Brand New Fiction in the Library – Students Go On Shopping Spree
13 June 2017
Earlier this year our Educational Resource Manager, Mrs Chávez, applied to the Siobhan Dowd Trust for some money as part of their monthly £1000 giveaway. Each month this year the Trust is giving the opportunity for schools to go to a local bookshop and select books. One of the aims of their project is to ‘encourage the art of browsing and for young people to feel ownership about the books chosen for the school.’ (You can find out more about the giveaway on the Trust’s website.)
In her application, Mrs Chávez wrote about how a combination of a shift in emphasis from literacy to exams at 16-19, varying individual timetables and low government funding have resulted in poor reading for pleasure resources in the Library and difficulties in organising and attracting interest in literacy/reading events. She concluded by saying, “With the exception of World Book Night, however, take up and interest in these [reading for pleasure] events has been low and I believe that is largely to do with our fiction collection. It is relatively small, has been predominantly built up around texts studied at A Level and hasn’t been updated in a long time. It really isn’t accessible to the majority of our students. I strongly feel that if our students could be involved with developing this collection then they would be more likely to interact with it, would feel ownership and would encourage others to use it. I realise that we are probably not your typical school applicant but I feel our students are at a disadvantage because of the lack of targeted reader development available at this level and the lack of government funding to sixth forms in order to allow me to have the resources to foster a love of reading.”
The following month Mrs Chávez was contacted by the Trust to say that her application had been successful and the judges had awarded the College £250 for our students to select reading for pleasure books! In order to encourage ownership and borrowing Mrs Chávez was keen for Year 12 students to be involved so that they could still reap the benefits when they returned in September for their second year. Therefore, the actual shopping trip was held off until this month after the year group had returned from study leave.
On Thursday 8th June, Mrs Chávez and Head of Year 12, Mrs Iwanczyk, took six Year 12 students to Jarrolds in Norwich to choose the books. The participating students were Ben Collier, Rebecca Gibson, Carla Hill, Chloe Kemp, Finley Spetch and Gemma Wynton. We were met by Lois Hopkins who works in Jarrolds’ book department and then the students had free reign over choosing £250’s worth of reading for pleasure books. Both Mrs Chávez and Mrs Iwanczyk were impressed with the choices. “Prior to the visit I had asked Year 12 for any recommendations or requests in order to extend the title selection as broadly as possible and received a small number back. I was worried that on our visit the group would find the recommended titles and then struggle to choose more faced with so much choice. They were not fazed in the slightest, however, and quickly put together an excellent selection of thirty young adult/adult fiction titles that will appeal to a range of tastes.” (Mrs Chávez)
(Mrs Chávez, Ben Collier, Rebecca Gibson, Carla Hill, Finley Spetch, Gemma Wynton and Chloe Kemp. Photo supplied by Jarrolds.)
The books were delivered the very next day by Jarrolds and are now on display in the College Library. Prior to the trip the Siobhan Dowd Trust very kindly sent us a box of free books that they had received through donations. Therefore, thanks to the Trust, our fiction collection has been rejuvenated with a total of sixty-three new books!
The thirty titles chosen by the students are:
Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
Clay Jensen returns home to find a strange package with his name on it. Inside he discovers several cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker - his classmate and first lover - who committed suicide two weeks earlier. Hannah's voice explains there are thirteen reasons why she killed herself. Clay is one of them. If he listens, he'll find out why. All through the night, Clay keeps listening - and what he discovers changes his life ... forever.
Passenger by Alexandra Bracken
New York City, present day. In one night, Etta Spencer is wrenched from everything she knows and loves. Thrown into an unfamiliar world, she can be certain of only one thing: she has travelled not just miles, but years from home. The Atlantic, 1776. Captain Nicholas Carter is tasked with delivering Etta to the dangerous Ironwood family. They are searching for something - a stolen object they believe only she can reclaim. But Nicholas is drawn to his mysterious passenger, and the closer he gets to her, the further he is from freedom. The edges of the world. Together, Etta and Nicholas embark on a perilous journey across centuries and continents, piecing together clues left behind by a desperate thief. But as Etta plays deeper into the Ironwoods' game, treacherous forced threaten to separate her not only from Nicholas, but from her path home - for ever.
The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov
This ribald, carnivalesque satire - featuring the Devil, true love and a gun-toting cat - was written in the darkest days of the Soviet Union and became an underground sensation.
