendations. This list of 25 boarding school books covers a variety of genres from YA to thriller to literary fiction. And they’re not all set at swanky East Coast or magical schools! This is by no means an exhaustive list so I’d love to hear about your favorite books set at boarding schools in the comments.

Some links (including all Amazon links) are affiliate links. More details here.

The Secret Place

The Secret Place

Author:
French explores trust, friendship, and class warfare in the fifth installment in her Dublin Murder Squad series. It’s set at a girls’ boarding school, where a boy had been found murdered a year ago. The case had gone cold, but when a new clue emerges, two detectives are sent in to investigate. (Warning: f-bombs galore, like all French’s books.) More info →
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A Prayer for Owen Meany: A Novel

A Prayer for Owen Meany: A Novel

Author:
Irving is a masterful storyteller, and has a knack for drawing compelling characters. We see Johnny and his unusual best friend Owen grow up and attend the prep school where Johnny’s stepfather teaches, before Owen heads off to ROTC as the Vietnam War escalates. This modern classic gently addresses heavy themes of fate, loss, and faith and it’s no wonder so many claim it as their favorite novel. More info →
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A Study in Charlotte

A Study in Charlotte

This is such a fun YA spin on the classic Sherlock Holmes stories. Jamie Watson transfers to Sherringford, a fancy Connecticut prep school, on a rugby scholarship where he meets the eccentric Charlotte Holmes. Charlotte seems to have inherited her great-great-great grandfather's keen eye and unpredictable temperament, and Jamie decides to avoid her. However, when they're suspected of murdering a fellow classmate, Jamie and Charlotte must team up, much like their ancestors, and solve the case to clear their names. Clever and witty, you'll want to keep reading this series. More info →
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A Separate Peace

A Separate Peace

Author:
Set at a boys' boarding school during the early years of WWI, this classic portrays the dark side of adolescence, showing two young friends waking up to the jaded reality of the adult world as the nation likewise was waking up to the reality of its deeply troubled era. More info →
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Never Let Me Go

Never Let Me Go

Author:
I talked about my love for this one in Volume III of One Great Book , and it's our October selection for the Modern Mrs Darcy Book Club. Haunting and atmospheric, with a sad truth that dawns on you gradually. Ishiguro slowly introduces the reader to three teens in a 1990s British boarding school. His prose says so much while revealing so little, as it slowly dawns on the reader what is not-quite-right about these children's lives. More info →
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Picnic at Hanging Rock

Picnic at Hanging Rock

Author:
In this short Australian classic, a group of girls from the Appleyard College for Young Ladies venture out for a picnic at Hanging Rock on a beautiful afternoon. Three of the girls set out for a hike, and are never seen again. As I was reading this short novel, it strongly reminded me of something I'd read before, but I couldn't figure out WHAT. I finally realized it wasn't a book at all—it was the TV show Lost! (If that's not a recommendation, I don't know what is.) More info →
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Every Heart a Doorway

Every Heart a Doorway

Author:
Children can discover doorways to magical places and then find they no longer fit into society when they return. No one believes where they've been, for one, and they can't figure out a way to go back to the place they considered home. Instead, they go to Eleanor West's Home for Wayward Children. Nancy visited the Underworld and her arrival at the Home marks a change. She and her classmates must band together to solve a spate of murders plaguing the school. More info →
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Shadow of the Lions

Shadow of the Lions

Ten years ago, Matthias’s roommate and best friend Fritz ran away from Blackburne School into the woods and was never heard from again. He’s feeling stuck and a job offer from his alma mater to teach English sounds like it might be a chance at a fresh start. Once there, he feels compelled to figure out what really happened to Fritz their senior year. Part literary thriller, part coming-of-age tale, you’ll be fully drawn into the world of elite boarding schools and secrets upon secrets. More info →
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The Poppy War: A Novel

The Poppy War: A Novel

Author:
This epic fantasy is rooted in 20th Century Chinese history and mythology. It features Rin, an orphaned peasant girl, who, against all odds, earns a place in an elite military academy. At school, Rin discovers that she possesses incredible powers and studies the mythical art of shamanism. As the Nikara Empire teeters on the brink of war, Rin answers the call to save her people. Kuang has spoken about her choice to write fictional accounts of historical events like the Nanjing Massacre with unflinching detail, not to glorify war, but to show the realities of trauma. (Content warnings for sexual violence, atrocious warcrimes, self-harm). More info →
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Truly Devious: A Mystery

