Wellington College Big Summer Read 2020

We are eagerly anticipating our first ever whole school Reading Week from 15th – 19th June 2020.

We have chosen a fascinating and thought-provoking book as our Big Summer Read and are encouraging all students, staff and parents to read it and discuss it. The reading will start in the penultimate week of term when everyone will be expected to read daily and there will be a range of book related activities connected to the book. Reading will be completed over the summer holidays with follow up discussions, events and activities in September.

Factfulness: The stress-reducing habit of only carrying opinions for which you have strong supporting facts.

An apt and positive book for the current times, subtitled ‘Ten reasons we’re wrong about the world – and why things are better than you think’. Factfulness challenges all our assumptions about the world and includes fascinating and honest anecdotes about Rosling’s life as a doctor in rural Africa. Test yourself with the 13 question quiz at the front of the book – how much do you know about the world? The book is relevant to so many subjects – politics, geography, health and medicine, international development, economics, global citizenship and maths but is also very readable and engaging.

Hans Rosling co-founded gapminder to help people understand world health and development. Have a look at Rosling’s famous TED Talks, HERE He was a unique character with a passion for sword swallowing in his spare time!

To order your copy:

If you’d like to help support independent bookshops you can order online from:

hive.co.uk   £9.09 for the paperback or £4.99 for an ebook (epub) version for immediate download

£8.99 paperback from Waterstones

 

 

Graphic novels for History

One of the joys of being a school librarian is chatting to staff and students about books and hearing their latest recommendations. I was particularly happy to find out that one of our Y11 girls had discovered the wonders of graphic novels to support her History GCSE course. She was eagerly broadening her knowledge of  the history topics in the course in a quick and accessible way. The book which started this process was Marcelino Truong’s biographical graphic novel set in Vietnam ‘Such a lovely little War: Saigon 1961 – 1963’ and the sequel ‘Saigon Calling: London 1963-75’. This beautiful, gripping graphic memoir tells the story of Marco, the son of a Vietnamese diplomat and a his French wife, during the early years of the Vietnam War. They are visually stunning books and emotionally involving as the reader learns of the details of family life as well as the impact and events of the war closing in.
We’ve built up a diverse collection of graphic novels and particularly focused on historical events and biographies.

Here are a few suggestions:

March (3 Books) by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin and Nate Powell. ‘With March, Congressman John Lewis takes us behind the scenes of some of the most pivotal moments of the Civil Rights Movement. In graphic novel form, his first-hand account makes thiese historic events both accessible and relevant to an entire new generation… LeVar Burton

Maus (Book l and ll) by Art Spiegelman. Pulitzer prize-winning graphic novel – the moving narrative of the Holocaust portraying Spiegelman’s father’s experiences of the Holocaust.

The Arab of the Future by Riad Sattouf ( 3 books)  This is a graphic memoir of a childhood in the Middle East, 1978 – 1984, Book 2 1984-1985 and Book 3 1985 – 1987). Riad Sattouf is a bestselling cartoonist who grew up in Syria and Libya. These books are funny, sad and brilliantly observed.

Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi ‘The intelligent and outspoken child of radical Marxists, and the great-grandaughter of Iran’s last emperor, Satrapi bears witness to a childhood uniquely entwined with the history of her country. Persepolis paints an unforgettable portrait of daily life in Iran and of the bewildering contradictions between home life and public life. This is a beautiful and intimate story full of tragedy and humour – raw, honest and incredibly illuminating.’

How to understand Israel in 60 days of less by Sarah Glidden

Malcolm X a graphic biography by Andrew Helfer and Randy DuBurke

Anne Frank’s Diary: The Graphic Adaptation by David Polonsky Published in 2018 this is the first graphic adaptation of Anne Frank’s Diary.

Trinity : a graphic history of the first atomic bomb : graphic novel by Jonathan Fetter-Vorm

Nat Turner : graphic novel by Kyle Baker

Safe area Gorazde : the war in Eastern Bosnia, 1992-95 : graphic novel by Joe Sacco

Gettysburg – the graphic novel written and illustrated by C.M. Butler

 

Little White Duck – A Childhood in China by Na Liu and Andres Vera Martinez

Marzi – A memoir by Marzena Sowa. Told from a young gir’s viewpoint ‘Marzi’ is a coming-of-age story which portrays the tough life behind the Iron Curtain whilst exploring the daily life of an ordinary girl in turbulent times.

The Battle of the Bulge by Wayne Vansant. A graphic history of the Allied victory in teh Adrenne, 1944 – 1945.

