3rd Form reading kicks off in the library with the Picton boys

This morning we welcomed the Picton 3rd form tutor group to the library for an informal discussion about the book “In the Sea there are Crocodiles”. Each year the librarians agonise over the choice of book to send to all new 3rd form pupils. We search for a book to suit both boys and girls, something readable and interesting as well as thought-provoking and memorable. We have  a lot of reading  to get through to find something we are happy with. Last year’s book ‘Trash’ proved very popular with its incredible plot and fast pace. This year’s book may have been a slow starter but it rapidly became an involving and inspiring story.3rd form reading Pn

‘In the Sea there are Crocodiles’ is the account of Enaiatollah’s life from the age of 10 to 15. It is based on his recollections of the perilous journey he made from his home in Afghanistan all the way to Italy as a child and teenager without any family support. He is amazingly resilient and recounts his life story to Fabio Geda, the Italian author who wrote the book.in-the-sea-there-are-crocodiles

Here are some of the 3rd form comments on the book:

“Exhilarating, tense, funny and moving”

“I loved the calmness of the book and the good moments I enjoyed”

“…extremely inspirational and it really made me think about the world”

“….very interesting and enjoyable. My Mum read it too!”

“I loved the book. It has opened my mind. It has made me more aware of how tough and how unfair people’s lives can be and makes me feel very privileged.”

….very moving and a good demonstration of what the world is like in some places”

We are looking forward to more book chat sessions with other tutor groups in the coming weeks.

Extreme Reading Photo Competition Update

Reading in the safety tower on the Lindisfarne causeway.

Reading in the safety tower on the Lindisfarne causeway.

Don’t forget to send your Extreme Reading Photos to the library for your chance to win a Nook e-reader!

One of our very cool competition entries!

One of our very cool competition entries!

Mail to library@wellingtoncollege.org.uk

Thank you for all the original and inventive entries we are receiving. We are really enjoying your creativity.

We had fun experimenting with Extreme Reading photos on holiday in Northumberland. Popular books in our family this summer have been:

“The Humans” by Matt Haig (very funny and moving story of an alien inhabiting a mathematican’s body. Everyone should read the alien’s advice for humans. Watch the book trailer here)

“The Outsiders” by S.E. Hinton (young adult classic written by a 17 year old girl in 1967)

“The Tomorrow Series” by John Marsden

“Itch Rocks” by Simon Mayo (sequel to “Itch”  – more adventures of an element hunter)

“Game of Thrones” by George R.R. Martin

“Flip” by Martyn Bedford (the author who wrote “A capsule in Time” for Wellington)

“The Raven Boys” by Maggie Stiefvater

“Rubicon” by Tom Holland (gripping story of the rise of Julius Caesar)

“Where’d you go, Bernadette” by Maria Semple (extremely funny novel, set in Seattle with plenty of Microsoft and Antarctica references!)

“Gone” by Michael Grant

“The Death of Grass” by John Cristopher (mixture of science-fiction and psychological thriller written in 1956 but still a chilling post-apocalyptic novel)

Be-barnacled Antony Gormley statue reading on Crosby beach.

Be-barnacled Antony Gormley statue reading on Crosby beach.

Extreme Reading on Hadrian's Wall at Housesteads Fort.

Extreme Reading on Hadrian’s Wall at Housesteads Fort.

Extreme Reading Photo Competition

Floating in the Dead Sea in the 1980's!

Floating in the Dead Sea in the 1980’s!

Extreme Reading Photo Competition

 Win a Nook e-reader!

You’ve heard of Extreme Ironing* but why not try our Extreme Reading Challenge?

Challenge yourself to read a book in an unusual place – the highest, or the lowest or somewhere really out of the ordinary.

The places can be obscure or entertaining. Just ensure you are safe and your photo is appropriate!

Reading on film set in Tunisia.

Reading on film set in Tunisia.

