WORD Christchurch Writers and Readers Festival – review

Writers and Readers Festival Review

By Jack P

On Thursday last week a selection of Year 6’s  were lucky enough to visit the Read Aloud School Programme as part of the WORD Christchurch Writers and Readers Festival.

We heard three amazing authors speak. Jackie French, Melinda Szymanik and Donovan Bixley. They all have famous books such as Hitlers Daughter, A Winters’ Day In 1939 and Monkey Boy.

Jackie talked about how she loved books so much – and how you should love what you are reading too, or she recommends you put the book down and get another one!

Melinda talked about what helps her write: her imagination, mixed with curiosity and her experiences! She read a very moving section from her war book set in 1939, that is the retold story of her father’s life.

Donovan showed a slide show of some of his amazing illustrations, and read a very amusing piece from Monkey Boy, about when you need to go to the toilet on a big early-settlers-type boat!

I loved hearing how these authors decided to write their books, what was involved and to hear them read, brings the book alive in front of your eyes!

I also went to another WORD event on Saturday, which featured our own Desna Wallace reading from Canterbury Quake. She read a very emotional part of Maddie’s journey. Melinda read to the packed room too, a different part of her book and we were also treated to a reading  from James Norcliffe, with Felix and the Red Rats, the book I am reading at the moment!

Well done Desna you are such a dedicated author and lover of books!
Aren’t we lucky in Christchurch to be on the cutting edge of what’s happening with these special authors and to explore their new works? I love good stories and finding out about and enjoying new ones read by their authors is such an inspiring and exciting event!

Thank you for such a wonderful review Jack, and I am so glad you enjoyed the festival. I also loved listening to Jackie French as she had so many ideas about reading which were very inspiring. I loved the festival and attended 9 of the sessions. My brain is very tired after so many events but full of ideas as well as a pile of books I now want to read (Expensive weekend!)
Here is a photo of author Melinda Szymanik and I with our books after our event – the Exciting Tales and All Right? Book Launch. Don’t forget we have books by the authors Jack has reviewed in our library so come and see me.
I loved meeting so many authors, like Melinda here,  and will treasure the weekend always. Roll on the 2016 festival.

Melinda

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Popcorn and poetry for National Poetry day

I can tell you that the school library was the place to be at lunch time today. We celebrated New Zealand National Poetry day with poems and popcorn.

Children shared poems they loved or poems they had written. Everyone went away happy with bookmarks after filling up on popcorn and delightful poems. It really was a great time and it was lovely to see so many of the younger children taking part.

 

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Fun story writing prompts

Do you get stuck for ideas when trying to write? Do you want to write but don’t know where to start?

Well, check out this very cool site and enjoy the many different story ideas. It is fun and interactive.

Just spin here and begin! Lots of different types of writing, from postcards, to articles, stories and much more. The fun thing is that you get to choose simply by spinning the wheel.

Come and show me your stories when you have finished. I would love to read them.

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Harry the dirty dog by Gene Zion

It is cold and wintry outside so why not take a few minutes and watch this clip of actress Betty White reading out the funny story of Harry the Dirty Dog. This is a favourite of so many children and yes we do have it in the library if you want to read it yourself.

 

 

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Love that dog by Sharon Creech book review

Love that dog

By Sharon Creech

5

4 of 5 stars

  If you enjoy poetry in a diary format then this is a perfect read for you. Jack doesn’t like poetry. He thinks it is for girls. But he writes one poem and his teacher loves it! So he writes more and more and gets really inspired. His favourite author is Walter Dean Myers. And he is lucky enough that Walter is coming to see a friend that lives in the same town as him and is coming to visit his school. I won’t give away the ending so read the book to find out happens next. This is an easy and fun read that will make you want to write poetry.

This book suits ages from 6-10. 

