SGS Library blog - October 2022

SGS Library blog - October 2022

Autumn is here with the sound of rustling fallen leaves and darker evenings amidst, what better time to visit the school library and see what we have to read. This October is also the month of Halloween so we have some scary books to get your teeth stuck into; from ghost stories to the weird, wonderful and unexplained, the shelves are full of surprises at every turn!


Ghostly Reads for KS3

This Halloween we have some spookily good books for you to read.  Will they be full of tricks or treats, you decide? The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman; Skulduggery Pleasant by Derek Landy; Cemetery Boys by Aidan Thomas; Ghost Boys by Jewell Parker Rhodes; Witch & Wizard by James Patterson.

Click below for some Skulduggery book fun and more this Halloween


Gruesome Stories for KS4/KS5

These chilling novels have just been waiting to make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up, you have been warned! Wranglestone by Darren Charlton; Pet Sematary by Stephen King; Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransome Riggs; The Woman in Black by Susan Hill; The Monsters we deserve by Marcus Sedgwick.


The Master of the Fright

Author Darren Shan never fails to grip readers right from the get go with his incredible blood curdling stories about Vampires, Zombies, Wolves and more.  If you haven’t read any of Shan’s descriptive and enticing novels then give them a go this Halloween - you won’t be disappointed.  You can also listen to the audio version of them on SORA.


Why not take home one of these new books to read over half term: Into the Volcano by Jess Butterworth; Fake by Ele Fountain; About this Boy by Leon Rolle and Derek Owusu. Don’t forget to recommend any good books you’ve read to others. 

More great titles to arrive on our library shelves are: In the After Light by Alexandra Bracken; The Sad Ghost Club by Lize Meddings; Dwayne the Rock Johnson by Lisa Williamson.


Black History Month
1st – 31st October 2022

This year’s theme for Black History Month is “Time for Change: Actions Not Words,” which is calling on society to not only learn from the past but to actively tackle racism.  Black History Month is a time for the UK to celebrate Black history, culture and heritage together with embracing diverse communities all year round. 

Here is a quick link to explain all about Black History month and how it all began: blackhistorymonthinformation

We have some truly inspirational Black History novels for you to read: Ace of Spades by Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé; Black and British by David Olusoga; Black Brother, Black Brother by Jewell Parker Rhodes.  Please do come and speak to Mrs. Taylor, Mrs. Payne or Ms. Lo for more books around the subject or log onto Sora by typing Black History Month in the search box.

Explore the rich history of Black writing and literature in Britain, there is a comprehensive timeline poster to download also:


Author Focus: Angie Thomas

Black American author, producer, speaker and activist, Angie Thomas has written a lot of YA books.  Her first novel, The Hate U Give, was inspired by her experiences growing up in a gun violent city using her unique writing skills to give a voice to those whose stories had not been told.  Other Angie Thomas novels in our school library and on SORA include:  Concrete Rose, On the Come Up and Find your Voice.  Check out Angie Thomas’s website:


Ms Jones Reviews
Mortal Engines by Philip Reeve

This is a book for young adults, but I first read it as a not-so-young adult, and wished I’d found it sooner.  I was hooked on the concept from the very first page: ‘It was a dark, blustery afternoon in spring, and the city of London was chasing a small mining town across the dried-out bed of the old North Sea.

In happier times, London would never have bothered with such feeble prey. The great Traction City had once spent its days hunting far bigger towns than this, ranging north as far as the edges of the Ice Waste and south to the shores of the Mediterranean. But lately prey of any kind had started to grow scarce, and some of the larger cities had begun to look hungrily at London. For ten years now it had been hiding from them, skulking in a damp mountainous, western district which the Guild of Historians said had once been the island of Britain. For ten years it had eaten nothing but tiny farming towns and static settlements in those wet hills. Now, at last, the Lord Mayor had decided that the time was right to take his city back over the land-bridge into the Great Hunting Ground.’

I was drawn in by the fascinating premise of these giant mobile cities, devouring smaller towns and stripping them of their resources in order to survive, but found that there was much more to this book than an intriguing concept.  Reading Mortal Engines will make you think about sustainability and consumption, as well as the inequalities and prejudices we find in our own society.  It also has lots to say about friendship and trust, what is most important in life, and how appearances can be deceptive. 

Most importantly though, it has characters to care about, and a cracking good plot. 

Finally, when you have finished reading Mortal Engines, there is no need for post-novel depression: it is part of a quartet, so you can move straight on to ‘Predator’s Gold’ and get your next fix!

Discover YA Podcasts on Demand

Do you like discovering new books, hearing reviews about topical and sometimes controversial books and learning about book trends? Then why not give HEY YA podcasts a go available through the Book Riot Website:


Book Review Winners

Congratulations to winner Harry K in 8G for his fantastic book
review of Wolf Brother by Michelle Paver (see below). Runner up prizes went to Mubashir 8G and Corin 8M for their respective book reviews of Young Samurai: The Way of the Warrior by Chris Bradford and Night Flights by Philip Reeve. 

