Challenge: Are you as well read as a French high school student?

Challenge: Are you as well read as a French high school student?
Photo: Frédéric BISSON/Flickr
While most teenagers spend their summers hanging out with friends and spending time away from their books, for the students at one of France's most prestigious schools the summer break means yet more work. Here's a look at their recommended holiday reading list. How many have you read?
It certainly doesn't make for light reading. 
In fact, the recommended summer reading list handed to school students aged 15 about to start at the illustrious Henri IV school in the 5th arrondissement of the French capital is almost a tome in itself. 
“It is more than desirable for the student who arrives in high school at Henri IV to have a small cultural background, especially in literature,” the school management tells its students.
Sorted into literary periods, the list is a collection of classic works made up of French literary legends such as Zola and Victor Hugo to foreign writers including George Orwell, Edgar Allen Poe and Mark Twain.

10 of the best novels about life in rural France (apart from A Year in Provence)Photo: Depositphotos

It also encompasses works from the Middle Ages right through to the 20th century and a mixture of poems, plays, novels and novellas. 
And while it might look pretty demanding to the average reader, the school is also keen to promote it's message the reading should be a pleasure. 
With a total of more than 60 works of literature on the list, students dedicated enough to attempt the challenge would have to read more than a book a day throughout their summer break. 
So, why not challenge yourself to some serious summer reading in the style of a French high school student?
Here's a selection of the books on the list:
Middle Age, 16th and 17th centuries
Yvain, the Knight of the Lion and Perceval, the Story of the Grail by Chrétien de Troyes
Le Cid and Horace by Pierre Corneille 
The Fables of Jean de La Fontaine
The Princess of Cleves by Madame de Lafayette
Macron with a bust of French author and philosoper Francois-Marie Arouet, known as Voltaire. Photo: AFP
18th century
The Barber of Seville by Pierre-Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais
Slave Island, a one-act comedy by Pierre de Marivaux
Zadig and Micromégas by Voltaire
19th century
Colonel Chabert, Ferragus: Chief of the Devorants, Eugénie Grandet, The Unknown Masterpiece by Honore de Balzac
Happiness in Crime by Barbey d’Aurevilly
Sophie's Misfortunes by Comtesse de Ségur
The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas
Photo: 3 Musketeers/ Depositphotos
20th century
Le grand Meaulnes by Alain-Fournier
Antigone by Jean Anouilh
The Ice People by René Barjavel
Memoirs of a Dutiful Daughter by Simone de Beauvoir
French author and philosopher Simone de Beauvoir. Photo: AFP
Foreign works
The Old Man and The Sea by Ernest Hemingway
Animal Farm by George Orwell
For the full reading list in French CLICK HERE

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