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I Solemnly Swear That I am Up to No Good: Questionable Boarding School Activities

March 16, 2017
Julie Jarema
Riveted Editorial Board
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Because I’m a nerd, I love a good boarding school story. The setting is ripe for characters getting up to all sorts of trouble with the lack of adult supervision. Shades of Darkness, one of our current free reads (available until March 27th!), definitely takes this to the extreme, since the students at Islington are being murdered in mysterious ritual sacrifices. Of course, not all boarding schools are rampant with crime and magic. Across genres, though, it seems that mischief abounds. I guess the real lesson here is that if your classmates are paranormal, spies, or into cultish rituals, public school is probably the safer option.

Which boarding school would be your top choice to attend? Let me know in the comments!

The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banksby E. Lockhart

Frankie uses her evil genius skills to infiltrate an all-boys secret society, setting up a series of elaborate pranks involving false online personas, bras, basset hounds, and statues to send her messages to all of Alabaster Academy.

Looking for Alaskaby John Green

Pudge and friends at Culver Creek Preparatory High School hide bottles of strawberry wine in the ground, hack computers, set off fireworks on the dean’s porch, and potentially hire out an *ahem* performer to show up at a school assembly.

The Name of the Starby Maureen Johnson

London boarding schools may seem fancy, but this one is haunted by the ghost of Jack the Ripper. Rory Deveaux does whatever sneaking around she has to do as she joins the secret league of ghost police.

Evernightby Claudia Gray

Evernight Academy is a boarding school secretly full of vampires and vampire hunters. It has of all the usual high school drama, plus that whole human-vampire forbidden love deal. What could go wrong?

I’d Tell You I Love You, But Then I’d Have to Kill Youby Ally Carter

The Gallagher Academy for Exceptional Young Women appears to be an all-girls school for the gifted. But actually, it’s a school for spies. With the girls’ capabilities and classes in breaking CIA codes, advanced martial arts, and chemical warfare, it’s not hard to believe that they get up to all sorts of mischief. I mean, what would you expect? They’re spies-in-training!

A Study in Charlotteby Brittany Cavallaro

Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson’s great-great-great grandkids meet up and become friends at a boarding school in Connecticut. Obviously they’re going to get up to some sleuthing, poison, secrets, and the usual teenage defiance.

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