Welcome to Sutton Grammar School Library

All students and staff are automatically members of our Library and able to borrow books from the collections.

The Library houses a large range of regularly updated fiction and reading for pleasure is very much encouraged throughout the school. The non-fiction collection is carefully chosen to support the curriculum.

There is a careers information collection and lists by subject of suggested wider reading for sixth form students as they prepare for their final exams and onward destination.

The Library is a bright, light and welcoming environment ideal for study or quiet reading and is open to all students during morning and lunch breaks. Resources include Pc’s, Scanners, printers, newspapers and Journals.




SGS Library Blog

  • SGS Library Blog – Spring term week 7

    date posted: Friday 26 Feb 2021

    SGS Library Blog – Spring 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).

    I hope you all had a restful half term. We are now approaching a big day in the library calendar. Next Thursday, 4 March will be World Book Day, when you will all be receiving a £1 voucher for a free book. Here is a preview of some of the choices of books available. I plan to publish next week's blog post early, with World Book Day being the main focus. 

    World Book Day £1 books

    Congratulations to Mr Shergold whose story 'This Time It'll Be Different' made the longlist in February's Furious Fiction international competition. He had to write 500 words in less than 55 hours. ‘Flash Fiction’ is a house challenge that we are considering running at SGS in the future.

    LGBT+ History month

    As mentioned before half-term, February is LGBT+ History month, celebrating achievements and diversity of LGBT+ people and raising awareness and combating prejudice against the LGBT+ community.

    LGBT Youth Scotland have created a resource to take a world tour ‘visiting’ LGBTI historical sites and monuments using Google Maps. I have saved a copy of this on the P Drive in the P:\LIBRARY\LGBT+ History Month folder.

    The Young Poets Network asked some Foyle Young Poets to share their LGBT+ poet heroes. So I'll mention one of mine, namely war poet Wilfred Owen whose Complete Works are available to borrow from Sora.

    Book Spotlight!

    Me, My Dad and the End of the Rainbow by Benjamin Dean

    Toppsta have curated a booklist for LGBT History Month, including the book I have selected for this week's Book Spotlight. This should appeal to Lower School students. Published earlier this month, Me, My Dad and the End of the Rainbow by LGBT author Benjamin Dean has been chosen as one of Waterstones Books of the Month for February.

    You may enjoy watching a YouTube video of Benjamin Dean being interviewed by Anna James on series 2 of The Bookwanderers Club. The video includes him reading the first couple of pages of Me, My Dad and the End of the Rainbow and giving a writing prompt for you to write your own story. This episode of The Bookwanderers Club also includes interviews with authors Liz Pichon and Helen Rutter, and a new episode is released every other Friday.

    Or you can watch him read the whole of the first chapter on Moon Lane TV, the Children's Book Channel. Moon Lane TV is worth checking out for videos with other authors including Adam Barron, A M Dassau and Ross Welford. And if you prefer reading it yourself, there is a preview of the book available to read on Amazon.

    Here is the author's reaction to his book being chosen as Book of the Month. And author Benjamin Dean recommends his choice of top LGBTQ+ books and shares his reasons for writing.

    This book also features on a booklist of LGBT+ Fiction for Children and Young Adults, recommended by Redbridge Schools Library Service for LGBT+ History Month. I've saved a copy of this list on the P Drive in the P:\LIBRARY\LGBT+ History Month folder. Plus it is on a similar list from the Scottish Book Trust.

    Empathy Week 2021

    This week is Empathy Week and this year's theme is resilience and diversity. Empathy Lab have chosen their 2021 Read For Empathy book collection which includes 20 titles for 12-16 year olds. Empathy is our ability to understand and share someone else’s feelings, a skill which we can develop when we are identifying with book characters. So reading any of these titles will help to build your empathy. We have saved a copy of the guide for the secondary collection on the P Drive in the P:\Library folder.

