SGS Library blog - May 2023

SGS Library blog - May 2023

Our School Library has been buzzing with activity this month with our Year 7 book club participating in the Carnegies shadowing group.  Year 8 Comic Club have started a new cartoon project.  Who Dunnit Club has seen KS3 students try to solve various mysteries and plots.  Our teachers have once again inspired students with what they are reading and with two library competitions running for Year 7 and Year 9 to get involved in this term, it’s a busy time!  If you are revising for exams we have plenty of books and resources for you.  Please come in and speak to the Library Staff and we will be happy to direct you to your subject revision guides.

Check out these great new books which have just arrived and are ready for your half term reading: The Coward (Book 1 – A Quest for Heroes) by Stephen Aryan; The Inheritance Games by Jennifer Lynn Barnes; City of Rust by Gemma Fowler.

We have highlighted these books for your interest: Escape Room by Christopher Edge; The Monkey Who Fell From The Future by Ross Welford; Drone Racer by Andy Briggs.


Jhalak Children’s & YA Prize 2023

First awarded in March 2017, the Jhalak Prize and its new sister award Jhalak Children’s & YA Prize founded in 2020, seek to celebrate books by British/British resident BAME writers.  Credit:

The winner of the Jhalak Prize will be announced on 25th May 2023, so be sure to check the website for the big reveal.

We have a selection of the books featured on Jhalak longlist in our library and you can access more on SORA: The Haunting of Tyrese Walker by JP Rose; Rebel Skies by Ann Seilin, These are the Words by Nikita Gill (an inspiring poetry collection).

When our World’s Collided by Danielle Jawando is one of our top picks for KS3 to read and has been nominated for the Jhalak Children’s & YA Short list.  The Needle by Patrice Lawrence, was selected for the Long list, which we highly recommend as a quick and short book to read.

SGS wishes to thank Jhalak for the use of their promotional pictures, logo and for the poetry book: These are the Words by Nikita Gill available in our library now.


Year 7 Book Recommendation

Skulduggery Pleasant Series Review

Do you like mystery? Action? Magic? Then the Skulduggery Pleasant series is for you. Derek Landy (author) has made an amazing series – which is still ongoing – about an alive skeleton, whose name you can guess from the title and a teenage girl, who both have magic in their blood – or should I say bones. These two characters fight evil in its darkest form on many occasions and save the world in even more.

Derek Landy has displayed hilariously witty humour through the character of Skulduggery Pleasant. Many times, it has made me burst out laughing while reading. This series is one that I have truly enjoyed, and I am looking forward to more upcoming books (hopefully). Reading this series will never leave you bored; in fact, I have read a couple of the books more than once! This series is a thoroughly enjoyable read and I would recommend it to anyone who loves constant action.

By Aman 9G – Blog Buddy

The brand new Skulduggery Pleasant book by Derek Landy: Hell Breaks Loose, has just hit our library shelves.  It’s bound to be a real discovery, read it today!  Also available on SORA (Surrey County Council/London Consortium libraries)


Ms Trentinella
Kusama by Elisa Macellari

"Kusama" by Elisa Macellari is a graphic novel about Yayoi Kusama that tells the story of Yayoi Kusama, one of the most influential and celebrated contemporary artists of our time. The book is illustrated in a striking and expressive style that perfectly captures the energy and creativity of Kusama's work. The book covers Kusama's life, from her childhood in Japan, to her struggles as an artist in the United States, to her eventual rise to fame and success. The illustrations are vivid and transport the reader into the artist's mind. The story is well-researched and well-written, providing a detailed look into Kusama's life, her art and her struggles. It's an interesting, engaging, and quick read that provides a unique perspective on the artist and her work.


Ele Fountain releases

Many of you will be familiar with the author Ele Fountain, whose multi-award winning book ‘Boy 87,’ and her thrilling novel ‘Fake’ are available in our library. To add to her collection of page-turning novels, Fountain has just released her new book entitled ‘Wild,’ a thriller with the backdrop of the mysterious Rainforest.

You will find ‘Lost’ together with ‘Boy 87’ and ‘Fake’ by Ele Fountain on SORA.


20+ Must-Read YA Graphic Novels

Have you visited our graphic novels section in our library?  We have a wide choice of books to read including some classics.  Book Riot have put together this fantastic list of 20+ graphic novels for you to read

From the list we have these titles in our library: Nimona by No Stevenson; Through the Woods by Emily Carroll; Heartstopper (books 1-4) by Alice Oseman.  In addition and newly available are: I am Afanso Jones by Tony Medina; Yummy The last days of a Southside Shorty by G. Neri.

Did you know there are many benefits to reading graphic novels?
1. Brain development - by using both sides of the brain to decipher image and text together. 2. Visual literacy - to interpret information via pictures. 3. Verbal literacy - for the ongoing development of language and communication skills.  


Mental Health Awareness Week

SGS are proud to support #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek and this year’s theme is anxiety.  There are many ways we can help you manage the feelings of stress and anxiety in school, particularly during the exam period.  If you are struggling to cope with your anxiety or simply want to share your worries, you can speak to your form tutor, Head of Year or Student Support.  For more advice from Mental Health Foundation visit: 

Reading is one way to help ease the feeling of stress and anxiety; by coming into the library our library staff can help you select some books.  In addition these books on stress management we recommend: Fighting invisible Tigers by Earl Hipp; Dare to be You by Matthew Syed and You are Awesome by Matthew Syed.

