SGS Library July Blog 2023

SGS Library July Blog 2023

Firstly, well done to all of our students who have worked hard and tried their best throughout their exams this term. It has been a really busy month at school with sporting events, music concerts, drama shows, activities and reading initiatives.  As we head towards the long summer holidays there are plenty of good books to read in the sunshine or on the go.  It is also the perfect time to start a book series.  Our school library is full of inspiration for literature and resources, you can logon to the Reading Cloud/SORA for recommendations and access book reviews by your peers. Enjoy reading the July library blog it is full with great book ideas and links, see below.

Dive into these books this summer: The Deadlands Hunted by Skye Melki-Wegner; The Explorer by Katherine Rundell; The Knife of Never Letting Go (book #1 Chaos Walking series) by Patrick Ness.

Monster (book #1 Monster series) by Michael Grant; Stolen History by Sathnam Sanghera; Sociolinguistics, A Very Short Introduction by John Edwards. All of these books and more are available now!


What will you read this summer?

The Summer holidays are a great time to relax, unwind and feast your eyes on new things, what better way to embrace all three things at once, than by reading a variety of books.  You could try a new author? Read a recommended book? Or maybe a book front cover has you gripped to learn more.  Whether you have planned your summer reading or not, we always have plenty of excellent book ideas in our library. Here are some of our favourite KS3 books for the Summer: Usbourne Politics for Beginners by Louie Stowell; The 1000 Year Old Boy by Ross Welford; When Sky Falls by Phil Earle; His Dark Materials series by Philip Pullman; Mortal Engines series by Philip Reeve; What If by Randal Munroe; The Bubble Wrap Boy by Phil Earle; Time Riders Series by Alex Scarrow; African Pursuit by David Alric; African & Caribbean Folktales, Myths and Legends by Wendy Shearer; Foul Play series by Tom Palmer; Rangers Apprentice Series by John Flanagan; Promised One by David Alric.

For our KS4 audience we have a list of authors that have been recommended by the English Literature department which is great place to kick start your summer holiday reading, click here.  We think you’ll agree, there are some inspiring authors such as Leigh Bardugo; Brandon Sanderson; John Le Carre; Marcus Sedwick, Sarah J Maas and Rin Chupeco.  For further Year10 book suggestions take a look at this link: reading-lists-for-ks4-school-pupils

Here are some of our favourite KS4 books for the Summer: A Game of Thrones (book#1) by George RR. Martin; The Way of Kings (book#1 Stormlight series) by Brandon Sanderson; House of Sky and Breath (book#1 Cresent City series) by Sarah J Maas; Order of Darkness by Philippa Gregory; Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams; The Humans by Matt Haig; The Gunslinger (book#1 Dark Tower) by Stephen King; Dead Man’s Folly by Agatha Christie; The Hunchback of Notre Dame by Victor Hugo; The Bone Witch (book#1) by Rin Chupeco; Sophie’s World by Jostein Gaarder; The Ultimate Truth by Kevin Brooks, Theodore Boone (book#1) by John Grisham.


CHERUB Series by Robert Muchamore

Do you like fast-moving, powerful and captivating spy books with cool gadgets thrown in?  Then try author, Robert Muchmore's compelling CHERUB series.  Book 1: The Recruit, we are introduced to James Adams who following the death of his mother is recruited by CHERUB; a top secret branch of the British security. CHERUB employs children (mostly orphans) under the age of 17 to train as agents and become spies.  Their mission is discover information to bring down criminals while lying low to avoid adult-spy suspicions.  James undergoes the gruelling training and accepts his first mission to solve a mystery surrounding a group of bohemian environmentalists.

This book is well written, packed full of plot twists and turns, always keeping the reader on the edge of their seats throughout the series (1-18).  Start your adventure with the CHERUB Series today!

