Don’t forget the Extreme Reading Photo Competition!

Slack-line reading in France

Slack-line reading in France

The Summer Holiday Extreme Reading Photo Competition is back by popular demand!

Take a photo of yourself reading in an “extreme” place. Be as creative or imaginative as you like (without putting yourself in danger!)  You could win an e-reader.

Encourage your  families to join in!

Email your photos to the Library: library@wellingtoncollege.org.uk before 8th September.

Milford-on-Sea

Milford-on-Sea

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

outsiders cover

If you are looking for an exciting and thought-provoking read for the summer try The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton

All the new 3rd form will receive a copy of this excellent book from the Librarians. Let’s make it the Wellington Summer Read!

It’s a coming of age story of gangs in the USA, written by a 17 year old girl. It is brilliantly written, has appeal for all ages and doesn’t take long to read.

Read the book and take the brief online book quiz in September. Prizes for the House with the most readers.

You could combine it with the Extreme reading photo competition and read it in an unusual or exotic location.

Two book recommendations – I’ve finally got around to reading ‘Fahrenheit 451’ by Ray Bradbury and ‘The things they carried’ by Tim O’Brien this summer. Both books are incredible. Ray Bradbury wrote his disturbing, futuristic story in 1953. His first version of the novel took him 9 days to write and he often wrote on hired typewriters in public libraries. In his dystopian world the job of firemen is to burn books as they are forbidden, being deemed the source of all unhappiness.

‘The things they carried’ is a book of short stories linked together through the young US soldiers whose experiences shape the stories. It is a fictional account of the Vietnam war narrated by a veteran. The writing is haunting and disturbing and it has become a classic anti-war book.

 

More reading suggestions and book lists

Avid readers and pupils keen to read a wide range of styles and genres this summer have a look at Mr Wayman’s Middle School Reading List. There is something for everyone here, from incoming 3rd form to U6th in fact. How many of the books have your parents read? Fahrenheit 451 is on my “to be read” pile!

Mr Wayman also includes some excellent advice on how to choose the ideal book for you.

Don’t forget to re-visit the Wellington Top Ten reads, chosen by the academic departments and designed to help you extend your subject specific reading. The lists are structured so that the first book is the most accessible to younger pupils and the final book the most challenging.

A reminder of a stylish website which is a fantastic source of reading suggestions – Five Books.

Five Books asks authors and experts to recommend the best books in their subject. In an interview they then discuss why the books are important and what they are about. You can browse by topic or interview or search for a particular book or author/expert. It covers a huge range of subjects range from Espionage to The Mind and Comedy to How to Be Good.

Try Tom Holland on Ancient Rome, Jo Nesbo on Norwegian Crime Writing or Marcus du Sautoy on The Beauty of Maths. There’s a whole section on Being a Parent and plenty of Fiction suggestions too. Definitely something for everyone on this very attractive website.

Happy Reading!

Here’s a fun infographic proposing routes to finding the perfect book.

summer reading

Summer reading suggestions and Extreme Reading Photo Competition 2014

The Summer Holiday Extreme Reading photo competition is back by popular demand

4th Prize to our Scottish mountain Extreme Reader. Pictured reading '101 Ideas that Changed the World'

4th Prize to our Scottish mountain Extreme Reader. Pictured reading ‘101 Ideas that Changed the World’

Take a photo of yourself reading in an “extreme” place. Be as creative or imaginative as you like (without putting yourself in danger!)  You could win an e-reader.

Encourage your  families to join in. You could combine it with the ‘Extreme Reading Photo Competition’ and read the book in an exotic or unusual place.

Email your photos to the Library: library@wellingtoncollege.org.uk before 8th September.

The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton outsiders cover

If you are looking for an exciting and thought-provoking read for the summer try The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton

All the new 3rd form will receive a copy of this excellent book from the Librarians. Let’s make it the Wellington Summer Read!

It’s a coming of age story of gangs in the USA, written by a 17 year old girl. It is brilliantly written, has appeal for all ages and doesn’t take long to read.

Read the book and take the  brief online book quiz in September. Prizes for the House with the most readers.

Holiday Reading – Library recommendations

I love having the time to read during the summer – my “to be read” pile is large and varied, including Twelve Years a Slave by Solomon Northup and Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury. Don’t forget to look at the Top Ten reads for suggestions of subject specific books and Mr Wayman’s Wellington English100 for an eclectic mix of classic literature and modern fiction.