Che: A graphic biography by Spain Rodriguez.

Line of Fire: Diary of an unknown soldier by Barroux. Introduced by Michael Morpurgo

Trotsky: A graphic biography by Rick Geary

Barefoot Gen Volume 1 A Cartoon Story of Hiroshima by Keiji Nakazawa

Barefoot Gen – The Day After Volume ll by Keiji Nakazawa

The Last day in Vietnam by Will Eisner.  This fictional memoir, drew on Eisner’s time in Korea and Vietnam involved with  military service.

Castro – A graphic novel by Reinhard Kleist

Don’t forget we also have a recently established collection of Historical Fiction in the History Department to provide another source of enjoyable and informative history themed reading.

We have other non-fiction graphic novels too:

Economics:

  • Economix – How our Economy works (and doesn’t work) in words and pictures by Michael Goodwin, illustrated by Dan E. Burr

Art:

  • Basquiat – Script by Julian Voloj, illustrations by Soren Mosdal

Science:

  • Radioactive – Marie & Pierre Curie: A tale of love and fallout by Lauren Redniss.
  • Feynman by Ottaviani & Myrick

 

 

Reading Times – Christmas 2019

Reading Times 2019 TV

The eagerly awaited Reading Times 2019 TV has just arrived. Every year we are grateful for the hard work Mrs Smith, Librarian at Eckington School puts into creating a guide to all the holiday viewing based on books. A highlight for me this year is the animation of Judith Kerr’s wonderful picture book ‘The tiger who came to tea’ (Ch4 7.30pm on 24th December). The perennial Dickens’ favourites including ‘A Christmas Carol’, ‘Oliver Twist’ and ‘Scrooge’ are available. Plenty of other classics on offer too including  George Orwell’s ‘Animal Farm’, ‘The Man in the Iron Mask’ based on Alexandre Dumas’ ‘The Vicomte de Bragelonne, Robert Louis Stevenson’s ‘Kidnapped’, ‘Dracula’, ‘The Great Gatsby’,’Pride and Prejudice’. More recently  two very moving books came out ‘Lion’ by Saroo Brierley and ‘The boy who harnessed the wind’ by William Kamkwamba. These books are available from the library and the films are on on Netflix.

For YA book fans you can watch ‘The Fault in our stars’ and ‘Looking for Alaska’ based on John Green’s books, ‘The Hunger Games’, ‘The Twilight Saga’, Divergent and Mazerunner. The ‘His Dark Materials’ series on the BBC currently (available on iPlayer) is fantastic and it’s well worth reading the trilogy if you haven’t read it before.

I’m particularly looking forward to watching ‘Elizabeth is Missing’ but want to re-read the book by Emma Healey first!

Christmas reading lists and books of the year 2019

It’s that exciting time of year when everywhere you look people are sharing their ‘Best books’ lists from 2019. This is a brilliant opportunity to be reminded of the great books you might have missed or stocking up on holiday reading or Christmas present ideas. The winter is a perfect time to cosy up with an enjoyable book. I firmly believe it is vital that our young people are reading, for so many crucial reasons – developing focus and sustained concentration, expanding vocabulary and developing reading skills, widening subject knowledge, building empathy by learning about other cultures and situations. Fiction helps us empathise with characters struggling with difficulties and can help us resolve our own issues. Research has shown that children and teenagers who read for pleasure are more successful in life. See the National Literacy Trust Report on this subject and p6 Reading is a form of mindfulness – a calming absorbed time to escape from daily pressures and worries. Aside from all the worthy and important stuff it’s fun and escapist to lose yourself in a grand adventure or story of your choosing. For anyone interested in the subject of how the digital world is affecting our deep reading and concentration I recommend Maryanne Wolf’s book ‘Reader, Come Home’.

Waterstones have announced their book and author of the year. These are voted for by Waterstones booksellers and represent books they consistently love and recommend to customers.

Charlie Mackesy won Book of the Year with his charming The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse and Greta Thunberg was voted Author of the Year for her book ‘ No One Is Too Small to Make a Difference.

In October The Independent newspaper has pages of best books on themes including ‘best plastic-free living books’ 

100 novels that shaped our world

I’m looking forward to exploring the BBC’s recent list of ‘100 novels that shaped our world’ You can also watch the accompanying programmes ‘Novels that shaped our world’ on BBC iPlayer .There are 3 episodes exploring class, the novel’s link to the rise and fall of the British Empire and women as readers and writers.

