Welcome back after the half term break.  We love the month of February, especially as this year being a leap year, we get an extra day!   February is filled with celebrations for Chinese New year, Valentine’s Day, Pancake Day and lots of new books have rolled onto our library shelves.  Year 7 have been set the challenge to read and gain as many stickers as they can in their planners.  The Form with the most stickers wins a pizza party – yummy!

Well done, if you have managed to log on to SORA for the first time.  If you are having issues check for additional information in the blog or come into the library and ask.

World Book Day at SGS
7 March 2024

We are thrilled to be hosting Andrew Lane YA author of Young Sherlock Holmes and Awol series, among his many other books he has written.  Andrew will be spending the whole day with our students talking about his writing career, book signing and much more.

Masked Reader 2024

This World Book Day we welcome back our popular Masked Reader Quiz.  Our school staff are busy recording their videos for you to get your guessing cap on.  Will you guess the member of staff from their voice or will you have a hunch on the title of the book they are reading?  Either way the fun keeps on rolling with the speculation.  The Masked Reader will be shown in Form time on World Book Day.

World Book Day Tokens

As part of our school World Book Day activities, students will be receiving a paper World Book Day £1 token (one per student) to put towards a book in participating book shops and supermarkets – the tokens are valid from Thursday 15 February – Sunday 31 March 2024. You can swap your World Book Day £1 token for any of the World Book Day £1/€1.50 books or get £1 off (€1.50 off in Ireland) any full price book or audiobook (as long as the book or audiobook costs at least £2.99 (or €3.99 in Ireland).

You can download your digital book token here

Credit: www.worldbookday.com

World Book Day is a Charity sponsored by National Book Tokens.
Please note that the World Book Day book tokens cannot be used for online purchases.

Free World Book Day Books

In addition to the £1 token, all Year 7 students will receive a free World Book Day book of one of the following titles funded by our school library: Loki Tales of a Bad God by Louie Stowell; Can You Get Jellyfish in Space by Dr Sheila Kanani or Deadwood Creepy Creations by Jennifer Killick.



Fill Your Heart With Books

February is the month of Valentine’s Day, which always gets us thinking of love and romance books.  We have some great book suggestions from old classics, such as Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen, to modern love stories like The Half Life of Love by Brianna Bourne.  Whether it’s Mr Rochester from Jane Eyre who brings charm to your imagination or finding a match for socially awkward Alex from Alex in Wonderland?  There is something to discover in every book – let’s see if some of these books will fly their way into your affections this month.

The Half of Love by Brianna Bourne (KS3); On Midnight Beach by Marie-Louise Fitzpatrick (KS3); Alex in Wonderland by Simon James Green (KS3); The Irrational Diary of Clara Valentine by Coralie Colmez (KS3).


Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen (KS3/4) find under section: 823; Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte (KS3/4) find under section: 823; Normal People by Sally Rooney (KS5); Atonement by Ian McEwan (KS5).

In addition, check out some of our fantastic graphic novels this February, including the number one bestseller and netflix series, Heartstopper by Alice Osema.  We have the latest Heartstopper Volume 5 available to borrow now.

Don’t forget to check out SORA for some inspiration



Let’s get reading with these fantastic books which are available to borrow today: Jamie by L.D. Lapinski (KS3); Which Way Round the Galaxy (KS3); Death Comes to Marlow by Robert Thorogood (KS4).

Storm Tide by Tom Huddlestone (KS3); The Forest Demands Its Due by Kosoko Jackson (KS4); Return to Groosham Grange by Anthony Horrowitz (KS3).



Author Sally Percy talks to SGS Students

On Thursday, 1st February 2024, SGS students had an author visit by Sally Percy, a renowned finance journalist and author of two business books: 21st Century Business Icons and Reach the Top in Finance. Our students listened with interest as Sally spoke to them about some of the influential figures she has researched and her journey into publishing. Sixth former, Alex 12GA, led a Q&A session where students asked Sally about the key lessons from her research and opinions on prominent business leaders. Afterwards, our creative writing group and students interested in nonfiction and journalism, attended a small workshop in our school library with Sally to discuss real-world writing insights and strategies.



The Most Unconventional Dragon?

When I say, “Think of a dragon,” what do you think of? The typical image of a dragon in many fairy tales and fantasy books depict a massive, red dragon, with spikes on its back, humongous wings, and a body the size of a truck. One might even go as far to describe its fiery breath. Think of the dragon in ‘Room on the Broom’ (have you heard of it?), or Smaug in ‘Lord of the Rings’. These are stereotypical dragons. But what if a dragon had none of these things?

In the popular series ‘How to train your dragon’ by Cressida Cowell, Hiccup picks up a dragon as his partner, and names him Toothless. Toothless is stubborn, has no sharp teeth to speak of, is brown as a bunny, and has no warmth in his mouth. Not even a spark. He is, in simple terms, not the ideal dragon in the tough, Viking tribe that Hiccup lives in. He can’t fish, fight, or be ridden into battle. What’s worse, Hiccup is the chief’s son, and therefore has twice as much to prove.

Toothless is possibly my favourite character in this series as despite his rather disappointing looks, he goes to show his courage and potential beside Hiccup, and even some clever uses to being tiny. In the end, he even turns out to not be all that he seems… Toothless is a classic example of don’t judge a book by its cover, and should aspire everyone to work hard to achieve their goals, no matter your outward appearance.

