What a buzz!

“The lights are calming but the vibrant colours are eccentric – together they work really well! We love it. The staircase still looks fabulous.”

“The Library is amazing. Can’t wait to do some productive revision in the “Personal Pod”. Love the colours.”

“Modern and smart, lots of room for revision and it’s a light, airy, welcoming place.”

At 8.30am the crowds poured in – eager to see the transformed Library. Soon it became a hive of activity with lessons going on in the pods and individual study in all rooms. Harry O’Hare was the first to borrow a book, Leo Sutton tried out the first ipad, Jamie Allum helped set up the wireless mice and keyboards in the pods and Richie Wibbels was the first person to use the Library. It was fantastic to see pupils experimenting with the big screens and Mr Auger’s Maths lesson in the Physical pod. So many questions and ideas – plenty to work on in the coming weeks. We welcome your ideas for educational apps for the ipads and e-magazines and newspapers.

Thank you to all the pupils who are helping us get to know the new technology – informal ipad tutorials and for all your enthusiasm.

Mrs McGregor’s Creative Writing Club are coming in later today – no doubt  they’ll be inspired by their vibrant surroundings!



Harry Potter e-book fever

25th April: Daily Telegraph reports that Harry Potter ebook sales top 1m in three days

27th March Guardian article about Pottermore

“Although the titles feature on Amazon and Barnes & Noble, they can only be bought from Pottermore. By selling the books via her own website, Rowling will be able to keep much of the revenue rather than sharing it with the publishers.”

“The first three novels cost £4.99 in ebook form, compared with a cover price of £6.99 for print editions, while the final four are priced at £6.99 in ebook compared with £8.99 in print.”

(Guardian newspaper article by Alison Flood, 27.3.12)

It is worth mentioning that JK Rowling has agreed that the Harry Potter e-books can be loaned through the Overdrive software commonly used in British public libraries.


Pinterest – Pinboards to promote good books.

Pinterest is a content sharing service that allows members to “pin” images, videos and other objects to their pinboard. A way of grabbing images and websites on themes. It’s also an attractive way to create recommended reading boards.

Here’s a pinboard I created for the Carnegie Children’s Book Award 2012 shortlisted books.

Here are  thematic book boards put together by a school librarian in Kent.

Mashable suggests ways teachers can use pinterest to organise the web.

We will be creating more themed book boards in the near future and welcome suggestions. Next one will be film tie-ins.


The Hunger Games film release – 23rd March

The eagerly awaited Hunger Games film is out on 23rd March 2012. Make sure you read this terrifying, thought-provoking futuristic thriller before seeing the film.

All 3 books in the trilogy  – Hunger Games, Catching Fire and Mockingjay are available in the Library.

Don’t get left behind – join in the book discussion!

The book Stephen King described as “addictive…I could not stop reading”

Here’s a video trailer


Orange Prize Longlist Announced

Orange prize for fiction longlist shows diversity of historical novels

Five debut novelists among 20 vying for prize for women writers 

Orange Prize Longlist – Guardian article

Fittingly, on International Women’s Day, the Orange Prize for Fiction longlist has been announced.

The longlist includes Madeline Miller, a teacher of Latin and Ancient Greek who took 10 years to write her debut, The Song of Achilles.

 London, 08 March 2012: The Orange Prize for Fiction, the UK’s only annual book award for fiction written by a woman, today announces the 2012 longlist. Now in its seventeenth year, the Prize celebrates excellence, originality and accessibility in women’s writing throughout the world.

  • Island of Wings by Karin Altenberg (Quercus)– Swedish; 1st Novel
  • On the Floor by Aifric Campbell (Serpent’s Tail)– Irish; 3rd Novel
  • The Grief of Others by Leah Hager Cohen (The Clerkenwell Press)– American; 4th Novel
  • The Sealed Letter by Emma Donoghue (Picador)– Irish; 7th Novel
  • Half Blood Blues by Esi Edugyan (Serpent’s Tail)– Canadian; 2nd Novel
  • The Forgotten Waltz by Anne Enright (Jonathan Cape)– Irish; 5th Novel
  • The Flying Man by Roopa Farooki (Headline Review)– British; 5th Novel
  • Lord of Misrule by Jaimy Gordon (Quercus)– American; 4th Novel
  • Painter of Silence by Georgina Harding (Bloomsbury)– British; 3rd Novel
  • Gillespie and I by Jane Harris (Faber & Faber)– British; 2nd Novel
  • The Translation of the Bones by Francesca Kay (Weidenfeld & Nicolson)– British; 2nd Novel
  • The Blue Book by A.L. Kennedy (Jonathan Cape)– British; 6th Novel
  • The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern (Harvill Secker)– American; 1st Novel
  • The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller (Bloomsbury)– American; 1st Novel
  • Foreign Bodies by Cynthia Ozick (Atlantic Books)– American; 7th Novel
  • State of Wonder by Ann Patchett (Bloomsbury)– American; 6th Novel
  • There but for the by Ali Smith (Hamish Hamilton)– British; 5th Novel
  • The Pink Hotel by Anna Stothard (Alma Books)– British; 2nd Novel
  • Tides of War by Stella Tillyard (Chatto & Windus)– British; 1st Novel
  • The Submission by Amy Waldman (William Heinemann) – American; 1st Novel

The Song of Achilles

Greece in the age of Heroes. Patroclus, an awkward young prince, has been exiled to Phthia to live in the shadow of King Peleus and his strong, beautiful son, Achilles. By all rights their paths should never cross, but Achilles takes the shamed prince as his friend, and as they grow into young men skilled in the arts of war and medicine, their bond blossoms into something far deeper – despite the displeasure of Achilles’s mother Thetis, a cruel sea goddess. But then word comes that Helen of Sparta has been kidnapped. Torn between love and fear for his friend, Patroclus journeys with Achilles to Troy, little knowing that the years that follow will test everything they hold dear.

Madeline Miller has a BA and MAA from Brown University in Latin and Ancient Greek, and has been teaching both for the past nine years. She has also studied at the Yale School of Drama, specialising in adapting classical tales to a modern audience. The Song of Achilles is her first novel.