Friday, July 24, 2009

It's National Poetry Day

One of the most important days on the calendar. National Poetry Day is a celebration of all things poetic.

With some new poetry books in the library this year I expect a great deal of interest in the 800s. Anyone needing help for wide reading at Level 1 or 2 will find these new books useful.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Raven's Gate by Anthony Horowitz

Reviewed by Jamie Todd (year 9) as part of the 50 Book Challenge

This book is the first book in the Power of Five (Gatekeeper) books. Raven's Gate is about a boy called Matthew who is 14 years old and whose parents died in a car crash. He is extraordinary, he has special powers. He isn't good at going to school and he decideds to rob a warehouse, during the robbery a security guard gets stabbed and Matt gets the blame. He ends up in a foster programme with the very creepy Ms Deverill in an even more creepy town.

He tries to escape from there but runs into witches and quicksand and lots of major problems. It turns out he is a Gatekeeper - there are five of them - and he has to fight evil humans and stop the dark forces.

There is magic, mystery, evil forces, witches and lots of other cool stuff in this book. I had to keep reading and get the second one.

Here is a really cool thing. You can read the first chapter of Raven's Gate by clicking this link - Raven's Gate - Chapter 1. So if the book is out of the library you can start reading it anyway. And ... if you click on this link it will take you to the Scholastic website where you can play the Gatekeepers game which is all about Raven's Gate.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Bill Bryson, Shakespeare

This book is part of the Eminent Lives series.

For the Shakespeare enthusiast, senior student or people with an interest in the life of the world's most well known author this book is a must read. It is really funny, and looks at some of the lesser known facts about Shakespeare. Bill Bryson is always very readable, and is great at presenting information in a way that makes you want to read more about the topic.

This would be a really good book for senior English students to read to get background information on someone they study every year at high school.
Highly recommended.

James May's Magnificent Machines: How Men in Sheds Have Changed Our Lives

I have to confess to a particular fondness for James May. He is the best part of Topgear for me. Others may argue with me, and they frequently do when Topgear is on at my house and I am having a fond moment over Mr May, but I think he is the best on the show. Not only is he lovely but he writes great books that are really popular with the boys, so he is perfect really! This book is about the development of the technology we use every day and take for granted, how it developed, the occasionally mad people who invented it and the sheer excitement of invention.

It is highly recommended to anybody with a technical bent, and if you enjoy the kind of humour you see on the Topgear show, you will certainly enjoy this book. It has excellent photographs, my particular fave being the one of Megan and Morag the sheep. Lots of different topics are covered, from artificial limbs to space travel, to tanks, Jimi Hendrix and lots and lots more. Highly recommended to both staff and students.

Slide the Corner by Fleur Beale

Reviewed by Chris Harbrow, Year 9 as part of the 50 Book Challenge

Greg is thick, as thick as crude oil according to his Dad. Greg's ambition has always been to become a rally driver. One day he runs into a famous driver and is then recruited as a c0-driver. He is so excited, he could never be happier.
I really liked this book, I always like Fleur Beale's books.

Note from Ms Schaumann: Slide the Corner has been around for a long time now but it is still popular with the boys. A long time ago one of the English teachers here had her class read this book as a set text and they posted what they thought about it on a web page. You can see what they wrote if you click here.


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