SGS Library Blog – Autumn term week 10

SGS Library Blog – Autumn term week 10

SGS Library Blog – Autumn term week 10

SGS Library

Please click into the individual blog post, as the links are currently not visible on the library page, (formatting issue being investigated).

The answer to last week's Doctor Who question is that the news bulletin over-ran due to extended coverage of the assassination of John F Kennedy on 22 November 1963, the previous day. Nobody got it correct, so no house point to award. Was it too difficult?

As this is our last blog post, before December, we want to tell you about our SGS Library book advent calendar, which we have uploaded ready to the Library webpage. As per tradition, you will be able to open a door each day of advent. Behind these are a mixture of quiz questions and winter book recommendations. There will be a prize for the quiz, open to Y7 - Y9. You need to identify the book titles and authors for the quiz questions. Winner to be drawn randomly from all correct entries.

Also the school has purchased a new library catalogue which is currently being installed. This will include the functionality for you to reserve library books online, so you will shortly be able to borrow books from the library again. We are working out the details of access to the library for book collections. Thank you all for your patience this term.

Don't forget that if you wish to order any books from the Scholastic Teen Book Club catalogue that the deadline is Monday 30 November.

For those of you who haven't logged into Sora yet, here is a reminder of how to borrow library ebooks via Sora. But if you are having any difficulties accessing Sora, then I will be happy to help you.

There is a link to the Sora app on the pupil page of the school website or at the top of the sidebar here on the library page.
Download the Sora app or explore in browser
Enter the setup code uksecondary if asked, and sign in with your school Google login and email password.
And in the meantime, here is a Getting Started video guide or there is a PDF version on the P drive in the P:\LIBRARY\Sora folder.

National Non-Fiction November

The final selection of books for National Non-Fiction November are as follows.

The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind by William Kamkwamba and Bryan Mealer which tells the story of William Kamkwamba, a young boy from Malawi, and how he used scrap metal to invent a windmill and bring electricity to his tiny village. Available to borrow online from London Library Consortium.

South by Sir Ernest Henry Shackleton is his first-hand account of the epic expedition crossing the Antarctic, which he described as 'the last great journey on earth'. Available to borrow from Sora.

The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind by William Kamkwamba and Bryan Mealer        South by Sir Ernest Henry Shackleton

Also the Federation of Children's Book Groups has organised a competition for KS3 to write a poem based on any aspect of the theme of The Planet We Share. (Closing date 4 December).

You'll see lots of familiar author names are supporting the Authors4Oceans campaign to save the oceans for future generations from the plastic tide.

Whilst talking non-fiction, I wish to mention that Barack Obama's autobiography A Promised Land was published this month. You may read an article on it in The Guardian here.

A Promised Land by Barack Obama

We mentioned the winners of the 2020 Diverse Book Awards Just after half term. Now I would like to draw your attention to the opportunity to apply to be a judge of the 2021 Diverse Book Awards. This year they had two student judges on the panel.

If you are interested in this opportunity, you have the choice of applying to judge YA or children's titles and the choice of judging the Longlist (January - May) or the Shortlist (June - August). However you don't have much time to apply as the closing date is 30 November. I have saved a copy of the application form on the P drive in the P:\LIBRARY folder, or click the link below to download a copy. Email your completed application form to

The Diverse Book Awards 2021 Judge Application Form

The Financial Times have selected their choices of best Children’s and Young adult books of 2020. The titles are as follows, although none are on Sora yet.
The Greatest Inventor by Ben Brooks
I Am a Book. I Am a Portal to the Universe by Stefanie Posavec and Miriam Quick
The Wolf Road by Richard Lambert
The Cousins by Karen M McManus
Dear Justyce by Nic Stone

And you may see all the FT other best book categories here.

The winner of The Booker Prize was announced last week as Shuggie Bain by Douglas Stuart, who was born and raised in Glasgow. This is the leading literary award in the English speaking world and sixth formers may enjoy reading this book.

Shuggie Bain by Douglas Stuart

This also links into my next article. There were too many events happening last week to include them all. One that got missed was Book Week Scotland, so I thought I would catch up with a feature on this before we reach St Andrew's Day, (the patron saint of Scotland) on 30 November.

I know that some of you have been studying The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by classic Scottish author Robert Louis Stevenson in your English lessons. If you wish to try some of his other books, Treasure Island and Kidnapped are both available to borrow on Sora.

And for a bit of fun, you may enjoy playing the game Rabbie Burns Saves the World.

One of the events at Book Week Scotland was a session between Patrice Lawrence and the authors of Punching The Air, Ibi Zoboi and Dr Yusef Salaam to discuss their novel which tells the story of how one boy is able to maintain his humanity and fight for truth when he is wrongly incarcerated by a system designed to strip him of both. The video is still available to view here.

Punching The Air by Ibi Zoboi and Yusef Salaam

Now for a quick round-up of a few other ideas and resources.

Macmillan Children’s Books have announced a publishing partnership with footballer and child food poverty campaigner Marcus Rashford MBE to promote reading and literacy to young people across the UK. The first book will publish next May, entitled YOU ARE A CHAMPION: Unlock Your Potential, Find Your Voice and Be the BEST You Can Be. This non-fiction title draws on stories from Marcus’s own life to show young people aged 11-16 years that success is all about the mindset.

My News in 65 is your chance to share your story and for you to think about what it means to be a journalist. This competition to film a clip of upto 65 seconds is open upto age 14.

As I've previously mentioned, there are always plenty of giveaways on the Book Trust website. Today I am going to highlight this one to win a copy of Benjamin Zephaniah's new book Windrush Child, You may also read an interview with the author here.

There is an essay competition here with a choice of subjects open to Y12 only.

There is a competition here for short stories or poems which are inspired by music.

And here is a giveaway with 20 prizes of £50 book tokens.


Finally now for a bit of fun, we have a crossword with a Scottish connection, based on books set in Scotland or Scottish authors. I created this crossword at myself and you may wish to try making your own word searches or crosswords there.

(For easier printing, open the image in a new tab. The way you do this will vary according to the browser you are using).