All of our winners received Book Tokens and a selection of books.  We were so impressed by the high standard of the entries this year that we awarded all entrants achievement points – Well done!


A Review of Wolf Brother
by Harry K

Wolf Brother is the first installation in a 9 book series by Michelle Paver.  Set in post Ice Age Northern Norway, it follows a young boy called Torak, who can talk to wolves.  After his Dad is killed by a demon, he sets off on a journey to save his home (the forest), encountering friends and foes, both animal and human alike, along the way.

I thoroughly enjoyed Wolf Brother for many reasons.  The description plunges you deep into the story and creates a realistic world for you to follow.  Discovering the lifestyle and beliefs of ancient humans is fascinating.  In the Q&A at the back of the book, it is said that Paver met with modern hunter-gatherers, such as the Ainu of Japna and the San of Africa.  This is simply mind-blowing reading the strange but wonderful way of living they have, all combined in an ancient society that is both complex and simple at the same time.  Not only this but the detail of the characters and their day-to-day activities is astonishing.  It is different to how we live now, and I loved discovering how they survived without the technology we have now.

Another thing I enjoyed was the imagination in the story and the twists and turns that shocked you on each turn of the page.  It had my heart racing faster than a chasing pack of wolves as I desperately turned the page.

I can try to think of a bad thing to say about this book although I’d be thinking for a while – I don’t think I can give it anything less than 5 Stars.  In conclusion, I would certainly recommend it for older children who love adventure stories, with a side action, a sprinkle of daring feats and a large scoop of fun.

Year 10 Blog Buddies

Are you in year 10 and have a keen interest in writing and current book trends?  Then we would love you to get involved in our new 'Blog Buddies' initiative in School.  Please come and speak to Mrs Taylor/Mrs Payne/Ms Lo for more information?  Alternatively please email: This is a great opportunity for you to get involved with your school community and become a published writer on our blog page.


Medical Science Books

Are you in years 10 -13 and interested in medical science?  Our school library has plenty of books to support your learning in and out of the classroom.  Being well read around your course subjects will further your learning experience.  Please do come into the library, we will be happy to help you.  Here are a few books to get you started: Pocket Atlas of the Moving Body by Mel Cash; Stiff by Mary Roach; The Immortal life of Henrietta Lacks.

For additional wider reading of medicine and veterinary science please click the link: Wider Reading in Medicine & Veterinary Science.pdf


Discover Reading Zone

Feast your eyes on the Reading Zone website for the latest news, views and reviews on books


Nasa Succeeds in First Planetary Defence Test

In recent news Nasa, the US space agency, embarked on an exploratory test to see if it would be able to deflect any asteroid or comet that might potentially be a real threat to Earth.

The Space agency launched the 'Dart" spacecraft to see it they could hit the asteroid Dimorphos, which posed no risk to Earth, in an attempt to send it off course.  The mission was successful and has become the world's first test of kinetic impact mitigation in which a spacecraft was able to collide into an asteroid modifying the object's orbit.

For the budding astronomers and keen asteroid scientists among us, check out these great library resources we have on the subject: Wonders of the Solar System by Brian Cox; Planet Factory by Elizabeth Tasker; Earth from Space by Michael Bright/Chloe Sarosh. Don't forget to watch the moment NASA saw their accomplishment

Need some inspiration? Take a look at SORA by typing in ‘Space’ or click this link below:
Blasting into Space: 10 books about space | BookTrust


Writing Competition

The Chaucer Heritage Trust, which promotes the life and work of author and poet Geoffrey Chaucer, have launched The Canterbury Tales writing Competition 2022/23.

The competition is open to all students with this year’s special theme of Promises, Promises. Choose from one of the following to write about:

1. A poem or story about a broken promise
2. A poem or story about keeping promises
3. A description of a character that makes a promise

Maximum word count is 500 words and all entries must be submitted by 28th February 2023 - Good Luck and don’t forget to let Mrs. Jones know if you’re thinking of entering.  See the link below for more details.

Pumpkin Picks

Graphic Novels are a great way to immerse your imagination with vivid graphics and conversational style it is the perfect reading companion.  Here are some Halloween inspired reads for you: The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving; Pumpkin Heads by Rainbow Rowell; Dracula by Bram Stoker; Through the Woods by Emily Carroll and we have loads more on our shelves!   

SGS students can Join Sutton Library

Did you know that you can join Sutton Library if you live out of the area?  As our School in the London Borough of Sutton, as a student of SGS you can join the library receiving a Library Card to borrow books and use all of their facilities.

Please be aware, you will need your parent/carer/guardian with you to join.


