Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Ketchup Clouds

At Reading Club today we listened to the first chapter of Ketchup Clouds on audio book.

There is a really interesting blog post on Annabel Pitcher's website which was posted before the book came out.  Annabel talks about how the book came about - the idea she had for the plot, but how she didn't want it to be another cheesy high-school romance. Her one sentence summary of the book is that it's Perks of Being a Wallflower meets Dead Man Walking.

Copies of the book are on their way and should be here by the end of the week!

Monday, 22 September 2014

Rooftoppers by Katherine Rundell

Since being published in 2013, Rooftoppers has won the Blue Peter Book Award and the Waterstones Children's Book Prize. It was also short-listed for the 2014 CILIP Carnegie Medal and was my favourite of the nominated books.

So why would you want to read Rooftoppers? Well, it merges fantasy and historical fiction with vivid imagery and a beautiful, lyrical prose style, in a truly heartwarming story.  Our heroine is Sophie, an orphan who was found as a baby floating in a cello case in the middle of the English Channel, wrapped in a Beethoven score. Convinced that her mother survived the shipwreck, she sets off with her eccentric guardian Charles for Paris, where she meets Matteo and a group of homeless children who live up on the rooftops of the city. Tightrope walking across streets and precipices, they set out on an incredible adventure to search for Sophie's mother.

Fans of Eva Ibbotson and Sally Gardner will love this uplifting adventure about pursuing your dreams and never giving up hope.

If you've enjoyed Rooftoppers, you may like to try Liar and Spy by Rebecca Stead or Wonder by R J Palacio.

Science Reading List Challenge

Love to read about Science? Try the Reading List Challenge
The Science Department have put together a Reading List, mostly catering for the Sixth Form but some of these may be of interest to students in KS3 and KS4. You can find the full list here.

Mr Thompson says, "Our challenge to you is: READ THEM! REVIEW THEM! Simple."

You can submit your review by following the link or via the VLE, and you may win a prize from the Science Department. How good is that?

Most of these titles are available now from the Sixth Form section of the Library on a 7 Day Loan.

Come and ask at the Library desk if you need any help finding them.

Friday, 19 September 2014

Learning to drive? Get Theory Test Pro for free!

Attention Year 12 and Year 13 students! If you are learning to drive, why not check out the Theory Test Pro programme that is available free via Hertfordshire Libraries' Online Reference Library.

All you need is a Hertfordshire Library card to log on. If you haven't used your library card for a while you may need to pop in to a library branch (Croxley Green and Rickmansworth are nearest) to re-activate your card. If you haven't yet joined, then it is strongly recommended that you do, as they have a huge range of online information services that you can use for free from wherever you have access to the Internet.

So if you are learning to drive, go to the Online Reference Library , scroll down and find Theory Test Pro and enter your login details (hertsbxxxxxxxxx where xxxxxxxxx are the numbers on the back of your library card.) You can then practise the official UK theory driving test for cars and motorcycles.

Of course, while you are there you may find Oxford Reference or the Times Digital Archive really helpful for your homework too.

Thursday, 18 September 2014


For better research, as an alternative to Google, try RefSeek (http://www.refseek.com/).
RefSeek is a web search engine for students that aims to make academic information more easily accessible.  RefSeek searches over a billion documents, including web pages, books, encyclopedias, journals, and newspapers, but without lots of irrelevant stuff that you get from a general search engine, and without sponsored links and adverts.

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Heap Guides - Choosing your Degree and University

If you want to find the best university in the UK, or find out which universities offer the course you are interested in, then you should really look at Brian Heap's guide books.  The Times rates him as "the guru of university choice". 

Choosing Your Degree Course and University will show you how to narrow down your options and build a shortlist of your ideal subjects, courses and universities so you can pick the best course and uni for you.

HEAP 2015: University Degree Course Offers is the essential guide to getting in to university. It is arranged by course, and gives a clear overview of what each course involves and the entry requirements (UCAS points and/or grades) that you need, as well as lots of help and advice on the whole UCAS application process including how to prepare your personal statement.

Copies are available in the Library (Reference only) along with the latest Trotman Guide to Getting into Medical School for 2015 entry or visit the Heap Online website.

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Reading Club

Great to see so many of you at Reading Club today and to hear what you have been reading over the summer holidays!
Next we are going to read Ketchup Clouds by Annabel Pitcher.
Secrets, romance, murder and lies: Zoe shares a terrible secret in a letter to a stranger on death row in this second novel from the author of the bestselling debut, My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece. You can find out more at the Good Reads website http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/11088150-ketchup-clouds I'll get some copies into the Library before next week! Happy reading!