Thursday, September 25, 2014

Amnesty International Quiz

Yesterday we had a new event in the library.  Students coming to the library at lunchtime were offered the opportunity to take part in a quiz organised by Jehoon and the Amnesty Team as part of their Freedom Challenge, this aims to draw attention to those who have been tortured unjustly and to raise awareness of the terrible conditions that some people suffer when they are arrested and held in some countries.  The Amnesty team raised $200 for their efforts with the quiz and a sausage sizzle.  A great effort!  Here are some photos of their events.

Jehoon and Walli organise the participants in the quiz

Participants in the quiz

Will our Head Boy is a walking bulletin board at interval

Jake fully participates in the quiz!

Friday, September 12, 2014

Singing Home The Whale by Mandy Hager

This is a book to give you the feels!  You will meet Will Jackson, he is staying with his uncle in the sounds, in a small town where everyone knows everyone's business. His uncle is a kind man, but he is busy working and Will just needs to get on with things, doing his school work by correspondence and keeping a low profile while he recovers from a trauma which has left his with headaches and panic attacks.  Will discovers a young whale hiding out in the bay and the two lonely souls, Will and the orca whom he names Min form a strong bond. Will is a singer and Min seems to be soothed and somehow to be connecting with him through the songs he sings.  But Min must be kept secret, it is against the law to swim with or become close to these whales, when the local salmon farmer finds out that Min is around, and some of his fish pens are damaged, he is out for blood and reports Will to the local fisheries officer who is now also after Will.  Min's blood and Will must protect his new found orca friend at any cost.

This is a book with lots going on.  A story with lots of layers.  Will's friends and enemies, the people of the town some of whom want to help Will, some who want to harm Min.  So, there is Will's trauma, there is a lovely girl, there is a damaged boy who has been abused and who gradually becomes Will's friend and supporter.  Lots of story and plenty to keep you turning the pages.  I loved the characters and I became completely involved in what was happening to them.  Read this book for a great big story which will make you cry, laugh and for the experience of reading something really special. Highly recommended for everyone.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

This book is addictive.  You start it, and before you know it, you can do little else but read to the end.  The story is very unusual, and the structure is really interesting, but because it is a mystery I can't reveal too much of the plot, you'll have to read it for yourselves.  The story concerns a bunch of teenagers, wealthy teenagers, who holiday with their Grandfather and aunties every summer on their private island.  It is totally idyllic but there are tensions, unspoken complications. The main character in the story, Cadence, is telling you the story of their summer when it all went wrong with her family, with her cousins and with Gat a friend of one of her cousins, but you'll have quite a journey to get there, clues are dripped out about what happened, you know that tragedy occurred but until the end you aren't sure what it was and how it happened.  You know it happened the summer Cadence was 15, and you know that from that point she is suffering crippling migraines.  When she finally returns to the island, she slowly begins remembering the events of what happened in the 15th summer and what happened that changed everything.

This book will have appeal to all the John Green fans, but it does have a different feel, it is a suspense novel, the kind of book where you will have a 'big reveal' moment and finally understand the clues that have been coming all the way through the book.  Have a look at the Tumblr for the book  You can start reading it here!  We have two copies in the library, because this is going to be HUGE!

Monday, June 16, 2014

Reader Of The Month, Ben Duff

This is part of our very occasional series, The Reader Of The Month.  This time we meet Ben Duff, a regular in the library and a student with very particular taste in books.  Scroll down on the Smore to see all of it.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Insignia by S.J. Kincaid

Review by Cameron McLachlan, as part of the 50 book challenge

The world is in the middle of WWIII which is being fought in space, the war is about the world's resources and it looks like the enemy might be going to win. Tom Raines is homeless and living with his father, constantly on the move.  They live by gambling and staying in hotels each night.  Tom gets the opportunity to go to the military and fight the war against the Russians in outer space, he has special skills which mean he might be the man to help turn the war around, his gaming talent might be just what the world needs.  Tom has one problem though, the girl that he's fighting, he also really likes.
I really liked the style it was written in.  I really couldn't stop reading it, it was unputdownable!  I think that if you liked Enders Game you would really like this book.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Kate De Goldi visits King's High School

Well known writer and reviewer Kate De Goldi spent the day at King's last Friday.  She spent the day in the library and worked with students developing their writing skills.  It was a real treat for the students to work with one of New Zealand's best known writers and as a result we have had a rush on her book The 10pm Question which the boys are really enjoying.  Kate was here in Dunedin for the Dunedin Writers and Readers Festival and ran a workshop for young writers and also chaired a session with another well known New Zealand author Elizabeth Knox.  As part of her day at King's Kate came along to BookGang and was amazed to see the rush for the new books.  She said that our BookGang and BookMafia are proof that it is a myth that boys don't read!  She was very impressed with the enthusiasm for reading which she saw at King's.

