Library Blog Archive
Year 6 Library Monitors Visit Taunton Library
Published on: Friday, June 15, 2018
This week, as a reward for all their hard work during the year, seven very excited Library Monitors headed into Taunton with Mrs Marcuccilli and Mrs Willmott for their end of year treat.
The first stop was Taunton Library, where librarian Christina told the children all about the annual Summer Reading Challenge which takes place in public libraries across the country. Through this initiative, children are challenged to read six books over the summer holidays, receiving rewards along the way, which ultimately results in a final medal! To find out more about the Summer Reading Challenge, please click here.
We also found out about some rather unexpected activities that take place in our local libraries. The children were surprised to hear things like comic book workshops, computer game design, lego clubs, coding and sometimes even drumming.
Next, Christina showed us around the Glass Box, which is home to a mind-boggling array of gadgets that help to inspire creativity and develop technological and digital skills. The children were mesmerised by the 3D printer as it “printed” little models millimetre by millimetre. They also loved the 3D pen which was used to great effect by Mrs Willmott.
We then made our way over to Waterstones bookshop where the monitors selected some new books for our Prep and Pre Prep libraries, before finally rounding off the trip with a frothy hot chocolate at the local café. All in all, a tremendous time!
Book Clubs Galore!
Published on: Tuesday, May 8, 2018
The first full week of term was certainly a very busy one in our Library, with three of our termly Book Club events taking place.
Year 7 and 8 Book Breakfast
Northern Lights by Philip Pullman
Events kicked off on Tuesday morning when a group of our senior pupils gathered in the Library to start the day in the very best way possible: with books, discussion and a spread of delicious pastries! We had all been reading the wonderful "Northern Lights" by Philip Pullman over the Easter break and it was great to share opinions about the story over a leisurely breakfast.
As you will know if you have read the story, each character has an animal companion or "daemon" to whom they are inextricably linked, and at Book Breakfast we had lots of fun choosing the creatures that would be our own "daemons", which included an eagle, a wolf and a white leopard.
Year 3 Book Club
Piggy Handsome and Piggy Hero by Pip Jones
On Tuesday afternoon, it was the turn of Year 3. The children had been reading these hilarious stories by Pip Jones which chronicle the adventures (and mishaps) of Piggy Handsome, a guinea pig with a hugely inflated ego and a very long-suffering best friend, Jeff Budgie. The author, along with the illustrator Adam Stower, had very kindly agreed to be available on Twitter so that we could chat with them live, passing on our feedback about the story and asking any questions that the children might have.
This proved to be enormous fun, particularly as Piggy Handsome himself turned out to have plenty of things to say in his own self-important way! We hope Piggy enjoyed the chat as much as we did. We are hugely grateful to Pip and Adam for really bringing the stories to life for our readers. It was absolutely brilliant and such a memorable event for the children.
(By the way, if you don't yet follow King's Hall Library on Twitter, you can find us at @KH_Library and following our library Twitter feed is a great way to keep up to date with all our reading-related activities.)
Year 5 and 6 Book Club
The Guggenheim Mystery by Robin Stevens
Then on Thursday afternoon, a group of eager bookworms from Years 5 and 6 gathered in the Library to chat about the book that they had been reading over the holidays, The Guggenheim Mystery by Robin Stevens. A gripping detective story, set against the backdrop of New York City, this tale is narrated by Ted, a character who sees the world a little differently from most. He finds some aspects of life challenging, yet his attention to detail and superb memory make him the ideal person to find out who has stolen a priceless work of modern art from the world-famous Guggenheim Museum. Everyone loved the New York setting of the story and all the thrilling plot twists along the way. It was really interesting to see the world through Ted’s eyes and we all thought that he was a fantastic narrator. We thought the museum itself sounded really interesting so we found out some more about it and about the real painting that features in the story, In The Black Square by Kandinsky.