By Blog Buddy, Ezra 9T



Yoto Carnegies Longlist is Announced

The Yoto Carnegies, the UK’s longest running and best loved book awards for children and young people, have announced their longlists for 2024. Celebrating creative use of language and synergy between text and images, poetry and stories written in verse feature prominently, with British talent dominating the Medal for Writing longlist. Common themes include hidden worlds and alternate realities, forgotten histories highlighted or reimagined, and environmentalism and the power of nature.

A total of 36 books have been selected from 20 different publishers; 19 for the Yoto Carnegie Medal for Writing, and 18 for the Yoto Carnegie Medal for Illustration.

We have a selection of the books chosen for the Yoto Carnegies longlist in our School Library, please come in and ask if you would like to borrow one.



Logging onto SORA

If you are having issues logging into SORA or using the SORA app come and speak to one of the Librarians.  SORA is Free for every SGS student to use and you have instant access to your account when you arrive in the school from year 7-13.   SORA has a huge range of ebooks, audiobooks and Magazines to choose from.

To login to SORA, use a computer or download the app, select Sutton Grammar School and use your computer login to sign in.  There are some great features on SORA.  You can earn badges by reading books with the app feature, make notes when reading and export them and search local public libraries.  Remember to check click ‘Young Adult’ on the age range.

Credit: SORA by Overdrive soraapp.com

Check out Love is in the Air books trending on SORA and, we are ‘loving’ their ebook suggestions.

Please note: If you are unsure about downloading the SORA app ask an adult.




Wicked Writers Competition

The Wicked Writers competition will be opening on 29th January 2024.  This year’s theme is ‘Be The Change.’ Students are being asked to write 500 words on a persuasive piece about environmental issue that is important to them.

The prizes are amazing and include free class tickets to see the stage musical Wicked at the Apollo Victoria Theatre, London; writing workshops; books for your school and more.  Please email the library staff to express an interest in this exceptional opportunity.



British Science Week
8 -17 March 2024

British Science Week 2024 is celebrating its 30th Anniversary this year with the theme of ‘Time.’  Since the first celebration of the week in 1994, British Science Week seeks to highlight and explore the future of Science, challenging stereotypes within the science and engineering sector and encourages young people to see themselves as Scientists.  They have lots of activities and information on their website, click here to find out more.  In particular, we are loving their ‘What’s On’ section where you can find out all about ‘Nature’s Calendar’ and ‘The Big Plastic Count.’

Poster Competition

British Science Week have launched a poster competition.  Students are being asked create a poster continuing this Year’s theme of ‘Time’ by showing how a certain type of technology has changed over time or the advancement of time-telling technology, this may also include how the world may look in the future. For more information on entering the competition visit:

If you would like to fill your head with more science facts and figures then check out section 500 in our School Library.  Here are a some recommended books to get you started: 10 Questions Science Can’t Answer Yet by Michael Hanlon; Hello World by Hannah Fry; Bad Science by Ben Goldacre; Science Tales by Darryl Cunningham.



International Women’s Day
8 March 2024

International Women’s Day is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating women’s equality.

IWD has occurred for well over a century, with the first IWD gathering in 1911 supported by over a million people. Today, IWD belongs to all groups collectively everywhere. IWD is not country, group or organization specific.

The campaign theme for International Women’s Day 2024 is Inspire Inclusion.  When we inspire others to understand and value women’s inclusion, we forge a better world.  And when women themselves are inspired to be included, there’s a sense of belonging, relevance, and empowerment.  Collectively, let’s forge a more inclusive world for women.

Text and logo credit: #IWD2024 #InspireInclusion  

We have some incredible books written by women authors in our school library, here are some titles to name but a few: Spider Woman by Lady Hale (KS5); Bane Chronicles by Cassandra Clare (KS4); Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle (KS3); Hollow Fires by Samira Ahmed (KS3).


The Portico Sadie Massey Awards

The Portico Sadie Massey Awards competitions are now open. The Reading and Writing Competition has two categories and you can choose to write either a short story or write a book review.  The deadline is 22nd March 2024 and is open to students aged 7-18 years old.  Winners and Highly Commended receive books and a Portico Sadie Massey Awards gift bundle at a presentation evening.  For more information and rules visit:
Portico Sadie Massey Awards — The Portico Library



The Branford Boase Award 

The Branford Boase Award 2024 longlist has been announced.  This year marks the 25th Anniversary of the Branford Boase Award which celebrates the most talented debut writers for children and their editors.  Set up in memory of the award-winning author Henrietta Branford and her editor Wendy Boase, one of the founders of Walker Books, the Branford Boase Award is given annually to the author of the year’s outstanding debut novel for Children.

The Branford Boase Award is the only award to honour the editor of the winning book, highlighting the importance of the editor in nurturing new talent.

For the fourth consecutive year, over 60 books were submitted, more than three times the number in 2000, and from 30 different publishing houses. Reflecting current trends in writing for children and young people.

Credit: www.branfordboaseaward.org.uk

We have a few books from the Longlist in our school library: Gwen and Art are NOT in Love by Lex Croucher, edited by Hannah Sandford (Bloomsbury); Crossing the Line by Tia Fisher, edited by Emma Matthewson supported by Tia Albert (Hot Key Books); Steady for This by Nathanael Lessore, edited by Ella Whiddett and Ruth Bennett (Hot Key Books). Click here to view the full Branford Boase longlist