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

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Challenge: Are you as well read as a French high school student?
Photo: Frédéric BISSON/Flickr
17:19 CEST+02:00
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.
 
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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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