Review by Jack P

 

Thanks Jack. Do you know that this type of book is called a verse novel. We have a number of these books here. I have to add though that I think any age will love this book. I have seen many of the teachers enjoy this book and some of us have even cried over it and I am sure you can guess what part that is but we will let the children read that for themselves. You might also like the follow up to this book. It is Hate that cat and we have it in the library.

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World War 1 centenary – display of the trenches in the school library

Once again the library has been transformed with a special display. This time we commemorate the centenary of World War 1.

Our wonderful caretaker has created a model of the trenches which is based on photos from the war. Looks awesome; thank you Paul W.

There is a backdrop of items, information and even postcards from the Great War. There are some very informative new books on World War 1.  I am indebted once again to the PTA for their fund-raising efforts that provide the  funds for all the books in the library. There are also QR codes with links to information on such awful things as trench foot. Very gross and the pain must have been horrendous. For many soldiers trench foot resulted in gangrene and then of course amputations.

Do take the time to visit the library and see for yourself.

For those of you who want to research more click here and it will take you to a number of sites that have been pre-checked for you already.

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Six word book reviews

The year six Faultline Fiction Fanatics book club have been working on reviews for some of the books they have been reading.

The challenge is to write a review in just six words. It is a writing challenge of interest to many schools especially secondary school students.

It is hard and I love what they have done. Some have needed seven words but that is okay as it is a difficult challenge.

Do enjoy reading them. Maybe you could read the books too. They are here in the library.

 

Little Manfred

By Michael Morpurgo

 

5

 

Walk on the beach

 memories come back 

By Chloe H

 

 

Trash

By Andrew Mulligan

5-2

 

One wallet

lots of mysteries

By  Rosie B

 

Canterbury Quake :  My New Zealand Story 2010  -2011

By Desna Wallace  (yep! that’s me)

5-6

 Maddy cries

 houses shaking

heart pounding

 By Jack P

 

Let me whisper you my story

By Moya Simons

5-5

 

People around me

my lips are sealed                         

 By  Chloe H                                     

 

Living in silence

struggling to survive

By Stella P


 

The phantom tollbooth

By Norton Juster

5-3

 Nothing to do

 adventure to come

 By Callum H

 

 

My name is Mina

By David Almond

5-1

 

 One girl

 no friends

 no hope

 By Diane K

 

Meet Grace

Our Australian Girl series

By Sofie Laguna

 

5-7

A convict girl

given a second chance

 By Larissa W

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Monkey boy by Donovan Bixley “Part novel. Part comic. All action”

Monkey Boy

By Donovan Bixley

This is a great new addition to our collection of library books. Bright eye-catching cover, quirky illustrations and great story full of action.

“Jimmy Grimholt is the youngest sailor aboard warship H.M.S Fury, bound for bloodcurdling battle”.

“It is a story of gruesome horrors, awful amputations and ghastly ghouls …”

Sounds gross, disgusting and scary and it is in our library now!

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Are you all right?

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The library display this week is part of the all right campaign.  We know the earthquakes were three years ago but many people still struggle with so many issues. This is a chance for our students to think about each other and encourage each other to try something different. It might be a new sport, a new cake to bake (and remember the librarian is always happy to taste test!) or perhaps even write a poem. For parents and teachers you don’t even need to focus on the quakes, but just take time out to read a book together and discuss any worries or concerns and see where they take you. Start off with a good book to share and just enjoy some quality time together. If you want to find out more you can visit Allright.

 

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New Zealand Post Book Awards for Children and Young Adults getting to know judge Zac Harding @zackids @booksellersNZ

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I am so happy to be doing this post. Zac Harding is one of the three judges who had the difficult job of deciding which books would become finalists and then which would be the winners.

I have known Zac for many years and am privileged he is sharing his thoughts about judging with us here at Fendalton Open-Air school. Some of you may even remember when he visited us for book week two years ago and read some hilarious picture books.

Go Zac!