Here is a photo of Kate working with senior students.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Dunedin Writers and Readers Festival - Teen events

The Dunedin Writers and Readers Festival is on next weekend the 9 and 10th May.  It is a major event for the city and the people organising the festival (of which I am one) have arranged some events for you guys.

Murder in the Bookshop!
Come along to the University Book Shop on Friday night at 8pm and solve a murder crime.  Write it up and submit it to our illustrious judges to win a prize.  You will meet two of Dunedin's most famous writers.  Vanda Symon who writes crime novels which are clever, keep you guessing and which are loved by crime readers around the world.  You will also meet Ella West who has written a dystopian series and has a new crime novel out for teenagers called Night Vision.  These two writers and a team of helpers will help you with the writing while you figure out the clues to solve the mystery of who murdered the victim.  See Ms Schaumann for more details.  Or look on the website for prices and booking information.  UBS, 8 - 9.30 pm, $25.00

Young Adult Writers Panel
Come and meet Melinda Szymanik and Sandy McKay, both well known authors of books for young people.  They have both written books about war this year, and even more interesting the books they have written have connections to their families.  Melinda's book A Winters Day in 1939 is a book about surviving the second world war as a displaced Polish person being moved around the country in the most horrible conditions and being used as slave labour for the troops.  Sandy's book When Our Jack Went To War is the story of two brothers, one who is off fighting at the front during the first world war and the younger brother who is at home looking after his Mum and becoming frustrated that he can't go, until the experiences of his brother make him realise that war is not all glory.  Both books are great!  Highly recommended reading.  Come and hear the authors talk about writing, how to get started writing and how to get finished and published.  Saturday 10 May, in the Dunningham Room at the Public Library, 11.30 - 12.45, $18
Come and see Ms Schaumann and she may have a free ticket for you to this event.

Write You Are
A workshop with the fantastic Kate De Goldi.  There are very limited tickets available for this event.  Come and learn how to develop your writing style, learn techniques for improving how you write creatively and meet one of New Zealands most respected writers and broadcasters.  Kate De Goldi is often to be heard on Kim Hills Saturday morning radio programme on National Radio, she teaches writing at various festivals and venues around the country regularly.  One of the most respected voices of literature in New Zealand we are very excited to have her in our festival and King's is delighted to tell you that students from King's High School will have the opportunity to work with Kate on Friday next week at school.  Sunday 10am - 1pm, in the McNabb room at the public library. $30  (Tickets will sell quickly for this event, so get in quickly)

Knox @ Knox
Elizabeth Knox is most famous for her book The Vitners Luck, but she is also the author of the Dreamhunter series.  High fantasy and something that will take you on a trip of the imagination unlike any other.  Her latest book is Mortal Fire and promises to be a huge hit here at King's.  She also has a very recent horror novel which is a rival for anything Stephen King has written.  Come and listen to Elizabeth Knox talking about her writing at Knox Church, Sunday 11 May, 4 - 5 pm.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Divergent and TFIOS

Divergent - the books are hugely popular here, and now the movie has hit the movie theatres. Unfortunately the BookGang hasn't been able to make it to the movie as a group because end of term madness intervened, but I encourage you all to head to the movie if you've read the book, or even if you haven't, because then you could head straight to book 2, Insurgent.  Here is the trailer.

And if you like the actor playing Triss in Divergent, you'll be able to see her in The Fault In Our Stars in a few weeks.  And we lurve TFIOS!  We love anything John Green here at King's.  Get out your tissues in preparation.  That book has been known to make Yr 13 boys cry.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Read it, Loved it, Share it

At BookGang the last couple of weeks, students have been given a big pile of brand new free books to read, share and then comment about on the Penguin Teen Facebook Page.
The books they sent us were great, but none of you lot have been to the FB page yet! They sent us lots of copies of The Fault in Our Stars, a new book called Half Bad by Sally Green and The Awakening and The Vampire Academy.  Please please go to the Facebook page if you received one of the books and give some feedback.  We want to give you more free books, the whole idea is that you give feedback on the FB page.  Go on.  You know you want to.  You could win some great prizes.  Click here to go straight there and tell them what you thought of the book.