Desperate for a sequel to The Guggenheim Mystery, book clubbers set about creating a plot of their own which they called Murder at the Eiffel Tower. In their story, Ted’s Aunt Gloria is now a curator at the Louvre Museum so Ted’s family have travelled to Paris to visit her. Ted and his cousin Salim head off to visit the Eiffel Tower, however when they arrive they are greeted by the sound of police sirens and a crowd of people gathered around what appears to be a body… In all the chaos, it is only Ted who notices the sound of helicopter rotor blades disappearing into the distance… We have sent this story opener to Robin Stevens so, who knows, perhaps it will find its way into print one day?!
Skype visit with award-winning children's author, Katherine Rundell
Published on: Friday, March 9, 2018
This week, Years 5, 6 and 7 were treated to a live Skype “Question and Answer” session with one of King’s Hall’s very favourite children’s authors, Katherine Rundell. There was great excitement as, through the wonders of technology, Katherine joined us in the Woodard Room to chat about her books, the inspiration behind them and her top tips for young aspiring writers. The Year 6 Library Monitor team were splendid and did a wonderful job of putting questions to our guest author.
Katherine explained how, as a child, she was a very keen reader (with eating and acrobatics being her other childhood passions!) She advised our budding writers to read all sorts of fiction, even trying out books that at first sight they are sure they won’t like, as they might discover a gem along the way. She also suggested writing a diary, perhaps in the format of just a single sentence a day, and advised everyone to steal events from our lives to put into our stories, making those events bigger and more extraordinary. Above all, she said that writers are daydreamers: “If you can daydream, you can be a writer.” Lots of us in the audience decided that we were excellent daydreamers so, who knows, perhaps there is a future author within our ranks!
The children were mesmerised by Katherine’s stories of her trip to the Amazon rainforest to research her Costa award-winning book, The Explorer. We heard about her experiences swimming with pink river dolphins, fishing for (and even swimming with) piranhas and hunting tarantulas. We also heard how she spent time with real wolves in preparation for writing The Wolf Wilder, even riding on a dog sled to find out exactly how this would feel.
The inspiration for Katherine’s book Rooftoppers came from a time when she crept through a trap door above the library in her Oxford college, emerging onto the roof and discovering a bottle that had been left there some years before. This led her to wonder, what if someone was living there, undetected? Ultimately, she said every story has a “what if” at its heart. We are all very excited about her next book which will have a circus setting and will be about a heist performed by a group of children.
Finally, Katherine’s tips for King’s Hall writers were as follows:
- Let yourself write badly. You can always make bad writing good, but no writing will always be no writing.
- Start thinking, “What if?” and never let anyone tell you that your stories are too unlikely, as real life can be far more extraordinary than anyone would imagine.
- Editing is very important so don’t be afraid to make changes to your work.
- Sometimes writing is hard, so be persistent and never give up (Sometimes, when she is struggling with her writing, Katherine ties herself to her chair with a skipping rope to remind herself to keep going!)
Thank you so much, Katherine, for chatting with our pupils; it was a very special morning that we will never forget.
World Book Day festivities inspire the school community
Published on: Monday, March 5, 2018
Last week saw the launch of The Great King's Hall Potato Challenge, a celebration of reading in which every pupil was challenged to create a favourite book character using a potato, some art and craft materials and a generous sprinkling of creativity. As predicted, our eager readers wasted no time in coming up with some fabulously detailed designs for their potato characters. Here they are hard at work...
Coming soon in the Library…
Published on: Tuesday, February 6, 2018
Are you stuck for something to read?
Fear not, as our fabulous fiction fans from Year 7 are here with some of their top reading tips.
They were challenged to provide a book review in just three words to give you a flavour of what makes their chosen book extra special!
How many of these books have you already read?
by Katherine Rundell
Breathtaking, inspirational, thrilling
The Knife of Never Letting Go
by Patrick Ness
Dystopian, Interesting, Original
The Little House on the Prairie series
by Laura Ingalls Wilder
(also a firm favourite of Mrs Stuckes!)
Truthful, Entertaining, Heartwarming
by Holly Smale
Funny, Mischievous, Fashionable
I Am Number Four
by Pittacus Lore
Shocking, Exhilarating, Numerical!
by Sophie McKenzie
Page-turner, Emotional, Exciting