SGS Library Blog - February 2023

SGS Library Blog - February 2023

Welcome back after the half term break.  Did you read any good books?  Don't forget to send us a book review via the Reading Cloud.  It would be great to hear your thoughts on the books you've read ahead of World Book Day, which we will be celebrating in school on Friday 3rd March 2023 (for more details see below).  February sees some fantastic new books in our library and we have a themed bookcase which is regularly updated with topical books for you to read.

We have some wonderful new books for you to read at home or on the go: Chaos Mage by Stephen Aryan; The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman #mrclue; Three Sisters by Heather Morris; Which Way to Anywhere by Cressida Cowell; George and the Ship of Time by Lucy Hawking; Windrush Child by Benjamin Zephaniah.


LOVE a Book

Love is in the air for Valentine’s Day in February, so we asked some of our students which books they have ‘loved’ reading and we had some heart-warming answers: Manas 7L - Alexander the Great by Dominic Sandbrook; Shumayl 7GAdventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain; Soloman 7MFirst Aid Manual by DK; Aaayush 7THighrise Mystery by Sharna Jackson; Shaisra 12ETKafka on the Shore by Murakami; James C. 12A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking.

And for those who enjoy a good teen romantic novel, check out these, ‘love at first sight,’ recommendations: Heartstoppers by Alice Oseman; Twighlight by Stephenie Meyer; The Fault in Our Stars by John Green.


Empathy Week starts
27th February 2023

Empathy Week is a time for us to reflect on our empathy skills around others. This allows us to broaden our understanding, wellbeing and communication within our society, whilst building resilience and reducing bias in the ever changing world we live in.  Through the power of film, explore this year’s theme ‘Opportunity and Education,’ as we learn about the lives of Mingma, Tendi, Santwanna and Chira, living in Nepal.
Watch the trailer: www.empathyweektrailer

We have some great book suggestions with an empathy theme running through them: Clap when you land by Elizabeth Acevedo; Look Both Ways by Jason Reynolds; The Last Paper Crane by Kerry Drewery.  Pick one up in the library and remember to do a book review through the reading cloud so you can share your thoughts with others.

Don’t forget to check on SORA, we think these books are great: Fish in a tree by Lynda Mullaly Hunt; Same Sun Here by Silas House & Neela Vaswani; Chinglish by Sue Cheung


Lockwood & Co Novels Grip Readers Galore

The Lockwood & Co book series have busted to the forefront of popular reads due to the success of new Netflix series (by the same name.)  Follow Lockwood, George and new recruit Lucy Caryle as they battle the epidemic of dangerous ghosts that have been effecting Britain for more than fifty years. Adults are powerless against them…. but can Lockwood & Co, a child-run detection agency, defeat them?  The Screaming Staircase is the first in this spine-chilling series; full of suspense, with and ghastly ghosts. Don’t look behind you…..!


Happy Birthday
Dave Rudden!

In case you’ve never heard of him, Dave Rudden is the author of a series I hold dear to my heart, Knights of the Borrowed Dark, which is a must read for any teenager out there. Born on the 13th February 1988, Rudden started off as a simple storyteller in Dublin at nights like The Monday Echo and Milk And Cookies before realising ‘it might be a good idea to try writing some of this stuff down’. After this revelation, he started writing anthologies and journals but in 2013 he had one of his greatest achievements: The Fantasy Book Review Short Story Prize. This was followed by getting listed for the Hennessy New Writing Award and the Bath Short Story Prize. After finishing UCD, he added on to another small story, which later became the Knights of the Borrowed Dark, and since then, he has written Doctor Who books, plays, TV shows, music videos and RPGs. Now, he teaches creative writing at the UCD and has served as the DCU’s writer in residence 2022, plus travelled to more than 800 schools and libraries all over the world about ‘writing, mental health, and monsters’.

By Rohan C 10T – Blog Buddy


The Ocean at the End of the Lane

English author Neil Gaiman’s popular book, The Ocean at the end of the Lane, was initially supposed to be a short story written for Gaiman’s wife.  However as Gaiman continued to write, so the word count increased, until it became a complete novel.  The Ocean at the End of Lane was published and has since adapted into a sensational stage show, currently on tour after it’s huge success in London. We would recommend the book and show for year 8 upwards.