Robert Muchamore is an international bestselling author.  His teenage spy novels have captivated his audiences repeatedly.  Muchamore's other notable works are: Henderson's Boys (about the origins of CHERUB); Rock War; Robin Hood, all of which are available in our school library.  To learn more about the author visit: Click on: Author: Useless Information. We had a good giggle reading it – nice touch to the website!


Mr Bartlett reviews
Numbers Don’t Lie:
71 Things You Need to Know About the World
by Vaclav Smil

Canadian polymath, Vaclav Smil has always written across a broad spectrum of subjects and this book is no exception. Divided into seven sections, with titles such as "Machines, Designs, Devices" and "Food", the short chapters contain beautifully clear and concise explanations, all stressing the need to understand the numerical data. The book is lavishly illustrated which makes it both an accessible and a very informative, thought-provoking read. Anyone who enjoyed Hans Rosling's "Factfulness" will appreciate Smil's books.

Discover the YA Book Prize 2023 shortlist

The YA Book Prize launched in 2014 to celebrate great books for teenagers and young adults and aims to get more teens reading and buying books. It is the first prize in the UK and Ireland to specifically focus on fiction for young adults. Find out more about previous winners of the YA Book Prize.

The prize is organised by book trade magazine The Bookseller and it is run in partnership with Edinburgh International Book Festival. The shortlist is selected by a team at The Bookseller and the winner is selected by a panel of expert and teenage judges, who are asked to pick the book they believe is the best-written and that they would be most likely to share with young adults.

This year the shortlist includes some inspiring novels from great authors, it is well worth a look, you can even read for free the first paragraphs from each of the books nominated for the YA Book Prize 2023.  The winner will be announced on 24th August 2023.  In addition YA Book Prize will be sharing videos of the authors introducing and reading from their books every Wednesday at 8pm  (until Weds 2nd August 2023) note this is via social media, if you are unsure what you are accessing ask your parent or guardian.

From the 2023 shortlist we have these books available to borrow now: The Eternal Return of Clara Hart by Louise Finch; When Our Worlds Collided by Danielle Jawando; The Cats We Meet Along The Way by Nadia Mikail; Her Dark Wings by Melinda Salisbury; Kemosha of the Caribbean by Alex Wheatle.


Interview with our new
Head Student, Ben Roberts

1. Thinking back to when you first came to the school, what are your most prominent memories?

My first memory of SGS was attending the primary school taster day for students who had gained a place and participating in some fun challenges, where I met some of my future closest friends.

2. Which clubs have you enjoyed the most and why?

Throughout my time at Sutton Grammar, the CCF has unequivocally been the best club that I have participated in.  I have had the opportunity to take part in amazing camps and parades and would urge any students to also join up! Of course, the drama improvisation club that I co-ran is also one that everyone should join!

3. What has been your favourite competition/s in school and why?

House drama has always been a favourite of mine. The buzz of excitement as the younger years fill the hall to watch and perform in their own plays produced and performed by students is second to none.

4. What are your interests and hobbies outside of school?

Outside of school I enjoy acting and have just recently completed my advanced scuba diving course.

5. What are you most looking forward to in your role of head student?

I am looking forward to representing our school at various events, particularly those with prospective children and parents, and ensuring that the best image of Sutton Grammar School is conveyed.

6. Looking back at your time at Sutton Grammar School so far, what has been your funniest memory?

One of my funniest memories was on the Pennines CCF camp during the Tan Hill Run, a gruelling 10km uphill run with a heavy backpack, where 8 cadets (not me, thankfully!) managed to get lost because of a fallen signpost.

7. Do you read, and if so, how often, and what are your favourite books?

Yes I enjoy reading regularly. Admittedly, my current reading is primarily focussed around my A-level subjects but I also enjoy reading action fiction, Jack Reacher* being a favourite of mine. Currently I am reading Manhunt, a book about John Wilkes Booth, who assassinated Abraham Lincoln.

