SGS Library Blog – week 9

SGS Library Blog – week 9

SGS Library Blog – week 9

Photo by Perfecto Capucine from Pexels

Get better soon Michael! It is good to hear that Michael Rosen is back home and recovering from the Covid-19 virus after nearly 7 weeks in intensive care. Although still a long road to full recovery, he is already tweeting again.

So I hope you've all found time to download the Sora app and to login, even if you haven't borrowed your first book yet. If not, 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:\LIBRARY\Sora folder.

For those of you already reading on Sora, let me share a top tip for how to easily get a definition of a word you don't know. In the app, hold your finger down on the word and then select the define option.


The British Book of the Year Awards winners were announced earlier this week and the winner in the Children's Fiction Book of the Year category is A Good Girl's Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson. Follow the link to also see the other shortlisted titles.

And it has been a busy week for awards as the STEAM Children’s Book Prize 2020 winners were announced by Dallas Campbell last weekend. So the winner of their Best YA Book category is Nowhere on Earth by Nick Lake. Other shortlisted titles may be seen here.

Nowhere on Earth by Nick Lake

And I'll be back with more Award news next week, as the UKLA Book Award winners are due to be announced this evening. 


Sutton Library will be partially reopening on 6 July, along with some but not all of the other branches in the borough, with a 'Select & Collect' service. See here for more details. They have taken their annual Summer Reading Challenge online to encourage you to read six library books of your choice over the summer months. This year the theme is Silly Squad and it is open to those aged upto 13. And they have a code club for the same age group.

They have a project called The Locals: Diaries if you wish to submit any content from your lockdown diary. And they also have a free draw where you have the chance to win a bike or cinema tickets. I'm certainly looking forward to cinemas reopening.

On the topic of free draws, we've found some more competitions that you may enjoy. Firstly here is one to create bookmarks based on during and after lockdown.

And the Great Copyright Hunt sounds a lot of fun. Open to those aged upto 14.

We mentioned the Information Book Award recently in blog post 6, where you get the chance to vote for your favourite. Well here is a giveaway to win the shortlisted titles.

Or a giveaway to win a copy of the new Hunger Games novel, The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes. And you can listen to the author read chapter 3 of the book here.

Children's Art Week

Rather than just one week, this year Children's Art Week is taking place across 3 weeks from 29th June to 19th July. The theme this week has been The Natural World. next week will be Connecting across generations and week 3 Literacy and creative writing. There are lots of online activities that you may wish to get involved in, nearly 200 to choose between. From the fantastic artwork I've seen on SGSKeepFaith, I know lots of you love art. So I've picked out one of the activities to draw your favourite wild animal with biro for the Wild Postcard Gallery. Your drawing could encourage others to get involved in species conservation.

And I've always been fascinated by the spirals in both art and nature based on the Fibonacci Sequence, so when I saw this on maths on toast, I had to share it with you.

On the theme of nature and art, for National Insect Week last week, the National Gallery shared the stories behind bugs hiding in a selection of paintings in their collection. They also have similar tales for cats and birds.

And of course, photography is an art. I quite often use the Seek app to try to identify plants and creatures that I don't recognise. However I'm rubbish at photography, so I'm sure you are all way better than me. With that in mind, here is a nature photography competition which you may enjoy.

The Natural World and art is a very broad theme, but I'm including a few relevant book titles below.
The Earth from the Air by Yann Arthus-Bertrand
How to Draw Almost Every Animal by Chika Miyata
Birds of Prey (You Can Draw It) by Jon Eppard
Diary of a Young Naturalist by Dara McAnulty (longlisted for the Wainwright Prize for UK Nature writing)

And one more Natural World art week activity is from The Potteries Museum & Art Gallery who have a display of plastic pollution. They are challenging you to create both an Eco Friendly Poster and Fish Snow Globe using recycled materials. This highlights that the UK produces over 5 million tonnes of plastic waste per year, with much of this finding its way into natural environments. Plastic takes hundreds of years to break down, and even tiny fragments (called microplastics) can find their way into our rivers and oceans – eaten by fish and working their way up the food chain. This month is Plastic Free July and I’m going to tell you more about that next week.

Plastic Free July

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

Anthony Horowitz has been writing a new Diamond Brothers book Where Seagulls Dare during lockdown and releasing it online as "work in progress", a chapter at a time. He welcomes your comments. He has also been reading an instalment of the first Alex Rider book Stormbreaker on YouTube every Monday at 10am.

The free audiobooks from World Book Day are still available to listen to for the rest of the summer.

There is a virtual Bookwanderers Club with lots of author interviews on YouTube, hosted by Anna James, author of Tilly and the Bookwanderers.

For those of you who are thinking about career choices, the National Literary Trust have put together a Career Corner selection of activities and resources. Each week they feature exclusive content to give you a glimpse into what it is like to work in particular industries.

I shared some story writing tips from David Walliams in blog post 2. Well here he is again with more tips.


Don't forget that we will happily accept all book-related contributions from students and staff to our blog. Perhaps you keep a diary that you would like to share some lockdown entries from? And please email us your suggestions for what you would like to see on our blog.

Finally now for a bit of fun, this week I'm launching another House Points competition. I'm challenging you to find the most unusual but SAFE place to read a book and to send me a photograph of you reading. I'll give you a couple of ideas. How about in a hammock or standing on one leg. Email me your photographs before the end of term and I'll award 1 achievement point to those that Mrs Taylor and I like best. Don't forget to let me know which house you're in and your year.