Wednesday, December 15, 2010

See you all in 2011

This is the last post on the blog for the year. The library has been readied for the new school year with new displays and new computers, the shelves are tidy and the office benches are nearly cleared.

Wishing you all a fantastic Christmas season and lots of good reading. Hope your summer holidays are fun and that they seem to go on forever!

Above is a photo of bunch of books from the 900s making themselves into a rather odd Christmas tree.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The top ten of 2010

The following is a list of the most popular books this year in our library
. As you can see Robert Muchamore and John Marsden are back in the list as they have been over the last few years. New to the list are Patrick Ness and Jim Butcher.

Our lists of most popular books in the past were always full of fantasy books but it seems dystopian fiction and action adventure are flavour of the months at the moment. The books on this list are all fabulous reads and there is a good spread of books suitable for juniors (The wimpy kid) to seniors (Storm front) which is really pleasing.

  • Secret army, Henderson's Boys by Robert Muchamore
  • The hunger games by Suzanne Collins
  • The knife of never letting go by Patrick Ness
  • The dead of the night by John Marsden
  • The recruit by Robert Muchamore
  • Crocodile tears by Anthony Horowitz
  • Diary of a wimpy kid: Roderick rules by Jeff Kinney
  • Catching fire by Susanne Collins
  • Tomorrow when the war began by John Marsden
  • Storm front by Jim Butcher
It is great that our boys are reading up a storm and let's hope that we can entice even more into the love of reading next year. Our boys disprove the theory that boys don't read. Ours do. Lots and lots and we like it that way! We know that reading helps with writing, it improves your knowledge of the world, it helps with concentration and it helps with improving achievement at school and most of all it is so much fun to meet new people through the pages of a book.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Bring your books back!

Boys, all your books are needed back in the library right now! Bring them on Monday and put them in the library return slot.

If you have lost a book please come and confess to Ms Schaumann, who will try to be kind to you.

The library stocktake is complete and so we know exactly which books have been returned and which books haven't those that are missing and those that are not.

Image from

Books make great gifts

Christmas is coming, and if you do Christmas then maybe what you most want for Christmas is a Book. Here is a little video from Simon and Schuster the publishers of lots of books our boys want, which is all about why books make such great gifts! (You will have to pretend that instead of snowy scenes there are summery scenes!)

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

For the Hunger Games Fans

Those of you who have loved the books might enjoy seeing how you would cope in the arena yourselves. I have always fancied myself as a Rue kind of character but after playing this game it turns out I am not at all. Check out the game here.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

Review by Aidan Hall (year 13)

Usually if I don’t like I book I simply don’t bother doing a review for it, but this one time, I HAVE to make an exception.

YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED! This is not a favourable review!

This book is the final part of the Hunger Games trilogy. The books focus mainly on one person, Katniss, and how she is forced to participate in a televised decimation of 24 tributes from 12 districts, designed to keep them from mutinying against The Capitol.

The first book in the series, The Hunger Games, has to be one of the best books I have ever read, as per usual the 2nd in the series was not as good, but this book which is the 3rd, well I’ll tell you what I thought of it.

The first half of Mockinjay is just Katniss whinging about her new home with the rebels, I'm not joking, it is simply half a book of pure whinging! The 2nd half starts to capture some of the essence of what made the 1st book so brilliant, she starts to do what a rebel leader should, she starts to FIGHT.

The last quarter of Mockinjay is actually the best part of the book, Katniss is fighting and in semi control, but how you see her from the first 2 books is different. In the first couple she relies on her instincts as a hunter using the simple weapon of a straight bow, but now she relies on ultra-modern technology, so its not Katniss you see, like, it could simply be any of the other rebels. Its only in the final few pages that the Katniss we remember from the past really emerges, she is meant to carry out the sentence of death of Snow the evil leader, when she kills Coin instead. This is the ONLY part of the entire book where Katniss as we remember her shows herself.

So, to be honest, I don’t recommend this book, if you are someone who has read the rest of the series, don’t read this one, simply think about how you think the saga should end.

Here is the book trailer for Mockingjay

Check out our recommended books

Look at our new 'thing'. Based on an idea originally posted on 100 Scope Notes by the wonderful Travis, and then adopted by the Russell Street Primary Library in Palmerston North we now have bright yellow and pink 'Recommended by' doodads poking out of our highly recommended books. This is great for the people who can't find a book by themselves and who have to wait a long time to get help if Ms Schaumann is busy. We like them!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Monster Republic by Ben Horton

It has been a year full of zombies, vampires and assorted manipulated humans in the young adult books released this year. There are lots of variations on the theme and this story is one of them.

