Saturday, 11 February 2012

CKG Longlist update

I think it is about time I updated my 'read' list of the Carnegie longlist - you may remember that way back in November I told you all about the list and which ones I'd read already.  Have a look at that one to refresh your memory because here are those I've read in the last (nearly) 3 with the last post, red means I loved it and green means it wasn't all that. Reverse traffic lights, sorry, but I like red!

Bowler, Tim Buried Thunder - I don't think it could end up on the shortlist, but pretty gripping
Bruton, Catherine We Can Be Heroes - I found it very uncomfortable reading, too much of the racisism and not enough of the balanced opinion in the bulk of the story
Crossley-Holland, Kevin Bracelet of Bones - might be well written but I found it really dull
Donnelly, Jennifer Revolution - very exciting and not what I expected at all
Evans, Lissa Small Change for Stuart - meh
Fine, Anne The Devil Walks - didn't ring true, far too easily resolved, definitely not one of her best
Forward, Toby Dragonborn - far too long
Gibbons, Alan An Act of Love - what 'We Can be Heroes' failed to be!
Grant, Helen Wish Me Dead - nowhere near as good as 'The Glass Demon' so very disappointing
Hardinge, Frances Twilight Robbery  - absolutely my favourite book on the list so far
Hartnett, Sonya The Midnight Zoo - really moving wartime story
Ibbotson, Eva One Dog and His Boy - cute and innocent, classic children's adventure story
Lewis, Ali Everybody Jam - didn't grip me at all
Lewis, Gill Sky Hawk - tonnes better than I expected, never would have picked it up if it wasn't for the CKG nomination, but better than your average animal story
Rooney, Rachel The Language of Cat - collection of poems - very clever and witty, reminded me of Roger McGough's poetry (An Imaginary Menagerie is my all time favourite book of poetry, I never really progressed with age!)
Young, Moira Blood Red Road - one of the better of the recent plethora of dystopian fiction, definitely for fans of the Hunger Games

Here are the last of the 52 that I haven't tried yet:
Deary, Terry Put Out The Light
Diterlizzi, Tony The Search for Wondla
Doherty, Berlie Treason
Halahmy, Miriam Hidden
LaFleur, Suzanne Eight Keys
Mason, Simon Moon Pie
McCaughrean, Geraldine Pull out all the Stops
McKay, Hilary Caddy's World
Mitchelhill, Barbara Run Rabbit Run
Morpurgo, Michael Shadow
Priestley, Chris The Dead of Winter
Revis, Beth Across the Universe
Saunders, Kate Magicalamity
Stephens, John The Emerald Atlas
Not because I don't like the look of them, they've just not yet reached the top of my heap!  The shortlist is going to be announced on March 30th, so my next Carnegie post will be my personal shortlist, just before the official one comes out, so we can see how much overlap there is!

Friday, 3 February 2012

Love Libraries and #libday8

Every time I see the Library Day in the Life project I mean to join in but never find the time, but I felt it was worth making the effort to tell you about today what with it being National Libraries Day tomorrow.  Linking in with the CILIP Shout About School Libraries campaign, today was dedicated to School Libraries, yay!

So, a day in the life of CazApr1, Librarian in a school of approximately 600 pupils.  Normally working alone but 2days a week with a fellow Librarian:

7.30am Pick up the newspaper.
7.45am Unlock the Library: the queue outside can vary from 5 to 20 kids, this morning it was a small crowd - hopefully because they've remembered that Friday mornings are for quiet reading and revision only.  This is because at...
8am my breakfast club convenes: up to 10 Year 9 boys that have been highlighted as needing extra reading support.  Normally I spend the morning helping pupils with homework, chatting with regulars or helping them choose books, but on Fridays I leave the main space in the hands of a colleague while we go round the corner for some peace and quiet.  Today 7 of my group came and we played scrabble.
8.25am First bell - by this time there are normally 50-70 pupils in the room to clear out (up to 100 if it is bad weather) before...
8.30am Period 1: a Year 11 science lesson using the computers and books to research individual projects.
9.30am Period 2: planning a referencing and researching lesson for Year 10s, updating the in-house rewards system, e-mails*, a cuppa.
10.30am Break: again, if it is bad weather we'll get over 100 pupils in the library but that is far too crowded.  A member of teaching staff is in with me to help with crowd control so I spend the 15minutes tackling "low level negative behaviour" in amongst the usual requests for help finding had the added bonus of handing out Love Libraries badges to my faves, and collecting final entries for my week's competiiton**
10.45am Period 3: Tidy up - tend to lend 40-50 books a day but reshelve far more!  Then preparing for the borough's school librarians meeting next week - we're planning a book quiz for March and I'm organising the guest authors and doing some of the quiz questions.
11.45am Period 4: Year 7 literacy group in to choose books, read, and do Accelerated Reader quizzes.  I sneak out to have my lunch for part of the lesson.
12.45am: Lunch break: similar to first break, with a different member of teaching staff, today we had about 80 pupils at any one time.  Loads came begging me for one of the badges but only pupils that regularly use me/the library properly got one - I told the others they need to borrow more books to maybe get something next time!
1.15pm Period 5: Year 8 English class in for their regular reading lesson (at least once a fortnight depending on the teacher's lesson plans) - we use Accelerated Reader for Years 7&8.
2.15pm Pupils in tutor: I update the AR records.
2.30pm End of the school day: About 30 pupils rush into the library -  some to carry on with homework, some to choose books, but lots to play draughts and chess - I often get roped into a game until...
3.30pm Officially my hometime, and actually today I got the last 6th formers out at 3.45pm - as they left they said "We love you Miss, have a nice weekend" - bless!

*Here's an email I sent to all teachers this morning:
"Tomorrow is National Love Libraries day and there have been things happening up and down the country all week as a build up. Today is dedicated to School Libraries (and School Librarians) so I thought I’d quickly highlight my Top Ten Tasks:
  1. Raving about reading to teenagers and staff…talking about books we love, with a surprisingly high % of our pupils
  2. Finding something appropriate for boys who ‘never read’ and getting a group of them to regularly come to a breakfast club
  3. Providing book and electronic resources for teachers in and out of the Information Centre, and helping during lessons in the IC
  4. Working with the transition group
  5. Showing pupils better ways of researching and finishing homework
  6. Crowd control before school, during breaks and after school
  7. Managing the Accelerated Reader programme for years 7&8
  8. Getting involved in dyslexia friendly/literacy/anti-bullying/g&t…
  9. Choosing, ordering and cataloguing books
  10. In recent months…Playing chess!
Not to mention competitions, events (some coming up soon!), newsletters, the CILIP Youth Libraries Group London work I do outside of school, sleuthing, reading and scribing in exams…and occasionally reading a book!"

**I had a Vampires vs Werewolves competition - tell me about your favourite paranormal creature (writing and pictures, made up or one you've read about) - with a few signed books as prizes and a couple of promotional bags.  I'm going to choose the winners on Monday and go to assemblies.

Pretty typical day really, kids often say lovely things but today I got extra because of all the badges I gave out - they didn't just take them as "love libraries badges", they said they wanted them because they love me!