Top Ten Tuesday #10: Boarding School Books

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme created by The Broke and The Bookish. Each week the girls at B&B think up a fun theme, and participating bloggers post their favorite 10 books in that category. This week's theme is

Top Ten Books Set in Boarding School
Okay, so boarding school wasn't the theme exactly, but it was pick your favorite setting and books within that setting. I'm a public school kid myself so I find anything different from my high school experience absolutely fascinating. I ADORE boarding school books!

1. Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling. As if any other book could possibly be in the #1 spot on this list. Admit it: you, like me, are still waiting for either an owl or Hagrid himself to show up on your doorstep with your Hogwarts acceptance letter. It may be fictional (may. I'm kinda past the age for Howarts so I could possibly be a Muggle and therefore not allowed to see/know of the castle), but Rowling's words brought Hogwarts and its odd inhabitants to life with moving staircases, talking paintings, and disappearing rooms. This is pretty mucht the best ever, and I want to go. Not to Orlando, but to Real Hogwarts. Somebody make that happen, STAT!

2. Gallagher Girls series by Ally Carter. If I can't actually be a witch, I think spy girl is a close second. Sure there are cute boys, but GG focuses on the bond between sisters, both by blood and by skill. The creative little nuances and details Ally has slipped into the series makes me think that these could be real spy skills/maneuvers. I want to go to Countries of the World and Cove Ops too!

 3. Vampire Academy/Bloodlines series by Richelle Mead. VA is centered on a vamp school, and Bloodlines focuses on a school for humans so it's like Richelle has given us the best of both worlds!

 4. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins. Man, why couldn't my parents have shipped me off to Paris so I could fall in love with a British-French-American boy?! You officially failed me, parental units! No witchcraft @ Hogwarts. No spy school @ the Gallagher Academy. No vampires @ St. Vladimir's. And now no Ettienne! Anna may not be chock full of supernatural or sci-fi creativity, but it IS brimming with contemporary realness. Can't wait for Isla!

 5. Winger by Andrew Smith. If you were totally oblivious to the other 5 posts (this year) singing Winger's praises, let me make it more plain. Winger is fantastic. I love getting the boarding school perspective from a boy this time. It's just not done very often, and Andrew Smith compltely nailed everything. Not just the boy perspective, but the whole high school scene is completely real, occasionally sad but often hilarious as well. Go read it now! I insist!

 6. Two of a Kind series featuring Mary-Kate & Ashley Olsen. This series started out as a tv show with the girls, their single dad, and their super-hip nanny. Hijinks ensue. The books start off that way--but then their dad and said super-hip nanny jet off on a research trip to the Amazon or something. MK & A are shipped off to an all-girls boarding school where romantic hijinks ensue with boys from the neighboring all-boys school. These stories are short and sweet, but I think they're pretty real. Mostly. So I'm a child of the 90s. I love everything the Olsens did. Don't judge me. You secretly do too.

 7. Princess Academy by Shannon Hale. PA is different from everything else on this list in that it wasn't overtly a romance. GG and ToAK both feature all-girls schools as well, but romance was a fairly big part of the books, while it plays a much smaller role in PA. It's about the true education and empowerment of girls. It's about not letting someone shame you for who you are and where you come from. It's about embracing yourself and your culture. If any of the Spice Girls ever read this, I'm sure the first thing they'd say would be: "Girl power!" Well, they say that anyway, but you know what I mean.

 8. Evernight series by Claudia Gray. Evernight is my favorite out of the bunch. I like another vamp-friendly school, but honestly it's totally different from VA. Major twist in this one!

 9. A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett. This is almost a horror story, but I love it. Sara Crewe is the poster girl for Making It Work. Tim Gunn would be proud. She's just a really positive character, and she helps her friends and even her "enemies" become aware of who they are. This book has a great message, and I'm glad it was one I read very early in my life.

 10. House of Night series by P.C. & Kristin Cast. I admit I haven't continued with this series. I just got tired of waiting for it after Burned. I'll probably finish it one day, but not until all the books were out. However, the first four novels are pretty good. Once again, vamp boarding school, but in the HoN universe, the rest of the world is aware of vampires and is NOT very friendly to them. For any adult readers, I find this most like True Blood because of the anti-vampire sentiment and sheer amount of drama.

Do you have any favorite novels set at a boarding school? Let me know in the comments! Have a TTT post? Feel free to share your link!


  1. This is a great list! I loved the MK&A shows/movies but sadly never read any of their books. I love how Harry Potter has been included in a a variety of different lists this Tuesday also. :)

    1. Thanks, Brianna! I wouldn't be surprised if HP made every TTT every week no matter the topic. It's pretty relatable AND it's a favorite of just about the whole world. I love the Olsens, and I actually own most of their movies and books.

  2. Oh I like Evernight as well. I didn't finish the series coz I got bored. I think I got up to book 3 or something

    1. Yeah, book 3 was where it got weird. And they left the academy so it was less about the school then anyway. 1 and 2 were pretty good, though.

  3. I love boarding school books too! I also like camp books, like Percy Jackson. They have a similar feel to them. Great choices! I haven't read Evernight yet, but I definitely want to.

    1. I like camp books, too, Rachel, and I almost made camp my theme this week, but boarding school just barely edged ahead.