World Book Day Winners

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.

WINNER!
Advika W 7-6 – This storm will pass
SECOND PLACE!
Sheena S 7-1 – Hermione from Harry Potter – a picture of her drawn using words that describe her personality. (Just like the saying, a picture is worth 1000 words :))

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:

Staff Entries:

World book day competition

Recreate your favourite book character.
You can use any medium you like: write a song, use arts & crafts, food or dress up.
It’s up to you!

Enter the competition to win a book token.

Email your entry to:
library@aggs.bfet.uk by Thursday 4th March

Year 9 Library Loyalty Scheme

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!)

Summer Reading Challenge Winners

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.

Click here to see which categories were included in the challenge

March Book of the Month

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)

Summer Reading Challenge Winners

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.

The Life You Can Save by Peter Singer

Reviewed by Safiyyah S (Year 11)

I am not one to read non-fiction books and I most definitely would not expect me to say a non-fiction book is my favourite book- yet here I am. Unfortunately, I can’t say this book takes you to some magical world where shadow hunters and warlocks exist. Instead, it takes you to the harshest place I can think of- reality. Although this book is an easy read, it challenges us individually. The main gist of the whole book is that since our money can save lives in poor societies, we have a responsibility to hand it over. And I know that sounds extremely brutal but I can promise you that when you read this book, your eyes will be opened. I never considered myself a huge charitable person that donated constantly out of the goodness of my heart, but I thought I gave a reasonable amount. However, my opinions on a variety of topics changed whilst reading this book-including how I see myself. He doesn’t just say why we should be helping; he shows how we can do it and why our pitiful excuses to not help eradicate poverty when we clearly have the ability to, are wrong. Nearly ten million innocent children die each year from poverty-related causes. 1.4 billion people live on less than $1.25 a day–the Starbucks tea I drank the other day is approximately someone’s salary for 4 days of work. If your excuse for not reading this amazing book is that it’ll make you feel guilty, fun fact-it’s supposed to. We all should feel some sort of guilt. I really recommend this book for everyone and I hope that we don’t ignore such a predominant topic that this book educates us on.

 

“If we are not to turn our backs on a fifth of the world’s population, we must become part of the solution.”  

The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown

Reviewed by Annabelle F (Year 11)

I am aware that this is not the first book in the series, however much like the films, I read this book first and the rest of the series in a very mixed up order too, though I am still to finish. This book is among the top ten most read books, along with the Bible and Twilight, and is perfect for those who love conspiracy theories, history, mysteries and controversy. It is so effective a mix of fact and fiction that, at times, it is very easy to forget where fact ends and fiction begins.  

Robert Langdon is a world-renowned symbologist and Harvard professor, in Paris to talk about his new book. Only whilst in Paris he becomes entangled in the murder of the curator of the Louvre, a beloved figure in France, and finds himself and detective Sophie Neveu (the curator’s granddaughter) in a chase to solve one of the greatest mysteries of all time- that of the Holy Grail. Of course, they have some competition and are wanted fugitives with the French police at their heels, to make things even more complicated.

 Whilst there were some points I found a little contradictory, overall it was a very well composed thriller- an intricate web of puzzles to be solved against the clock. It’s one of those Scooby Doo novels where you really don’t know who is really who and what people’s true motives are; the plot just gets thicker and thicker. It keeps you on your toes and keeps you guessing.  It’s one of those books that when you shut it, it kind of feels like waking up, kind of like remembering that the world exists, it’s so vivid and intense that it doesn’t feel like a story. And it will keep you’re mind busy for a good while.

It’s in the library, Senior Fiction.

The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson

Reviewed Annabelle F (Year 10)

I know there are some mixed opinions about this book, but personally I think it deserves Book of the Month. I love the way it is written, I love the characters, how crazy it is, the poems, how it explores grief. You can really tell that it means a lot to the author, it really comes through in her writing, because whilst there are some moments that might seem very tumblr, I think it is genuine.  Something as honest and genuine as this book could only come from real emotion, real experience, and I think she has done a brilliant job of communicating that with the world.