Fiction fans are in for a treat on 31st July with the publication of “What Milo Saw”; the first novel  by Wellington English teacher, Virginia Macgregor.milo cover

I feel privileged to have been able to read this touching book in advance of publication. It tells the story of Milo Moon, a young boy suffering from retinitis pigmentosa, who sees the world through a pinhole. He sets out to expose the problems at his gran’s nursing home (accompanied by Hamlet, his pet pig). The story is peopled with a wonderful mix of flawed but interesting characters. There is plenty of humour amidst the adversity and Milo is a hugely appealing protagonist.  Although intended for adults, the book “will be adored by fans of child-narrated fiction like The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night and Wonder” but for me it had parallels with Frank Cottrell Boyce’s ‘Millions’ and an arch-villain reminiscent of Miss Trunchbull in Matilda. It’s quirky, thought-provoking with big themes and an entertaining  plot. This beautifully written book stayed with me a long time after the first reading – but I’m looking forward to re-reading it, discussing it with my friends and family and seeing the final published version.

WC Advertising – Carnegie Book Openings

I’m constantly trying to spread the word about great new books in the library and I hit upon free advertising space in the ladies’ loos. To promote shortlisted Carnegie titles we created laminated A4 posters displaying the book cover image and the opening page. These were placed on the toilet doors. Apart from brightening up the place they have had the desired effect of directing people to the library to borrow the books, intrigued to know more.  I am ridiculously pleased that three copies of ‘Rooftoppers’ and two of ‘Blood Family’ have been borrowed by our wonderful support staff.   A number of staff have commented on how much they like the idea and enjoy reading about books they wouldn’t normally discover. Two 6th form girls have borrowed the books too having read the opening pages. No sign of any men borrowing these books yet although my male helpers insist they did put the posters up in the mens!

Teaching and support staff  get ready for the Summer YA Challenge – more information soon.

Pupils get ready for more book openings on toilet doors and a brilliant summer read coming your way.

I’m already looking forward to National Poetry Day on 2nd October 2014 so we can do ‘WC Poetry’!

all the truth openingrooftoppersbunker opening

‘Enquiring Minds’ – Conference Feedback (CILIP School Libraries Group Conference 2014)

The CILIP (Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals)  School Libraries Group Conference in April was an excellent opportunity for professional learning. The programme was varied and inspiring and the opportunity to share ideas with school librarians from a wide range of different schools invaluable.

Here is a presentation on the Conference delivered by Sue Bastone, Conference Programme Director and Head of Learning Resources at LVS Ascot, to the Rugby Group Librarians at their recent meeting.

Here are some brief thoughts on the key messages I took away from the conference:

  • Importance of reading aloud. Teachers and librarians should increase the times they read out loud to pupils. It’s also important for pupils to read out loud to each other. I took the opportunity to read an excerpt from ‘The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole’ to a 3rd form tutor group during a discussion on diary reading and writing last Saturday. It was not something they knew but they seemed to enjoy it and we had a lively discussion. They will be submitting 12th May Diaries to the Mass Observation Archive.
  • Illustrators. We had two fascinating talks by book illustrators about their work. Jim Kay showed us how he created the brilliant illustrations in “A Monster Calls” and talked about how pictures can be a  good way of taking in information and remembering things for people like him. Something that came across strongly was an illustrator’s striving for perfection and never being content with their work. I’m keen to invite book illustrators to come and talk to our Art students and also to Shadow the Greenaway Book Award (awarded for illustration).
  • All schools should have a reading for pleasure policy. Pupils should be reading widely and often for pleasure and information was one of the key messages of Patricia Metham’s presentation. Patricia is the Lead Inspector for English for OFSTED. Her inspiring talk emphasized the importance of school libraries and librarians to English and literacy levels. She also stated that librarians should be involved in curriculum committees and planning.
  • School library award: Warwickshire School Library Service are doing excellent work in the area of school library self-assessment. Their pilot scheme enables school libraries to audit their services  and obtain 3 different levels of awards. (Librarians assess a range of criteria on 3 levels: Developing, Establishing or Enhancing). This is something I would like to follow up at Wellington.
  • Connell Guides  As a direct result of the Conference the Library now has a full set of the Connell Guides to English Literature.  These attractive, well-written, pocket size books are extremely useful to students of English. The online content accessed via the e-library contains additional material such as essays and quizzes. 

Lucy Atherton, Senior Librarian, Wellington College

Y9 Carnegie Book Award Shadowing Update

Carnegie Book Prize – 3rd form reading and reviewing

Mrs Lunnon challenged her 3rd form English class to read all 8 shortlisted Carnegie Book Award titles over the Easter break and very impressively Mira, Anna and Ella succeeded. All of the pupils read a variety of the books and it was lovely to see the class writing reviews and discussing their opinions of these books in the Library this morning.

carnegie discussionsHere are some of their comments on ‘All the Truth that’s in me’ by Julie Berry which has proved a popular story.

