SGS Library Blog – November & December

SGS Library Blog – November & December



Welcome to your bumper November/December edition of the Library Blog! As there are only a few weeks left of the autumn term we decided to bring you the December edition early with notification of a couple of exciting events in the Library and a round-up of news and interesting book related events that took place in November.


Coming up in December…………………………

From the 1st of December

Y7 students help decorate our “Favourite book” Christmas tree 2021!

The SGS Library would like you to decorate our Christmas tree full of your favourite book titles! It can be a book that you have always loved reading or a great new discovery that you’d like to share with your peers.

Simply grab a decoration from your form tutor, write on it the book title and author. If you wish to colour in your tag with your own design – that would be great too! Bring your decoration to the Library and receive a chocolate or bookmark! (While stocks last!)  Let’s fill our Christmas tree with books and cheer! 


Last Two Weeks of Term

Christmas Quiz for years 7-9

Come into the Library and guess the book titles and authors from the book cover picture clues. Write your name along with your answers on the entry form and hand it to Mrs Taylor or Mrs Payne. All correct answers will be put into a hat for a prize draw at morning break on the last day of the autumn term. Three great prizes and an edible Form prize for the class with the most correct entries on the day of the draw. (Form prize usually won by 7L – just saying!!!!) 

‘You have to be in it to win it!!!!!!!’

December is often one of the busiest months of the year when we think of Christmas celebrations, coming together of loved ones and families, present giving and of course a lot of food! 

Let us also remember some of the perhaps forgotten things that inspire us during this chilly month:

Winter Solstice occurs on Tuesday 21st December 2021.  In the Northern hemisphere this date marks the 24hour period with the fewest daylight hours of the year.  That is why we call it the shortest day of the year.  Here are few popular and obscure titles you might like to read over the Christmas break:

Dark Solstice, Sam Llewllyn, The Dark is Rising sequence, Susan Cooper, The Snowman by Jo Nesbo (Definitely Upper School), A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens, David Copperfield, Charles Dickens.

We remember also, the anti-apartheid leader Nelson Mandela who died in December 2013 aged 95.  Mandela was a South Africian political leader who was the first president of South Africa 1994-1999.  He was the Country’s first black Head of State and his government focussed on dismantling the legacy of apartheid by tackling institutionalised racism.

Nelson Mandela’s legacy is a significant testament to the power of one man’s vision to change and liberate his people. He even faced physical imprisonment over his values and fight for equality.  Mandela remains one of the world’s greatest ever humanitarians.

Among other significant humanitarians you might like to explore these books:

‘101 Amazing Nelson Mandela Facts’                              LLC on SORA

‘Long Walk to Freedom’ Nelson Mandela                        SGS/SORA

‘Oskar Schindler : The True Story of Schindler’s List’      SGS

‘I Am Gandhi’ Graphic biography                                     SORA


This month's Top Tip for Sora is that if you can't decide what to read next, take a look at the curated lists from the Explore page These are regularly changed and currently include a list of 2021 Prizewinners and Climate Change in Fiction.


November round-up!

COP26 has dominated the headlines for the last few weeks and with this in mind the Library has been exploring lists of books on all things green. Whether you are interested in recycling, cleaner air, new types of energy or just prominent people in the news, there will be a book in the Library to further your knowledge and stimulate your interest.

Just browse ‘Reading Cloud’ our Library catalogue to see what is on the Library shelves. Use the link on the Library page of the school website for quick access.

Here are two new ‘Best Sellers’ in the Library this month.


You can also use the link below to access Catalyst Magazine, Issue 39, a ‘Climate Change Special’. The magazine explores some of the deeper issues, questioning our understanding and delving into solutions. This edition considers the complex relationship between our oceans and the weather,and how air pollution isn’t always from the obvious sources

Continuing the theme of Climate Change Allison Hirschlag has written an interesting article for the BBC explaining why boosting worldwide shark populations could make the oceans more resilient to climate change.

Click here

(Image credit: Getty Images)


Armistice Day was celebrated in school on the 11th November with a whole school assembly on Teams.