    2021 Empathy Lab Book Collection

    I'm highlighting a few of the titles which are available to borrow online from either Sora or LLC. The link for Sora is https://soraapp.com/

    I Was Born for This by Alice Oseman (Sora)
    On The Come Up by Angie Thomas (Sora)
    Chinglish: An Almost Entirely True Story by Sue Cheung (Sora)
    Scavengers by Darren Simpson (LLC)
    When Stars are Scattered by Victoria Jamieson and Omar Mohamed (LLC)
    The Missing: The True Story of My Family in World War II by Michael Rosen (LLC)

    There is also a series of free Empathy webinars next week for students aged 13+.

    The Paisley Book Festival commenced during half term and they have made a selection of 8 videos from participating authors on the theme of Radical New Futures available to schools free for six weeks. I was watching one by Ellie McNicoll, author of A Kind of Spark. talking about Empathy, so very topical this week.

    2021 CILIP Carnegie Medal Longlist

    The longlist has now been announced for the 2021 CILIP Carnegie Medal. 20 titles from which 10 will be selected for the shortlist next month. You may notice that some of them also feature on the Empathy collection above. At that point, the schools shadowing scheme commences where young people get the chance to read and vote on their choice for the winning book. Do email us if you would like SGS to get involved in the shadowing scheme for 2021. Obviously it may depend on whether the books which get shortlisted appeal to you. There will be lots of resources and promotional materials to support the books on the shortlist. I've highlighted below those which are available to borrow online from either Sora or LLC.

    Deeplight by Frances Hardinge (LLC)
    And the Stars Were Burning Brightly by Danielle Jawando (LLC)
    On Midnight Beach by Marie-Louise Fitzpatrick (LLC)
    Burn by Patrick Ness (LLC)
    Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo (Sora)
    In the Key of Code by Aimee Lucido (Sora)
    Furious Thing by Jenny Downham (LLC)
    Pet by Akwaeke Emezi (LLC)
    Run Rebel by Manjeet Mann (LLC)
    Echo Mountain by Lauren Wolk (LLC)
    Somebody Give This Heart a Pen by Sophia Thakur (LLC)


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

    The Boy Who Fooled The World by Lisa Thompson

    Here's a topical riddle from Lisa Thompson, author of The Boy Who Fooled The World, (available on Sora). Her latest title The Graveyard Riddle was published last month.
    I have hundreds of leaves but I am not a tree. I have a spine but I’m not an animal. What am I?

    If you don't know the answer, you may check here, plus see some more of her riddles. Email us if you have a riddle you would like to share on the library blog.

    This week's author of the week on the National Literary Trust's Virtual School Library is Dominique Valente. The resources include daily instalments for you to listen to from the audiobook of Starfell: Willow Moss and the Lost Day. This title is also available to borrow from LLC.

    This week marked the 200th anniversary of the death of poet John Keats aged just 25. The Keats-Shelley Memorial Association have two writing competitions open to those age 16-18, one poetry and the other an essay. The Complete Works of John Keats is available to borrow online from Sora.

    The National Poetry Library has launched a competition to celebrate the theme of New Beginnings following a year of fear and confusion.

    You may win a copy of Fearne Cotton's Your Mood Journal in a Book Trust giveaway.

    Although Michael Morpurgo Month is drawing to a close, there is still plenty of time to submit your book reviews for an opportunity of winning a virtual book event with Sir Michael Morpurgo at SGS. Entries can be submitted until 4 April.


    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, or if you wish to be involved with a podcast book chat or one of our Reading Groups. In particular, as regards the podcasts, we would love to hear if you have any ideas or editorial experience you wish to tell us about.

    The Incredible Record Smashers by Jenny Pearson

    Lastly to get you in the mood ready for World Book Day next week, and in line with the theme of Jenny Pearson’s upcoming title The Incredible Record Smashers (due to be published in April), how about attempting a book-related Guinness World Record® like making the longest book domino line.

    Jenny Pearson is also the author of The Super Miraculous Journey of Freddie Yates which is available to borrow with no holds on Sora. Plus email us your World Book Day photographs or videos by 15 March and we will award a housepoint each to our favourites.

  • SGS Library Blog – Spring term week 6

    date posted: Friday 12 Feb 2021

    SGS Library Blog – Spring term week 6

    SGS Library

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

    I hope you all have a restful half term and may I wish a Happy New Year to those celebrating as we move into the Lunar New Year of the Ox. This is better known as the Chinese New Year, but of course, the spring festival is of importance to lots more cultures, particularly many other nations of South East Asia.