Anna: This was a quite disturbing read and I wouldn’t recommend it if you are afraid of gore. The story is set in a peaceful village when a young girl returns home at the age of 18 after an awful trauma, two years ago she was kidnapped, her best friend was killed and her tongue was severed. Because the loss of her tongue she can’t explain what happened to her. It’s dark and depressing however, its language is lyrical, it has a good mystery and a compelling heroine. I really enjoyed this book.

Francesca: I really enjoyed ‘All the truth that’s in me’.  Julie Berry uses such an unusual and unique style of writing to describe a young girl’s return to her hometown following her kidnapping which really engages and intrigues the reader. I found there to be continuous twists and unpredicted points throughout the novel, and would definitely recommend it.

Edie: It has a thrilling plot, and is highly original. Although it can be extremely dark and sinister (maybe too much for some people), I would definitely recommend it.

Lucy Atherton: The Carnegie Award judges books on 3 criteria – style, characterisation and plot and I would say this book excelled at them all. A thrilling read which unravels details tantalisingly slowly.

Read more of the 3rd form reviews on the Carnegie Shadowing website

Watch a video of the author Julie Berry talking about writing the book and giving advice to young writers.

 

World Book Day Shelfies – Can you match the book shelf to the teacher?

pollyI’ve got a bit of an obsession with shelfies at the moment (not my idea but I love it). Snapshots of people’s bookshelves are fascinating. Here are some examples submitted to The Guardian newspaper in December 2013. I thought it would be interesting to post some staff shelfies on the library blog to celebrate World Book Day next Thursday 6th March. At the staff CPD “Ideas Exchange” in the library on Wednesday I was chatting about this plan and Matt Oakman came up with the brilliant idea of making it into a competition – match the shelfie to the teacher.

shelfie 1

Three very diverse examples of staff shelfies. Email yours to the  library before Thursday 6th March.

shelfie 2

shelfie 3 shelfie 4 shelfie 6 Shelfie 7 shelfie 8 shelfie 9 shelfie 10 shelfie 11 shelfies 5

Quite a few Penguins and a smattering of Puffins!

Quite a few Penguins and a smattering of Puffins!

Festive Fun – Christmas reading lists, quizzes and more

Here’s a Christmas Animoto giving a flavour of what’s been happening in the Library this Michaelmas term.

I love the end of the year and the Christmas break for the plethora of themed booklists which spring up in all the papers. It’s a good opportunity to seek out the great books you’ve missed from earlier in the year.  It’s also the season of book quizzes.

Reading Times 2013

School librarians are excellent sharers of good ideas. Here’s a lovely idea from Helen Smith, Learning Resources Manager at Eckington School. She has compiled a wonderful booklet called Reading Times 2013 in which she lists all the Christmas TV and radio based on or relating to books. Helen has very generously shared it with all of us. It makes fascinating reading.

Hidden Books Quiz

Caboodle website has two great pictoral book quizzes. Work out the title of the famous books from the pictures. Almost impossible to leave until you’ve cracked all 20.

Teamwork tackling the hidden books quiz.

Teamwork tackling the hidden books quiz. 

The Guardian Children’s Book Website has a vast range of quick online book quizzes – from Elephants in Fiction to Graphic Novels and Comic books or banned books 

Our head of Maths Mr Sproat just reminded me about Sporcle. This is the perfect site for quiz and trivia fans. Try the book cover quiz (identify the book by a portion of its cover) or can you name the book titles given their loosely based antonyms? or name the book titles without vowels or spaces? In fact there are 1000 quizzes relating to books!

Best books of the Year

Here is The Guardian’s Best Fiction List of  2013

The Telegraph: Best Fiction of 2013 …’a vintage year for lengthy fiction’

 

 

Five Books and Tweeting Manatees

Five Books

I’ve just discovered this fantastic book recommendation site. Five Books asks authors and experts to recommend the best books in their subject. In an interview they then discuss why the books are important and what they are about. You can browse by topic or interview or search for a particular book or author/expert. It covers a huge range of subjects range from Espionage to The Mind and Comedy to How to Be Good.

Try Tom Holland on Ancient Rome, Jo Nesbo on Norwegian Crime Writing or Marcus du Sautoy on The Beauty of Maths. There’s a whole section on Being a Parent and plenty of Fiction suggestions too. Definitely something for everyone on this very attractive website.

Follow @tweetingmanatee on Twitter for updates on interviews and authors.

If you would like the Library to order any of the books you discover or want to check stock email library@wellingoncollege.org.uk  or drop into the library.