8. Which do you prefer, GCSEs or A levels?

I definitely prefer A-levels: being able to focus purely on subjects that you enjoy and that interest you makes learning more fun.

9. What is upper school like (for the younger members of our audience)?

It is similar to the lower school but with a higher expectation for you to complete work and to push yourself in assignments, ensuring you achieve the highest academic levels possible.

10. What is 6th Form like?

Whilst being hard work at times, Sixth Form is great fun. You have more independence with supervised study periods, there are a range of amazing trips for most subjects and best of all, you get exceats, which allow you to go home early!

Thank you to Ben for taking time to be interviewed by our Year 10 Blog Buddy, Rohan 10T, who organised and wrote this interview. 
*Advisory note: Jack Reacher novels by Lee Child are suitable for KS5 students upwards.


Enjoy Reading by Topic

Thank you to The Week Junior for allowing us to share this magnificent reading list “50 books to read this Summer,” organised in topic order.  There are some really awesome books for you to choose from.  Simply, click on the link below, scroll to a subject that interests you and bingo… all the suggested titles will be there!  Take a look NOW: TWJ/SummerReadingList.pdf

Can you spot which books are from which category?

Artichoke Hearts by Sita Brahmachari; What not to do if you turn invisible by Ross Welford; Kays Anatomy by Adam Kay.



Young Writers Competition

The Literacy Trust, in partnership with Good Housekeeping magazine, have launched a writing competition to produce a story of up to 500 words on the theme of Christmas.  The competition will be split into four age categories in include KS3 and KS4 students.  The closing date for entries is 31st August 2023.  For the full terms and conditions and entry form visit:

Winning stories will be published in the December 2023 issue of Good Housekeeping and each category winner will also receive £100 worth of book tokens.  Good Luck!


The Adventure Series Review

‘The Adventure Series’ written by Enid Blyton was released in 1944. At the time, it was the next big thing after the Famous Five, however it still brings a look of joy and suspense to the readers who venture through the pages of these exquisite books.

The 8 books revolve around the same four characters, Jack, Philip, Dinah and Lucy-Ann and Jack’s comical parrot Kiki. Each book takes you to a different part of this wide world, with each bringing a new adventure along
with it.

I would recommend these books if you enjoy books filled with suspense, adventure, laughter and intriguing characters.

About The Author: Enid Mary Blyton who was born 11 August 1897 and died 28 November 1968 was an English children’s author who wrote multiple books which have been worldwide best sellers since the 1930s , selling more than 600 million copies. She has written 16 different series in total.

Fun Fact: Enid Blyton went to St Christopher’s School in Beckenham and she was head girl. She enjoyed most of the lessons, except maths.

Written by Elorm 7M



Most Famous Books of All Time

When it comes to the most famous books of all time it can be hard to choose those worthy of the title and acclamation.  That said, I recently read an article which listed some old favourites, some of the schools’ old favourites and maybe a few that might surprise even the most avid readers among us.  We would love to hear your thoughts on the list, whether you found them a positive and inspiring read or are there others that could replace them?  Let’s get our own SGS Most Famous Books list and we’ll will feature them in the next blog, email our school library here.

All of these books are available in our Library and the majority of them on SORA: The Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien KS3; One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez KS4; Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov KS5; The Alchemist by Pablo Coelho KS4; War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy KS3; To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee KS3; Things Fall Apart by Chnua Achebe KS4; Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austin KS3.

1984 by George Orwell KS5; Life of Pi by Yann Martel KS4; The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini KS5.


Comic Club News

Well done to all of our talented year 8 illustrators who have come to Comic Club over the last year.  It has been a huge amount of fun creating cartoons and entering competitions whilst learning about different comic styles and coming with up with our own designs and projects.  Above is Kavish 8L, cleverly thought out and hand-drawn comic book Mission Galatic.

This term some of the Comic Club students have worked on a fictitious brief to come up with a new Cartoon Channel.  Charlie 8M has produced some fantastic work using the Adobe Illustrator© software to create a new cartoon channel.


