SGS Library Blog - January 2023

SGS Library Blog - January 2023

Happy New Year to all students from
SGS Library.

We have lots going on already to kick start January 2023, new books, competitions, clubs and our rolling library screen is full of exciting information and book inspiration.  We would love to hear if you have read any good book box sets recently or have listened to any audio books?
Email us:

Cast your eyes on these novels which have just arrived: Endless Night by Agatha Christie; The Lizzie and Belle Mysteries by JT Williams; Predator’s Gold (Book 2 - Mortal Engines quartet) by Philip Reeve.  For Agatha Christie fans check out our ever growing collection of her books on our library shelves under ‘CHR.’  In addition, log on to SORA for more Agatha Christies titles including: The Mysterious Affair at Styles, The Murder on the Lines and Poirot investigates.

Start your New year’s reading with these books: In the After Light by Alexandra Bracken (Book 3 - A Darkest Mind series); The Spy Who Came in from the Cold by John Le Carre; The Escape by Robert Muchamore (Book 1 – Henderson Boys series).

2023 Yoto Carnegies Medals

The UK’s longest running children’s book awards, Yoto Carnegie Medals have announced their book nominations for outstanding writing and illustration.  A total of 125 books have been nominated for the 2023 medals that are uniquely judged by librarians.  This year also sees a rebrand for the awards, now combining the Yoto Carnegies for Writing and the former Kate Greenaway Medal for Illustration, which will now collectively be known as ‘The Carnegies.’

Click here to view the writing nominees:

We already have some of the long listed books for writing on our library shelves: Skin of Sea by Natalie Bowen; All that’s Left in the World by Natasha Bowen; Green Rising by Lauren James; The Blue Book of Nebo by Manon Steffan Ros.


Chinese New Year
22nd January 2023

Chinese New Year, also referred to as Lunar New Year, is celebrated by people living in China and Chinese communities worldwide.  2023 is the Year of the Rabbit.  We asked Ms Lo to tell us how she celebrates Chinese New Year in this interview:

Q1: How do you celebrate Chinese New Year?
“On Chinese New Year Eve we have a big dinner and during the New year, we visit our relatives and friends. We bring presents, traditionally red packets are given to the young and unmarried members of the family.  We greet each other with the words Kung Hei Fat Choi which means wishing you prosperity."

Q2: What does the Year of the Rabbit symbolise?
"The people born in the year of the Rabbit are said to be vigilant, witty and quick minded."

Q3: What do you like to eat when you are celebrating Chinese New year?
“I am from Hong Kong, Southern China and we eat radish cakes, sweet sticky rice cakes, fried dumplings and Tangyuan (sweet rice balls)."

Q4: What decorations do you hang in your home?
“We hang red spring couplets to welcome in the New Year and express good wishes to the family.  The colour red is important to us.  There is a myth that long ago, there was a monster that came to a village to eat people and livestock.  During the day of New Year’s eve, people fled to the mountains to avoid the monster.  People lived in fear until an old man dressed in red scared away the monster by pasting red papers on the doors, burning bamboo and lighting candles in the houses.  After that people did this and the monster never returned.”

We have books galore on the animals depicted in the Chinese Zodiac, here are a few novels we have selected, can you guess the animals?

Watership Down by Richard Adams; Life of Pi by Yann Martel; Eragon by Christopher Paolini.

You might like to try these books inspired by Chinese culture: Fire World by Chris d’Lacey; Young Samurai, The Ring of Water (book 7) by Chris Bradford; Chinese Cinderella by Adeline Yen Mah, is highly recommended by Ms Lo.

Celebrate Chinese New Year with a selection of folk stories, food, drink, craft and costumes organised by Sutton’s Council’s Cultural Services. Visit the link below to find out more:


Mr Wroth Reviews Tintin
Le Trésor de Rakham Le Rouge
by Hergé

Le Trésor de Rakham Le Rouge was written, and drawn, by the Belgian cartoonist Hergé between February and September 1943.  Belgium was under occupation by the Nazis at this time and the country’s biggest selling francophone newspaper, Le Soir, had to be creative in finding ways to keep up circulation figures and avoid the wrath of the Nazi censors.  Entertaining its readership with the adventures of the young reporter Tintin was one of the ways it attempted to do this.  And a very successful strategy it turned out to be.

The story brings together the classic family group of Tintin, Minou (Snowy in English), Le Capitaine Haddock and Le Professeur Tournesol (a sunflower, yes but it is not his name in the English version).  There is also an appearance by the two clumsy inspectors Dupont and Dupond (Thomson and Thompson in English).  The plot centres around our trio (plus Minou), who set off to the West Indies in search of treasure which was once stolen by the infamous pirate Rakham Le Rouge.  They think they are on to a certain winner because they have managed to place together three parts of an old map drawn by Captain Haddock’s great ancestor Sir Francis Haddock.  But they make a schoolboy error.  When following a map written in French, which meridian do you follow?  Greenwich or Paris?  Comedy, intrigue and drama all have their place in this classic bande dessinée and I have to say that I loved re-reading it after a gap of more than twenty years.  Above all, I love Captain Haddock’s legendary insults.  A lot of them get lost in translation but all of them have interesting origins and were not simply made up by Hergé.  If you want to find out more, I have un dictionnaire de Haddockismes in Rm 74.

Does Tintin find his treasure or is going to be frustrated once again by those around him?  To discover what really happens, head off to the bibliothèque and take out the book, in French of course; or one of the other Tintin titles on the shelves.  They have something for everyone and if you have not learnt much French yet, there are always the pictures to help.  Voilà!


Holocaust Memorial Day
27th January 2023

The theme for Holocaust Memorial Day 2023 is Ordinary People.  During World War II, Hitler, leader of the Nazi Party, ordered the mass genocide of the Jewish Community, including other groups, Roma and Tuti.  These were ordinary people and it was also ordinary people who were ordered to kill them.  On Holocaust Memorial Day we remember the atrocities that happened during the Holocaust and more recently the genocides that have happened in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur.  It is these events that make us aware that ordinary people can be perpetrators, witnesses and saviours.

Explore the Ordinary People theme below, we particularly liked the thought provoking quotes:

Our Library has many books about the Holocaust (see section 940), here are a small selection of titles: Hilters Willing Executioners by Jonah Daniel Goldhager; When Hilter Stole Pink Rabbit by Judith Kerr; The Pianist by Wladylaw Szpilman.  Please do come into the library if you would like to be pointed to other books around the Holocaust.  Don’t forget SORA has lots of books ready for you read too, simply type in Holocaust in the search box.

The Light in the Hidden Places by Sharon Cameron; Projekt 1065 by Alan Gratz; A bag of Marbles by Joseph Joffo (Graphic Novel); The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne.


The Portico Sadie Massey Awards

Open to all students in KS3, KS4 & KS5 – why not have a go at the Portico Sadie Massey Reading and Writing Competitions?  It’s free to enter!

For more details visit:


Winners of Guess the Book Covers Competition

Congratulations to our Year 7-9 Christmas Quiz winners:

First Prize: Madhur S (7M), Second Prize: Ivan Z (7L),
Third Prize: Joshua P (8M)

Runner-ups: Felix W (7L), Kavish K (8L), Zachary W (7L)

Form with most correct entries: 7L