SGS Library Blog – Spring term week 10

SGS Library Blog – Spring term week 10

SGS Library Blog – Spring term week 10

 SGS Library

Please click into the individual blog post, as the links are currently not visible on the library page, (formatting issue being investigated).

Since we are approaching World Poetry Day on 21 March, I thought I would share the winning entry from the House Poetry. The overall winning poem was The Signature, written by Bryn C of Yr10 from Throwley House.

The Signature
Most people think of time as a straight line.
It moves forward, never turning back on where it was before.
I propose an alternate idea.
Time could be shaped like a signature, twisting and turning,
Crossing over itself again and again.

I don’t know whose signature it would be, it would be fairly long,
But when it reaches the end it does not loop back to the start,
It stops, as the universe comes to an end,
Though that does not mean that there are other signatures out there.

The signature explains why history feels like it repeats itself - It doesn’t.
It just crosses over itself, an l, m or k creating a similar scenario,
Even though it is another point in the passage of time,
It still feels the same.

That’s why I think time is a signature, though I do not know whose.
It may be the Queen’s, the president’s or even my own,
But whoever’s it is, time keeps moving forwards,
And the dot on the i, the cross on the t or the capital Q,
Might be Tuesday.

What a great poem!

World Poetry Day aims to promote reading, writing, publishing and teaching of poetry around the world.

Poet Michael Rosen's latest book Many Different Kinds of Love: A Story of Life, Death and the NHS was published yesterday. And the British Museum is hosting an online event on 22 March at 7.30pm, where he talks to illustrator, Chris Riddell to reflect on a very difficult year.

How about listening to the Word of Mouth podcast hosted by Michael Rosen. I am going to highlight this episode on the Poetry of Pop.

You may enjoy browsing the Children's Poetry Archive to discover favourite poems to listen to. This can be filtered by age interest.

The Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award 2021 has been launched and is open to those aged upto 17.

The Young Poets Network have a competition to write a poem about health, illness and the body inspired by John Keats, illness poetry, and the pandemic. Closes 28 March.

Or you may like to watch some short clips of Poetry: Between the Lines featuring contemporary poets in conversation with hip-hop star Akala,

A Change Is Gonna Come anthology

Here are a few titles available to borrow on Sora. Some poetry collections and some novels written in verse.
Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds
House Arrest by K A Holt
Solo by Kwame Alexander
One by Sarah Crossan
A Change Is Gonna Come anthology
Birthday Letters by Ted Hughes
Poetry Please anthology

The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

As mentioned last week, Vamsi P of Yr7 came second in the ‘The Best Book I’ve Ever Read’ World Book Day competition, for his review of The Hobbit.

Book Title: The Hobbit
Author: J.R.R. Tolkien

Firstly, I am going to condense the overall plot of the story. The core of the plot consists of Bilbo and his company of dwarves setting out to reclaim their homeland of Erebor which was taken possession of by Smaug (a large and malicious dragon). They face many grim challenges along the way only to be met by some even more major and unexpected ones in the last few chapters!

I am now going to discuss some of the main characters presented in ‘The Hobbit’. Bilbo Baggins is initially a very lazy character and longs to go back to his cosy hobbit hole throughout the journey. This can initially be considered to be a flaw in his ways. On the other hand, there is significant character development and he evolves from being a common to an ingenious and courageous hero, I admire how he was able to get the dwarves out of many difficult situations. Thorin is the leader of the company of dwarves and the grandson of Thror, the King under the mountain. Or, to put it simply, the ruler of Erebor prior to the dragon invasion. Gandalf is a wise old wizard. Elaborating further, he is a Maiar and a pupil of Lady Galadriel (a powerful, well-known elf). He acts as a support for middle earth to cope with the evil Sauron and conquer in ‘The War of the Ring’. His key objective in ‘The Hobbit’ is to help the dwarves reclaim their homeland of Erebor. In light of being a vital mentor-like figure and the influential power the author portrays him with, Gandalf is my favourite character. This is just a brief summary, you will be able to learn more in depth about this in ‘The Lord of the Rings’ and the many other books J.R.R Tolkien has so beautifully constructed.

One of the reasons why this book stood out to me so much is that it was set out in such a new environment. Whilst reading the book, I was fascinated upon being transported to this unusual and mystical world with creatures such as wizards, dwarves, elves and more.

Something I found particularly exciting was the dwarves’ runes. The essential part to point out here is that the elves’ had a language of their own with its own script and grammar, I think it’s remarkable how the author was able to put this language together. The clever combination of these aspects made Middle Earth seem so real making it easier to engage with all the events that were taking place. Having said that, my part of choice was when Bilbo used his quick-wit and managed to break the dwarves out from the Woodland King Thranduil. The technique he used to execute this was out of the ordinary, leaving me in awe.

