Author visits

And the winner is…

Posted on

No golden envelope hiccups here at Dulwich College as the Master, Dr Joe Spence, announced Stewart Foster as winner of the Trinity Schools Book Award for 2017.

The event was live tweeted with #tsba2017 if you want to check out the Twitter photos and you can read the TSBA blog write up here

It was a great evening with lots of enthusiasm for reading and writing. Both authors, Stewart Foster and Diana Hendry (The Seeing) gave thoughtful and thought-provoking answers to the questions that the students from participating schools had submitted for the Q&A session. In particular we enjoyed hearing about the books which had captured their young imaginations and how hearing their characters speak helps them move the story along.

Many thanks to all the sponsors for the goody bags, the staff and pupils who helped out on the day, the authors and their teams and most of all to all the students who read the stories, voted and came along to the ceremony.


Anticipation is mounting… #tsba2017

Posted on Updated on

We can’t believe it’s nearly time to announce the winners!

And it isn’t only the authors who can anticipate being prize winners on Tuesday evening as there are also prizes for the students who submit the Best Review and the Best Creative Response to a shortlisted book.

The fun will start in the Lower Hall with refreshments before we all head up to the Great Hall for the award ceremony, starting with those student winners (good luck to all have submitted entries!).

Before the announcement of the winning book there will be an authors’ panel session at which our special guests will answer questions. After the winner has been revealed and the applause has died down there’ll be a chance to meet the authors, pick up a goody bag* and take a look at all the creative responses which will be on display in the Lower Hall.

So, here as promised, are the remaining shortlisted books (again, no clues here for the winner):

There Will Be Lies, by Nick Lake






She Is Not Invisible, by Marcus Sedgwick






The Smell of Other People’s Houses, by Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock






Not If I See You First, by Eric Lindstrom






The Knife of Never Letting Go, by Patrick Ness






Many thanks to all the sponsors of the goody bags:

Faber & Faber, HarperCollins Children’s Books, Penguin Random House, Quercus Children’s Books, Simon and Schuster, Walker Books, and Browns Books for Students.

Easter egg-citement

Posted on

Congratulations to our plagiarism avoidance winners: Louis Wright, Ben Wald, Christopher Ho, Matthew O’Flaherty and Theo Harhalakis of 11P whose rap performance won the commercial prize and to Octave de Baynast-Cheval, Sachin Patel, Arjun Gupta, Fred Mosier, Alex Foster and Will Spurrell of 11G who produced the best poster!

Yes, we know how to have fun here in the Wodehouse Library and we unselfishly share this talent with the boys whenever we can. Opportunity knocked this term for lucky Year 11s who were asked to grapple with the potentially gloomy topic of plagiarism.

Banishing the gloom, Year 11 boys rapped, rhymed and rode pretend horses as they realised that avoiding plagiarism is rather easy and made even easier still by the Study Skills section of the Library. We encourage everyone with exams looming to take a look at the titles on offer there.

In other news, we noticed that Mr Trevill offered a revision session on To Kill a Mockingbird. Further resources can be found here in the Wodehouse Library and via our e-resources. From eMag, for example,  you will find an interesting and concise exploration of character entitled “The Mockingbird Figure in Narrative Texts: Why Rue and Clerval Have To Die”, by Lorna Syred. Additionally we have items shelved at 820 LEE/C which offer criticism of the text as well as the book itself on the 42 spinner. Ask us for help in tracking down any of these items.

We’ve had a lot of fun in the Wodehouse Library since Christmas, particularly with a week’s worth of World Book Day inspired author visits and quizzes.

Taran Matharu, and Tom Pollock visited. Both OAs, they held workshops for various classes and gave lunchtime talks to keen audiences of boys and staff.

Taran had taken part in a Twitter chat about YA fiction
The Summoner
Book 2 of the Summoner series







Tom got the boys thinking about what makes monsters scary
Tom got the boys thinking about what makes monsters scary






And of course we should mention Colin, the Wodehouse Library’s new chameleon. Poor Vernon passed away last half term and is much missed. Colin offers a much more dynamic presence and is able to catch and eat crickets all by himself. Our thanks to all the boys (special mentions to Gbenga, Sam and Will) who took the time to care for Vernon whilst he was with us.