New eBooks in the Library

Today the library purchased a whole bunch of new eBooks for you to read.
You can get to the ePlatform via The Moodle (Virtual Learning Centre) or you can come into the library and pick up an info sheet.  New books added today include:

  • Evil Genius by Catherine Jinks
  • Arrival and Contact by Chris Morphew (The Phoenix Files)
  • Skulduggery Pleasant by Derek Landy
  • Pookie Aleera Is Not My Boyfriend by Steven Herrick
  • Murder at Mykenai by Catherine Mayo
  • When We Wake and While We Run by Karen Healy
  • Scott Pilgrim (2 volumes) by Bryan Lee O'Malley
  • Animal Farm by George Orwell
  • The Simple Gift by Steven Herrick
  • Severe Risk by Ray Garton
  • Why We Took The Car by Wolfgang Herndorf
  • A Boy Called Hope by Lara Wiliamson
  • Gingerbread by Robert Dinsdale
  • The Testing and Independent Study by Joelle Charbonneau
  • Twelve Years a Slave by Solomon Northup
  • Looking for Alaska by John Green

Some of these are ecopies of books we have in the library and others are new to us and will only be on the ePlatform.  Why not borrow an ebook on your phone, iPad, iPod or Tablet.  They work on all those!  If you need help come and see Ms Schaumann.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

You are never too old for Poo Bum by Stephanie Blake

Today in the library office, while the rain tipped down outside.  The wind whipped around every corner and blew all the doors open around the library, driving in all the terrible weather from outside, there was a moment of perfect peace and tranquility in the library office.  Jake read a story to Mackenzie and Nigel his year 13 classmates.  It was really appreciated and while Mackenzie was able to predict the end of the story there were enough surprises to keep them interested.  Nice job Jake!  And see, nobody is too old for Poo Bum!

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Book reviewers wanted

The opportunity you have been waiting for!  Share your thoughts on the books you read, write a short - or long - review of a book you've read from the King's High School Library and you will receive a reward. 
Juniors or seniors we want reviews from you all.  If you are a BookGang member you are getting access to the new books before everyone else, why not tell everyone about the new cool books, but any book can qualify. 

If you write a review you can send it to and it will be put on the blog.  If you want to comment on a review which is already on this blog you can do that by yourself.  Just click the comment button at the bottom of each post, your comment will automagically be added.

Any questions?   Come and talk to us, Ms Schaumann or Gill, in the library.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece by Annabel Pitcher

Poor Jamie!  Five years ago his little sister Rose was killed in a terrorist attack in London.  It was shocking and terrible and it has caused Jamie's family to gradually crumble.  Jamie is only 10 and he struggles to understand what is happening.  Jamie hasn't cried in that whole time and he has bottled up all his feelings and emotions inside himself, but he can hardly remember his sister but her ashes are in the urn on the mantlepiece in the lounge and he can see that every day.

This is one of the saddest books I've ever read, it is gut wrenching, taking you into Jamie's world, his feelings, his poor struggling Mum and his Dad who is full of troubles.  While the book is only small and very easy to read, it might be the most complex book you read this year.  Fabulous writing, perfect characters. Wonderful book. 

Friday, February 21, 2014

James Patterson is missing! Join the search

An interractive adventure.  If you are a fan of James Patterson you might find this really fun.  He is the author of the I, Funny and Maximum Ride books, as well as heaps and heaps of crime novels.  Join in the adventure. You can win prizes!
Details here
The action begins 21 February 2014 at 09:00hrs GMT at

It is all go in the library for 2014

Hello and welcome to the first post for the year of 2014.

Classes are coming through all the time and books traveling in and out at speed.  BookGang has had two meetings, our first proper one was today at lunchtime.  We will be meeting regularly on Fridays at lunchtime in the library courtyard until the weather drives us inside.  Boys are welcome to bring their lunch.

Below are the first photos of 2014.  In the top one Connor and Ben who are in Year 13 have made a project of building the new library bookshelves.  These bookshelves will contain some of our really popular series books, freeing up shelf space for other books.

In the bottom photo you can see Hemiona, also of Year 13, who has discovered Manga.  He has never been a big fan of reading but in recent days he has become hooked on the library Manga stock and is reading them avidly.  He is not alone, heaps of boys are into these and the library will be adding to this collection this year.  If you have suggestions of Manga that we should get, please write them in the suggestions book on the counter.

Ben and Connor, student librarians make up our new library bookshelves

Hemiona is totally engrossed in this Manga series.


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