The Maze Runner by James Dashner
When the doors of the lift crank open, the only thing Thomas can remember is his first name. But he's not alone. He's surrounded by boys who welcome him to the Glade, an encampment at the centre of a bizarre and terrible maze. Like Thomas, the Gladers don't know why or how they came to be there, or what's happened to the world outside. All they know is that every morning when the walls slide back, they will risk everything to find out. Book one of The Maze Runner series.
Paper Towns by John Green
Quentin Jacobsen has always loved Margo from afar. So when she climbs through his window to summon him on an all-night road trip of revenge he cannot help but follow. But the next morning, Q turns up a school and Margo doesn't. She's left clues to her disappearance, like a trail of breadcrumbs for Q to follow. And everything leads to one unavoidable question: who is the real Margo?
Burning Angels by Bear Grylls
A prehistoric corpse entombed within an Arctic glacier, crying tears of blood. A jungle island overrun by rabid primates - escapees from a research laboratory's Hot Zone. A massive seaplane hidden beneath a mountain, packed with a Nazi cargo of mind-blowing evil. A penniless orphan kidnapped from an African slum, holding the key to the world's survival. Four terrifying journeys. One impossible path. Only one man to attempt it. Will Jaeger. The Hunter.
The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway
Set in the Gulf Stream off the coast of Havana, Hemingway's magnificent fable is the story of an old man, a young boy and a giant fish. In a perfectly crafted story, which won for Hemingway the Nobel Prize for Literature, is a unique and timeless vision of the beauty and grief of man's challenge to the elements in which he lives.
The Wanderers by Meg Howrey
As they look to the stars, what are they missing back home? The best of Helen Kane exists in space. If she doesn't go back up, she'll be consigned to a lesser version of herself on a planet that has also seen better days. Helen is an experienced astronaut with a NASA position and a struggling grown-up daughter who needs her but when, at fifty-three, she is offered a place on the training programme for the first crewed missions to Mars, she cannot refuse a last chance to walk among the stars. Her fellow astronauts are Sergei Kuznetsov, whose teenage sons are less mysterious to him than they'd like to think; and Yoshi Tanaka, who wants to prove himself worthy of the wife he has drifted apart from. The three will be enclosed for months in a tiny craft, while outside their loved ones negotiate everyday life on Earth. How far will the wanderers travel in the pursuit of endeavour, and what will it be like to come home?
Set The Boy Free by Johnny Marr
Few groups have had a bigger impact that The Smith, and few musicians are as celebrated as Johnny Marr. He is an icon who defined an era and influenced a generation of guitarists. His signature sound was crucial to The Smiths' success, but tensions within the band led to his departure in 1987 and the end of the group after just four albums. He was twenty-three years old. Since then, Marr hasn't stopped pushing the boundaries of music. He joined The Pretenders, Modest Mouse, The The and The Cribs, and has collaborated with Hans Zimmer. Here, for the first time, he tells his own side of the story.
A Game of Thrones: books one of A Song of Ice and Fire by George R. R. Martin
Summers span decade. Winter cab last a lifetime. And the struggle for the Iron Throne has begun. As Warden of the north, Lord Eddard Stark counts it a curse when King Robert bestows on him the office of the Hand. His honour weighs him down at court where a true man does what he will, not what he must ... and a dead enemy is a thing of beauty. The old gods have no power in the south, Stark's family is split and there is treachery at court. Worse, the vengeance-mad heir of the deposed Dragon King has grown to maturity in exile in the Free Cities. He claims the Iron Throne.
The Lunar Chronicles: Cinder by Marissa Meyer
Cinder: a gifted mechanic in New Beijing, is also a cyborg. She's reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister's sudden illness. But when her life becomes entwined with the handsome Prince Kai's she finds herself at the centre of a violent struggle between the desires of an evil queen - and a dangerous temptation. Cinder is caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal. Now she must uncover secrets about her mysterious past in order to protect Earths future.
Me Before You by Jojo Moyes
Lou Clark knows a lot of things. She knows how many footsteps there are between the bus stop and home. She knows she likes working in The Buttered Bun tea shop and she knows she might not love her boyfriend Patrick. What Lou doesn't know is she's about to lose her job or that knowing what's coming is what keeps her sane. Will Traynor knows his motorcycle accident took away his desire to live. He knows everything feels very small and rather joyless now, and he knows exactly how he's going to put a stop to that. What Will doesn't know is that Lou is about to burst into his world in a riot of colour. And neither of them knows they're going to change the other for all time.