Reading the book made me want to read more of J.R.R Tolkien’s books, I love the unique perspective he has on fantasy epics. I would definitely recommend this book to any readers who are a fan of fictional adventure novels. However, considering that ‘The Lord of the Rings’ (the sequel) is fairly lengthy, I would say that only the people who liked ‘The Hobbit’ and are confident at reading are likely to enjoy it. Hope you liked my review!

I would suggest that Vamsi submits his review to the Oxplore Book Club for a chance to win a prize there, as The Hobbit is the title they are featuring this month. Anyone else in Yr7-9 may also do the same.


Once again may we please remind you to return books to the Library lobby as soon as possible. All books borrowed last term are now overdue. We are still waiting for around 300 books to be returned, so we are going to postpone launching the 'Click and Collect' service, until we get more of the outstanding stock returned. However in the meantime you are welcome to take a look at our new library catalogue, although you won't be able to reserve a book until you receive your login details. Key in SUT, to search for our school. Sora will continue to be available in parallel for those of you who prefer ebooks or audiobooks.

Book Spotlight!

Show Us Who You Are by Elle McNicoll

This week's Book Spotlight features Show Us Who You Are by Elle McNicoll, which has been published this month. This is Elle McNicoll's second novel following her award winning first title, A Kind of Spark, which won Blackwell’s Book of the Year and the Blue Peter 2021 book award plus has been longlisted for the Branford Boase Award. Elle McNicoll is a neurodivergent writer and she is passionate about disability rights and representation. Here is an interview with Elle about her new book, and another interview here. The book is set 40 years in the future and covers ideas about neurodivergence and friendship, featuring 12 year old Cora who is autistic and best friend Adrien who has ADHD. Also here is a video (recorded on World Book Day), where Elle McNicoll introduces us to her new book 'Show Us Who You Are' including reading an extract from the book. Or you may enjoy watching a video of her talking about Empathy.

The shortlist for the 2021 CILIP Carnegie Medal was announced yesterday. We have ordered copies of these books for the school library and have registered for the shadowing scheme where young people get the chance to read and vote on their choice for the winning book. We are hoping to get this up and running next term, so please email us if you would be interested in being involved.

2021 CILIP Carnegie Medal shortlist

Now for a quick round-up of a few other ideas, resources and articles.

Do you want to find out more about a career in writing? Spark Young Writers are hosting a Teen Writers Conference on Zoom on Saturday 27 March for those aged 14+. Tickets from £10.

To mark the one year anniversary of the Covid-19 pandemic, Penguin authors, including Dara McAnulty, are sharing reasons to feel hopeful about the months and years ahead.

Yolk by Mary H K Choi was published earlier this month, a title very topical for Easter. You may read a free extended excerpt, available until 31 March.

You may enjoy playing this online Free Rice game. You can choose from a range of categories and set the difficulty level. By playing, you are also supporting the World Food Programme (WFP) with its work saving and changing lives around the world.

Here is a giveaway to win a copy of The Ickabog by J K Rowling. The answer to the question is on the featured reading of an extract from the book on the Fun Kids Book Worms podcast.

You may win the entire Vampirates series by Justin Somper in a Book Trust giveaway.

Bright Lights Books are hosting a competition open to children of African heritage aged upto 13 to write a short story or poem on the theme of kindness.

We have registered for the First Story Young Writers Festival on 24 March. This includes sessions with Angie Thomas, Dean Atta and Kiran Millwood Hargrave.


For those of you who haven't logged into Sora yet, here is a reminder of how to borrow library ebooks via Sora. But if you are having any difficulties accessing Sora, then I will be happy to help you.

There is a link to the Sora app on the pupil page of the school website or at the top of the sidebar here on the library page.
Download the Sora app or explore in browser
Enter the setup code uksecondary if asked, select Sutton Grammar School and sign in with your school Google login and email password.
And in the meantime, here is a Getting Started video guide or there is a PDF version on the P drive in the P:\LIBRARY\Sora folder.

This week's top tip for Sora, is that you can use the Preferences option to filter by availability, format, language and audience.

SORA preferences


Have you won any of the competitions that we have mentioned previously on the blog? If so, we invite you to email us as we would love to hear all about it.

I've created a crossword based on authors of humorous fiction to tie in with Comic Relief. Plenty of laughs if you read the books mentioned in the clues, which are available to borrow online from Sora.

humorous fiction crossword

Crossword created at