Sunday, 25 October 2015

Autumn Half Term

Our words of the week this week in the Discovery and War Memorial Libraries were 'vermillion', chosen by Scarlett in 7MP and 'relaxation', chosen by Kyeisha in 11BH, which one of our colleagues commented seemed very apt for the half term week (if the weather stays fine!).

The Saturday poem published in this weekend's Guardian captures beautifully, and with pathos, the changing of the seasons at this time of year:

Summer for an Instant by George Orwell

Summer-like for an instant the autumn sun bursts out,
And the light through the turning elms is green and clear;
It slants down the path and the ragged marigolds glow
Fiery again, last flames of the dying year.

A blue-tit darts with a flash of wings, to feed
Where the coconut hangs on the pear tree over the wall;
He digs at the meat like a tiny pickaxe tapping
With his needle-sharp beak as he clings to the swinging shell.

Then he runs up the trunk, sure-footed and sleek like a mouse,
And perches to sun himself; all his body and brain
Exalt in the sudden sunlight, gladly believing
That the cold is over and the summer is here again.

But I see the umber clouds that drive for the sun
And a sorrow no argument ever can take away
Goes through my heart as I think of the nearing winter,
And the transient light that gleams like the ghost of May;

And the bird, unaware, blessing the summer eternal,
Joyfully labouring, proud of his strength, gay-plumed,
Unaware of the hawk and the snow and the frost-bound nights,
And of his death foredoomed.

Friday, 23 October 2015

Cressida Cowell wins 2015 Award for Contributions in the Fight Against Stupidity

Children’s author, Cressida Cowell, has been awarded the Philosophy Now Award for Contributions in the Fight Against Stupidity for her How to Train Your Dragon books.  The award honours individuals who have made “an outstanding contribution to combating poor reasoning, unexamined assumptions and entrenched habits of thought”.

Cressida Cowell’s much loved books were praised for containing “startlingly vivid descriptive language” but also for encouraging young readers to reflect deeply on complex emotional, political, historical and moral themes.

On choosing Cowell, the award panel decided that “nothing combats stupidity in the world more effectively than encouraging children to think. Children are great thinkers and their intellectual abilities are all too often underestimated”.

Previous winners of the award have including Noam Chomsky and Raymond Tallis.  This is the first time that the award has been given to a children's author.

To read more on this story visit the book section of The Guardian website.  

The How To Train Your Dragon series is available to borrow from the Discovery Library.  

Friday, 16 October 2015

Carve Out Time To Read This Halloween!

Why not enjoy a ‘spooky’ read this half term? 

Come and have a look at our Halloween display in the Discovery library and borrow a scary book!

Carve Out Time To Read Discovery Library Display

In the War Memorial Library, we have put together a display of horrifying, spine-tingling books - from terrifying ghost stories like The Woman in Black to supernatural tales of werewolves, vampires and zombies such as Darren Shan's Zom-B and Sally Green's excellent Half Bad and Half Wild novels.  There are also classic horror stories including Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley's Frankenstein and Bram Stoker's Dracula.

Borrow them if you dare!

Read me .... if you dare! WML display

Winner of Man Booker Prize 2015 announced

A Brief History of Seven Killings by Marlon James has won this year’s Man Booker Prize.  The novel is a fictionalised history of the attempted murder of Bob Marley in 1976 and Marlon James is the first Jamaican author to win the prize.

Image from:

Friday, 9 October 2015

The Big Draw at The Ravensbourne School!

The Big Draw International Drawing Festival is being celebrated at The Ravensbourne School on Monday 12th October.  The Art Department along with the Library staff have organised a form time activity which links literacy with Art Work.

The Big Draw is the world's biggest drawing festival with thousands of enjoyable, and mainly free, drawing activities which connect people of all ages with museums, outdoor spaces, artists, designers, illustrators - and each other.  It is for anyone who loves to draw, as well as those who think they can't!
Illustration by Children's Laureate, Chris Riddell.

This year’s Big Draw 2015 takes place during October and the theme is  Every Drawing Tells A Story.

National Poetry Day

Yesterday, 8th October, was the 21st National Poetry Day.  The theme this year was 'light' and everyone was encouraged to 'break the tyranny of prose' for the day by sharing poetry in imaginative ways. Forward Arts Foundation, in partnership with The Poetry Society, coordinated the celebrations and created a free anthology of poems about light, including this powerful poem by Dylan Thomas:

Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night
(Dylan Thomas, 1914 - 1953)

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

To find out more about poetry visit visit The Poetry Society website.

Friday, 2 October 2015

Man Booker Prize - shortlisted titles from the archive

Since it began in 1969, over 250 books have been shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize.  As a starting point for Young Adults, the organisers of the prize have selected a list of ten shortlisted titles that they think will appeal to sixth form students. 

Some of these titles, together with other shortlisted and winning titles, are on display in the War Memorial Library, including The Life of Pi by Yann Martel (winner 2002) and Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro (shortlisted in 2005).

Come and browse and borrow these and other titles.

The winner of the year's Man Booker Prize will be announced on Tuesday, 13th October.