    And enjoy your pancakes on Shrove Tuesday next week. The famous pancake race in Olney, which is believed  to have first been run in the year 1445 won't be taking place this year due to lockdown.

    Hunt For Jade Dragon by Richard Paul Adams

    Here are a few reads that you may enjoy reading during the 15 day Lunar New Year festival.

    Hunt For Jade Dragon by Richard Paul Adams (available on Sora)
    Every Falling Star by Sungju Lee and Susan McClelland (available on Sora)
    The Dragon Warrior by Katie Zhao
    The Twelve by Cindy Lin
    The Zodiac Legacy series by Stan Lee

    LGBT+ History month 2021

    February is LGBT+ History month, celebrating achievements and diversity of LGBT+ people and raising awareness and combating prejudice against the LGBT+ community. This year's theme is Body, Mind, Spirit. The faces for 2021 are Maya Angelou, Mark Ashton, Michael Dillon, Mark Weston and Lily Parr.

    There are lots of online events so I thought I would highlight a couple. Firstly a podcast which will be released at 12pm on 15 February where two of the Carnegie Medal judges chat about the best LGBTQ interest books aimed at children and young people. By the way, the 2021 Carnegie Medal longlist will be out during half term, so more news on that next time.

    And secondly at 2pm on 17 February, author Damian Barr reads from his debut novel You Will Be Safe Here.

    Read The Rainbow booklist of LGBT+ titles, including both fiction and non-fiction has been curated on Sora.

    Read The Rainbow on Sora

    From the Read The Rainbow list, I am going to mention Proud compiled by Juno Dawson which I have read myself. This is an anthology of mainly short stories on the theme of Pride plus some poetry, featuring LGBTQ+ teenagers and some of the issues they face. These have been written by both top LGBTQ+ YA authors and new authors.


    During half term on 19 February it is Prevent Plagiarism Day. We plan to add some resources for this topic to the VLE in due course. For anyone who doesn't know plagiarism is using somebody else's work and claiming it as yours. You have to be very careful to avoid plagiarising from others. It could even mean the difference between a good grade and a fail for a piece of homework. So no copying and pasting from the internet. Yes you may wish to discuss similar points, but do remember to paraphrase. Also you should always cite your sources of reference material. Plus a few quotations with the source mentioned are allowed, but you can't quote throughout.

    The Awakening of Malcolm X by Ilyasah Shabazz and Tiffany D. Jackson

    A new book released in the UK this week is The Awakening of Malcolm X by his daughter Ilyasah Shabazz co-authored with Tiffany D. Jackson and you may read a sample on amazon. You can also read an interview here with the authors regarding telling the story of this human rights activist. One of Tiffany D Jackson's other novels Let Me Hear A Rhyme is available to borrow online from LLC.

    Brown Baby : A Memoir of Race, Family and Home by Nikesh Shukla

    Another new title this month is Brown Baby : A Memoir of Race, Family and Home by Nikesh Shukla and you may read a review in the Guardian. You may borrow another of his titles The Good Immigrant online from Sora.

    Book Spotlight!

    Tomorrow Will Be A Good Day by Captain Tom Moore

    Very sad to hear of Captain Sir Tom Moore passing away from coronavirus. He has been such an inspiration to us all during the past year and you can read all about his life in his autobiography Tomorrow Will Be A Good Day. His editor remembers him in a tribute here and Penguin previously featured his autobiography as Book of the Week on Armistice Day and included his book in their list of titles which defined 2020. Also you may watch Michael Morpurgo reflecting upon the life of Sir Tom Moore on Channel 4 news. His legacy of Inspiring Hope carries on through The Captain Tom Foundation. And the BBC have chosen a selection of photographs to display his life in pictures. Plus here is a Captain Tom activity pack to share with younger siblings.

    Meanwhile don't forget about the opportunity of winning a virtual book event with Sir Michael Morpurgo at SGS by reviewing one of his books for Michael Morpurgo Month. More details in last week's blog post.