Truly Devious: A Mystery

Author:
Stevie Bell is ready to attend her first year at Ellingham Academy, an exclusive school in Vermont that’s famous for educating the world’s best and brightest. The founder, Albert Ellingham added riddles and mazes throughout the school to create “a place where learning is a game.” Stevie, a self-proclaimed true crime expert, is more interested in solving the puzzle around Albert Ellingham’s family. After opening the school, his wife and daughter were kidnapped. No one has ever solved the famous crime, but Stevie is determined to crack the case. However, in between studying and making friends, Stevie has noticed strange things happening around the school. This layered mystery is perfect for fans of The Mysterious Benedict Society. More info →
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Good Girls Lie: A Novel

Good Girls Lie: A Novel

Author:
Ellison says she always wanted to write a good campus novel, one that would allow her to draw on her own educational experience at a womens college. Some people attract drama. Or, perhaps more accurately, they create it. That's the guiding belief of the Charlottesville detectives called in to The Goode School, the exclusive all-girls boarding school in the quiet town of Marchburg, Virginia, where senators and ambassadors business moguls send their daughters for their education. But then a series of unexplained deaths rocks their community. And when one particular girl seems to be the epicenter of the chaos and tragedy, well—the detective on the case knows she needs to take a close look. In alternating points of view, we learn that Ash Carlisle has plenty of secrets she'd like to keep. What’s more, we learn that Ash isn't the only one with something to hide, far from it. As the narrators shift, the new perspective subtly changes what you, the reader, think you know. More info →
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Magic for Liars

Magic for Liars

Author:
This is a noir detective procedural set at a school of magic. Ivy, a private investigator who’s down on her luck, is called to investigate gruesome murder at the school where her twin sister works. It’s not going to be straightforward and simple to figure out how a woman got split in half by a magical spell in a library. Plus, these sisters have a complex relationship—they haven’t seen each other in ten years and the cause of the rift is because Tabitha was magic and Ivy was not. Gailey plays with the family saga but also magic teens and the noir novel so you get to see how they’re subtly turning the genres in really fun ways. More info →
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Black Boy White School

Black Boy White School

Author:
Anthony "Ant" Jones has never left his East Cleveland neighborhood when he receives a scholarship to an almost all-white elite prep school in Maine. Classmates at Belton Academy make all kinds of assumptions about him but Ant finds he no longer fully fits in back home either. A moving YA debut about learning how to stay true to yourself. More info →
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The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks

The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks

Author:
When Frankie is excluded from her boyfriend's all-male secret society at their boarding school, she decides to fight back against the system. A funny YA story filled with cliques, pranks, first love, and feminism. More info →
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Catherine House

Catherine House

If a school seems too good to be true, it probably is. The prestigious Catherine House offers free tuition, room, and board in exchange for students living completely removed from the outside world for three years. At first, it's the closest thing to home Ines has ever experienced but then things take a tragic turn and she finds herself questioning everything in this Gothic literary suspense debut. More info →
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Dread Nation

Dread Nation

Author:
How does zombies + Civil War sound to you? The rise of zombies on the battlefields of Gettysburg and Chancellorsville altered the War Between The States and led to Jane attending Combat School. Its a great opportunity for a Black girl like Jane but she wants more out of life. Until families start to go missing and Jane finds herself in the middle of a deadly conspiracy. Justina Ireland has created a YA alternative history horror that explores race and gender with nuance...and a whole lot of zombie killing. More info →
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The Scandalous Sisterhood of Prickwillow Place

The Scandalous Sisterhood of Prickwillow Place

Author:
Let's say your headmistress and her brother die of poison at Sunday dinner and you dont want your school to be closed or for you to be sent home. Not because of some pesky murderer! What else can seven proper ladies do but hide the bodies and convince neighbors all is well? An entertaining Victorian romp. More info →
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Tiny Pretty Things

Tiny Pretty Things

Three students at an elite Manhattan ballet school compete, backstab, and stop at nothing to be the very best. Described as "Black Swan meets Pretty Little Liars," it’s soon to be a Netflix TV show. More info →
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He’s Come Undone: A Romance Anthology

He’s Come Undone: A Romance Anthology

Author:
Cat Sebastian's contribution to the He's Come Undone anthology (Tommy Cabot Was Here) is a second chance historical romance set in 1959 Massachusetts. Everett and Tommy first fell for each other as students at the boarding school where Everett now teaches and Tommy's son attends. There's so much pining between these two, leading to a very satisfying HEA. (Open door.) More info →
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The School for Good and Evil

