We’d like to say a huge thank you to the PTA for buying £1000 worth of new books for the library. That’s 150 new fiction and non-fiction books, all of which reflect the diversity of our student population. It’s important that our students see themselves represented in the books they read and this is a much needed boost to our collection.
As with everything in the last 12 months World Book Day looked a bit different this year but thanks to everyone who entered the Pupil Librarians’ World Book Day Competition. The variety of submissions really surprised and delighted us. From fan fiction, to songs, dressing up and food entries, we loved them all.
The Year 9 Pupil Librarians met the day after World Book Day (on Teams naturally) and voted on their favourites. It was a difficult choice given that the standard of entry was really high but the winner was clear. Congratulations to Advika W. (7-6), your picture was beautifully executed and perfectly captures the mood of the time.
I have circulated an electronic version of the £1 World Book Day book token on Teams but when we get back in the library, if you’d prefer, you can come and collect a paper token. We also have a limited number of the £1 World Book Day books to buy with your token. You can use the token after the expiry date advertised so you’ll be able to use it when the shops reopen.
Take a look at all the entries. We hope you enjoy them as much as we did:
Congratulations to Charley W and Chi-Yan N of 9-5 who were the first pupils to get a bar of chocolate from the Year 9 Library Loyalty Scheme. Since their English class visited the library on December 1st, they’ve returned 4 more times to take out books. If you are in Year 9 and haven’t yet got a Loyalty Card, drop in on Wednesdays at Rec or Friday lunchtime to get yours. You’ll get a bar of chocolate on every 5th visit to take out books. (Terms and Conditions apply!)
Congratulations to the following students who won the Summer Reading Challenge – 20 for 2020.
Ikshita S (Year 7)
Ranea B (Year 8)
Priya V (Year 9)
Anisha M (VI Form)
A special mention to Mrs Gill, who was the only member of staff to read one book from each category! Also, to Mr Adshead who read all 41 Discworld novels!
Huge thanks to everyone who joined in.
Death Sets Sail by Robin Stevens
Death Sets Sail is the 9th and final book in the hugely successful Murder Most Unladylike series. It is the most popular series of books for Years 7 and 8 in this library and copies are rarely to be found on the shelves. It’s also a popular choice in the Hodgson household, my daughter having fallen in love with Daisy and Hazel from the moment she read the first investigation by the Wells and Wong Detective Society. (She loves the floor plans, the suspect lists and the guides at the back of the book too!)
We started to read it together until she read the words “perhaps that way I can bring Daisy back to life”. At this point, she opted out and couldn’t bring herself to read about the demise of the detective duo that had clearly made an enormous impression on her. I carried on solo and I’m so glad I did. As a series finale, it is everything a true fan could have wanted with our favourite characters returning to help out and so many plot twists and turns you are kept guessing all the way through. It’s a quite brilliant last hurrah for Daisy and Hazel.
Inspired by Agatha Christie’s Death on the Nile, the plot centres around a group of English tourists who believe themselves to be reincarnations of the Ancient Egyptian Pharoahs. Naturally, one of them is murdered and the MMU detective team is tasked with finding the killer before the boat reaches its destination. There is a great sense of place in this story, you are immediately transported to the dusty, hustle and bustle of Egypt.
For me, the beauty of these books, and why I think they are so loved by young people, is in the development of the characters and the friendship between Daisy and Hazel. By Death Sets Sail they are 16 years old and the book accurately reflects the changes and the challenges of female friendship, in particular when romantic interests are inserted.
This has been a wonderful series and I will miss Daisy and Hazel’s adventures enormously. Thankfully, there’s a hint that further mysteries are to come in 2022 with Hazel’s little sister May, in the Ministry of Unladylike Activity, so we need not feel so bereft. If you haven’t yet already become obsessed with the series, I suggest you reserve a copy from the library right now so you can catch up!
Wrecked by Louisa Reid
In Wrecked, the author Louisa Reid, again revisits the verse novel form she executed so beautifully in last year’s Gloves Off. This time we follow the story of Joe, who we meet as he stands in the dock, facing a trial for murder, death by dangerous driving. Little by little, as the court drama unfolds, we learn more about Joe and his relationship with Imogen, his girlfriend and the events in their lives that lead up to the night of the crash.
As with Gloves Off, the reader can genuinely feel the emotions of the characters. Both Joe and Imogen are facing tough times at home but how they each deal with their problems is different, and ultimately drives them apart. All the characters are well drawn and believable but it is Joe, who despite the apparent crime, we are rooting for. Stereotypes are challenged here. Joe himself understands that jurors will see him as a teenage boy racer but we know better and though we understand how he has come to be standing here, charged with murder, how we wish he wasn’t. He’s a decent boy, who loves his parents and wants only to do the right thing.
It’s a strikingly written and moving story. Momentum and tension build, much like the car being driven too fast, as we race towards the final verdict. I found it impossible to put down, so compelling was the story. A perfect read for Years 9, 10 and 11 who like a fast paced but profound read.
The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris
The Tattooist of Auschwitz is a Holocaust love story. It is based on the true story of Lale and Gita Sokolov, two Slovakian Jews who were two ordinary people living in an extraordinary time deprived of their freedom, their dignity, their families, and even their names replaced by numbers, and how they survived Auschwitz concentration camp in 1942.
This is their story, a story of beauty, hope, courage and survival against the odds. A story about the love between two young people destined to be together. Their hidden romance in the most difficult of conditions proves that love conquers all. Not for the vast majority of prisoners, but in this specific case. This book provides great description of the living hell they went through. It demonstrates the heartbreak, the pain, the torture they had to endure. It also shows finding love, patience, and most important staying humble and putting yourself before others in such detrimental times. It is a must read.
Similar Books: The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank, The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak, The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne
By Khushi S (9-6)
Written by Eva G, Year 10
On Friday 13th December, AGGS hosted their very own Pointless Quiz. The event had been kindly organised by the IT Technicians and took place to raise money for the library. Mr Adshead was also the compere. The quiz’s contestants were:
- Mr Lovelady and Mr Murray,
- Mr Carr and Mrs Hulme;
- Mr Starnes, and Mr Gough,
- Dr Roberts and Mrs Russell.
The game consisted of six rounds, each with a different category (the aim of the game being that each team had to try and guess the least common answer). After a brief introduction from each teacher, the game began.
Round 1 – Words without vowels (Mr Lovelady + Mr Murray were eliminated)
Round 2 – Geography/flags (Mr Starnes + Mr Gough out)
Round 3 – Theme tunes
Round 4 – Breed of dogs
Round 5 – Fruit in foreign languages (Mr Carr + Mrs Hulme came second place)
Last round – 50 most followed twitter accounts
Dr Roberts and Mrs Russell won a glass plate, engraved with the AGGS Pointless Quiz logo. The quiz managed to raise over £160 for the library. It was a wonderful event, and a great start to the festive season.
Congratulations to Naomi from Year 8 (pictured to the right of her friend Ayanfe), one of the winners of this year’s Summer Reading Challenge. Naomi will be taking over the library budget this term and selecting the books we buy for you to read.
Well done to Alekhya in Year 10, our other Summer Reading Challenge winner. Alekhya read an astonishing 20 books over the summer holidays and won a box of Krispy Kreme donuts for her efforts.
Congratulations to everyone who participated. Certificates will be presented to you during assembly.