After You by Jojo Moyes
Lou Clark has lots of questions. Like how it is she's ended up working in an airport bar, watching other people jet off to new places. Or why the flat she's owned for a year still doesn't feel like home. Whether her family can ever forgive her for what she did eighteen months ago. And will she ever get over the love of her life. What Lou does know for certain is that something has to change. Then, one night it does. But does the stranger on her doorstep hold the answers Lou is searching for - or just more questions? Close the floor and life continues: simple, ordered, safe. Open it and she risks everything. But Lou once made a promise to live. And if she's going to keep it, she has to invite them in. The sequel to 'Me Before You'.
Men Without Women: Stories by Haruki Murakami
Across seven tales, Haruki Murakami brings his powers of observation to bear on the lives of men who, in their own ways, find themselves alone. Here are vanishing cats and smoky bars, lonely hearts and mysterious women, baseball and the Beatles, woven together to tell stories that speak to us all.
The Cows by Dawn O’Porter
Tara, Cam and Stella are strangers living their own lives as best they can - though when society's creaming you should live life one way, it can be hard to like what you see in the mirror. So when an extraordinary event ties invisible bonds of friendship between them, one women's catastrophe becomes another's inspiration and a life lesson to all. Sometimes it's ok not to follow the herd.
Nomad by Alan Partridge
Streets pounded, a county criss-crossed, blood spilt, tears shed, laughter pealed. A dead dad honoured. A hero risen. A book deal signed. Using over ten per cent of all the words in the Oxford English Dictionary, 'Nomad' charts one man's attempts to recreate a deeply personal journey made by his father some forty years ago. Donning his boots, his windcheater and a high-end Arabian scarf bought in John Lewis only days before they announced a sale, Partridge sets off from his childhood home in Norwich to walk 160 miles in The Footsteps of his Father. His destination? Dungeness Nuclear Power Station on the Kent coast, a place that held a special significance for the man he simply called 'Papa'. Through witty vignettes, heavy essays and nod-inducing pieces of wisdom, Alan Partridge will shine a light on the nooks of the nation and the crannies of himself.
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
A mysterious island. An abandoned orphanage. A strange collection of peculiar photographs. It all waits to be discovered in 'Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children', an unforgettable novel that mixes fiction and photography in a thrilling reading experience. As our story opens, a horrific family tragedy sets sixteen-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children. As Jacob explores its decaying bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that Miss Peregrine's children were more than just peculiar. They may have been quarantined on a deserted island for good reason. And somehow - impossible though it seems - they may still be alive.
Hollow City: the second novel of Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
September 3, 1940. The peculiar children flee an army of deadly monsters. And only one person can help them - but she's trapped in the body of a bird. The extraordinary journey that began in 'Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children' continues as Jacob Portman and his newfound friends journey to London, the peculiar capital of the world. There, they hope to find a cure for their beloved headmistress, Miss Peregrine. But in this war-torn city, hideous surprises lurk around every corner. And before Jacob can deliver the peculiar children to safety, he must make an important decision about his love for Emma Bloom.
Library of Souls: the third novel of Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
A boy with extraordinary powers. An army of deadly monsters. An epic battle for the future of peculiardom. The adventure that began with 'Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children' and continued with 'Hollow City' comes to a thrilling conclusion with 'Library of Souls'. As the story opens, sixteen-year-old Jacob discovers a powerful new ability, and soon he's diving through history to rescue his peculiar companions from a heavily guarded fortress. Accompanying Jacob on his journey are Emma Bloom, a girl with fire at her fingertips, and Addison MacHenry, a dog with a nose for sniffing out lost children. They'll travel from modern-day London to the labyrinthine alleys of Devil's Acre, the most wretched slum in all of Victorian England. It's a place where the fate of peculiar children everywhere will be decided once and for all.
Divergent by Veronica Roth
Sixteen-year-old Tris is forced to make a terrible choice. In a divided society where everyone must conform, Tris does not fit. So she ventures out alone, determined to discover where she truly belongs. Shocked by her brutal new life, Tris can trust no one. And yet she is drawn to a boy who seems to both threaten and protect her. The hardest choice lies ahead. Book one of the Divergent trilogy.