Here is the Guardian Best Books of the Year list  

Here are the Best Books of the Year 2019 chosen by writers

Best thrillers of the year

The FT Business Books of the Year Won by Caroline Criado Perez with ‘Invisible Women: Exposing data bias in a world designed for men’ (which also won the Royal Society Science Book Prize 2019)

The Telegraph 50 Best Books of 2019

New York Times Critics’ Top Books of 2019 

NYT best children’s and YA books of 2019

For a view from America here are the New York Public Library’s favourites from this year – arranged in  5 categories You can explore the Library’s top 10 books in five categories: kids, Spanish-language kids, teens, adults, and poetry.

Here are the ‘Five Books’ website Best books of 2019This excellent website interviews experts in many areas of expertise and asks them to pick the best 5 books in their field. This creates a vast bank of suggestions on many topics from Science to Crime Fiction, Business to Poetry. A bookish delight!

Browsing all the lists, a novel which keeps featuring is Olive, again’ Elizabeth Strout’s sequel to ‘Olive Kitteridge’. This highly regarded and frequently recommended novel has somehow passed me by so I’m looking forward to reading them both.

Costa Book Awards Shortlists 2019

The Costa Book Award category shortlists have recently been announced. Many of these books feature prominently on books of the year lists. Some great reading suggestions in these lists too. The categories are for Novel, First Novel, Biography, Poetry and Children’s book and the ultimate Costa Book of the Year will be announced on 6th January 2020. Here is the list of past winners and shortlists.  I’ve bought the shortlists for library stock so we can read and join the conversation about this titles.

Our most popular fiction of this term so far has been the ‘Scythe’ trilogy by Neal Shusterman. This has proved incredibily popular and has caught on further as students have seen many of their friends walking around with this book. It’s a dystopian series which is ideal for ‘Hunger Games’ fans. It has also been popular with English teachers and librarians and my 19 and 21 year old children. I sent them the final book ‘The Toll’ at University and it is so gripping they are getting distracted from all else!

Our top 4 fiction titles this term are:

  • Scythe Book 1 by Neal Shusterman
  • The Territory (Book 1) by Sarah Govett (previously our visiting author)
  • Burial Rites by Hanah Kent (Wellington Community Book Club read)
  • Joint 5th Divergent by Veronica Roth, The Hit by Melvin Burgess and Thunderhead (Scythe Book 2) by Neal Shusterman

Our top 5 non-fiction titles were:

  • Clearing the air: the beginning and end of air pollution by Tim Smedley
  • Talking to strangers: what we should know about the people we don’t know by Malcom Gladwell
  • Prisoners of Geography by Tim Marshall
  • Factfulness by Hans Rosling
  • The Body: a guide for occupants by Bill Bryson

Non-Fiction November and Science Book Discussions

This November I have been prompted to read non-fiction on a Science theme. A number of our students  and science teachers keen on Science have been reading the Royal Society Science Book Prize Shortlist. I read ‘Clearing the Air’ by Tim Smedley and listened to the audio book of ‘Invisible Women: Exposing data bias in a world designed for men’ by Caroline Criado Perez. This won the 2019 prize and is a thought-provoking and hugely important book for all of us to read.

The students particularly enjoyed reading ‘The remarkable life of the skin’ by Monty Lyman. Dr Wright, Head of Biology was also very impressed and found the far-reaching scope of the book fascinating as it looks at the skin through the lens of sociology and history as well as science.

As the Royal Society website points out:

‘Dr Monty Lyman leads us on a journey across our most underrated and unexplored organ and reveals how the skin is far stranger and more complex than you’ve ever imagined.’

One of our L6th students was surprised at how readable and gripping Paul Steinhardt’s book ‘The second kind of impossible’ was. He found it read like an adventure as Steinhardt undertook a quest to prove the existence of quasicrystals.

It was impressive to see two of our Y10s explaining what they’d learnt from John Gibbin’s ‘Six Impossible Things’ and ‘The unexpected truth about animals’ by Lucy Cooke (from last year’s shortlist).

Not a frequent reader of non-fiction I was pleased that I had the double prompt of the Science Book Chat and non-fiction November to spur me to read two of the shortlist. I learnt so much about air pollution I am recommending Tim Smedley’s book to everyone and banging on about it to anyone who will listen!

Before all the excitement of Christmas arrives don’t miss the display of wide-ranging non-fiction in the library from inspirational biographies to accessible politics, psychology, books on the environment and activism to inspire you to reduce your dependence on plastic. There is something for everyone!

