Thursday, March 25, 2010

Meet the Book Gang

Thursdays, at lunchtime in the Williams Room at the back of the library it is very very loud.  Very unlibraryish!  The Book Gang are in da house!  Not everyone could be there today and not everyone is willing to have their photos taken.  But we do have some fun! 

These photos were taken today after the scrabble for books was over and everyone had managed to get their hands on one of the new books, or one of the older books which is still in huge demand. Book Gangers get to have first go at the new books coming into the library - there is often a 'tussle' over the next book in a series if there is only one copy, which is always entertaining.

We have big plans for the year including 'field trips' to other school libraries and a book buying expedition.  One of the perks is that you get to eat lunch in the library and make all the other regular library users jealous!  You don't have to come all the time, if you can't make it nobody minds and we accept new members all the time.  If you are keen to join come and talk to one of the guys in the photos, or talk to Ms Schaumann.

Paper Towns by John Green

This was posted as a comment last night, but it is so cool it has to go in the main blog!

I just read Paper Towns by John Green and it's freakin' awesome! Awesome enough for me to write a review so other people will read it anyway. And they will. They'll be like, "Oh, Micah wrote a review of that book, it must be cool." I'm betting popularity will double over night. At least. You better not delete this bit Ms Schaumann.


The book is written through the eyes of High School senior Quentin Jacobsen ("Q" to his friends), who is basically your average non-jock type teenager. As in every good story there is a love interest, the lovely Margo Roth Spiegelman.

Basically, Quentin and Margo grew up together and shared several lovely childhood experiences (such as finding a suicide victim pinned to a tree with a bullet through his head) but over the past few years they have chosen separate paths with Quentin becoming the semi-nerdy, hang out with the unknown band type, but Margo becoming the popular, burst into the famous band's R18 gig and jump on stage, making everyone think she is actually a member and then ditching the band later on type.

Without ruining too much of the plot I can say that the book is less of a story about the characters and more of a lesson about you as a person, it displays the whole spirit of being a teenager thing perfectly without being too romancy, too deep or most importantly too boring.

I'm not going to give a star rating (mostly because the only awesome thing about stars is their power to make Super Mario invincible), instead I'll give it a 7/10 llamas rating.

I loved this book a lot, I would definitely buy a copy. It made me want to grab my best mates, ditch my little town and drive somewhere far away for no good reason. Then I realised I live in New Zealand so pretty much every town is little except for Auckland and Wellington, both of which are in the South Island so I can't drive there. And that just made me depressed.


If you want a good read, to learn something about yourself and to ultimately end up wishing you lived in America, read this book.

You know you want to.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Biography Resource Centre

The Epic Databases are vital tools for students studying at high school in New Zealand.  We have access to these databases via the Ministry of Education's TKI website.  There are lots of different databases on there but our focus for today is the Biography Reference Centre.

Students at all levels of the school can find reliable, easy to locate information on this database and find biographical information about famous people - and those whom you may never have heard of but who have had a lasting impact on world history.   Whether you are looking for a famous scientist, a figure from history or someone who is prominent right now, this is the place to look first.

The log in for the databases is on tear off sheets all over the library, you can access the databases from school or from home and we really encourage you to give them a try. 

"This database contains an extensive range of contemporary and historical biographies of notable people including some New Zealanders. It is searchable by name, nationality, and occupation. It is ideal for secondary students and teachers."

 If you need help navigating the databases come and see Ms Schaumann and she can help you.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Al Capone Does My Shirts by Gennifer Choldenko

Reviewed by Connor Wilson (Year 10) as part of the 50 Book Challenge

A boy called Moose Flanagan finds out that his family are moving to Alkatraz Prison in San Francisco because his Dad gets a job there as a prison guard, he isn't sure this is a good thing.  He isn't sure there will be friends there and he knows that the world's worst criminals are there and he has to live with it.  Moose has more than just that problem, his sister Natalie has some problems and his Mum doesn't want to accept that she has something wrong with her.  The story is set in 1935 and people are very poor, Moose's friend Piper comes up with a plan to make money using the laundry at the prison.

I really liked this book, it was awesome!  I liked the way it made you feel like you were in the room with the characters in the book.


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