New Series – from the Author who visited us last week!

An exciting new series for all you Dragon lovers.

Dragon Orb: ‘Firestorm’, ‘Shadow’, ‘Longfang’ and ‘Aurora’

   

Follow the adventures of four dragon riders on a mission to save their world.

Check if they are in!

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Book Fair

Book fair – Coming this week

The annual Book Fair will be in school in the atrium on Wednesday for a week. So save up your pocket money and come and have a browse!

It’s your chance to choose what you want to own to read.

Able Writers Day – Mark Robson

As part of our Book Fortnight, Author and former RAF pilot Mark Robson will be spending the day with 30 lucky students from Year 7 & 8.

 

They will spend the spend the whole day with Mark for his writers workshop and we hope to collate their writings into a book of some kind.

Drop in on DEAR 2.1

The current focus of the Authors Page on the DEAR Homepage is…

NNFD or National Non-Fiction Day and this years’ theme is Discoveries.

  

 There are lots of books about discoveries available to borrow from the MRC

Book of the Week

 Click HERE to find out if this book is still available from the MRC.

Carnegie Long List announced

The Carnegie Medal is awarded annually to the writer of an outstanding book for children.

The long list was  published and I could hardly wait!

Last year I set myself the challenge to read all the long list before the winner was announced  – and although it felt like an impossible task at times, I actually managed to do it!

I have stopped myself from starting a new book this half term because I want to start straight away – I’m so keen I kept checking the Carnegie website all morning but there was no news until midday

If I have counted correctly there are 68 books on this years list – that’s a lot of quick reading.

Any books that the MRC doesn’t yet have we’ll be buying in (not just for me) but for all students to have access to as these are likely to be the ‘best’ books published this past year.

Again I’ll be sharing my experiences and thoughts on each book on this blog. Will I be able to predict the overall winner again? Probably not! Will I actually be able to read them all this time?

I’d better get reading!

Political Freedoms

I did something a little different over half term. I travelled down and marched through the streets of London to the Houses of Parliament; shouting chants; waving placards; handing out leaflets to passerbys; all whilst wearing one of the matching t-shirts. ( Over my two wooly jumpers!).

We caused a bit of a stir with people stopping and staring; taking photos; one gent even wrote a poem to support us!

Once at the Houses of Parliament I went inside; passed through security; and walked straight to the central lobby area where I had arranged to meet – or lobby my local MP, Stewart Jackson for Peterborough.

 

This area is quite impressive; steeped in history, with four stained glass windows, high up, depicting the four patron saints of the United Kingdom; and with access to the House of Lords on one side and the House of Commons on the other. I gave my name at reception, and waited….

Suddenly four police arrived and moved everyone to the sides. A minute or two passed and then the policeman standing next to me shouted “hats off strangers”. It was the start of the Speaker’s procession.

(Before every sitting of the House, the Speaker’s procession leaves the Speaker’s House inside the Palace of Westminster and heads for the Commons chamber.
The Serjeant at Arms, carrying the Mace, and a doorkeeper walk ahead of the Speaker. Some members of the Speaker’s staff – his chaplain, secretary and a trainbearer – follow behind. As the procession reaches the central lobby of the Houses of Parliament, one of the policemen on duty shouts: “Hats Off Strangers!” Then, policemen in helmets and any members of the public wearing hats are required to remove their headgear as the procession passes.)

 

Once they had passed through many people jostled to queue to go to the public gallery. Those wearing t-shirts that matched my own were marvelling at our lucky timing when over the tannoy I heard “Could Sarah Masters please come to reception”. This was it, my big moment had arrived. All my preparation, reading; and research meant I was ready. However it was a bit disappointing as my MP had double booked me. Instead I spent 30-40 minutes talking with his assistant ( Michael Horwood) about why over 120 librarians; teachers; students and authors had come to London. (Some of those attending included Mary Hoffman (Book Maven Blog ,Philip Ardargh (see Facebook pages), Sarah McIntyre (Jabberwoks Blog), Chris Priestley, Dave Cryer, Candy Gourlay, and Francesca Simon.)

So what was it all about?

Well you, as students, and indeed staff, are lucky at the TDA as you have both a school library and a professional librarian (that’s me folks!). Not every student is so lucky with many schools not having either; with no access to resources or professional expertise they are at a disadvantage.

It may surprise you to know that whilst libraries are statutory (legally compulsory) in prisons, they are not statutory in schools. Perhaps if this was the other way around there would be fewer people in prison! Our chant we called out as we marched along was “Kids are extraordinary, make school libraries statutory” (devised by some of the students who marched with us).

Can you spot me?

The second reason we were lobbying for might surprise some of your teachers, as we were lobbying or asking for school libraries to be included in OFSTED inspections. It annoys many school librarians to have their efforts, and the contributions of the school library to teaching and learning; reading for pleasure; literacy etc to be overlooked and ignored.

 

So was it a success?
Only time will tell, but my MP will be writing to the minister (Michael Gove) and hopefully we won’t receive the standard reply. Already there has been an Early Day Motion submitted for debate in the House of Commons, and at the time of writing 21 MPs have signed up.

I found the whole day and experience to be quite liberating, exerting my “political freedoms”!

Picture credits: Terry Richards Photography & CILIP; Candy Gourlay and me!