New Historical Fiction Collection

When Mr Macleod, Acting Head of History, came to me proposing the development of a Historical Fiction collection in the History Department Library, I  jumped at the chance to bring some excellent and very readable fiction to a wider audience. Historical Fiction is a great way to become engrossed in a gripping plot, learn more about the real historical figures and expand your knowledge of a particular historical event or time period without it feeling like hard work. Many historical fiction writers have carried out meticulous research and some give detailed bibliographies of historical sources.  Whilst important to remember the novels are fiction they help give context and background to historical time periods and topics and may act as a stepping stone to reading non-fiction.

The History Dept came up with some of their favourite titles and we added our library team suggestions. There are many more historical fiction titles in the main library too.

We now have a core collection which can be expanded and developed. It’s a bit weighty in the World War ll and Tudors area – so we welcome suggestions for different time periods and locations. Eventually we plan to link the suggested reading to the curriculum topics.

When I asked our Head of College for his favourite book in the summer he told me ‘Azincourt’ by Bernard Cornwell. This book spurred his enthusiasm for studying History.

Two memorable historical fiction titles which made a dramatic impact on me are ‘The Siege’ by Helen Dunmore and ‘The things they carried’ by Tim O’Brien. Both are harrowing, emotional reads.’The  Siege’  is set during the first winter of the siege of Leningrad by the Germans during World War ll. It is a moving story of love and survival written so well it’s hard not to feel the emotions of the characters experiencing it.

‘The things they carried’ is a book of interconnected short stories about the experiences of a platoon of U.S. soldiers during the Vietnam War. It is a blurring of fiction and non-fiction as the narrator is modelled on the author and has his name, Tim O’Brien, despite being a fictional character. The book is partly based on the author’s own experiences.

Many of us – staff and students alike are big fans of Robert Harris. He is a master storyteller who brings historical times to life with great plotting. We have his books in print form in the library and also many of them as e-books on Browns VLeBooks.

Why not try a historical novel for the half-term holidays?

Science Book Discussion Group

In another collaboration between the Library and Academic Departments we are reading the 6 shortlisted books on the Royal Society Book Prize Shortlist 2019.

In conjunction with the Science Department and Science Society the idea is that 5th and 6th formers read one of the titles and feed back on what they thought of it and what they learnt at a Science Book Discussion evening in the library on 21st November. If none of this year’s shortlist are available then we have copies of previous winnners and shortlisted titles.

I’m looking forward to reading ‘Clearing the Air’ by Tim Smedley and I’m currently listening to the audiobook of ‘Invisible Women: Exposing data bias in a world designed for men’ by Caroline Criado Perez. This year’s winning book is an incredible piece of research highlighting the gender data gap in so many areas of life – a vital read for everyone.

Mental Health Awareness and Libraries Week – books and dogs the perfect mood boosting combination!

To coincide with World Mental Health Day on 10th October 2019 our Deputy Head (Safeguarding), Mrs Lynch, has put together a Mental Health Awareness Week (7th – 12th October) to raise awareness of the importance of good mental health and how we can all help with our own and others’ wellbeing. The library is keen to support this initiative and highlight ways libraries and reading can support wellbeing. Don’t forget it’s Libraries Week too! There are many articles and research reports linking reading for pleasure and improved wellbeing.  The National Literacy Trust has an article on Mental wellbeing, reading and writing and an in depth research study on this subject from 2017 – 2018. Similarly the Reading Agency: Reading for pleasure builds empathy and improves wellbeing research from the reading agency finds.

Libraries are non-judgmental, welcoming places and we love to see all students, parents, visitors and staff (and in particular their toddlers who confidently stride over to the picturebook boxes to take out ‘The Day the Crayons Quit’ for the nth time to the inward groans of their parents!).

Dog drop-ins in the Library next Monday to Wednesday.

If you love dogs like me you’ll be pleased to hear we are having some visits to the library next week. If you are missing your pet why not come along for some time with staff dogs at break and lunchtime? The dogs always enjoy being made a fuss of by the students. In the past we’ve had special days when friendly dogs have visited us in the library as a break from intense revision and exam stress in the summer term but this time we are having dogs individually for a calmer, peaceful atmosphere. Mrs Lynch shared some interesting articles on the benefits of pets on stress and depression. It was good to see public libraries introducing times with dogs too – Three Edinburgh Libraries to trial dog friendly days

Cardiovascular effects of human-pet dog interactions.

