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International Book Club for Schools
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We're delighted to have started a new series of international book clubs for language-learners in Years 11-13. We discuss a novel in English translation, so the club is open to all those taking an MFL at GCSE or A Level.

Click below to listen to Charlotte Collins, translator of this term's Book Club book A Whole Life, in conversation with our book club coordinator Gina Edwards. This recording was made especially for all participants of this term's book club.


Following the success of our meeting for sixth formers in 2020, we’re excited to announce that the International Book Club will be running more regular meetings for pupils from UK schools. This time we’ll be extending our places to years 11, 12 and 13. The meetings will take place on Zoom.

The International Book Club for schools is a chance for you to explore foreign language books which have been translated into English with other like-minded, literature-loving students. No knowledge of the original language is required to take part!

For those of you thinking you may like to study languages at university, there will also be a chance to hear more about what this would entail and to ask us your questions. These meetings are a perfect opportunity for you to explore books that aren't on your school syllabus and to engage with some exciting literature in translation.

To take part in the Book Club, you will need to read a copy of the set book in advance of the session. You may like to make some notes on what you've read - the key themes of the text, anything you liked or disliked about the narrative or characters - that you would like to share during the Book Club.

The dates for the International Book Club for the 2020/2021 academic year are as follows:
Wednesday 16th December 2020
Wednesday 24th March 2021
Wednesday 14th July 2021
(All sessions are free to attend and will take place at 8pm GMT on Zoom. Registration for our next meeting in March using the link below)



The book we’ll be reading for our next session, on 24th March, is A Whole Life by Robert Seethaler, translated from German by Charlotte Collins. Please sign up here if you would like to take part. We look forward to seeing you!

You can get a 20% discount on the book by ordering directly from Blackwell’s by email ( or phone (01865 792792), quoting the discount code: DKQUEENS20%. Free standard UK delivery. This offer cannot be used in conjunction with any existing discount on the website.

We are grateful to St Hugh's College, University of Oxford, for supporting this book club. 


Previous meetings

Under the Tripoli Sky

For our first session, on 16 December, we read Under the Tripoli Sky by Kamal Ben Hameda, translated from French by Adriana Hunter.






The Island

Our pilot meeting was on  Wednesday 22nd July. We discussed The Island by Ana María Matute (Penguin Classics), translated from Spanish by Laura Lonsdale. All 50 participants read the book (in English) in advance of the discussion, which took place via Zoom.

In breakout rooms we had a lively discussion about the book in groups of 8-10, before coming back together for Q&A and discussion about studying languages at university. 

Read more about the novel

Buy the book from Blackwell's Online

Ana María Matute (1925-2014) was an acclaimed and prolific Spanish writer. Alongside her writing she lectured on and wrote about literature, including reflections on the art of translation.

Laura Lonsdale teaches Spanish at Oxford University and is the Fellow in Spanish at Queen's.