We are looking forward to receiving your photos which will be displayed in the Library at the start of the Michaelmas term 2013.

Email your photos to the Library library@wellingtoncollege.org.uk telling us the title of the book you are reading and the location.

By: Friday 6th September 2013

There will be an overall winner with additional prizes for each year group, a parent and a member of staff.



 * Great definition of extreme ironing on wikipedia  “the latest danger sport that combines the thrills of an extreme outdoor activity with the satisfaction of a well-pressed shirt.”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Extreme_ironing (Accessed 10/7/13)


Summer Reading 2013

I’m collating a number of  summer reading suggestions as I come across them.

I’ve just discovered an excellent book review site Books Teens and Magazines. It has interesting and varied reading lists for Y9, Y10 and combines classics with the latest young adult titles.summer reading

Here’s an interesting  6th reading list from an English teacher. Based on her favourites, there are some really good suggestions here. I would particularly recommend “Pigeon English” by Stephen Kelman. Guardian review here

Here’s the intriguing infographic with summer reading ideas I put up last year. It takes you on a number of pathways according to your answers to reading preference questions.

Don’t forget the Top Ten Reads suggested by each academic department and also Mr Wayman’s Wellington 100.

Masses of inspiration from the “Lovereading4kids” website including suggestions by age and theme and helpful additional information about authors. Very useful for finding out about recently published books.

If you like gripping, thought-provoking YA fiction and  you haven’t had the opportunity to read the Carnegie Book Award Shortlist, we have copies of these excellent Young Adult books in the Library. I’m keeping quiet about the winner as we have our joint discussion and voting party on Monday lunchtime in the Library. The 3rd form scholars are welcoming Eagle House Y8S for this get-together.

Carnegie Book Prize Shadowing 2013

The Carnegie Shortlist for 2013 was announced in April and reading is underway. Join in the book chat and pick up one of the 8 shortlisted titles from the Library today! The winner is announced on 19th June.

Click on the pinterest board to view the shortlisted books.

Mrs Lunnon’s 3rd form class are shadowing the prize and all read one of the books over the Easter holiday. They have named their group “Giveitsomewelly” and have started adding their reviews to the Shadowing page. Ms Williamson’s 4th form tutor group are about to embark on the books.

Join in the debate – which is your favourite? What do you think of the shortlist?

You can tweet your comments/feedback on the books using the hashtag #ckg13

Any 3rd form who would like to join a Library Shadowing group come to a meeting at morning break tomorrow (Friday 19th).

Biscuits and drinks provided!

To get a flavour of the Books look at the book trailers on youtube:

Wonder trailer | Maggot Moon |In Darkness | Code Name Verity

Interview with Roddy Doyle about his book “Greyhound of a Girl”





Visit by Author Bali Rai, 25th February 2013

Bali Rai sharing his views on writing, censorship, the value of reading, ideas for books with a group of our 3rd form and pupils from Wellington Academy in Wiltshire.

One reaction from Kelsey who had enjoyed reading Bali’s latest book “Fire City”:

“I thought the talk was an amazing experience. It is such an honour to speak to the person that came up with the story you have just read. I thought it was great as it wasn’t too formal, and I felt comfortable chatting with Bali Rai about lots of interesting topics. He was calm and relaxed and it was a great atmosphere. You could clearly see how passionate he was, which is a great example for us to follow. A great experience- thank you so much for the opportunity!

“I enjoyed it because he didn’t bore us with the detail of the book and how he wrote it and his planning etc… It was mainly about his opinion on society and how we view it.”

“I found him very inspirational and that he had very interesting views of life.” Georgina.


“I loved his views on multiculturalism. He sees things people wouldn’t normal see and has interesting view points on racism. I’ve learnt both factual things (e.g. how we might all be from the same ancestor) and life lessons (e.g. we should not judge people based on their skin colour or family background). Bali’s life is really inspirational since he had a hard childhood but still managed to become such a well-known author. I’m impressed how Bali tackles serious issues or norms (e.g. rape, abuse, arranged marriage) most authors would rather avoid. In conclusion, I’ve really enjoyed and benefited from this talk.”


