author visits

Michaelmas Round-up

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It’s been a busy Michaelmas Term for the Wodehouse Library.

Over the summer a new Library Management System came on stream so there was a fresh look to the Library Catalogue and, at half-term, the new security system was switched on. Gradually all the items in the Wodehouse collection will be RFID tagged so, please, do return to the Issue Desk if the alarm goes off as you leave – you’ll hear a beeping noise if you have an item that hasn’t been issued and deactivated.

Pupil Librarians and Library Prefects have worked hard to help staff sort all the items which have been withdrawn from the collection during the tagging process. All the removed items will eventually go to charity or be recycled where possible.

We’ve been encouraging all Library users to make good use of the resources, including space, in the Wodehouse Library. This means that we are prioritising PC and table spaces for boys who want to get on with prep or quiet reading. Likewise, in the Periodicals Room we have been asking anyone not reading the magazines or newspapers to make way for others.

There have been a number of exciting author visitors to the school since September including Alex Wheatle, MBE, Matt Haig and Stewart Foster. For Stewart, this was a return to Dulwich College where his novel Bubble Boy won the TSBA Award 2017 earlier in the year.

Junior School boys visited the Wodehouse Library for a Shakespeare Tour. Groups were shown around by Mrs Lucy, the Keeper of the Archives, Mrs Cerio and Mr Fletcher.

Back at the start of Michaelmas, boarders spent an evening in the Wodehouse with Mr Fletcher and Year 9 boys took part in a Library and Archives induction. This offered a chance for boys to learn about the resources available to them in the Middle School. Working in groups the boys completed a quiz and listened to a brief talk on Library procedures.

Mr Fletcher presented the non-fiction collection and e-resources that will support Upper School boys, particularly those undertaking CREST Awards or EPQs, in their studies and all Wodehouse Library staff have tried to keep the Upper School study area a peaceful working environment. Specifically aimed at the Upper School we also introduced ‘Readaxation’ as a way of helping boys understand the benefits reading for pleasure can bring despite the various pressures of deadlines and preparing for the future beyond Dulwich College.

Many classes have also come to the Wodehouse with their English teachers to take a closer look at the 42 Reading List books and all have been encouraged to borrow from the fiction collection as part of our ongoing promotion of reading for pleasure in the school.

The Wodehouse Library staff took that reading for pleasure message out and about with our pop-up libraries just after half-term. Popping up in the PE Centre, Lord George Building, The Laboratory and the Christison Hall we were really pleased to speak with so many boys and staff about reading and loans for the week were encouragingly high. If you’re ever stuck for inspiration for what to read next, themed displays appear throughout the Wodehouse and staff are always on hand with suggestions.

We hope the long Michaelmas term has been successful for you all and wish you a Merry Christmas, Happy New Year and we look forward to many more good reads in 2018.

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Alex Wheatle Visits Dulwich College

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On Wednesday 6th December the award winning Children’s and Young Adult novelist Alex Wheatle (MBE) visited Dulwich College.

Alex is best known for his debut novel Brixton Rock (1999) and for his Crongton series – a fictional estate where a cast of memorable characters live and negotiate tricky emotional and social situations. Although Brixton Rock is the most obviously autobiographical of his fiction, his stories all draw on the author’s experience – including his early years in Brixton, his time in care, and his period in prison following his participation in the Brixton Riots in 1981.
 
Pupils from three classes from Year 7 and 8 and the whole of year 9 were treated to some readings from his Crongton series, interspersed with accounts of his life that had inspired some of the characters and events in his novels and – in one session –  to a remarkably well-improvised rendition of one of Alex’s early Reggae compositions—Uprising! Alex is a remarkably good story teller and had his audience as much invested in the story of his life as they were in the extracts from his fiction that he shared with them.
 
Alex also spent time with 12 members of the Joint Creative Writing Workshop in the Upper School who learnt about crafting characters and engaging their readers by appealing to their sense of empathy.
Later in the day, Josiah Roberts did a first rate job of interviewing Alex in front of a small panel audience and on behalf of the Afro-Caribbean Society. The discussion focused on the state of BAME fiction in the context of market forces, the competitive state of the publishing industry, and the roles and responsibilities of authors to their readership. Josiah and Alex also explored the changing cultural and political fortunes of Brixton in the context of the ongoing process of gentrification and what this might mean for local artists and residents and for the long-established Afro-Caribbean community.
 
The staff and some of the pupils who attended any of these sessions were all struck by how down to earth Alex is, by how warmly and generously he answers questions, and by how committed he is to making a difference to his young readers through his fiction. We were fortunate to have him in for the day and look forward to maintaining our links with such a prominent local author. Grateful thanks to Mrs Stein and the Library and to Miss Coppin and the English Department for organising and facilitating this visit.

And the winner is…

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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

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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

there-will-be-lies

 

 

 

 

She Is Not Invisible, by Marcus Sedgwick

she-is-not-invisible

 

 

 

 

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

smell-of-other-peoples-houses

 

 

 

 

Not If I See You First, by Eric Lindstrom

not-if-i-see-you-first

 

 

 

 

The Knife of Never Letting Go, by Patrick Ness

knife-of-never-letting-go

 

 

 

 

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.

Not long now…

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The Trinity Schools Book Award Prize Ceremony will be held at Dulwich College on Tuesday 7th March 2017.

There are 7 books on the TSBA shortlist and there have been some marvellous creative responses to them from students in all the schools participating in the awards voting.

Over the next week, we’ll feature each of the books (in no particular order so there’ll be no hint as to the winner!).

The Seeing by Diana Hendry

the-seeing

 

 

 

You can find some reviews which have been posted to the TSBA blog here

Bubble Boy by Stewart Foster

bubble-boy

 

 

 

 

 

More reviews from the TSBA blog here

Look out for more over the next few days 🙂

Easter egg-citement

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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.

TaranVisit
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!”

 

 

 

 

#Taranvisit

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

TaranVisit