George Orwell's '1984' chosen as top book by teachers

George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four is at the top of teachers' list of books Credit: Reuters

George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four has been voted the number one book that "every student should read before leaving secondary school" by teachers.

The list of 100 novels has been chosen by 500 teachers for the National Association for the Teaching of English and the TES magazine.

Orwell's dystopian work comes ahead of The Harry Potter series, which was ranked sixth, and was closely followed by Animal Farm in third place.

Orwell's son Richard Blair, patron of the Orwell Society, said the novels are "as fresh today as when they were written all those years ago".

"Young people should be encouraged to read Orwell because he teaches us to think, to write down our thoughts as individuals and not be afraid to express ourselves," he told TES.

The top 10 list is dominated by classic literature - Charles Dickens features twice alongside Harper Lee, William Golding, John Steinbeck, JD Salinger and Jane Austen.

Here are the top 10 books chosen by teachers:

1 Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell

2 To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee

3 Animal Farm by George Orwell

4 Lord Of The Flies by William Golding

5 Of Mice And Men by John Steinbeck

6 The Harry Potter series by J K Rowling

7 A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

8 The Catcher In The Rye by J D Salinger

9 Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

10 Pride And Prejudice by Jane Austen