This anniversary is used to remember all the people who have died in wars since WWI including WWII, the Falklands War, the Gulf War and conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq.

The Poppy is the symbol used as a lasting memorial of those who have died in battle.  The reason the poppy has become synonymous with Armistice Day was due to its ability to grow naturally in conditions of disturbed earth throughout Western Europe.  On the torn apart battlefields the “Scarlett corn poppies,” grew around the bodies of fallen soldiers, blood red in appearance, symbolising the blood that was spilled in WWI.

The Royal British Legion adopted the Poppy symbol for its “Poppy Appeal” in 1921 and exists to support all those who serve or have served in the British Armed forces.​

Both SORA and the school Library have a great collection of related reading material and you can search the catalogues for something to inspire you. On SORA search for the collection ‘Remembering with Red Poppies’!


We are also waiting for delivery of ‘The Last Checkmate’ by Gabriella Saab.Set in WWII it tells the story of a young Polish resistance worker, imprisoned in Auschwitz as a political prisoner, who is forced to play chess in exchange for her life, and her fight to bring the man who destroyed her family to justice. A ‘must read’ for all the fans of ‘The Tattooist of Auschwitz’ or those who enjoyed watching ‘The Queen’s Gambit’. 


Anti-Bullying week was celebrated during 15th-19th November this year and below are some thought provoking books you might like to read. They are available to borrow from the school Library or from SORA.

If you are affected by any bullying related issues talk to a member of the ‘Safeguarding Team’. If you have heard any language in school that you are not comfortable with remember that you can report it using the link on the school website.


The Costa Book Awards shortlist has just been announced. The category winners will be announced on Tuesday 4th January 2022. If you would like to read more details about each book go to the website.

The Midnight Guardians’ is available to read on SORA right now!


Reading Passport reminder!

Calling all KS3 students – remember to record all the books that you read in your ‘Reading Passport’. For every 10 books read – bring your passport to the Library for verification and a Bronze/Silver/Gold stamp and be awarded an achievement point by Mrs Payne or Mrs Taylor!


STOP PRESS!!!!! Look out for news of a new 'Graphics Novels' club starting in January!


Lastly, the Library would like to wish all students and their families,

a happy and peaceful Christmas holiday! 


Whether you are a ‘veggie’ or not, this poem by the post war poet, Benjamin Zephaniah, tickled Mrs Taylor and Mrs Payne,

we hope you like it too?

Talking Turkeys

Be nice to yu turkeys dis christmas 
Cos' turkeys just wanna hav fun 
Turkeys are cool, turkeys are wicked 
An every turkey has a Mum. 
Be nice to yu turkeys dis christmas, 
Don't eat it, keep it alive,

It could be yu mate, an not on your plate 
Say, Yo! Turkey I'm on your side.

I got lots of friends who are turkeys 
An all of dem fear christmas time, 
Dey wanna enjoy it, dey say humans destroyed it 
An humans are out of dere mind, 
Yeah, I got lots of friends who are turkeys 
Dey all hav a right to a life, 
Not to be caged up an genetically made up 
By any farmer an his wife.

Turkeys just wanna play reggae 
Turkeys just wanna hip-hop 
Can yu imagine a nice young turkey saying, 
'I cannot wait for de chop', 
Turkeys like getting presents, dey wanna watch christmas TV, 
Turkeys hav brains an turkeys feel pain 
In many ways like yu an me.

I once knew a turkey called........ Turkey 
He said "Benji explain to me please, 
Who put de turkey in christmas 
An what happens to christmas trees?", 
I said "I am not too sure turkey 
But it's nothing to do wid Christ Mass 
Humans get greedy an waste more dan need be 
An business men mek loadsa cash'.

Be nice to yu turkey dis christmas 
Invite dem indoors fe sum greens 
Let dem eat cake an let dem partake 
In a plate of organic grown beans, 
Be nice to yu turkey dis christmas 
An spare dem de cut of de knife, 
Join Turkeys United an dey'll be delighted 
An yu will mek new friends 'FOR LIFE'.



Happy Reading!