SGS Library Blog – Spring term week 3

SGS Library Blog – Spring term week 3

SGS Library Blog – Spring term week 3

SGS Library

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

I am very pleased to say that we are progressing with setting up a Reading Group. Mr Karlsson has identified some of Yr 7 to attend our first session. Hope you enjoy this boys and sorry we can't offer any biscuits virtually. Our first book to read will be The House With Chicken Legs by Sophie Anderson. Hopefully you boys will make some suggestions for future reads and what to call our Reading Group.

If anyone else wishes to be involved in this or with the podcast book chat which we are also thinking of setting up here at SGS, please do email us with your name. In particular, as regards the podcasts, we would love to hear if you have any ideas or editorial experience you wish to tell us about.


SORA is always open for you to choose new books to read even when the school Library building is closed! 

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, 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.

If you are not sure how to find our school when logging in, here are a couple of examples that I have seen.

Sora app

Sora app

On 27 January, Holocaust Memorial Day, the UK will remember those who suffered in the Holocaust, under Nazi persecution, and in subsequent genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia, and Darfur. The date also marks the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz concentration camp in 1945. This year's theme is Be The Light In The Darkness. We will be sharing some resources for this from the National Literary Trust with you in next week's blog, but you are welcome to take a look now, although some will not be available until next week. The National Literacy Trust have teamed up with award-winning author Tom Palmer to provide all these free resources on this topic. Those of you in Mr Humphreys, Ms Roberts and Mr Green's classes will remember when I briefly talked to you about Tom Palmer last term.

And here are some book recommendations, with more to come next week.

Soon by Morris Gleitzman       After The War by Tom Palmer

Once by Morris Gleitzman (LLC) - book 1 in the Once series
Soon by Morris Gleitzman (Sora) - book 5 in the Once series
The Silver Sword by Ian Serraillier (LLC)
After The War by Tom Palmer

For the Once, Then, Now, After, Soon, Maybe series, you may read or listen to chapter 1 of each book on author Morris Gleitzman's website. The final title in the Once series, Always is due to be published this August.

The Swan Centre in Leatherhead are running a Holocaust Memorial Day photography competition. 3 winning photographs showing what light means to you will each receive a copy of Survivors: A portrait of survivors of the Holocaust by Harry Borden. Closes 27 January, age 16+ and so far, there only appears to be one entry!

Survivors: A portrait of survivors of the Holocaust by Harry Borden

In a few days time it will be Burns Night, in honour of the Scottish poet Robert Burns who was born on 25 January 1759. Traditionally a night for celebration, where people remember him at a Burns Supper, eating haggis, neeps (turnips) and tatties (potatoes) and reciting his poetry. Of course, this year due to lockdown, any tributes will have to be done at home, but I thought I would share one of his poems here. I'm not going to choose his most famous poem Auld Lang Syne, which is traditionally sung at Hogmanay (New Year's Eve) as I'm sure most of you know that. Instead here is To A Mouse, which it is believed he wrote after accidentally destroying a mouse's nest whilst ploughing a field. If you don't understand the Scots language, you may see an English translation on Wikipedia.

To A Mouse

Wee, sleekit, cow’rin, tim’rous beastie,
O, what a panic’s in thy breastie!
Thou need na start awa sae hasty,
Wi’ bickering brattle!
I wad be laith to rin an’ chase thee,
Wi’ murd’ring pattle!

I’m truly sorry man’s dominion,
Has broken nature’s social union,
An’ justifies that ill opinion,
Which makes thee startle
At me, thy poor, earth-born companion,
An’ fellow-mortal!

I doubt na, whiles, but thou may thieve;
What then? poor beastie, thou maun live!
A daimen icker in a thrave
‘S a sma’ request;
I’ll get a blessin wi’ the lave,
An’ never miss’t!

Thy wee bit housie, too, in ruin!
It’s silly wa’s the win’s are strewin!
An’ naething, now, to big a new ane,
O’ foggage green!
An’ bleak December’s winds ensuin,
Baith snell an’ keen!

Thou saw the fields laid bare an’ waste,
An’ weary winter comin fast,
An’ cozie here, beneath the blast,
Thou thought to dwell-
Till crash! the cruel coulter past
Out thro’ thy cell.

That wee bit heap o’ leaves an’ stibble,
Has cost thee mony a weary nibble!
Now thou’s turn’d out, for a’ thy trouble,
But house or hald,
To thole the winter’s sleety dribble,
An’ cranreuch cauld!

But, Mousie, thou art no thy lane,
In proving foresight may be vain;
The best-laid schemes o’ mice an ‘men
Gang aft agley,
An’lea’e us nought but grief an’ pain,
For promis’d joy!

Still thou art blest, compar’d wi’ me
The present only toucheth thee:
But, Och! I backward cast my e’e.
On prospects drear!
An’ forward, tho’ I canna see,
I guess an’ fear!


A Kind of Spark by Ellie McNicoll

Book Award news from Blackwell's. They have announced their overall Book of the Year for 2020 to be A Kind of Spark by Ellie McNicoll. You may see the other shortlisted titles here, which were all announced as category winners back in December in their own right.

Black History Matters by Robin Walker

Details of a book award I missed last month. The winner of the 2020 ALCS Educational Writers Award was Black History Matters by Robin Walker. This award focused on books for 11-18-year-olds, published in 2018 and 2019 and you may see the other shortlisted titles here. We featured this book previously on the blog when it was a category winner in the 2020 School Library Association Information Book Award.

Last summer we suggested you submit a book review for any recently published historical fiction to Young Quills to help them create the shortlist for their Awards. They have now announced the shortlisted titles here plus you may follow links to all the reviews by clicking on the book titles. Do let us know if you sent them a review. We would love to see it.


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

There is an art competition here aimed at inspiring you to be creative whilst also promoting awareness of the need to preserve, protect, and restore the world’s oceans. A very interesting website to explore, particularly if you are thinking of entering the competition. Please send us a copy of your artwork if you decide to enter.

Throughout the lockdown, the British Exploring Society are giving you the opportunity to take part in fun interactive virtual outdoor adventures with Wildestan. They offer free daily activities on Zoom to learn key outdoor survival skills, get tips on kit and equipment, and understand the science of the natural world, for young people aged 14+.

Durham Escape Rooms have some online escape room games, one of which, Mr X is free to play, although they do request donations. Apparently you can even play while on a video call to virtually go to an escape room with your friends, a good idea during lockdown.

There is a free online Young Poets Takeover via Zoom at the Festival of Hope on February 20, including an open mic opportunity for those of you aged 14+ to share your own poems. I will mention this again nearer the time, but thought it worth bringing to your attention now as spaces are limited.

On 25 January, there is a virtual panel with Keren David, Jodeci Joseph, Emma Shevah and Arielle Tchiprout to discuss Jewish representation in the media. Keren David's latest book What We're Scared Of was published yesterday. This is a novel which explores anti-semitism in the UK. You can borrow some of Keren David's earlier titles via Sora.

What We're Scared Of by Keren David

Don't forget that we will happily accept all book-related contributions from students and staff to our blog. And please email us your suggestions for what you would like to see on our blog.

Finally now for a bit of fun, we have a wordsearch to tie in with Burns Night. I created this wordsearch at myself and you may wish to try making your own word searches or crosswords there.

(For easier printing, open the image in a new tab. The way you do this will vary according to the browser you are using).

Burns Night Wordsearch