SGS Library Blog – Summer term week 7

SGS Library Blog – Summer term week 7

SGS Library Blog – Summer term week 7

SGS Library

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

Well done to our lower school students who took part in the regional heats of the National Reading Championships yesterday. They didn't make it through to the next round but had great fun.

National Reading Championships Quiz

For those of you who haven't tried the 'Click and Collect' service for the school library out yet, here is the link to our new library catalogue. Key in SUT, to search for our school. Books reserved before lunchtime, will be available for collection after school on the same day. If you don't see a book you are searching for listed, please let us know and we will consider adding it to our wishlist. Sora will continue to be available in parallel for those of you who prefer ebooks or audiobooks, plus it may offer a wider choice of titles to those on our shelves here.

And please may we remind you to return books to the Library lobby as soon as possible. There are still almost 200 overdue books.


June is when we typically celebrate Pride as it was the month of the Stonewall riots in 1969, the protests to fight homophobia and campaign for equal rights. Here are some new titles in the school library which you may enjoy reading that are topical for Pride Month.

Alex in Wonderland by Simon James Green
Pumpkinheads by Rainbow Rowell
Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas
Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

Yay! You’re Gay! Now What? by Riyadh Khalaf

And here is an episode of In The Reading Corner podcast where author Riyadh Khalaf talks about his book for young adults Yay! You’re Gay! Now What? plus ways to support young people in school. 

Empathy Day

Yesterday was Empathy Day, although really every day should be an empathy day. Empathy is our capacity to understand and share other people’s feelings, a skill which we can develop when we are identifying with fictional characters in books. There was an Empathy Day Live festival held and the sessions are available for catch up on YouTube. You may see the full programme here but I'm going to highlight a few of the events.

Authors' secrets: creating characters with empathy
Malorie Blackman, Bali Rai and Holly Bourne share insights into how they create
characters, inspiring young people's creative writing

Empathy Exhibition - 'In My Shoes...'
Michelle Robinson, Jay Hulme and Patrice Lawrence learn more about each other by
sharing their precious possessions.

Empathy in Action
Children and young people talk about empathy as a power to combat...
...prejudice: with Kwame Alexander
... loneliness: with Welsh Children's Laureate Eloise Williams

There are lots of resources on the EmpathyLab website including this year's collection of Empathy reads. This features three of the titles from the Carnegie Medal shortlist, which we have been reading in our book club.

Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo
Look Both Ways by Jason Reynolds
Run Rebel by Manjeet Mann

I personally would add another Carnegie shortlisted title, Echo Mountain by Lauren Wolk, where the lead character Ellie is constantly very empathetic in her concern for people and creatures.

Carnegie Medal shortlist

This week at our book club we continued reading and writing reviews of the shortlisted books for the the 2021 CILIP Carnegie Medal.  We also discussed what we would like to do next after Carnegie Shadowing and the favourite suggestion appeared to be podcasts with authors. We will need to purchase equipment for this, which we also plan to use in activities week, so will probably aim to commence after that. If anyone else is interested in the sound of this, then please email us or come along. We meet in the library after school on Wednesdays for 30 minutes.

Book Spotlight!

You Are A Champion: How to Be the Best You Can Be by Marcus Rashford

Back in the Autumn term I told you about Macmillan Children’s Books partnering with footballer and child food poverty campaigner Marcus Rashford MBE to promote reading and literacy to young people across the UK. The first book You Are A Champion: How to Be the Best You Can Be was published just before half term. This non-fiction title draws on stories from Marcus’s own life to show young people aged 11-16 years that success is all about the mindset.

WH Smith are gifting a copy of this book for every purchase to children who don’t have a book of their own.

And Marcus Rashford recently held an inspiring online conversation with Barack Obama to discuss the way books have changed their lives, which you may watch here.

At Night All Blood Is Black by David Diop

The winner of The International Booker Prize was announced during half term as At Night All Blood Is Black by David Diop and translated by Anna Moschovakis. Upper School may enjoy reading this book.

Waterstones Children's Book Prize 2021 shortlist

The shortlists have now been announced for Waterstones Children's Book Prize 2021 and you may win a set of shortlisted titles here. The following are the titles shortlisted in the older category.

The Black Flamingo by Dean Atta
Wranglestone by Darren Charlton (SGS/Sora/LLC)
Boy Everywhere by A. M. Dassu (LLC)
Only Mostly Devastated by Sophie Gonzales
Raybearer by Jordan Ifueko (LLC)
And the Stars Were Burning Brightly by Danielle Jawando (Sora/LLC)

What I've been reading during half term!

Every Falling Star by Sungju Lee and Susan McClelland

Over half term I borrowed the audio version of Every Falling Star by Sungju Lee and Susan McClelland from Sora. This is the true story of Sungju, a North Korean boy who was forced at age twelve to live on the streets and fend for himself, by thieving, fighting, begging and stealing rides on cargo trains. He survived and escaped North Korea. A very powerful intense read where I learnt how the freedoms that we take for granted here do not exist in the North Korean culture. I highly recommend this book.

I also recently read an advance proof copy of A Sitting in St James by Rita Williams-Garcia. It will be released in hardback on 24 June or is already available as an ebook. This diverse read packs in a lot of topics including LGBTQ+ but the main focus is slavery, racism and white privilege. Doubly topical, not only for Pride but as we approach Juneteenth on 19 June, which marks the emancipation of those who had been enslaved in the US. A compelling read but does include some sensitive subject matter, so I only recommend to those aged 16+. What have you read recently? How about posting a review of your latest book on Reading Cloud.


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

The Lewis Carroll Society have a competition to write a missing chapter for either Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland or Through the Looking-Glass. Closes 3 July.

The Reading Agency have a creative writing competition on the theme of Super Spies and Secret Societies to win a box set of the Alex Rider books by Anthony Horowitz. Closes 16 July.

This week is Museum Week, so you may enjoy an interactive online tour around exhibits at the British Museum. Or how about an audio-guided tour of the National History Museum narrated by Sir David Attenborough.

Do you enjoy doodling? There is a doodle competition here to win a set of books from publisher Harper Collins. Open upto age 13. Closes 2 July.

The delayed Euro 2020 kicks off today and Y7 may enjoy Tom Palmer's live story featuring Roy of the Rovers. Chapter 1 is available now, and the remaining chapters will be published on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. They will be written the night before publication and will be influenced by the events on the pitch.


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 we have a football themed crossword to tie in with Euro 2020.

football themed crossword

Crossword created at