Staff Newsletter

QHS Information Centre

Volume 5, issue 4

Term three, 2013

DVDs now available from the Information Centre

Thanks to funds raised by the PSTA earlier this year, we now have the beginnings of a DVD collection that students and staff are able to borrow. Titles include The Hobbit, Life of Pi, The Help, Les Miserables, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, The Hunger Games, Tomorrow When the War Began, Red Dog and Atonement. The covers are shelved above the Graphic Novels and Quick Reads, so please come and have a look if you are interested in borrowing these - they may be borrowed for up to one week.

And if you have any DVDs at home that you would like to donate to this collection, please bring them in.

QHS Library Week 2013

We had a very successful Library Week in August. It was great to see so many students getting involved in the Reading Challenge and the Book Spine Poetry Competition, and the "Where is the Very Hungry Caterpillar?" competition was a big hit, although maybe not quite as big a hit as the awesome cake and cupcakes created by Lauren Wright (and yes, they did taste as good as they looked!) A big thank you to everyone who helped in some way and to the PSTA for helping to fund the cake and prizes for the week's activities.

There are more photos here.

Author David Hill on the Value of Reading

A recent article by NZ children's and young adult author David Hill published in the New Zealand argues in favour of the importance of both reading aloud to children and having them read for themselves. He says

Reading isn't a solitary activity. It's a time of continual connections: with the characters, with aspects of the reader's life that the story evokes. Reading makes sense of things; it helps give shape and meaning to the world. Julian Barnes puts it perfectly: "Life says, this happens. Books say, this happens because ..."

He uses the example of a boy he taught some years ago, who was virtually uncontrollable (and unteachable) but who was totally captivated by a story David read aloud to the class, showing the power of a good yarn to change lives (if only temporarily). David also emphasises how reading builds vocabulary:

I watched a 20-something rugby fan on TV a few years back, after the All Blacks had lost yet another World Cup knockout match. "Oh, mate," he went. "I haven't got words to express how I feel, mate!"

Well (mate), I thought, if you read more, you'd have more words, and that might just help you handle the next semifinal.

You can read his article in full here.

Photo credit: Carlos Porto / Foter / CC BY-NC

Top Young Adult books for Adults

Looking for a good book to read? Why not try some of these recommended Young Adult novels. They are all highly recommended and most are available from the QHS Information Centre

Many people dismiss YA books as only being suitable for teens, but more and more titles are being published that blur the distinction between YA and general adult fiction and appeal to a wider audience. There is also the added bonus that many of your students will have read the same books, paving the way for some great book discussions.

For more Young Adult books suggestions, have a look at book reviews on the Information Centre website.

Children's author Maurice Sendak talks about his childhood

This is a lovely animated illustration of acclaimed author of Where the wild things are talking about his own childhood. It gives you some idea of where his ideas for books might have come from.

Maurice Sendak on Being a Kid | Blank on Blank | PBS Digital Studios

Queen's High School Information Centre

Carole Gardiner