Insurgent by Veronica Roth
Tris has survived a brutal attack on her former home and family. But she has paid a terrible price. Wracked by grief and guilt, she becomes ever more reckless as she struggles to accept her new future. Yet if Tris wants to uncover the truth about her world, she must be stronger than ever... because more shocking choices and sacrifices lay ahead. Book two of the Divergent trilogy.
Allegiant by Veronica Roth
The faction-based society that Tris Prior once believed in is shattered - fractured by violence and power struggles and scarred by loss and betrayal. So when offered a chance to explore the world past the limits she's known, Tris is ready. Perhaps beyond the fence she and Tobias will find a simple new life together, free from complicated lies, tangled loyalties and painful memories. But Tris's new reality is even more alarming than the one she left behind. Old discovers are quickly rendered meaningless. Explosive new truths change the hearts of those she loves. And once again Tris must battle to comprehend the complexities of human nature - and of herself - while facing impossible choices about courage, allegiance, sacrifice and love. Book three of the Divergent series.
Four: a Divergent collection by Veronica Roth
Two years before Beatrice Prior makes her choice, the sixteen-year-old son of Abnegation's faction leader does the same. Tobias's transfer to Dauntless is his chance to begin again. Newly renamed 'Four' he discovers that initiation is only the beginning... Four must claim his place in the Dauntless hierarchy. And his decisions will affect future initiates as well as uncover secrets that could threaten his own future - and the future of the entire faction system. Two years later, Four is poised to act but the course is still unclear. The first new initiate who jumps into the net might change all that. With her, the way to righting their world might become clear. With her it might become possible to be Tobias once again.
Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them: the original screenplay by J. K. Rowling
Explorer and Magizoologist Newt Scamander has just completed a round-the-globe trip in search of the most rare and unusual magical creatures. Arriving in New York, he intends his stay to be just a brief stopover. However, when Newt's case is misplaced and some of his fantastic beasts escape into the city, it spells trouble for everyone.
The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
Even if Blue hadn't been told her true love would die if she kissed him, she would stay away from boys. Especially the ones from the local private school. Known as Raven Boys, they only mean trouble. But this is the year that everything will change for Blue. This is the year that she will be drawn into the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys. And the year Blue will discover that magic does exit. This is the year she will fall in love. Book one of The Raven Cycle.
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
Sixteen-year-old Starr lives in two worlds: the poor neighbourhood where she was born and raised and her posh high school in the suburbs. The uneasy balance between them is shattered when Starr is the only witness to the fatal shooting of her unarmed best friend, Khalil, by a police officer. Now what Starr says could destroy her community. It could also get her killed.
A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles
On 21 June 1922, Count Alexander Rostov - recipient of the Order of Saint Andrew, member of the Jockey Club, Master of the Hunt - is escorted out of the Kremlin, across Red Square and through the elegant revolving doors of the Hotel Metropol. But instead of being taken to his usual suite, he is led to an attic room with a window the size of a chessboard. Deemed an unrepentant aristocrat by a Bolshevik tribunal, the Count has been sentenced to house arrest indefinitely. While Russia undergoes decades of tumultuous upheaval, the Count, stripped of the trappings that defined his life, is forced to question what makes us who we are. And with the assistance of a glamorous actress, a cantankerous chef and a very serious child, Rostov unexpectedly discovers a new understanding of both pleasure and purpose.
The Last Boy and Girl in the World by Siobhan Vivian
What if your town was sliding underwater and everyone was ordered to pack up and leave? How would you and your friends spend your last days together? While the adults plan for the future, box up their possessions, and find new places to live, Keeley Hewitt and her friends decide to go out with a bang. There are parties in abandoned houses. Canoe races down Main Street. The goal is to make the most of every minute they still have together. And for Keeley, that means taking one last shot at the boy she's loved forever. There's a weird sort of bravery that comes from knowing there's nothing left to lose. You might do things you normally wouldn't. Or say things you shouldn't. The reward almost always outweighs the risk. Almost. It's the end of Aberdeen, but the beginning of Keeley's first love story. It just might not turn out the way she thought. Because it's not always clear what's worth fighting for and what you should let become a memory.
The Martian by Andy Weir
I'm stranded on Mars. I have no way to communicate with Earth. If the Oxygenator breaks down, I'll suffocate. If the Water Reclaimer breaks down, I'll die of thirst. If the Habitat breaches, I'll just kind of explode. If none of those things happen, I'll eventually run out of food and starve to death. I'm screwed.