Grief stricken, lovesick, Wuthering Heights obsessed Lennie Walker aka John Lennon is a bit of a mess, even by the standards of the (out of its tree and running around the park) crazy, hippy place she lives in Northern California. Juliet, that is, her sister Bailey has just died. Lennie now knows that the worst can happen at any time, and she struggles with the fact that her sister, her best friend, is never coming back. Lennie, in her agony, starts to shut the people she loves out, as she herself shuts down. That is until Toby (Bailey’s boyfriend) and Joe (a crazy French musician with the amazing signature Fontaine smile) come along….

Lennie thought her life couldn’t get more complicated, she thinks she’s only just started to wake up, that her sister was made for this, she was the actress, made for all the drama, not her, not Lennie, and so we follow Lennie as she realises that she was awake all along and she stops fighting against her grief and realises that as long as she lives, she will grieve because that is the way that love works.

Along the way, a few (many, beautiful) poems are strewn around town, and we get to read some of them. Personally, I adore them. They capture Lennie so well and I think foreshadow who Lennie grows to become, show us who she has been all along. Not a companion pony but a whirlwind of love and light and craziness and imagination. They capture her, her grief and her love in such a thoughtful way, but are also kind of like a wrecking ball of emotion, you can’t avoid it, you can’t not feel what she’s feeling, not know what she knows. I really love them, and I think they are the empirical evidence that poetry is not dead, but very, very alive to those who doubt.

So do I love this book? Yes. Do I think that you should read it or reread it? Yes. And do I think it deserves book of the month? Yes! (100%, affirmative, amen, right, aye, beyond a doubt, by all means, certainly, definitely, gladly, most assuredly, naturally, of course, sure thing, undoubtedly, unquestionably, without fail, yep, ja, oui, sí, joo, áno, hej, 是, ae, yebo, you should definitely get the message if you’ve get this far, which I do not expect but well done if you have, in all honestly, would I have written this review if I didn’t think it was worth one, if not, twenty three reads? I hope someone spots all my references…)

Jandy Nelson is also the author of: I’ll Give You The Sun (another brilliant book)

If you like this book you might also like… We Were Liars (E. Lockhart), Eleanor and Park (Rainbow Rowell), All the Bright Places (Jennifer Niven)

To check the availability of these books in the school library, go to the Reading Cloud

Chocolat by Joanne Harris Reviewed by Annabelle F (10-3)

I doubt any review, least of all mine, could do this book justice. I read this book a while ago, I was going through a bit of a phase- I read the Perks of Being a Wallflower and A Catcher in the Rye at the same time. It was a good phase, one I’m glad I had, because they were all brilliant books. And since this is the month of World Book Day, I thought it would be a good idea to review a book which is really, really brilliant, a book which isn’t too new (since I usually review newer books), and should continue to be celebrated. I decided Chocolat was that book.

The thing about Chocolat, is that it really is understandable, and there is a clear memorable plot at the same time as having a few very clear messages. When I was reading A Catcher in the Rye, I understood what was happening and I remember parts, but if you asked me now to explain it, I would probably struggle. I didn’t get very invested in it when I read it, whereas I was completely addicted to Chocolat.

So, about the plot. A woman, who I guess we could describe as rootless, moves to a village in France with her daughter, and she opens a chocolate cafe. However, they do not exactly receive the warmest of welcomes, especially from the church across the square.

I don’t really think I can say more than that. But the messages? I guess I could tell you one. There are secrets behind every door (oooh how ominous). Chocolate is meant to be a metaphor for love and tolerance. It’s also particularly suitable at this time of year, since the book is set around Lent.

So this month, if you’re in the mood for a trip to France, to visit the very pompous people of Lansquenet-sous-Tannes, and unwind a story about our expectations and those that we most trust, but also, I guess, our own weaknesses, the strength of temptation, the fragility of sanity,  I recommend a little book called Chocolat.

(Also, just found out, it’s a series!)