It may sound a bit familiar: Evil mastermind Dr Fry is planning domination, he engineers an explosion at a nuclear power plant which Cameron's class is visiting with their teacher. Cameron wakes up and discovers that his body is not what it was before the explosion happened and he has acquired some added features! He is rescued by a mysterious girl and she takes him to a place where those who have escaped the evil Dr Fry and his minions are in hiding. They must fight for justice against superhuman mutants to try and do what is right and save humanity.

This is the first book in the series and it is fast paced and exciting. I think the boys will really enjoy it and will be keen for the next one in the series. The graphic novel will also be out soon.

Here is the book trailer!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

TTTTTSS Tian Tan's Top Ten Tips for Studying Successfully

Improve your study skills with TTTTTSS (Tian Tan's Top Ten Tips for Studying Successfully):

1. Complete and submit all coursework

2. Make a study schedule

Having a study schedule enables you to realistically divide your time so that you are able to maximise your study time on all your subjects. Make a daily to do list to help you divide and prioritise your study tasks. Start your revision early to avoid last minute cramming!

3. Study subjects that you don't like first

4. Condense your notes

Condense, reduce, concentrate, 'Boil Down'! Your notes should be a prompt for you rather than a re-written version of your original notes.

5. Put notes into an easily identifiable form
After condensing your notes try and put them into a mind map or cue cards. Use different colours, shapes and symbols to help maximise your attention and memory. It has been found that repetition helps subject retention.

6. Study in small blocks

Try to study in small blocks such as 30 minutes and a 5 minute break. This way it keeps you motivated and you are well rested. Give yourself a reward (e.g. a piece of chocolate cake) at the end of your study period.

7. Study in Groups

Studying in groups can be fun and useful. If necessary organise a study group but make sure that you have a purpose and achieve that purpose.

8. Nourishment

Eat, drink and sleep. It is vital to keep your energy levels at an optimum. So get at least 9 hours sleep, drink 2 litres of water and eat regularly. Some forms of 'brain food' are boiled eggs, fish, bananas and blueberries.

9. Before the exam

Do not try and do last minute revision before you go into the exam room. Briefly revise 2-3 hours prior to the exam to remind you of the important points you have covered in your revision

10. In the exam room

First, read all the instructions. During the reading time decide the order of your answers. When you are allowed to write, make a map of your essays before you start writing. Be aware of your time, and have fun.

Brought to you by The University of Auckland who also bring you this very funny and a little irreverent video. It is aimed at senior students.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Let the reading journey begin

We start them young here at King's High School. This is Hamish, Hamish recently visited the library on his first visit to King's. He is the gorgeous grandson of Mr Kyle. Mr Kyle has a great love of books, is a regular here in the library and an extreme library borrower. This love of reading has obviously been inherited by his grandson. As you can see reading is already part of Hamish's regular routine. I expect that Mr Kyle will soon be reading him Lee Child books!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Meet the Cardsharks

This bunch of guys are the regular card players, today was their last day of school as most of them are seniors. They are a lovely bunch of boys and are heading off to university next year. I wish them all the very best of luck and I really hope they come back in and share their reading with me. Aidan, the blond on the left is a regular contributor to this blog and he checks it regularly, he has promised to comment lots after he leaves ;)

Friday, November 5, 2010

The end is nigh ...

For all our senior students the end of the year is nearly here. Next Thursday is the last day of school for all our seniors for the year 2010 before they head away on study leave prior to exams.

Wishing you all the best of luck for your exams. Next week I will post some helpful sites for study.

In the meantime All Books Are Due Back! Group teachers have all the current lists for all items currently issued to students and library assistants will be travelling the school every group time next week to collect books and save you the trouble of delivering them back yourselves. See how helpful we are?

Pictured is Nathaniel, Head Student Librarian for 2010 taking a moment to sit at lunchtime with a very large fantasy book, which are his favourite kind.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

New computers for our library

Our library is getting new computers. This is fantastic news! The benches are being installed today by Ants who has built them, and all the framing for them. We are very excited that this is happening because it will allow more students access to online resources when there are busy periods in the library. Another benefit is that it will take some pressure off our overbooked computer suites by allowing more classes which need computer access to book in to use the machines here.