The School for Good and Evil

Author:
Fairy tale retelling lovers will get a kick out of this middle grade series. The mythical School Master takes two 12 year olds every four years and takes them to the School for Good & Evil where they will be trained to become either fairy tale heroes or villains. Whereas most children fear this plight, Sophie dreams of being a fairy tale princess and determines befriending Agatha, her polar opposite, will prove how good she is. But when they’re kidnapped, Agatha is sent to The School of Good and Sophie is sent to The School of Evil and that’s when the real magic begins. More info →
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The Similars

The Similars

Author:
In this YA science fiction duology, six Darkwood Academy students are cloned, including Emma's best friend Oliver who died over the summer. Now she’s back at school where she meets Levi, Oliver's clone and one of the Similars. She doesn't want anything to do with him or the other Similars but as frightening truths emerge and she develops feelings for Levi, it's clear no one at Darkwood can be trusted. More info →
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Sweetgrass Basket

Sweetgrass Basket

Author:
Marlene Carvell brings heartbreaking history alive in this novel in verse. Mohawk sisters Mattie and Sarah are sent to an off-reservation boarding school after the death of their mother. Their father believes they’ll be better off there but instead, they face pressure to assimilate and abuse at the hands of the headmistress. They must figure out a way to protect both their culture and their memories as their bond strengthens. More info →
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When the Ground Is Hard

When the Ground Is Hard

Author:
This moving YA novel tackles poverty, castes, race, and friendship. Set at a Swaziland boarding school, popular girl Adele and social pariah Lottie are forced to be roommates. Thanks to a shared copy of Jane Eyre, they start to see each other more clearly and band against the bullies and prejudiced teachers that would tear their friendship apart. More info →
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Belzhar

Belzhar

Author:
If the title has you wondering whether this is inspired by Sylvia Plath's The Bell Jar, you're on the right track. After Jam's boyfriend dies, she goes to a therapeutic boarding school for emotionally fragile, highly intelligent teens in Vermont. A journal-writing assignment for her Special Topics in English class mysteriously transports her to cherished memories of Reeve. After each time, her journal is filled in her handwriting. She must make sense of what she experienced at Belzhar and what she'll do when the semester ends and the journal must be turned in. More info →
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Hex Hall series

Hex Hall series

Author:
A few years after Sophie learned she was a witch, she finds herself in a scrape after a spell goes wrong at prom and her dad ships her off to an isolated reform school for paranormal teens. Someone has been attacking students at Hex Hall and her only friend is the top suspect. Toss in an ancient secret society and things are about to get really interesting. More info →
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What are YOUR favorite boarding school novels? Tell us all about them in comments!

P.S. 10 campus novels that will take you back to your school days, and 15 books for new routines and fresh starts.

25 boarding school novels that are better than your class reunion

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98 comments | Comment

98 comments

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  1. Alison says:

    Thank you for the list! Really enjoyed “Picnic at Hanging Rock” and will have to read “Never Let Me Go” this season!

    Not set at a boarding school, but a class reunion at Cambridge, I just started Dorothy Sayers’ “Gaudy Night.”

    • Elizabeth says:

      I love Gaudy Night so much–reread it at least once a year, and I’ve gone through about 3 copies (I prefer paperbacks). When I went to Oxford at last, it was just magical having that book in mind. Such a great book AND a great mystery…

  2. Jennifer says:

    Okay…perhaps not the most stellar of books, but does anyone remember The Girls of Canby Hall series? Loved those when I was growing up in the 80s. 😀

    • Stephanie says:

      Yes! The original series with Dana, Faith and Shelley and the new series with Jane, Toby and Andy. A piece of trivia – Courteney Cox was a model for one of the book cover illustrations.

    • Jennyroo says:

      My sister and I LOVED the Canby Hall books. We read them over and over again. My hands down favourite was the one where Shelley was kidnapped and had to send clues back to her roommates (oh! Struggling with names here. Dana? Darn!) so they could lead the police to find her. ☺️☺️

    • Leigh Kramer says:

      I loved that series too! My library had almost all of them and I had very strong opinions about each girl and which ones were my favorites. I have vivid memories of a scene where Jane got lost while out visiting Andy’s family in Texas and was surrounded by rattlesnakes.