 

“When you love books there is only one job that’s better than being a librarian, and that’s being a judge in the New Zealand Post Book Awards for Children and Young Adults.  I got told, back in October last year, that I was one of three lucky people chosen to be a judge for the 2014 book awards.  It’s incredibly exciting news and I was grinning for days afterwards. 

One of the first things you get told is that you are going to be sent approximately 120 books to read.  120 free books that you can keep!  When the books finally arrived (in 3 big boxes) I spent ages looking through them all and discovering which books had been submitted.  Some were favourites of mine, some were new and looked really interesting, and a few looked really bad, but I had to read them all.

Over the next 2 months I read them all and came up with my list of my top 8 books in each category – Junior Fiction, Non Fiction, Young Adult Fiction and Picture Books.  I met with the other two judges (Ant Sang and Barbara Else), and we decided on our shortlist of 20 books in total, then we decided on the winners.  It was really tough and some of the books I loved didn’t make it to the shortlist, but there are lots of great books in the list.

We’ve decided on our winners and they’ll be announced in 2 weeks on 23 June at the award ceremony in Auckland.  I’m looking forward to sharing our winners and I hope that readers around the country agree with our choices.”

Zac

And if you want to see what else Zac does, do check out his blog on the City Libraries web site

Or if you want to find out more about the finalist books check this siteI know many of you voted for the children’s choice. Not long now until the winners are announced.

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Book week prize winners

Wow! So many competitions and so many entries. Below is a list of all the winners.

Prizes were given out in last week’s assembly.

Congratulations and well done to you all.

Board Games

1st   Jackson B    

2nd  Poppie-Belle

   

Dust covers

Ist equal  Jasmine G and Diane K

   

Name the book character

Ed C

Posters for books into movies

1st       Beau S

2nd      Robson F

 

Book trailers

Middle team

1st    Rhys and Dan      

2nd   Fynn, Frankie & Jayden       

Seniors

1st    Aggie, Gemma Esther & Eva

2nd  Harrison U

3rd  Alex C

 

50 word stories

Middle team

1st  Evie S

2nd Stevie H

3rd Ed B

Seniors

1st      Enzo G

2nd     Jackson C

3rd     Beau S

 

Alternative endings

1st   Ema C

2nd   Davina C


Guess the teacher

Moeviai                             

Emily O

 

Family (names drawn from the box of all those people who bought books during book week)

Ella F

Madeline S

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Book week was fantastic

Last week was fantastic. Books everyone, books to read, books to buy, books to share and enjoy.

So many of you entered competitions that judging is going to be hard but we will let you know the winners at the next full assembly.

Thank you to everyone who entered competitions, who shared their stories and read to each other. Thank you to all the parents who bought books for your children or who bought books to donate to the library. It is very much appreciated. When these books have been processed they will be on display in the library. I will let you know when this is up.

Dress-up day seemed to be the favourite day for so many children. They looked wonderful in their outfits, dressed as pirates, princesses, and even ugly sisters.

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Fence embroidery at Fendalton Open-Air school to help celebrate book week

DSCN2295This week has been a crazy busy time with everyone thinking about books, reading books, sharing stories and just having fun. We have lots of competitions going; book cover designs, 50 word stories, creating book trailers and heaps more. The children have been buzzing with excitement all week. We also have the book sale which is fun way to fund raise for new books for the library. We had a great book character dress-up parade this morning and I will post photos later. I want to thank our teacher Sue and her year 6 children for the wonderful book embroidery on the school fence outside the library. It looks fantastic. One of the extra special events this week has been the Read-around where teachers and support staff visit different classes and read a story. The children have loved having visitors to their class. Even our wonderful caretaker Paul read to excited classes of children.

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Jim’s letters by Glyn Harper and illustrated by Jenny Cooper

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Jim’s letters is one of those books that hits with emotional impact.

Brothers Tom and Jim write to each other between December 1914 and August 1915. Jim writes from the trenches of the Gallipoli peninsula while younger brother Tom writes from the farm.