It has been a great year for us here computer wise. We finally have a fully operating OPAC machine which is friendly to our network, complete with styley homepage, we have had almost no down time on our existing computers and there are now lots of students who are competent to help others do things on the OPAC and on the issues computer. Watch this space for photos of the completed project.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Book dominoes

Just imagine the clean-up! Bookmans is a U.S. bookstore. This is their latest promotional video. It is really cool. There are lots of their other ones on YouTube, if you are keen to find them just search YouTube for BookmansTV. Enjoy.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Top Gear - the book collection

We have almost every book published by the Top Gear team here at the King's High School Library. We also have almost every book by every member of the Top Gear Team here. The most recent one is Richard Hammond's Blast Lab Book, pictured on the right. This book is a tie in to a TV series and is becoming very popular in the junior classes.

We have James May on Machines and on motors. We have Jeremy Clarkson talking cars, current events and all manner of other random topics in about 5 books. We have Richard Hammond on his life, on cars, and on what not to buy in the car world.

You want Top Gear, come to the library! From Top Gear at the Winter Olympics to Top Gear Motor Mania it is all here.

I thought you might enjoy the poster below!

demotivational posters - ANIMAL TESTING

Willie Apiata VC. The reluctant hero by Paul Little

Review by Reuben Hilder (Year 10) as part of the 50 Book Challenge

This is the story of Willie Apiata's life. He is interesting because he is the first New Zealander to win the Victoria Cross since the Second World War. I thought the parts that were written by Willie himself were the best bits, they read almost like a story or a novel. I liked the stories about him growing up and about him and his sisters. I didn't like so much the parts which were not written by him, some of those bits were a bit uninteresting to me. Overall it was an enjoyable book and it was good to read about a guy who is a reluctant hero.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Special investigations!

Students from our Special Needs Department are very active borrowers from the King's High Library. They often visit with their teacher aides to read, be read to, to use our computers and to work in the courtyard.

In the photo you can see David, Ben and Thomas, all working on various projects.

Friday, October 15, 2010

One for the maths and economic fans

TED talks are some of the most entertaining and informative talks ever. They have world experts and leading lights of various fields giving talks which are accessible, not too long and enormously educational.

This particular one is from Hans Rosling and was filmed in 2007 when TED was just beginning, there is now a newer one as well. You've never seen data presented like this.

"With the drama and urgency of a sportscaster, statistics guru Hans Rosling debunks myths about the so-called "developing world." If you enjoy this one you will enjoy many of the others as well, upload them to your MP3 player and watch the videos for free.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Seen outside the library

Seldom found outside the library, here are some of the regulars taking a corn-chip break. This was taken from the library classroom (L1) window at lunchtime recently. From the left: John, James, Simon and Aidan.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Assassin's Creed Renaissance by Oliver Bowden

Review by Aidan Hall (Year 13)

Assassin’s Creed Renaissance is based on the game “Assassin’s Creed 2”. Having only played “Assassin’s Creed”, I was expecting a kinda Sci-fi type book, but this is nothing like that, as it only focuses on the actual Assassin himself.

The book is set in the late 1400s and focuses on the main character, Ezio Auditore, after his family gets brutally betrayed. This leads onto him discovering that his father was not just a banker, but a member of a secret group dedicated to protecting mankind.
So, the book is about Ezio, and is his journey of revenge and retribution as he seeks out revenge against all the men that caused his brothers’ and father’s deaths, while at the same time doing the work for the Order of Assassins.

As to be expected, the book ends with Ezio defeating the Templar’s, even though it takes 27 years, and ends with the Prophet completely revealed.

I liked this book because it is based on a game (which I have played the prequel to), and coz it ended up being on the type of book I prefer, just a good action book, instead of a sci-fi book, which just makes it so much better.

I would recommend this book to anyone who likes to read action books, and definitely anyone who has played either of the Assassin’s Creed games.

Reviewed by Aidan Hall

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Going Postal by Terry Pratchett

Reviewed by Reuben Hilder, Yr 10 (As part of the 50 Book Challenge)

Moist von Lipwig, an ex-conman has been given the task of resurecting the Ankh-Morport Post Office. This is a feat that has bought all those who have previously attempted it to their deaths! Not only must Moist beat the clacks system for customers he must also come out victorious in a seemingly unwinnable race. The character I liked the best was Adora Belle Dearheart and I didn't really like the "distorting the time-space continuum thing" but I did really like the book.