Watch this insightful interview with Gaiman talking all about The Ocean at the End of the Lane and reading some excerpts from it.

Take a look at Neil Gaiman’s other books: Coraline KS3, Neverwhere KS4, Norse Mythology KS3.  SORA have lots of Neil Gaiman books available to borrow, simply type in the author name and press search.

If you have access to an Audible account you can listen to Neverwhere with the impeccable talents of actors, Christopher Lee; James McAvoy and Natalie Dormer narrating the dramatization of the book or there are lots of great Neverwhere items on the BBC website, ask a parent/guardian to sign-in for you.


LGBT+ History Month

“Fredrick the Great”  

Despite his widespread fame, when historical LGBT+ figures are mentioned, Frederick II “the Great” (King of Prussia, reigned 1740-1786) is seldom brought up, even though he was nearly indisputably homosexual.

Frederick the Great is most famous for his military exploits in the War of the Austrian Succession (1740-1748, with Prussian involvement in 1740-1742 and 1744-1745) that secured the province of Silesia for the Prussian kingdom and elevated it to the ranks of a great power, in spite of its small size. Later, in the Seven Years War (1756-1763), he protected his kingdom from a coalition of Austria, Russia and France, proving that Prussia could protect its newfound geopolitical status from its enemies.

In addition to his military prowess, Frederick the Great was a keen flautist and writer, known for his “Anti-Machiavel”, a refutation of Machiavelli’s “The Prince”, and his correspondence with the famous writer, Voltaire.  This taste for art and literature was in direct contrast to his father, Frederick William I, known as “The Soldier King” for his militarism. The two had a hostile relationship, most famously evident in the Katte affair. Hans Hermann von Katte was one of Frederick’s companions and very likely, his lover. In 1730, he and Frederick planned to escape Prussia for Britain, but were arrested by the King and Frederick was forced to watch Katte’s execution.

Ultimately, Frederick the Great was forced into a childless marriage with Elisabeth Christine of Brunswick-Wolfenbuttel-Bevern, an unhappy relationship. He moved to the famous Sanssouci Palace and left Elisabeth Christine in Berlin, only occasionally visiting her. When Frederick the Great saw her for the first time after the Seven Years War, he famously remarked, “madam has grown fatter” – a testament to the nature of their relationship. Without children, Frederick the Great’s womanising and indolent nephew, Frederick William III, succeeded him as King.

By Alexander H 10W – Blog Buddy
Reference: Fredrick the Great, King of Prussia by Tim Blanning
ISBN: 978-0141039190. Published by Penguin 2016.

We have some great LGBT+ reads available in our library, check out these titles: Funny Boy by Shyam Selvadurai; Simon vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertali; My Brother’s Name is Jessica by John Boyne; Her Name is James by CJ Heath; From Prejudice to Pride by Amy Lane.  Don’t forget to look on the Reading Cloud and SORA for even more!


Ms Trentinella Reviews
Understanding Comics by Scott McCloud

"Understanding Comics" by Scott McCloud is a ground-breaking work that explores the medium of comics and its potential as an art form. The book is presented in the form of a comic book itself, which adds an interesting layer of meta-commentary to the author's analysis. McCloud examines the elements of comics, such as panel layouts, symbols, and word-image relationships, and shows how they can be used to create meaning and convey emotion.

The book is both informative and entertaining, making it a valuable resource for anyone interested in comics and graphic novels. McCloud's writing is clear and accessible, and he manages to convey complex ideas in an easy-to-understand way.

Overall, "Understanding Comics" is a must-read for anyone interested in comics and graphic novels. It provides a unique and insightful look into the medium and its potential as an art form. It's a classic and a benchmark in the field of comics studies.



St. David’s Day 1st March 2023

St David is the patron saint of Wales and the feast of St. David is celebrated by welsh people yearly on 1st March, which was the day that he died in 589 (sixth century).  St David was canonised by Pope Callixtus in the 12th century and is the only native born patron saint of the countries Britain and Ireland. Here are some great and amusing facts about St. David:

Wales has many great authors, Roald Dahl, Sophie Anderson, Manon Steffan Ros and Dylan Thomas to name but a few.  So check out these titles in our Library:  The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar and six more by Roald Dahl; The House with Chicken Legs by Sophie Anderson; Blue Book of Nebo by Manon Steffan



SGS announces Dominic Sandbrook
for World Book Day

We are excited to announce that author Dominic Sandbrook is coming in to talk to students on Friday 3rd March 2023 when we will be celebrating World Book Day.