    • Theresa says:

      I just came to comment on the exact same thing! I loved that series growing up. Of course I had to spend 20 minutes this morning googling to try to remember the series name!

  3. ChrisC says:

    One addition to your excellent list: The Affliction: a Novel, by Beth Gutcheon. Great writing (especially the dialogue) and interesting characters.

    • Laura says:

      Thank you for posting that. I thought I had read all the Jenny Colgan books. Now I have added those to my list. I didn’t realize she had written under a pen name!

    • Adrienne says:

      I loved Enid Blyton when I was a young girl, and remember the Mallory Towers series well, along with the Famous Five and the Secret Seven series. She was a prolific writer! I still have many of those books stored here at home, although my kids never had any interest in them. I’ll have to check out the Jenny Colgan series. Thanks!

      • Kate says:

        I loved the Famous Five and the Secret Seven books so much and was very frustrated that there never seemed to be any mysteries in my neighborhood to solve 😀 The St Clare’s and Mallory Towers books were my first school stories and then I moved on to The Chalet School. Great memories!

    • Elizabeth says:

      The Chalet School books are great old-fashioned boarding school books, and the Marlowe books by Antonia Forest–Cricket Term, Autumn Term, End of Term, and Attic Term–are also great for those who like Malory Towers. Of course, they are of their time and place, and I’d bet some of the content is jarring now, but I really enjoyed the quality of Forest’s books.

  4. Kristen says:

    This added a lot of books to my Overdrive wish list! My boarding school favorites are The Little Princess, Ella Enchanted, and the Harry Potter series. Childhood favorites, yes, but they are all well worth reading as an adult too.

    • Jennyroo says:

      I loved Truly Devious. I devoured the serious on my libby app this quarantine in a matter of one weekend. So fun! I have heard there is a new book coming (#4 in the trilogy, haha! I love it when they do that) in 2021!

  5. A Separate Peace is my favorite! It the best book I read in high school. Others: Looking for Alaska by John Green. Harry Potter. Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead (reform school). Goodbye, Mr. Chips by James Hi;ton and my favorite, To Serve Them All My Days by R.F. Delderfield is my very favorite school novel of all time, followed by Good-bye Mrs Chips. Prep by Curtis Sittenfeld

  6. Pam says:

    Please note that Truly Devious is the first in a series, and that you must read all of them to get any answers! I was Truly Frustrated and Annoyed that it ended with no solution.

  7. Jennyroo says:

    Hi, are you sure Picnic at Hanging Rock reminds you of the tv series Lost? The description reminded me so strongly of a book I had read too (but I haven’t seen that tv show), and then I googled to figure it out. Force of Nature, by Jane Harper. Number two in the Aaron Fall series. LOVE this list, thanks for sharing!

    • Megan Pierson says:

      ‘The Bluffs’ by Kyle Perry is another new Australian book that I have heard described as Picnic at Hanging Rock meets Jane Harper.
      A school excursion goes wrong in the Tasmanian Wilderness…it was great.

  8. Georgia says:

    Never Let Me Go and A Separate Peace are two of my favorites. A boarding school novel I’ve been wanting to read (for years and years) is Wilberforce by H.S. Cross.

  9. Robyn says:

    Borderliners by Peter Hoeg is one of my favorites. It may be hard to get hold of, but worthwhile. Are there any other Peter Hoeg fans out there?

  10. Saffron Garey says:

    I read The Swallows by Lisa Lutz earlier this year. I don’t think it’s her best book but it’s certainly an interesting take on Boarding Schools novels told, mainly, from the point of view of a new teacher.

  11. Kathy says:

    Love the campus/ boarding school theme! I really enjoyed Picnic at Hanging Rock – perfect for this time of year. My daughter also really enjoyed – A Study in Charlotte and that whole series.
    If you’ve read any of the above, do you think any would be good for a 15 year old (sophomore)? YA is tough to gauge sometimes. No problem with language but want to keep “steam” 🙂 to a minimum. A little romance is fine but don’t need anything explicit. Thanks in advance for any feedback! Happy Reading!!

    • Amy G says:

      I would recommend the Gallagher Girls series by Ally Carter. My favorite boarding school book series, about an elite spy school for girls. Clean, and little romance but definitely nothing explicit.

  12. Shelby says:

    Navigating Early by Clare Vanderpool is a wonderful
    Middle grade read. A high functioning kid on the spectrum, a kid who lost his parents, and a search for the truth during the end of World War II. I feel like this is one where kids and adults will both enjoy it.