Year 8 Comic Club

Comic Clubbers have been busy designing a new Comic Club logo and personalising keyrings for the club.  We have learnt about influential artists such as Roy Litchenstein and the Pop Art movement. This week we started some storyboarding and some new graphic novels are on their way to us.  Comic Club runs term time for Year 8 every Monday, period 7 (Year 8 Early release day) in the Library.  New members are always welcome and there are plenty of biscuits to go round!

A big thank you to Eric in 8W for allowing us to use his great cartoon drawing above.


National Poetry Day 2022

We celebrated National Poetry day in school on 6th October 2022.  School Staff chose their favourite poems which were displayed on our big library screen for everyone to enjoy.  To view the presentation please click:
National Poetry Day Presentation 22.pdf
 Check out this link for to explore further fantastic and diverse poetry books
Eight poetry books for National Poetry Day


YA Books To Grip Your Reading Bug

National Book Tokens have released a top 20 list of young adult books suitable for KS4, check it out…

We have some of the titles available in our library: Babel by RF Kuang; Politics for Beginners by Usborne; Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi.


Things to do in Half Term

Free Half Term Activities

Finding Diwali
Saturday 22nd October: 10am-8.30pm
Experience the sights and sounds of the festival of Light and enjoy free entertainment. This year’s festival is hosted by BBC Asian Network presenter and comedian Parle Patel.
Where: Romney Road, London SE10 9NF

Stories of St Mary’s
Youth Creative Writing Workshop
Wednesday 26th October: 1.30pm - 3.30pm

An exciting creative storyboard workshop inspired by the stories and history of St. Mary’s Church.  For ages 8-14.
Where: St Mary’s Church, Beddington, Church Road, Wallington SM6 7NJ
The event is free but you must book via Eventbrite or by contacting: or call: 07555 144068

Horniman Museum & Gardens
Open daily 10am - 17.30 (closed over Christmas)
Discover the delights in store for you in the Horniman Museum and visit their extensive collections of anthropology, natural history and musical instruments.
Where: Horniman Museum & Gardens, 100 London Road, London SE23 3PQ

Riverside Nature Reserve Walk, Guildford
Open daily
Riverside Nature Reserve is a 30 hectare wildlife haven. It is located in North East Guildford along the River Wey. Enjoy views across lakes, boardwalk routes to explore the wetlands, birdwatching from the bird hide, feed the ducks on the main lake and just before the sunset look out for bats!
Where: on foot from Stoke Lock, Woking Road, GU1 1QE/on foot through Thorneycroft Wood (behind Spectrum Leisure Centre, Parkway, GU1 1UP)/by car from Bowers Lane in Burpham, GU4 7ND

Make a day of it by combining it with:
“Out - Side - In” Art Exhibition
22nd October - 12th November 2022
Tuesday - Saturday 10am - 4.30pm (last entry to galleries 4pm).

A free art exhibition of Paintings and Collage Works by Jennie Tuffs.  Acclaimed for her poster art on the London Underground since the 1980’s.
Where: Guildford House Gallery, 155 High Street, Guildford, Surrey GU1 3AJ


Activities in Half term with an Entry Fee

Ghosts & Ghouls Family Tour
24th October 2022 - 8th February 2023
Price: £20 Adult/£15 Child
A special family-friendly spooky guided tour of the Globe Theatre which brings to life the ghosts, spirits and scary happenings of Shakespeare’s most chilling plays.
Where: 21 New Globe Walk, London SE1 9DT

Astronomy Photographer of the Year
On until 13th August 2023
Price: £10 Adult/£5 Child
See the world’s greatest space photography at the National Maritime Museum.​​​​ This incredible photography competition is currently in its 14year.
Where: National Maritime Museum, Romney Road, London SE10 9NF

Mexico Family Fiesta
22nd Oct - 31st October 2022
Price: £15 Adult/£5 Child
Celebrate the Day of the Dead and immerse yourself in the vibrancy of Mexican culture with a whole day of fun, with activities, workshops, parades, through to our unique art installations in the Temperate House that bring Mexico to life.
Where: Temperate House, Kew Gardens, Richmond, London TW9 3AE

The Gunpowder Plot
On now until March 2023
Prices Start from £40 Adult/Child (Save £10 per ticket aged 10 - 15years)
A  thrilling new immersive experience which takes place in a purpose-designed immersive theatre space in Tower Vaults. The vaults sit beneath the infamous Tower Hill site where much of the prelude to the Gunpowder Plot took place before Guy Fawkes’ torture and eventual death.
Where: UNESCO World Heritiage Tower of London, 8-12 Tower Hill Vaults, London EC3N 4EE

Have a great Halloween

‘Double, double toil and trouble; Fire burn and caldron bubble.’
Macbeth, Act IV, scene 1

Happy Diwali from SGS Library