Book Club term 2 book

This year, MAC Book Club students are fans of Skulduggery Pleasant and the first term was happily spent creating a trailer for the series. Unfortunately, most of the footage went lost when a device died and the project aborted.

Term 2 has been enlightened by the reading of the Young Elites, by Marie Lu, which also features a strong adventurous female character in a hostile fantasy world.

Adelina is a malfetto scarred by blood fever many years ago. But when she is accused of her father’s murder and sentenced to death by Teren, the King’s inquisition leader, she is rescued by a mysterious Enzo, the Young Elites leader who seems even more dangerous than her jailers. Not knowing who to trust, Adelina must manipulate Teren in order to save her sister and the Young Elites.

It’s a story of family, love and loyalty and ultimately a rebellion against prejudice, a quest for justice and freedom. Full of surprising special powers and action, this fantasy thriller is also a suspenseful romance.

It is difficult to relate to the heroine as she holds as much good as evil. We rated the book 4 out of 5.


What does the library look like in the future?

As part of the QLDC public libraries review, our students were invited to answer to 3 questions:

  • What do you value the most about a library service?
  • What would encourage you to use the library more often?
  • What does the library look like in the future?

To the latter, the 107 students answers are (some students gave several answers):

  • More technology (includes more ebooks, more computers, more e-readers): 33
  • Bigger place: 16
  • More books: 12
  • More comfortable seats: 9
  • EBooks instead of books: 8
  • Same as today: 7
  • Movies: 4
  • Other (talking books, research facility, games): 3
  • Less popular: 2

That’s less than 5% seeing a future without books.

Reading to succeed

 UK School Minister Mr Gibb said: “Children should always have a book on the go. The difference in achievement between children who read for half an hour a day in their spare time and those who do not is huge – as much as a year’s education by the time they are 15.” From The Telegraph 8th Feb 2012

So come to the library, choose a book you will like (you can ask the librarian for help) and enjoy reading!

If you would like a specific book that you can’t find, fill in a “Student Title Request” at the issue desk, and it will be ordered for you.

Or fill in the form below:

MACLIC Book Club

Meeting Thursdays lunchtime in the library.

We love books, we love talking books… For the first meeting of the year, we have designed bookmarks while talking about our future projects:

  • Display design,
  • Choosing books for the library,
  • Book reviews on the blog and in Assembly,
  • And the famous “book club sleepover”…

Lots of fun ahead!

And we have talked about our favourite books and found one,  that we all feel like reading but did not read yet.

Not too late to join! Looking forward to meet you in the library next Thursday lunchtime!

Overcoming the “summer slide”

Studies have been carried out about the “summer slide”, the decline in reading achievement children suffer just from being away from school and formal literacy instruction. Sadly it is often the students who can least afford to lose the reading gains they’ve achieved during the school year who fall the furthest behind when they return to school after a summer break. It’s characterized as “the Harry Potter divide”, and the effects are cumulative and long-term.

Even just 10 minutes reading a day by or to children will maintain & develop the children’s reading skills, habit and enthusiasm. It is important that the parents support their children, to reap the powerful benefits of reading.

An easy way to do it is to offer books for Christmas. Cherub, Diary of a Wimpy Kid and Hunger Games series are all winners. Children will love owning their own book. Book shop sellers would be able to make further recommendations.

If you choose to shop online, I recommend Wheelers website because their range of books is huge (6.7 million books!), it is well organised and easy to use and the prices are very competitive. Plus, this will raise funds for the college’s library. Click here to learn more…

Some teachers will give some “good reads” lists to their students and there are many more book lists on this blog.

Another great and simple way to encourage reading is to visit the Town Library. There is a well-stocked children and separate Young Adult section. Every summer, a “Reading challenge” is organised with lots of prices, so check it out. Children need a parental consent to get their free card, so parents need to accompany them, at least the first time, and could grab a book for themselves too, to enjoy and to be a role model!