    • Jess says:

      I recently read Navigating Early at the demand of my 12 year old niece. It was assigned reading in her 6th grade English class and I read along with her. The book was delightful.

  13. Cady says:

    Miss Pym Disposes, by Josephine Tey. A mystery novel – or is it?- and if not an ethical dilemma that won’t have changed in the 70-odd years since it was first published. Short, clear and perfect.

  14. Clair Lamb says:

    THE SWALLOWS by Lisa Lutz, a great war-of-the-sexes novel set at a New England boarding school. It came out late last summer and never got the attention it deserved.

  15. Nikki says:

    I can’t recommend the novel Skippy Dies by Paul Murray enough. Seabrook College feels like a character itself by the end of it. It’s very funny and very, very dark, so just be forewarned. But the way Murray writes is beautiful.

  16. Jess says:

    The Secret Language by Ursula Nordstrom (editor to many of the great children’s book authors of the 20th century) is a delight. And how about The Dragonfly Pool by Eva Ibbotson?

  17. Lisa says:

    Thanks for the list! I now need to make a trip to the library – YES! I have 2 favorite boarding school book series. The first one is the Shades of London 4-book series by Maureen Johnson (The Name of the Star, The Madness Underneath, The Shadow Cabinet, & The Boy in the Smoke) & the Stalking Jack the Ripper series by Kerri Maniscalco. (Okay, it’s really not a boarding school series. It’s in book #2, Hunting Prince Dracula, that Audrey Rose & Thomas go to Romania to attend one of the best forensic schools in Europe. So they do go to live at a school in a different country. That counts, right? LOL!)

  18. Whitney Karp says:

    I just abandoned Catherine House, because I simply could not get into it, no matter how much I wanted to. It was not as interesting as it sounded, by a long shot. I recommend Etiquette and Espionage series by Gail Carriger. It’s the first book in the Finishing School series. YA. Young 19th century woman in a steampunk England keeps getting into trouble and thrown out of boarding schools – until her parents send her off to Madame Geraldine’s Finishing School for Young Ladies of Quality. Unknown to her desperate parents, the school is on a dirigible and the young ladies are taught to be spies.

    • Carol says:

      I was going to recommend Etiquette and Espionage, too, probably for an older teen. Fun series. Another one is the Merits of Mischief, kids in a Correctional Facility that rewards bad behavior. It sounds weird but is a lot of fun. And of course there is Harry Potter! A favorite I had growing up was Daddy Long Legs, sweet epistolary tale.

  19. KT says:

    My favorites (some of these just have parts that take place in a boarding school)
    A Little Princess
    Anne of the Island & Daddy Long Legs (I know these are technically University, but the boarding is a big part of the novel and I love it so much!)
    Little Men by Louisa May Alcott
    Summerhills by D.E. Stevenson (from the perspective of creating a boarding school)
    The Princess Academy by Shannon Hale
    (Harry Potter of course)

    Catcher in the Rye
    Jane Eyre
    David Copperfield

  20. Christine Pompeo says:

    This is a great list! Other boarding school novels which are excellent are Prep by Curtis Sittenfeld and The Old Lovegood Girls by Gail Godwin.

  21. Barb says:

    Well Schooled in Murder by Elizabeth George is set in a swanky boarding school. I also loved the Mallory Towers and St Claire school series by Enid Blyton. They have made Mallory Towers into a TV series too! A bit cheezy but I still love them.

    • Nicola Jesse says:

      How about the English TV series HEX in a boarding school with a fallen angel and a witch! Sort of an adult Harry Potter school.

  22. Rachel says:

    I am still traumatized from having to read A Separate Peace in high school. Worst book ever! The Frankie Landau-Banks one is good, though, and I’m intrigued by many others.

    • Amanda says:

      You’re not alone with your high school feelings about A Separate Peace! I wondered then, as I wonder now, how is it considered classic literature?

    • Angela Ulseth says:

      Ha! Me, too. I didn’t like the book or the weeks we spent discussing/dissecting it. Same with The Pearl (Steinbeck?). My copy was filled with multicolored underlined passages (each color stood for different literary things). We killed both of those books.

  23. Michelle Ann says:

    I also loved Picnic at Hanging Rock. I’m surprised Agatha Christie’s boarding school who-dun-it is not on the list – ‘Cat amongst the Pigeons’.