This is a beautifully illustrated book with letters to open and read. It lets us know just how hard life was during the First World War.

We read about Jim’s struggles in the trenches, and how Tom misses his big brother in this very moving story of life during times of strife and war.

It is a wonderful example of  dream maker as the illustrator Jenny Cooper is an ex pupil of Fendalton School.

I was lucky enough to meet both author and illustrator and they very kindly signed our school copy of the book. Do come in and look at this beautiful book. It will be available next week for issuing.

The author and illustrator have worked together before on another book about the war.

Le Quesnoy is a book about a  town in northern France.  In World War I the German army invaded the town and occupied it for four  years. In November 1918 the town was liberated by soldiers from far-away New Zealand.It wasn’t until November 1918 that the town was liberated with the help of New Zealand soldiers. They did this without any lives being lost which was an extraordinary thing to achieve at that time. This is  just as stunning as Jim’s letters. We do have this book as well, of course.

 

 

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Jenny Cooper and Glyn Harper at the Children’s Bookshop, Christchurch10th May 2014

 

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Celebrating Oliver Jeffers : one very cool illustrator & author

Welcome to term 2.

Starting off in the library this week we have a display on one of my own favourite authors and illustrators. I know he is a huge hit with many of the teachers and children too.

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Oliver Jeffers is a  hugely popular author and illustrator of children’s books. His book How to catch a star celebrates ten years since publication.

On display we have a number of his books to look through. You can borrow these books next week. Use the library Ipad to click on the QR codes to watch some youtube clips of his books. Here is a little clip to get you started of Oliver Jeffers talking about his drawing techniques.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Look who has been reading!

The library has been a very busy place this term. Next term will be even busier as we look forward to  all the fun and activities that go with book week. Here are some photos of just some of the people caught reading in our library.

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Bennett enjoying a cuddle and a story with his dad; Andy. Never too young to read!

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Lucky children from Room 1 sharing  story time with our wonderful caretaker

 

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Lovely to see our students reading and sharing stories with the  Yuri Gakuin Elemenatry students from Japan.

 

 

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Dewey Decimal game in the library

Oh what fun we had learning about the Dewey Decimal Classification in the library on Thursday.

I created a grab bag with lots of objects to pull out (without peeking). Classes were divided in to pairs. One pulled out an object from my bag and between them they had to find a non-fiction book on the object.

One partner used the library OPAC and the other went straight  to the Dewey chart on the wall.

They were timed – (sort-of) to find a book and bring it to me.

Some of the objects were plastic soldiers, toy cars, bugs, animals of all sorts. The non-fiction books were well and truly being used and searched through.

The library was a busy, noisy, learning place but so much fun. I have even had requests to play the game at lunch times.

 

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Junior classes working on the sea

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The junior classes have been looking at the sea and all the wonderful creatures that live in the sea.

The library  has some wonderful shells and even a seahorse on display.

And with almost all of our displays, we have some new books on the subject as well.

This is where once again I must thank the PTA for all their hard work fund-raising for the school.

It is their efforts which provide the funds for our new books. It is always so nice to support classroom learning with

books on the topics being studied. Why not have a go at these games below and have fun checking out the National Geographic site for kids, especially the ocean

 

Great turtle race

Frog flicker

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Little Manfred book review

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Little Manfred by Michael Morpurgo
Little Manfred is a very enjoyable story about the war and friendships. It makes you think about life at this time.  
My favourite sentence was “that little dog, I think he’s smiling at me” as it is a nice way of describing the wooden toy from childhood. My favourite part was when little Manfred was placed in a glass cabinet for the public to see.  
I recommend this book for 8-14 year old’s who like touching stories about the war.
5/5 stars
Jack P

Thanks for your review Jack and I am glad you enjoyed the book. I agree it deserves 5 out of 5 stars.

You might enjoy this clip of Michael Morpurgo as he explains a little about his book and reads from the beginning of  Little Manfred.

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