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

    You can listen to author Neil Gaiman reading The Graveyard Book on his website.

    One book club got a huge surprise when Barack Obama joined them online to discuss his 2020 memoir, A Promised Land.

    There is an interesting article in the Guardian regarding stories that have been subsequently written by other authors featuring Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's famous detective Sherlock Holmes. These include the Young Sherlock series by Andrew Lane which are available to borrow online from LLC and The House of Silk and Moriarty, both by Anthony Horowitz.

    Bloomsbury, the publisher of the Harry Potter books is sponsoring 750 newly planted trees at Langley Vale Wood near Epsom. This local First World War Centenary Wood with its sculptures is well worth a visit.

    You may win a copy of Tiffany Jewell's bestselling title This Book Is Anti-Racist in a Book Trust giveaway.

    There is a poetry competition here to write a cinquain which will be read in a submarine at the bottom of the ocean by multi-talented Richard Garriott - inventor, explorer, entrepreneur, astronaut, aquanaut & author of Explore/Create. Closes 19 February.
    A cinquain is a 5 line poem with the following syllable structure.


    Here is an example cinquain from the competition details.

    I think I’ll write
    something to make you think
    of how our English words can work
    and play.

    Earlier this week on 9 February, it was Safer Internet Day and Lower School may like to try out this quiz.


    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, or if you wish to be involved with a podcast book chat or one of our Reading Groups. In particular, as regards the podcasts, we would love to hear if you have any ideas or editorial experience you wish to tell us about.

    I've created a wordsearch to tie in with the Lunar New Year. And you may like to find out which animal is associated with the year you were born in here.

    Lunar New Year wordsearch

    Wordsearch created at puzzle-maker.com.

  • SGS Library Blog – Spring term week 5

    date posted: Friday 05 Feb 2021

    SGS Library Blog – Spring term week 5

    SGS Library

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

    So we've now started reading The House With Chicken Legs by Sophie Anderson in our online Yr7 Reading Group and are selecting book titles for similar activities with Yr8 and Yr9.

    However if anyone else wishes to join one of the Reading Groups or would like to be involved with a podcast book chat, please do email us with your name. In particular, as regards the podcasts, we would love to hear if you have any ideas or editorial experience you wish to tell us about.


    February is Michael Morpurgo Month and they are focussing on just six of his many titles. You may listen to the first chapter from each of these books. A quick look on LLC reveals about 80 of his titles available to borrow online. If you review one of these six books, we have a chance of winning a virtual book event with Michael for the school. You just need to upload a copy of your review to the Michael Morpurgo Month webpage and of course we would love to see your review too.

    Michael Morpurgo Month

    I'm sure plenty of you will have already read some of these, but if not, Private Peaceful and War Horse are two of the seven Michael Morpurgo titles available on Sora, plus lots via LLC.

    Michael Morpurgo titles available on Sora

    It is Children's Mental Health week and this year's theme is Express Yourself. With schools closed and lots of uncertainty, young people's mental health has never been more
    important. Young people are encouraged to explore the different ways they can express themselves and the creative ways to share their feelings, thoughts and ideas. I have downloaded an Express Yourself activities resource list to the P drive in the P:\LIBRARY folder. From the list I'm going to highlight the suggestion of choosing a quotation about self-expression that means something to you. One example is the quotation “There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” by Maya Angelou, author of I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings.

    And you may watch the virtual assembly featuring amongst others, Dr Who star Jodie Whittaker and author Sharna Jackson (author of High Rise Mystery). They are also promoting a BAFTA competition on the assembly to Express Yourself, open up to age 14.

    Here is another idea I have found for expressing yourself - the #100HappyDays challenge, where you can take a photo every day of what made you happy.

    I have previously mentioned Reading Well, which provides helpful reading to support health and wellbeing, encompassing expert endorsed books about mental health, including advice and information for young people about issues like anxiety, stress and OCD, and difficult experiences like bullying and exams. There is a copy of their suggested reading list on the P drive in the P:\LIBRARY\ folder. You may find some of these titles on Sora, including Mind Your Head by Juno Dawson.