“I thoroughly enjoyed the talk from Bali Rai, this is because it put a different perspective on communities and religions than I had before and helped me realise what it is like for people living in deprived areas and how religion can control people.”


“I thought that it was great to meet the author of a book I have read, as I was able to ask him questions about why he wrote it an where he got his inspiration from and made the book seem more personal and I was able to understand it even further.”


“He had a spontaneous style of presenting which allowed for interesting and free flowing discussions.”

Tom B.

“I thoroughly enjoyed the talk with Bali Rai and listening to him answer our questions. What I thought was most interesting was seeing the books from his point of view, as the author, and the motivation behind the work he put into his books.

I enjoyed hearing about how he planned his books and how he got inspiration, which I hope will help me with my own writing in English.”


New e-books available on VLeBooks

We have recently added a selection of new titles to the VLeBooks e-book platform.VLebooks e-book catalogue

You can read the books online – via the e-Library through a browser on your laptop, PC, iPad etc.

Login with your usual wellington user name (password wellington)

App – use the VLeBooks  app on your android or iPhone or iPad. (For this you need to create an Adobe account. This is quick and easy to do just follow the instructions online)

New e-books:

  • Particularly for staff – “How to Lead” by Jo Owen
  • For Horowitz fans read his latest in the “Power of Five” series – “Oblivion” (also available in the Library in print form)
  • “15 Days without a Head” by Dave Cousins.   Nominated for the Berkshire Book Award by young people around the county. Always moving but often hilarious and peppered with surreal moments. “Fifteen-year-old Laurence Roach just wants a normal life, but it’s not easy when your mum is a depressed alcoholic, and your six-year-old brother thinks he’s a dog.”
  • From the PE Top Ten reads – Mind Games: Inspirational Lessons from the World’s Biggest Sports Stars”
  • From the Biology Top Ten list – “The Selfish Gene” by Richard Dawkins
  • Guinness Book of Records 2013
  • If Poetry a treasury of poems for almost every possibility (also available on the iPads)
  • “Alan M Turing” by Sara Turing. ” To commemorate the centenary of Turing’s birth, this re-publication of his mother’s biography is enriched by a new foreword by Martin Davis and a never-before-published memoir by Alan’s older brother. The contrast between this memoir and the original biography reveals tensions and sheds new light on Turing’s relationship with his family, and on the man himself.”
If you need help or more information ask the Librarians!


Bali’s Books for Christmas Reading

Calling all 3rd and 4th form

We are excited to announce that Bali Rai, writer of young adult books will be visiting us on Monday 25th February 2013. This seems a long way off now but it is the first day back after the half-term break so we need to be ready.

Bali writes thought-provoking, engrossing books and doesn’t shy away from controversial subjects. Many of his books are set in multicultural Britain. “Killing Honour” tackles the subject of honour killings and “Rani and Sukh” is an Asian version of Romeo and Juliet. His latest book “Fire City” is a very different style –  one for fantasy fans – a dystopian fantasy with teenage protaganists fighting to survive in a post-apocalyptic world.

We have a good selection of his books in the library so why not take a book out for the Christmas holidays? Who wants to get out of bed on a cold winter’s day when you could just reach out a hand, grab a book and stay warm and comfortable?

Have a browse of the pinterest board to see the range of his books and come and collect one from the library. We welcome feedback and if you enjoy the book why not request to attend one of his sessions in February and hear more about his work?

If anyone wants to help organise the event – show Bali around college, plan what you want out of the sessions, introduce our author please get in touch with Mrs Atherton in the library. library@wellingtoncollege.org.uk

Of course I don’t approve of bribery but chocolate flows freely in the library at Christmastime! Celebrations! Celebrations! Celebrations!