Going Postal is a Discworld novel and has been turned into a mini-series which has been screened on TV. In the video below you can see Terry Pratchett himself talking about the novel and the series.

Monday, October 11, 2010

50 Book Challenge extended

In an unprecedented move the 50 Book Challenge is going to be extended until the end of October. Today an unexpected flurry of activity, and cries of outraged challengers have been hard pressed to get hold of official sheets, and as a result of this and other extenuating circumstances, the last day of October 2010 is going to be the final day for sheets to be returned. This extra time may mean that those who thought they had the competition won will find that they have rather a lot of competition!

Get your read on then guys and keep the entries coming in, you are still in with a chance.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

King's English now on Facebook


If you are a student of English at King's High School you now have the opportunity to connect with your teachers on Facebook.  There is now a page for Senior English at King's and another for Junior English at King's.  These Facebook pages offer the opportunity for students to ask teachers questions, discuss research assignments and connect easily with others doing the same assignments and to discuss anything related to their English programmes.  As time goes on the pages will grow and develop and students are encouraged to use them, especially as exams and final deadlines for assignments are approaching.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The Carbon Diaries by Saci Lloyd

A 'Ms Schaumann recommends' book!

This is the first book in a series that tell the story of what life might be life in the world when global warming has really kicked in and carbon usage is controlled in an effort to lower greenhouse emissions.  The wild weather storms that the world is facing mean that pressure on all countries to deal with emissions is very high, and that carbon is the big issue for everyone all over the world.  The UK has decided to commence 60% carbon rations immediately.  

Laura and her family live in London in 2015 and their carbon cards have just been issued to them.  This means that travel, what you buy, what you go to are all dictated by the 200 point limit per month on your carbon card.   This completely changes Laura's life, things that she used to take for granted like holidays and even getting on a bus have points attached to them and people have to make decisions about what they will use their credits for, with extreme weather events happening regularly life is not easy for Laura.

Laura has all the usual concerns of a girl her age, and she is in a band who desperately want to gig and make a name for themselves.  Her sister seems to be going crazy and her Dad has turned up with a pig and is turning their back yard into a farm - not very successfully.  Laura's Mum is showing a worrying tendency to become involved with her 'inner wolf' and Laura is very interested in the boy across the street who has maybe even weirder things going on at his place.  This is the diary of the first year of carbon rationing from Laura's rather snarky perspective.

This is a great book with an excellent main character who will appeal to many.

There is a website you can check out art and other stuff associated with the book.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Quizlet - A tool for study!

Large internals and examinations loom, and students are starting to think about the techniques they will use for learning vocabulary and definitions of words for their various subjects.  I thought it might be useful to highlight a tool that I think might make learning vocabulary fun, interactive and above all is a useful tool.

Meet Quizlet!  Quizlet is an online tool that can make learning new words or memorising concepts fun.  You can make flashcards, compete in your own online quiz, share your quiz with another student or teacher and use it for almost all of your subjects.  There are pre-made quizzes, or you can make your own for your own specific needs.  Lots of people are using Quizlet for learning languages and there are lots of pre-made tests for subjects such as French, but it can be used for many other areas as well.

It is really easy to use and getting started only takes a minute.  I recommend you watch the video to learn how Quizlet can help you.  Click here to go to the video.  You can follow them on Facebook, the link is on their site, to keep up to date with new developments.  Give it a go!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The Lost Thing by Shaun Tan

This book is one of Shaun Tan's masterpieces and here at the King's Library we have them all.  His artwork is admired by our Art Department teachers and the stories his imagination produces is appreciated by students across the school.  Here is a taste of the film version directed by Shaun Tan.

In a world of rivets and drabness, a boy befriends a fantastical red creature that appears to be totally lost: based on the writer-director Tan's prize-winning children's book.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Just In Case by Meg Rosoff

Review by Thomas Keane (Year 10) as part of the 50 Book Challenge

A boy called David Case has a 1 year old brother who almost falls out of a window and as a result of that David becomes obsessed with the fact that fate is out to kill him.   He thinks he is doomed, and changes himself, including his name and assumes a new identity (he becomes Justin Case, see what he did there?) to try and escape fate.  He meets Agnes Day who is weird and interesting and who he falls in love with.  Fate is watching though, and is ready to make life as difficult as possible for David.  Great scene at the airport where it all blows up!

This is a great book.  I liked everything about it. 


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