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My life in books

Wavell Blades is a history teacher and head of Year 11 at Cranford Community College in Hounslow

What I'm reading

Life of Pi

By Yann Martel

I'm quite behind the times with my reading - this was the big book of three or four years ago. It was a book we were going to give to one of our students for good work, but we didn't get the chance to give it out, so I'm reading it. I find myself drawn in by the whole religious and philosophical element - I find religious debate a very interesting thing. This is the kind of book where you finish a chapter and then think, "Hmm".

The book I loved as a child

Famous Five series

By Enid Blyton

I was a massive Enid Blyton fan as a child. I used to go to the library each week, and get out a new Famous Five or Secret Seven book. Maybe it is my historical side coming out, but I could tell that these people were living a completely different life to me, and doing things I couldn't imagine. But it was very attractive, these kids going off on their own and having adventures.

Read this before you die

To Kill a Mockingbird

By Harper Lee

It is very cliched, but this book was eye-opening for me when we read it at school when I was 15 years old. It was when I realised that reading a novel was not necessarily just something you did out of enjoyment - you could learn a lot from it. You get a real study of people's social attitudes: not just attitudes to race, but also the way that society can work as a mob. I have read it a few times since, and it always feels relevant. It doesn't feel like it is stuck in the past.

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