Give me crickets!
Colin: “Give me crickets!”






Posted on

March 1st 2016, 1.30pm the Wodehouse Library will welcome Taran Matharu


The Universe in Your Hands

Posted on Updated on


How long would it take to communicate a message to the moon? to the Sun? to Andromeda? What is the difference between a red dwarf and a white dwarf? What is the shape of the Universe? These and many other questions were answered today as we welcomed French theoretical physicist, Christophe Galfard, to the Wodehouse Library. Dr Galfard is a former PhD student of Stephen Hawking and worked with the Cambridge professor on the nature of black holes. An audience of 60 middle and upper school boys enjoyed hearing about the latest theories regarding black holes, red dwarves, exploding stars and the size of the Universe and demonstrated their own depth of knowledge with some fascinating questions of their own. A large queue at the end of the talk formed as boys continued to ask questions as they bought signed copies of Christophe’s book The Universe in Your Hand. As a non-physicist myself I learnt a lot of new stuff and the enthusiasm of speaker and audience has certainly encouraged me to read more about this fascinating subject. PJF 13/10/2015

The Junior School Rumble with the Romans author visit

Posted on Updated on

The Junior School were delighted to welcome the author and cartoonist Gary Northfield on Friday. Gary is most famous for his cartoon character  Derek the Sheep which appeared in the Beano. He’s also written for National Geographic Kids Magazine, The Dandy and Horrible Histories magazineJulius Zebra. He loves animals and their lives and often wonders (and draws) what they think about the world in which they live. His stories of grumpy spiders, talking leaves and Terence the snail had year 3 and 4 boys literally rolling on the floor with laughter!

Gary’s latest book Julius Zebra: Rumble with the Romans was inspired by his love of history and zebras and has been described as “Bonkers, fast-paced and funny… a Roman rollercoaster of a ride” by Philip Ardagh. Filled with historically accurate details and with all page numbers as Roman numerals – the zebra-striped book was bought by lots of boys for signing by the author.

Boys left the event clutching their books, their own cartoon, drawn as instructed by Gary, and happy hearts after a fun-filled morning.

Dark Arts – Satire and Caricature in the Wodehouse Library

Posted on Updated on

The wit and wisdom of Martin Rowson, editorial cartoonist and satirist, was enjoyed by an appreciative audience in the Wodehouse Library on Founder’s Day.

Rowson began by tracing the progress of caricature from early cave paintings to the sudden burst of satirical material in the 18th century caused by an oversight in parliament, when press control laws were not renewed. Thus began the relationship which continues to this day, where the politician craves the attention of the cartoonist whilst fearing his or her power. Rowson described these powers as ‘voodoo like’, and allowed that politicians are right to fear a drawing that can have a real effect on their fortunes, political and personal.

Acknowledging with relish that his work is often seen as vulgar including frequent scatological references, Rowson defended himself against accusations that he was crossing the boundaries of good taste by arguing that those boundaries had already been trampled many times over hundreds of years in a healthy British tradition. He traced a direct link between his work and that of Gillray and Hogarth, claiming a moral element to the puncturing of inflated public personas.

On how characters emerge and develop, Nick Clegg was cited as an example of somebody he found difficult to draw convincingly, until he noticed a slight wobble of his head during the delivery of a speech and so Clegg became Pinocchio, the puppet who wanted to become a real boy. The delight in finding the perfect incarnation of a character was evident, but caused mixed feelings when somebody he loathed politically but enjoyed drawing left centre stage and no longer justified an appearance.

Illustrating his points with fascinating historical and contemporary images, Rowson showed how earlier satirists had used classical images for their own purposes, and how he in turn had used these for inspiration and reference. So, Hogarth’s etching ‘Gin Lane’ subverted the traditional image of Madonna and Child by portraying the absolute opposite of maternal concern as the drunken mother lets the child slip to certain death. Rowson showed several of his own recreations of this scene to explore different issues.

A sparky mix of political context and personal anecdote, Rowson proved as engaging and insightful in the flesh as he is on the page.


Rowson’s editorial cartoons can be found in The Guardian – available daily in the Periodicals Room