    Mind Your Head by Juno Dawson

    Nicola Morgan, author of The Teenage Guide to Stress (available to borrow online from Sora) explains how reading can also help you get a good night's sleep, in her new book The Awesome Power of Sleep.

    The Awesome Power of Sleep by Nicola Morgan        The Teenage Guide to Stress by Nicola Morgan

    2021 Branford Boase Award Longlist

    The longlist has now been announced for the 2021 Branford Boase Award. 25 titles to choose from, so I've highlighted a selection below which are available to borrow online from either Sora or LLC. The judges will certainly have plenty to read to decide which ones make it onto the shortlist.

    The Super Miraculous Journey of Freddie Yates by Jenny Pearson (Sora)
    And the Stars Were Burning Brightly by Danielle Jawando (LLC)
    Wranglestone by Darren Charlton (LLC)
    The Wild Way Home by Sophie Kirtley (LLC)
    The Good Hawk by Joseph Elliott (LLC)
    Witch by Finbar Hawkins (Sora)

    You may remember when I told you last year's winner in September was Bearmouth by Liz Hyder. I found this to be a unique very dark compelling YA read, which is targeted at age 13+. I think it is the only book I've read which is written in a phonics-like language. Bearmouth is available to borrow from Sora.

    Running alongside the Branford Boase Award is the Henrietta Branford Writing Competition, open to age 19 or under. Liz Hyder has started the story for you to continue.

    I’d never normally cut through the cemetery but I was running late. In trouble late. Shoelaces not tied properly late. I skirt around the corner and straight through the archway. A flock of birds shoots up and into the air shouting at me as I run along the old path, gravestones leaning at a funny angle, making me feel as if I’m being watched. It used to be a monastery once, Mum had told me, and I shiver as I think of creepy old monks in hooded robes.

    The world suddenly turns upside down. Sky where the ground should be. I’m flat out on the path, sore-headed, knees scratched. I curse as I stumble back to my feet, see the shoelace that tripped me snaking on the ground as if it were alive. And that’s when I see it. Out of the corner of my eye. Right by the bottom of the nearest gravestone.

    Today is the final deadline for the House Poetry. This year's topic is Time. Please email your entries to housepoetry@suttongrammar.sutton.sch.uk.

    SGS House Poetry

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

     Here is this month's selection of free teen reads from publishers Simon & Schuster.

    A month to go until World Book Day on 4 March. More details to follow nearer the date, but if you have any requests, then please email us. In the meantime, you may sign up to the World Book Day newsletter here. The winner of the Blue Peter Book Awards 2021 will be announced on World Book Day and you may see the shortlist here.

    There is a competition on Reading Zone to create a picture book. Open upto age 18.

    And a Creative Earth art competition to show how you’d like our planet to look in the future. Open upto age 16.

    Here is something to share with younger siblings. There is a free Horrid Henry story to listen to at 4pm every day this month. Plus a podcast series here.

    Whilst I'm mentioning podcasts, the British Museum do an interesting monthly series. I'm certainly missing being able to visit places like this in lockdown.

    And another podcast series which Yr7 may enjoy is Author In Your Classroom.

    Have you read The Good Immigrant by Nikesh Shukla? If so, email your opinions on the book to voicenotes@broccolicontent.com by 15 February and you may be featured on the next episode of the Broccoli Book Club podcast.

    I've frequently mentioned that there are always plenty of giveaways on the Book Trust website. Today I am highlighting this one to win a selection of four books focussing on teen mental health.


    SORA your lock down Library!

    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 https://soraapp.com
    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.

    Sora Shelf

    This week's top tip for Sora, is once you have borrowed a book, keep an eye on your shelf to see when it is due back in case you wish to renew. Loans are for 2 weeks, but unfortunately Sora does not remind you when that period will be up. It also only gives you a small window of opportunity for renewals, so it won't let you renew if you try too soon either. I'm not sure how long the window is , but I'm guessing 48 hours.


    To tie in with Michael Morpurgo Month, I've created a wordsearch featuring a small selection of his many book titles. All of these are available to borrow online from LLC.

    Wordsearch created at puzzle-maker.com.