For the first time in the history of the only national book awards exclusively judged by teachers, an author has achieved consecutive wins. Katya Balen follows her 2022 win in the 7-11+ category for October, October with what the judges praised as an “exquisite” novel in 2023. The Light in Everything, is a “gut-wrenchingly emotional and relatable” story which gives a really authentic portrayal of a modern blended family and the difficulties faced by the children, as well as dealing very sensitively and appropriately with the difficult issue of domestic violence. In awards which primarily seek “books in which the language is powerful, the sophisticated but not condescending language” used was particularly commended by the judges.

Katya Balen responded to the news of her second win by saying: ‘The UKLA Book Awards and its community are everything I love about being a children’s author – their members and judges are so enthusiastic, dedicated and involved in making sure young people are reading for pleasure and exploring a wide range of books. So it’s an absolute honour and a privilege for them to recognise my work and to win the 7-10+ category with The Light in Everything”

The 11-14+ category features another returning winner. Manjeet Mann was joint winner in 2021 with her debut novel Run Rebel and went on to win the Costa Award with her next novel, The Crossing, which has now secured for her a second UKLA win. Judges commended this “important and powerful” verse novel for its “brilliant construction” and clever handling of the dual narrator perspective to reveal with “real emotional heart and soul” the topical and relevant tragedies of the refugee crisis. The verse novel format is really engaging and accessible, but equally provides a “deeply thought-provoking” read which “really lives with you”. Both Katya and Manjeet received Emeritus medals for winning their categories twice.
Credit: @The_UKLA  #UKLA23 #teachersbookawards

In the 11-14+ category of shortlisted books we have available to borrow: The Blue Book of Nebo by Manon Steffan Ros; Julia and the Shark by Kiran Millwood Hargrave.

Available on SORA from the 11-14+ catergory: In the Wild Light by Jeff Zentner; Truth Be Told by Sue Divin. From the category of Information Books 3- 14+: Musical Truth: A Musical History of Modern Black Britain in 28 Songs by Jeffrey Boakye.


Year 7 Book Club
Shadowing Magazine 2023

Following the huge success and fun our Year 7 Book Club Shadowing group had as they read and reviewed the Yoto Carnegies shortlisted books… drum roll… we now have a magazine where you can read all of their book reviews, click here.

The winning Medal for Writing 2023 was: The Blue Book of Nebo by Manon Steffan Ros and the Shadowers’ Choice Medal for Writing was: I Must Betray You by Ruta Sepetys.  All the Yoto Carnegies shortlisted books are available in the library and on SORA.

A big thank you to all of our Year 7 Shadowers’ that took part this year.  You read every one of the books with eagerness and enthusiasm.  We are looking forward to next year with a new list of books to discover.


Vote for SGS Today and
win £100 National Book Tokens for yourself

This Summer National Book Tokens are offering five schools the chance to start rebuilding their libraries by inviting teachers, parents, carers and communities to nominate their school for our big prize draw. Each winning school will receive £1,000 in National Book Tokens and a year’s free membership to the School Library Association – PLUS one overall winner will also get £500 to help them create a fun and welcoming library space for all.

Please nominate Sutton Grammar School, the more entries we receive the higher our chance of winning!  If our school is selected as one of the five winning entries you also will win a £100 National Book Token to spend in a bookshop of your choice!

Winners will be drawn at random after Monday 31st July and announced in September 2023. Click below to enter and for the full terms and conditions.




Sutton Council are taking BOOKINGS NOW for their holiday activities.
Families, communities and local organisations are all working together to provide children and young people with fun activities and learning opportunities this summer.
Visit to get your family involved #HAF2023 - funded by@EducationGov.

Scan above QR Code for more information


We have had lots of fun in the library this year and the library staff would like to thank you for your involvement and for accessing our books across the curriculum and beyond! We look forward to seeing you in September.