Book sharing online

WEB 2.0 is about interacting with other users. Explore two great book sharing websites.

Library thingLibrarything is an online cataloguing tool. You can:

  • Catalogue your own library (up to 250 entries for free); Just type the title and retrieve the full record with good tags, first sentences, etc.
  • Check out who else likes the same books and what other books they like, great to choose your next read;
  • Get involved in a book discussion group

There is a very interesting Zeitgeist page which provides statistics showing the top books, top authors (Currently the top 10 are: J. K. Rowling, Stephen King, Terry Pratchett, J. R. R. Tolkien, Neil Gaiman, C. S. Lewis, William Shakespeare, Nora Roberts, Jane Austen, Agatha Christie, surprising no!), most reviewed books, etc. Good reads

Good Reads is less detailed but more friendly. It allows you to share book recommendations with your friends, find books from great lists, keep track of what you’ve read and what you’d like to read, or form a book club, answer book trivia, collect your favourite quotes…

Books and Internet are good friends!

How much should we read?

Pile of books (clipart)A student willing to get into higher education knows an average of 80,000 words. Assume that the period of vocabulary acquisition of our high school senior is the 15 years between age 2 and 17, our student needs to learn an average of fifteen words a day, more than 5,000 words per year.

So how much? Research shows that if children read 1 million words, at least 1,000 words will be added to their vocabulary. 1 millions words represents approximately:

  • 20 books of 200 pages
  • 40 books of 100 pages 
  • 500 comics or newspaper feature
  • 300 magazine articles
  • 1000 encyclopedia definitions
  • And any combination of these…

This is not going to happen in school alone. “Most vocabulary words,” Mr Hirsch argues, result “incidentally, from massive immersion in the world of language and knowledge.”

“The Power of reading” (Heinemann, 2004), Stephen Krashen

From a NZ National Library workshop, Dunedin, 2008

Why should you read at all?

child_reading_outdoors (clipart)In his book “The Power of reading” (Heinemann, 2004), Stephen Krashen tells us that free voluntary reading (=reading anything for your pleasure) is one of the best ways to learn language. You’ll gain better comprehension, writing style, vocabulary, spelling and grammar.

These are useful not only in English classes but also for any study and all your life, even on the Internet, you need to read instruction manuals, contracts, newspapers, books…

 So, just READ:

  • For your pleasure
  • To enrich your vocabulary
  • To better succeed in studies
  • TV vocabulary is too poor
  • Necessary all life long
  • Greater pleasure when you are read aloud, so enjoy story reading times
  • Role model, so parents read/model/talk about

Teenager reading aloud

Do you remember those cuddling moments at bed time, when you read a story to your child when s/he was too young to read, thus nurturing your love for of each other and for reading? 

Bedtime story -ClipartResearch shows that reading aloud to children when they are teenagers is still extremely valuable. It:

  • Helps children to become better readers
  • Improves adult awareness of their responsibility as literacy role models
  • Improves the quality of family life

During read-aloud, we share the excitement, the suspense, the emotion, and the sheer fun of a new book and its intriguing or annoying characters.

We will not take our teenager on our laps, but we can still find fun ways of reading aloud with them. Sharing an article, a poem, an encyclopaedia entry or a few paragraphs from a book with your family at lunch, in the car (can be audio books), to entertain him/her while s/he is doing the washing-up, when s/he is sick in bed, or anytime, and keep it a regular habit. Take turns. They can read things to you too.

Chose read-alouds that relate to a current issue, a recent discussion or topic of study, or that you particularly liked, to foster a love of literature. Try different things. The wider the variety of readings, the greater the chance to meet or provoke the teen’s interests. It will often be the start of great discussions…

More on reading aloud in MACLIC

Have fun!


PS. Teenagers like to read aloud to each other too: I often witness groups of students happily sharing stories.

PPS. At MAC, reading out loud and reading together in unison is a practice used by many teachers to assist with the comprehension and enjoyment of text.