Excelsior!

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The winner is Lois and Clark!

Second was Captain America and third Shuriken and Pleats.

JABBICA went to Audubon.

Currently Lois and Clark and Captain America are out on loan but the other two books are on display in the Graphic Novels section.

Winner 2017
JABBICA Winner 2017

Reading for pleasure

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He’s back! Dr Hulls shares some thoughts on reading for pleasure…

There is one serious limitation to becoming a father. I can stand the sleepless nights and, horrible though they are, the endless nappy changes. I have learned to divide my waking hours into strictly regimented three-hour slots. I have even, grudgingly, been able to tolerate singing endless songs about wheels on buses and ducks not drinking lemonade. The problem is that I can’t read any more.
This came up in discussion in the pub the other night; a friend who has, like me, become a father in the last year started talking about the enormous stack of books that has accumulated since the birth of his son. I have had the same problem.
I remember that, on the day before my son was born, I sat in the hospital and read two novels cover to cover (birth shares many characteristics with war, one being that there is a long and boring bit before the terrifying stuff begins). Since you ask: a James Ellroy (LA Confidential?) and David Peace’s Tokyo Year Zero – both excellent preparations for fatherhood. On our return home, I picked up Gore Vidal’s Empire (I’ve been working my way through the series steadily for a while. They’re great – you should read them – especially Lincoln). It’s a chunky book, about 600 pages. In the next six months I managed about 200 of them.
Sure, I read other things. I read lots of Mr Men books, books about tigers and little blue trucks and surprisingly spacious brooms and gruffalos. I read the side of formula packets and books about baby-led weaning. But these didn’t really give me the hit I was looking for. I tend to ignore the Callimachean maxim of mega biblon, mega kakon (‘A big book is a great evil’) and go for thicker tomes. My tastes are parochial – I rarely deviate from historical fiction, straight history, natural history or literary criticism. Currently, I am enjoying Bettany Hughes’s breeze block-sized history of Istanbul (new to your library and well worth the effort). I need time to read!
My God, I missed the sheer, self-indulgent pleasure of being able to sit quietly for most of the day with a good book or two. In the heat wave of the last week, I really can’t think of anything I’d rather have done than gasp in the shade with a stack of books, occasionally disappearing to the fridge for refreshment and to the pub when the sun goes down, day after day after day. I still don’t really get to read at home very much. I desperately miss that opportunity to read in bed at night. Instead, I try and find excuses to go on long and boring train rides on my own, just so I can read a good book.
Read this

Study leavers

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Today our Y11s will start their study leave period ahead of their GCSEs.

To send them on their way we are offering this link to the Student Minds Exam Stress page.

Good luck everyone, be kind to yourselves.

Big Shift

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Look out for the Big Shift Pledges in the Wodehouse Library.

We’ll be adding all the pledges to the noticeboard by the printer in the Reference Section so you can see who is setting themselves a Small Step, Big Stride or Giant Leap target for next week’s Sustrans Big Shift challenge to travel between school and home more actively and sustainably.

 

…completely detached from the syllabus

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A new voice for our blog today. Harry, one of the Yr 13 boys, shares his thoughts on the library:

The knowledge that can be found in books is the primary source of their appeal, novels are important too but my interest is more often than not directed towards the non-fiction shelves. The library is valuable not only for reading around syllabuses, especially as a first point of reference for individual studies such as history coursework (the stock of Very Short Introductions in particular), but also as a place to generally broaden horizons in a way completely detached from the syllabus. Tim Marshall’s ‘Prisoners of Geography’ for example provides a fascinating interpretation of geopolitics based on a geographic determinism that, while dubious at times, is rather illuminating and certainly thought provoking. The reference section is also important, feeding a fondness for apparently useless facts and obscure information, dictionaries of quotations or subjects as esoteric as the burial places of famous people are always wonderful diversions. Building a wider knowledge and understanding of the world, with history as a main focus, has therefore been the biggest influence that books have had on my life from a young age to now and in the future.

5 line reviews

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We had some fun writing 5 line reviews of some books in the last of the Reading Boon sessions today.

The format is 5 lines with the fist being 2-3 words long, the second 4-5 words, third 6-7 words, fourth 8-9 and the fifth just 2-3 words again. We gave the boys 15 minutes to come up with the following:

A Game of Thrones, George R R Martin

Please, stop it

Please, just stop it

Please, just stop killing them already

You are going to run out of characters soon

Calm down George.

and:

Dangerous paths

Large mysterious land

Deception lies around every corner

Puts you on the edge with every turn of the page

You win, or you die.

Dracula, Bram Stoker

A thrilling tale

A story of blood and corruption

Strong themes of reverse colonisation

A story with one of the most iconic antagonists in literature

Life versus death.

Stormbreaker, Anthony Horowitz

A normal boy?

A life turned upside down

A mental immigrant who wants murder

A spying agency wants a boy to save England

Who wins?

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Stieg Larsson

Conspiracy theory

Washout journalist, secretive PI

Investigating a folklore serial killer

Tensions rise as protagonists edge closer to truth

Who are they?

Shutter Island, Dennis Lehane

Shutter Island

Killer on the loose

Deepening investigation with hurricane closing in

Closer they get to the truth, more mystery

Insanity awaits.

Big thanks to Mark Warner, Deputy Head at Patcham High School for the 5 line idea and the inspiration to try it and to Louis, Dennis, Angus, Harry and Jacob for their efforts.

It’s been busy

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Lent has been a busy time here in the Wodehouse Library.

Year 11s spent two of their wellbeing lessons with us learning about plagiarism avoidance using the study skills books and the Encyclopedia Britannica online resource.

Year 9 boys also visited the library for two lessons to work on their history projects. During these lessons boys used Ormiston (the Dulwich College Register) and the Dulwich College War Record, Ancestry.com and other online resources to research an OA who was killed during World War 1.

This year’s Free Learning Day for year 10 saw the Library and Archives team up to deliver 5 sessions exploring Christopher Marlowe’s connections to Dulwich College, conspiracy theories, fake news and fact-checking.

As part of the Trinity Schools Group, Dulwich College hosted the TSBA ceremony which saw author Stewart Foster win with his novel Bubble Boy.

We’ve maintained the usual displays of fiction and non-fiction in and around the library, added new stock and been glad of the continued help of prefects and pupil librarians with on-going weeding and tidying projects. We’re looking forward to seeing both boys and staff over the next few days choosing holiday reading!

Have a great Easter break, everyone, and see you in the Summer Term.