Sandbrook’s ‘Adventures in Time’ book series, which are written for Young Adults, will be available to purchase on the day in the school library for £10 each, cash,
while stocks last. 

In addition, Sandbrook has written some fantastic KS5 books which are a great resource for History & Politics A-Level students, ‘Who Dares Wins’ and ‘State of Emergency.’  Limited copies of these titles will also be available on the day to buy from the school library.  At the discounted cash price of £12.50 each.  Dominic Sandbrook will be available in the Library at break times to sign his books.

Watch out for our Masked Reader videos and much, much more as we celebrate World Book day, SGS style!!  Can you guess who’s that behind the mask?


Wicked Writers: Be the Change 2023

National Literacy Trust have introduced an exciting new writing competition in partnership with the acclaimed stage musical Wicked and children’s author Sharna Jackson to create a writing competition about changing our world – for the better.  The closing date 31st March 2023 and aimed at young people (up to and including KS3) with superb prizes to be won, including a trip for your class to see Wicked!  For more details see the link below or ask your English teacher:


Holocaust Memorial Day

On Friday 27th January 2023 we marked Holocaust Memorial Day in our library with a display of themed books and a presentation on our big library screen. If you are interested to learn more about the Holocaust, The Wiener Holocaust Library holds one the world’s biggest archives on the Holocaust, the Nazi era and genocide.  It has a unique collection of related items including many books, press cuttings, photographs and eyewitness testimonies.  They also have virtual and in person events running and exhibitions showing.


Amazing Author Competition

Blue Peter has launched the “Amazing Author Competition” where children (aged 5 – 15) write an original short story or poem with the ultimate prize of having it brought to life by children's author, Tom Fletcher.  For more information visit:


International Women’s day
8th March 2023

This year’s them for International Women’s Day is ‘#Embrace Equity.’  The campaign focuses around the concept of two words ‘equity’ and ‘equality.’  Although these words are similar they have different meanings which are important to understand. Take a look at this excellent link (below) explaining the views surrounding equity and creating a more equal environment for individual women in the workplace and beyond.


In our library we have some inspirational books that will spark your interest and expand your mind on importance of equity.  The Quiet at the End of the World by Lauren James; Women in White Coats by Olivia Campbell; I am Malala by Malala Yousafzai.

Load the SORA app on your device and explore more related books on International Women’s Day:
For the Reading Cloud:

Remember: Use your school email address and 8 digits of your DOB to login
(i.e. password: 01012009).


Book Trailer Competition Winners

Thank you to everyone that contributed to the year 10 Library Book Trailer Competition 2023, we were blown away by the effort that was put into them.  The top five entrants will all be awarded two achievement points each.

Congratulations to Vedant M & Varunan V 10T for winning first prize for the brilliant Minecraft book trailer. We thought the presentation, content and imagery, together with voice soundtrack and editing, really stood out – well done! 

Runner up prizes have been awarded to: Vishwaa K 10T for The Gruffalo book trailer and Oliver K 10M the Fahrenheit 451 book trailer.  Jake L 10T and Rayan AB 10W are also in our top five entries – well done for your Percy Jackson and Game of Thrones book trailers.  Please come into the Library to collect your prizes and certificates.


British Science Week
11-20th March 2023

This year’s theme for British Science Week is Connections and there are lots of interesting STEM activities going on. We particularly liked the What’s on? Feature, where you can watch Science Farm Live, BBC Tech (live from the Science Museum) and the DadLab Youtube live experiment.

Also, check out I’m a Scientist, you can connect with a broad range of scientists with an expansive skill base, why not put to the test by asking your question? 

The British Science Week 2023 Poster Competition is now open!
Check out the link below for more details:


Check out our brilliant selection of Science books under sections 500 – 612 in our school Library: The Ultimate Book of Saturday Science by Neil A. Downie; Kay’s Anatomy by Adam Kay; Is There Anybody Out There by Dara O Briain.