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My life in books

Aliss Langridge is an English teacher at St Augustine of Canterbury Catholic High School in St Helens, Merseyside

What I'm reading

The Poison Tree

By Erin Kelly

I'm halfway through this and it has grown on me a lot since the start. I picked it up when I read Stephen King's words: "I wish I had written it." The story is told by Karen who is drawn in by the mysterious and exotic Biba. She then meets her brother and becomes drawn into their eccentric world. I feel close to the characters as I'm reading it - which is definitely a compliment to Miss Kelly.

The book I loved as a child

The Faraway Tree series

By Enid Blyton

It was while watching BBC1's Enid that I remembered these stories and they will always strike a chord in me. I can imagine why they appealed so much to young children - the innocence of climbing up a tree and then encountering fantastical creatures and different lands would keep children enthralled, just like the Narnian trip through the wardrobe. For me, it was the characters, particularly Moon-face and Silky the fairy, which kept me gripped. Blyton was born to write these magical stories of escapism and adventure.

Read this before you die

Of Mice and Men

By John Steinbeck

It's so hard to recommend just one book, but ever since I studied this book in depth I have admired Steinbeck for how he writes about the American Dream, racism and poverty in 1930s America. The characters are carefully thought out, each being representative of different themes within the book. I also think that the relationship between George and Lennie is the heart and soul of the story, a contrast to all of the critical comments about society during this time. I learnt a lot by studying this.

A full list of booksreviewed by the TES review panel:

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