Alleviating Anxiety, Stress and Depression with the Pet Effect

Mood-boosting books

We are encouraging suggestions for your favourite mood-boosting books. Add your favourites to the flip-chart in the library next week and we’ll compile a list. My husband and son both went for ‘The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’ by Douglas Adams as their top feelgood read. Over lunch today teaching colleagues recommended Factfulness by Hans Rosling, The Great Gatsby, The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas and Middlemarch by George Eliot.

Here is a list of feelgood books put together by young people: Mood-boosting Books – A 2018 list chosen by young people

You can read about this in a blog post from the Reading Agency – Moodboosting books for young people – blog post

I  also came across a nice libguide from Exeter University promoting their Wellbeing book collection

Exeter University students have also put together a collection of books to recommend to new students called ‘The Freshlist’ – 12 Mood-boosting books to get you through the year. I also loved ‘The Humans’ by Matt Haig.

Shelf-help – Books on Prescription

As well as escapist fiction or gritty reality stories or weepy books which can make us feeling surprisingly better at times we have a collection of factual books to help with mental health issues. We stock the books on the Reading Agency ‘Reading Well’ list which is described as:

Reading Well Books on Prescription helps you to understand and manage your health and wellbeing using self-help reading. The books are chosen by health experts and people living with the conditions covered. People can be recommended a title by a health professional, or they can visit their local library and take a book out for free. 

The books are on a range of issues including ADHD, Anxiety, worry and panic, Autism and Asperger syndrome, body image and eating disorders, bullying, confidence and self-esteem, depression, mood swings, OCD, self-harm and stress.

Book suggestions on reading for wellbeing

  • The reading cure : how books restored my appetite by Laura Freeman
  • The novel cure: An A-Z of Literary Remedies by Ella Berthoud and Susan Elderkin This is a fascinating book to dip into with suggested books for any number of maladies from long-windedness (the cure being Cormac McCarthy as The Road is ‘an exemplary model of short-windedness’) to stubbed toe, low self-esteem and being different.

Chess and Boardgames

As well as being a place for quite individual study and group study where projects are discussed and revision worked on together, the library offers big chess, small chess and now an electronic chess set – play against the set itself using an app and an informal gathering place in the foyer particularly popular at break and lunchtime. We’ve set up a jigsaw for anyone to add to and work on during spare minutes. This provides a lovely opportunity for informal conversations and different groupings of staff and students. Quick to play board and card games are available to borrow from the library – Dobble and Wordaround are the top favourites.

Projects promoting reading for pleasure and shared reading

There are many schemes and collections promoting the value of reading for pleasure. Some Universities have excellent schemes to encourage new students to keep reading for pleasure. Kingston University initiated the Big Read – giving a novel to all new students and having author talks and discussions about the book. This year they chose to give out ‘The Unlikely pilgrimage of Harold Fry’ by Rachel Joyce. This is wonderful project which fosters a sense of community and belonging and gives staff and students a focal point for informal chats and sharing the enjoyment of talking about a good book.  Edgehill University have joined the scheme too. We are planning to have a Wellington College Big Read next summer to bring the College community together over a shared reading experience.

Getting lost in an epic fantasy novel (preferably with many books in the series!) can provide wonderful escapism from daily stresses or worries. We stock a wide range of fiction from fantasy to graphic novels, short stories, contemporary literary fiction to the classics. We have quick reads and film tie-ins. We now have Wheelers eplatform so that staff and students can listen to an audio book on their way to long away Sports matches on the app on their phones. We stock plenty of interesting and readable non-fiction to extend your subject knowledge too.

What does the library offer:

  • Audio books – Particularly popular titles are ‘Ready Player One’ and The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
  • Graphic novels
  • E-books from Browns Books for Students VLeBooks
  • A place to meet and discuss – the library is the venue for many academic and cultural clubs and societies such as Debating, Med Soc, Creative Writing, Phil-Thy (Philosophy and Theology), Pheng (Philosophy and English) and Public Speaking.
  • Popular science – in particular the Royal Society Science Book Prize Shortlists (current and from the past few years) Join in with the Science discussion group by reading one of this year’s shortlisted books.
  • YA fiction – I’ve been recommending the ‘Scythe’ books by Neal Shusterman and these are proving hugely popular.
  • Contemporary literary fiction
  • Shelf help – Reading Agency -reading well – Books on Prescription – young people and mental health

 

Banned Books Week 22nd – 28th September 2019

This week was Banned Books Week‘A nationwide campaign for radical readers and rebellious writers of all ages to celebrate the freedom to read.’  