Check out this list of books on Mental Health Awareness from the World Book Day for KS3/4/5:


Hay Festival
25th – 4th June 2023

Hay Festival is one of the worlds’ leading art and literature festivals, bringing readers and writers together to share stories and inspire ideas in events live and online. Nobel Prizewinners and novelists, scientists and politicians, historians, environmentalists and musicians take part in the Festival’s global conversation, sharing the latest thinking in the arts and sciences with curious audiences.

Although there is a charge for entry (including bookable in advance events) to the Hay Festival, you can catch up on many events through live streaming via Hay Player:  Here is a list of Hay Festival events:

Watch out for KS3/4 authors: Joseph Coelho; Anthony McGowan; Patrice Lawrence; Dr Shini Somara.



Raw Sewage Dumping in our Sea and Rivers

Recently there has been a lot of press about sewage waste being pumped into our sea and rivers by UK water companies.  Our sewage system in most areas uses the same pipes to carry both rainwater and wastewater from our toilets, bathrooms and kitchens, which then gets carried to a sewage treatment works.  However, the Environment Agency (EA) has reported that the capacity of these pipes can be exceeded due to excessive rainfall, leading the sewage treatment works to be overstretched with the potential for sewage to seep out and flood the local area we live in.  To stop this risk from happening the sewage treatment works system is designed to overflow excess wastewater into our sea and rivers.  Whilst the EA requires water companies to monitor overflows, for which they can be fined, for not meeting requirements but the government plans to change laws on sewage dumping by issuing unlimited penalties to tackle the issue of sewage pollution in our waters.


World Ocean Day
8th June 2023

World Ocean Day seeks to create a healthier ocean, protect wildlife and sustain our climate for the protection of our land, oceans and waters.  World leaders have recently made a global commitment to protect 30% of our blue plant by 2030.  To learn more about World Ocean Day and to read their blog, visit:

Check out SORA by typing in Ocean for some topical reading resources, along with these books (above) we have picked from our library you might like: The Atmosphere and the Ocean by Neil C Wells; Ecology book by DK; Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman


The Safer Seas & Rivers Service is the only national real-time water quality service protecting all water users from pollution. The pioneering service alerts water users when untreated sewage is discharged into waterways as well as when water quality is temporarily reduced at over 370 locations across the UK. This information empowers you to make informed decisions about when to use the sea and rivers. The app also includes complementary beach information including tide times and lifeguard services. 



Year 7 Reading Cloud Review
House Competition

If you are in year 7 and like receiving achievement points for yourself and your House then all you have to do is write and share a book review with your class in form time.  Your Form tutor will reward you with an achievement point.  In addition, come into the library with your review and the library staff will help you upload it to the Reading Cloud.  The class who have submitted the most book reviews will win house points at the end of term. So, come on Year 7, write a book review to start winning!


Who Dunnit Club

Our new ‘Whodunnit’ after school club has had KS3 students using their detective skills to solve mysteries and learn all about their favourite crime novelist, the famous ‘Agatha Christie.’  So far, the club have successfully used their detective skills and cracked two cases.  Pictured above from left to right: James 9T; Soham 7W; Darsh 7T; Toby 7M; Mrs Payne and Henry 7W.

Whodunnit club is on every Monday, after school, excluding Bank Holidays, until 12th June 2023, everyone is welcome (just turn up on the day).


Sora Sweet Reads is Back
15th May - 28th August 2023

This summer dive into Sora Sweet Reads by Overdrive, for the best young adults fiction and non-fiction books. SORA is available for free to all SGS students, so take advantage today and give your reading a sweet start!



Empathy Day Live
8th June 2023

Empathy Day is a focal point for celebrating and growing empathy's power to create a better world. It aims to develop an understanding of books' role in raising an empathy-educated generation. Empathy Day is run by Empathy Lab, founded in 2014, to find out more click here.
Credit: Empathy Lab

KS3 - save the date and get ready for Empathy Day Live! Streaming in the Library on Thursday 8th June 2023 (exam study allowing).  Children’s Laureate, Joseph Coelho will kick off the day with an assembly with authors, Cressida Cowell, Chris Riddell and Jacqueline Wilson. You will also be treated to videos with authors such as, AM Dassu; SF Said; Sharna Jackson; Maisie Chan and Joanna Nadin as they discuss their favourite empathy books, how to build empathy through literacy and a special empathy-focussed draw-along with illustrator Rob Biddulph.  For the full list of events click here.

Take a look at this fantastic list of empathy related books courtesy of Empathy Lab EMPATHYLABGUIDE.pdf.  Above, we have a couple of recommendations from the list in our school library: When I see Blue by Lily Bailey; The Light in Everything by Katya Balen; When Shadows Fall by Sita Brahmachari


Year 9 Podcast Challenge Competition

Calling all year 9 Students to take part in our Year 9 Podcast Challenge. Create a Podcast featuring you/or a group (2 to 4 school friends) discussing a book or an author between 3-8 minutes long, for full details see the poster below or download the guidelines here.  Deadline is 22nd June 2023.  Winners will receive house points and achievement points, plus there will an open vote for the most popular podcast award.

Good luck!


The British Book Awards

The British Book Awards, aka The Nibbies, is a celebration of books: it affirms, connects and energises the world of reading by showcasing the authors and illustrators who have stirred our hearts and imaginations, and the industry behind the scenes who have brought them to readers. Above all it celebrates the intimate connection between the books, their makers and their audience. Credit: The BookSeller

The British Book Awards, Book of the Year – Children’s fiction (supported by The Week Junior) winner is Tyger by SF Said.  Watch this video to see what the author has to say about Tyger: SFSaidtalksabouttygerTyger is available to download on SORA, together with the shortlisted novels: Loki by Louie Stowell; Skandar and the Unicorn Thief by AF Steadman; The First to Die at the End by Adam Silvera