SGS Library Blog - week 11

SGS Library Blog - week 11

SGS Library Blog – week 11

Photo by Perfecto Capucine from Pexels

Gosh end of my first term here at SGS and it has been entirely from home. How strange. Let me wish you all a happy summer and I look forward to meeting you all in September.

Summer Holiday Reading Challenge!

A reading challenge for y7/8/9 during the summer holidays using Sora, to read or listen to at least 3 books all by different authors. Then write a short (300-500 words) review of one of the 3 books with your recommendation as to why someone in your peer group would also enjoy reading it. You can illustrate your review if you wish. Here is a useful guide on book review writing. A selection of the best reviews will be published in the Autumn here on the Library blog with one review winning an Amazon voucher.

Here are some classic and contemporary authors that you may wish to consider.

Douglas Adams                                 John Boyne
Robert Cormier                                 Eoin Colfer
Arthur Conan Doyle                          Suzanne Collins
Alexandre Dumas                             Neil Gaiman
Rudyard Kipling                                Patrick Ness
George Orwell                                   Angie Thomas
Mary Shelley                                      Lyn White

I've also created a more comprehensive list of classic authors, whose titles are available via Sora. This is saved as "Quick picks of SORA classics" on the P drive in the P:\LIBRARY\Sora folder.

If you haven't logged into our new Sora library app yet, here is a quick reminder.
There is a link to the Sora app on the pupil page of the school website.
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:LIBRARYSora folder.

This week's top tip is regarding holds. You only get an in-app notification, so do keep an eye out as you only have a few days to accept to borrow a held book once it becomes available. But you do get the option to freeze a hold if you don't have time to read the book right now. More details on holds here.

Children's Art WeekThe theme for the final week of Children's Art Week is literacy and creative writing. There are lots of online activities that you may wish to get involved in. I've chosen several to highlight for you. Firstly would you like to draw an illustration for the poem High Flight, which was written by Spitfire pilot, John Gillespie Magee Jr. Or how about taking a leaf out of Gabrielle Kent's book and using interesting objects to inspire your writing. Gabrielle is the author of both the Alfie Bloom and Knights and Bikes series of books. Or write a letter telling your lockdown routine. The letters will be shown to poet Hannah Jane Walker who will create a legacy poem using parts of them. The poem, and your letters, will live on to mark this historic moment as part of the archive at University of Cambridge Library.

The British Library has a nice article on miniature books, including how to make one. They also have another page of authors reading ones they have created. I thought I'd share you a photo of one which was presented to my ancestor as a Sunday School prize nearly 150 years ago. This measures about 8 by 12cm and as you can see is now very fragile.

A Stormy NightAnd here is a selection of book titles that I felt fitted well with this week's theme.
Framed by Frank Cottrell Boyce
The Picture of Dorian Grey by Oscar Wilde
Graffiti Moon by Cath Crowley
Make Your Mark! The Art of Lettering

All this talk of creative writing, I thought I'd better include a final round-up of a few more (mainly writing) competitions before the summer holiday.

  • Opportunity to create a unique and innovative project to celebrate the work and legacy of one or several of the nominated 100 Great Black Britons.
  • The Young Muslim Writers Awards open to all age upto 16, various categories.
  • Write your lockdown poem for a chance to win an author visit to the school and book tokens for yourself. Open to those aged upto 16 plus they would love to showcase poems from teachers too.
  • Write a short story including a Taxi Cab and something magical. This competition is only open to those aged upto 13.
  • An art competition to create a piece of art inspired by nature. Sorry didn't see this one in time, to post during the nature themed Art Week.
  • National Geographic Kids have a competition to create a Circular Economy poster, open to those aged upto 16.

I've also got a dystopian, prescient short story to mention that you may wish to read over the summer, which Mr Cloves has recommended for its themes of isolation and a pre-computer internet. This is The Machine Stops written by E M Forster in 1909, (free download).

Unbelievable Football by Matt OldfieldMore book award news, this time it is the Telegraph Sports Book Awards which were announced on Wednesday. The winner of the Children's Sports Book of the Year is Unbelievable Football by Matt Oldfield and you may see the other shortlisted titles here.


To tie in with this week's virtual summer concert, I thought I'd share this short Doctor Who - A Lockdown Performance recorded by musicians of the BBC National Orchestra and Chorus of Wales, from their homes.

Also author and illustrator, James Mayhew has been painting to music, performed by BBC National Orchestra of Wales. My favourite is when he paints to Gustav Holst’s ‘Mars’ from the Planets. And here are some other compositions he has painted to.
Short Ride in a Fast Machine by John Adams
Storm Interlude from ‘Peter Grimes' by Benjamin Britten
A Night on the Bare Mountain by Modest Mussorgsky

And here's a round-up of a few fiction books with a musical connection.
On the Come Up by Angie Thomas
Solo by Kwame Alexander
Don't Stop Thinking About Tomorrow by Siobhan Curham
Rock War by Robert Muchamore

Plus you can download a free copy of Rock War - The Audition by Robert Muchamore here. This is a Rock War mini-book which was released specially for World Book Day 2014.


I've mentioned the daily round-up of book resource ideas on Toppsta previously but they also regularly have lots of book giveaways. And you can increase your chances of winning by posting reviews of any books you've read on their site. If you do post a book review there, I'd love you to share it with us too.

Also I must mention the Edinburgh International Book Festival, which is going online this year due to lockdown. The programme won't be available until end of July, but do keep an eye out, as there should be plenty of great free events.


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. Also I'm extending the closing date of the photography competition to 5th September to give you more opportunity over the summer. As a reminder, the challenge was to find the most unusual but SAFE place to read a book and to send me a photograph of you reading.

Plastic Free JulyFinally now for a bit of fun, we have a wordsearch to share with you, full of top tips for Plastic Free July. This is something that I am personally passionate about, so I would love to hear all your tips too. I created this wordsearch at  myself and you may wish to try making your own word searches or crosswords there.

Plastic Free July wordsearch