It is also marked in the USA with this year’s theme Censorship leaves us in the dark – Keep the Light On’  Here is a list of the Top Ten most challenged books in the USA in 2018

We had an eye-catching display to raise awareness about censorship and highlight the many highly regarded books which have been banned at some time or in some location over time. Students and staff were curious to read about the reasons particular books had been banned.

We also subscribe to the magazine ‘Index on Censorship’ in the Library.

Read more about the books which have been banned on the links below:

21st Century Banned or Challenged YA Books

50 Challenged Books

Yellow books everywhere!

Y9 reading week – Summer Term 2019

‘Moonrise’ by Sarah Crossan

‘A very quick read that will emotionally stick with you forever.’

 

Looking for a meaningful focus for the final week of the school year the Head of 3rd form proposed a ‘Reading Week’. This fitted perfectly with the whole school aim to encourage and promote more reading across all year groups and the Head of English and Library staff were keen to get involved and support this.

We agreed that we liked the idea of all students reading the same book during the week with a part of each lesson (and possibly the whole lesson in some cases) dedicated to quiet individual reading – or reading aloud in groups of around the class. We invited teachers to bring classes to the library for a change of venue in a comfortable, informal environment.

The tricky bit was deciding on a book. We agreed we wanted it to be fiction and preferably a shortish, accessible, recently published YA title with emphasis on the enjoyment of the reading experience and far removed from the feel of an English lesson ‘set text’. It was important that the book would draw in self-confessed ‘reluctant readers’ while at the same time being an enjoyable experience for keen readers. I read many YA books I’d been planning to read and English teachers recommended some of their favourites before eventually agreeing on ‘Moonrise’ by Sarah Crossan. Our Head of English raced to finish reading it and was very moved by it. We both agreed that the themes were thought-provoking and encouraged discussion of the issues of capital punishment and death row.

The reading week was launched in a year group assembly and I introduced the book and gave a brief overview of the scenario and characters. We were delighted that Sarah Crossan sent us a witty video message which we played in the assembly and the students spontaneously applauded.

As they left the assembly each student was given a copy of ‘Moonrise’ to read and keep. Any returned will be kept in the library as a loanable tutor group set.

Feedback from teachers and students was very positive. The Head of Y10 is keen to run something similar for her year group at the end of the Summer Term next year and we will refine and develop this idea for Y9 next year.  I certainly enjoyed my time reading in the library surrounded by a class,  teacher and library staff all reading in companionable silence. It was lovely to see two girls come into the library to borrow more of Sarah’s books as they’d finished ‘Moonrise’ and wanted to read other similar books. By the end of the week all the library copies of Sarah Crossan’s books had been issued (to students and staff) and she rapidly became the 2nd most borrowed author of the year.

 

 

We also had two visits from staff dogs to the library to keep the students company and ran book cover quizzes and book dingbats.

 

 

 

 

 

So far my very brief questionnaire, sent out in the holidays has had 44 responses (out of a year group of 185).

  • All of the respondents either finished reading the novel in school during the week or finished it in their free time afterwards.
  • Only 1 student said they didn’t enjoy having time to read in lessons during the week.

There were some very interesting and positive comments about the book:

It was very sad, and made me reconsider my thoughts on the death penalty.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading Moonrise and thought it was an excellent read!!

It was really good I liked that it was written in verse as it was a nice change from other novels I have read.

A very quick read that will emotionally stick with you forever.

It was extremely good but had a very traumatic ending.

I thought that the ending made the book more relatable.

It’s awesome.

I found it extremely eye-opening and heart wrenching. I always enjoy these books and the format is very effective at emphasising certain aspects of the story.

Really clever the format in which the pages were written.

I liked how the pages weren’t very long, meaning it was easy to read and you felt like you had made more progress in the book than you actually had.

The writing style made the book quick and easy to read. The story builds up to a climax, ending very sadly. It made me think about what it would be like to be in a disjointed family.

I found it hard to concentrate on the story line when all the pages were printed as poems on different lines.

I asked the students to suggest a possible book for next year and these were there suggestions:

  • The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
  • Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari
  • Blood Ties by Sophie Mackenzie
  • Numbers by Rachel Ward
  • After the Fire by Will Hill
  • Noughts and Crosses by Malorie Blackman
  • Red Rising by Pierce Brown
  • Release by Patrick Ness
  • Skulduggery Pleasant by Derek Landy
  • Bodyguard by Chris Bradford
  • Any Jodi Picoult
  • I think a modern classic would be good so that classics can be gently introduced to get rid of any reticence to read them!