SGS Library Blog – Spring term week 4

SGS Library Blog – Spring term week 4

SGS Library Blog – Spring term week 4

SGS Library

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

We had our first session of the Yr7 Reading Group online last week, although we were mainly focussing on how to download the book from Sora, so today we will actually start reading The House With Chicken Legs by Sophie Anderson. Hopefully some of you will make some suggestions for future reads and what to call our Reading Group.

The House With Chicken Legs by Sophie Anderson

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.


As mentioned in last week's blog post, on 27 January, Holocaust Memorial Day, the UK remembered those who suffered in the Holocaust, under Nazi persecution, and in subsequent genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia, and Darfur. The National Literary Trust have teamed up with award-winning author Tom Palmer who has written a short story called The Question specifically to mark this occasion. You may watch him reading it on YouTube or if you prefer to read it yourself, we have saved a PDF version on the P Drive in the P:\LIBRARY\Dowloaded-books folder.

And here are some book recommendations.

The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne        The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank

The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne (Sora)
The Midnight Guardians by Ross Montgomery (LLC)
The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank (Sora)
The Missing: The True Story of My Family in World War II by Michael Rosen (LLC)
When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit by Judith Kerr (LLC) - book 1 of a semi-autobiographical trilogy

You may listen to a podcast here where Michael Rosen talks about The Missing (recorded prior to Holocaust Memorial Day 2020). This is part of the In The Reading Corner podcast series.

How To Wash A Heart by Bhanu Kapil

The winner of the TS Eliot Prize for poetry was announced this week as being Bhanu Kapil for her collection How To Wash A Heart, depicting the complex relations that emerge between an immigrant guest and a citizen host.

I remember being at school with Bhanu. Perhaps her poetry may inspire your own entries for the House Poetry. This year's topic is Time. Please email your entries by Friday 5 February to

SGS House Poetry

And if you want more poetry inspiration, how about from the inauguration of Joe Biden as the 46th president of the United States which took place on 20 January, where US youth poet laureate Amanda Gorman recited her poem The Hill We Climb, which will be published in the Spring. The last three lines also tie in perfectly with this year's Holocaust Memorial Day theme - Be The Light in the Darkness. You may watch Amanda recite her poem here.

Also 13 year old Brayden Harrington has landed a publishing deal for his book Brayden Speaks Up, to be released this summer, plus a novel to follow next year. Last year Brayden bonded with Joe Biden over their struggles dealing with stuttering. Brayden is an inspiration to us all about the importance of speaking up  to make each of our voices hear.

The inauguration ceremony marks the commencement of the four-year term of Joe Biden as president and Kamala Harris as vice president, with Kamala Harris making history as the first Black and South Asian American Vice President. Here are a couple of book titles.

Joe Biden : American Dreamer Hardback by Evan Osnos
The Truths We Hold: An American Journey by Kamala Harris

Joe Biden : American Dreamer Hardback by Evan Osnos        The Truths We Hold: An American Journey by Kamala Harris

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

Adding to the list of resources we mentioned earlier this month, here are a couple more who are offering a free book to read each week online during lockdown. The first is a Virtual School Library from Oak Academy in partnership with the National Literary Trust, which has taken over from what was previously on offer from Words For Life. However instead of extracts, this time it is including entire books. And you may still go back and look at earlier authors featured on Words For Life.

This week's free book is The Girl Who Stole An Elephant by Nizrana Farook which you may either read or listen to. The audio version will only be available until 5 February. This title is also available to borrow from LLC.

The second is from Badger Learning who are offering one free downloadable eBook every week from their range aimed at struggling and reluctant readers. I am planning to download and save these on the P Drive in the P:\LIBRARY\Downloaded_books folder. So far I have saved Greek Myths and Legends by Clare Morgan and Rocket Dog by Lynda Gore.

From today until Sunday is the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch for you to spend an hour counting the birds in your garden. DK have some related books and activities on their website, like making a bird box. I have saved copies of these to the P Drive in the P:\LIBRARY\Birdwatching folder.

There is a competition for you to write about a piece of artwork featured on the Art UK website. Open to Yr10 - Yr13.

Scholastic are running a competition for you to write a story based on a real event in your family that celebrates and shares Black British experiences. Open upto age 14.

A nice article here about how author Kwame Alexander surprised a 13 year old boy in London by hand delivering one of his books. You may find some of his books online on Sora.

For those of you who tried out the Hidden Books game on Caboodle last term, here are the answers. Some of them were very difficult. We did challenge staff with this one, so I'd love to hear how everyone did. I only managed 9 out of 20 myself.

For those of you who have read The Fowl Twins by Eoin Colfer, here is a fun quiz to see which character you are most like.


SORA your lock down Library!

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 read samples from books before deciding whether to borrow or not. And you can create your own booklists.

Sora screenshot

Due to lockdown, the annual Harry Potter Book Night has been rescheduled from 4 February to 24 June this year. However I've created a Harry Potter crossword, especially for you Potterheads out there.

Harry Potter crossword

Crossword created at