  24. Carrie P says:

    Growing up, one of my very favorite books was Apples Every Day by Grace Richardson. I reread it often.
    Now, my grandkids enjoy The Gallagher Girls by Ally Carter. I read them too. They’re set at a girls’ boarding school that trains them to be spies. Very fun!

  25. Cathy says:

    You can’t leave Goodbye, Mr. Chips by James Hilton or To Serve Them All My Days by R.F. Delderfield off this list! I’m always on the lookout for a good boarding school book because my husband taught at an East Coast boarding school for 38 years, including 21 years as a dorm supervisor. I should have written things down as they happened then I could have written a book myself.

  26. Erin says:

    I love “The Secret History” and “Special Topics in Calamity Physics” (which is an obvious nod to “The Secret History”). And, I’d be remiss not to mention Harry Potter!

  27. Though set many years later, I’d argue that The Guest List (Lucy Foley) has serious boarding school throwback vibes. And, of course, the classic all-encompassing college campus novel: The Secret History.

    • Alicia says:

      I was just going to say Harry Potter. And because of the audiobook comments from a few posts back, I listened to Jim Vale and was completely enthralled. I can’t wait to listen to them all.

  28. Camille A Wilson says:

    The Broken Girls by Simone St. James is a eerie, atmospheric mystery novel with an all-girls school setting. I enjoyed this novel!

  29. Jenny says:

    I LOVE reading a boarding school book every fall. One Madeline L’Engle wrote one at the start of her writing career called, “And Both Were Young”. It’s based on her own boarding school experiences and takes place right after World War 2. Made me want to read more of her other lesser known books!

  30. Cori S says:

    When I was a kid, I loved Malory Towers and The Twins at St Clare’s by Enid Blyton – my first ever boarding school novels! LOL

  31. Patty says:

    Among Others by Jo Walton is an amazing story. Part coming of age, part ode to reading with a little bit of magic thrown in. Like nothing else I have ever read. Won both the Hugo and the Nebula for best novel. If you love books you may love this tale.

  32. Joan says:

    Two of my all time favorite books fall in this category: Gentlemen and Players by Joanne Harris and one on your list, A Prayer for Owen Meany. Highly recommend nothing of these!

  33. So glad to see Picnic At Hanging Rock made the cut! 😉 But just the phrase “boarding school novels” always makes me think immediately of the Malory Towers by Enid Blyton – I DEVOURED those as a kid. Unfortunately, they gave me very inflated expectations about what boarding school would *actually* be like…

  34. Susan says:

    Two of my favorite girl characters spend time in boarding schools, Flavia de Luce in “As Chimney Sweepers Come To Dust” in a school in Toronto, Canada, and Jacky Faber in “The Curse of the Blue Tattoo” where she’s made to give up her wild ways to attend the Lawson Peabody School for Girls in Boston.
    And then, isn’t an orphanage a sort of boarding school? How about Cider House Rules? All so sad. To top it off in the missing parents category is the tragedy of My Dark Vanessa.
    Truthfully, I don’t usually enjoy boarding school novels, kids are homesick and miserable, boys get bullied, girls get cut, scary things happen, and Where are Mom and Dad when you need them?!

  35. Emily says:

    Arcadia Falls, by Carol Goodman. I adore her books and I think a couple of them are set at boarding schools. Her books are atmospheric and have smart female characters.

  36. Miriam Gin says:

    A Separate Peace triggered my desire to attend a boarding school for my last 2 years of high school! What about Harry Potter? I’m surprised the series didn’t make the list!

  37. Nicola Jesse says:

    This is round about the boarding school topic but the first book that came to
    mind was AND THEN THERE WERE NUNS, ADVENTURES IN A CLOISTERED LIFE by Jane
    Christmas. I went to a Catholic college with nuns. This answered a lot of
    questions and the humor is so correct. A really good read if you were educated
    by nuns. Very enjoyable and realistic.

  38. Susanna says:

    I went to boarding school and absolutely loved my experience so I don’t know how I feel about the fact that most of these novels seem to be dark and full of mystery. For a lighter take on the boarding school setting, read “Bloomability” by Sharon Creech. It’s a pretty hopeful book and the location its based in actually exists!

    • Michele says:

      I totally agree! I also went to boarding school and I have such a hard time reading books that take place in a boarding school because they seem so unrealistic. In my school we could not walk wherever we wanted in the middle of the night and go off with whoever we wanted. I feel like boarding schools are much more strict, in a safety for students way, than portrayed in books.

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