The Waikato Literacy Association newsletter Term 2 2020
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A Word From Our President...
I hope you are all doing well as we adjust to life after lockdown. While lockdown has provided its fair share of challenges, it has also highlighted the importance of many things that are often undervalued.
The Waikato Literacy Association (WLA) committee will continue to meet monthly- face to face now! Regretfully we had to defer our Libraries Alive Event to 2021 (Term 2) but the good news is we have Sheena Cameron and Louise Dempsey sharing their literacy expertise at our next event in July. The focus will be on Shared Reading across all year levels. Register quick as there are limited spaces! https://bit.ly/2MMfaaP Thank you Puketaha School for kindly hosting this event at somewhat short notice.
Hopefully our NZLA annual meeting which is held in Wellington, usually in June, goes ahead in September or October this year, as it is a great way to find out how other Literacy Councils are promoting Literacy around the country.
See you all at our next event.
It will be great to reconnect as teachers, leaders and lovers of literacy and learning.
Registration Form for 'A Balancing Act'
The Boy at the Back of the Class
by Onjali Q. Rauf
The Boy at the Back of the Class is an excellent book. It is good for students because it is easy to read and follow while being challenging at the same time. It is about a 9 year old student who is willing to make friends with anyone. When a refugee kid comes to his school without his parents , the narrator and friends are keen to learn more about his journey and his life and help him to settle into a new one. But when they learn that the border gates were closing when the refugee kids' parents are still out there, they are willing to do anything to get them inside before the gates close at the end of the month. What will they do? Read the book to find out!
Bailee Horan, Year 6, Room 4, St Joseph’s Catholic School Morrinsville
The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes - the latest in the Hunger Games series
In unprecedented times, Scholastic had to deal with a global embargo release of the latest Suzanne Collins novel ‘The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes’. The week prior, New Zealand had moved into Level 2 and bookstores were unsure how the response would be – pleasantly surprised, New Zealanders had missed the opportunity to buy books. It didn’t take long to reach number 1 in the charts, and more copies had to be ordered from overseas. In other nations it was a virtual release due to their stages of lockdown and social media definitely played its part.
The Ballad is based on the story of Coriolanus Snow as an 18 year old and as a mentor of 10th Hunger Games in the city of Panem. Ambition will fuel him. Competition will drive him. But power has its price.
As the story ends it leaves the reader with answers to Snow’s disconcerting character, allowing us to understand the ‘why?’ However, it does leave us wondering and wanting more...
It will leave you wanting to dig up copies (or buy new ones) of the Hunger Games trilogy to re-read, this time focussing on President Snow rather than concentrating on the female protagonist Katniss Evergreen.
It has had mixed reviews, however I really did enjoy it and one that I easily got through during Queen’s birthday weekend. Pitched for 12+ readers, keep an eye out for The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes.
Other great reads by Suzanne Collins:
1. Gregor the Overlander (2003)
2. Gregor and the Prophecy of Bane (2004)
3. Gregor and the Curse of the Warmbloods (2005)
4. Gregor and the Marks of Secret (2006)
5. Gregor and the Code of Claw (2007)
1. The Hunger Games (2008)
2. Catching Fire (2009)
3. Mockingjay (2010)
· Fire Proof: Shelby Woo #111 (1999)
· When Charlie McButton Lost Power (2005)
· Year of the Jungle (2013)
Ways to Live Forever
By Sally Nicholls
This tragic tale is sure to make you laugh and cry. Ways to Live Forever by Sally Nicholls is about a young boy named Sam who is full of questions, dreams and his friend Felix. Both boys have leukemia and want to try to do everything that they can before they slip away from the world. Like horror movies, airships, ghosts, kissing girls and even going up and down escalators. But ultimately they want to find out all of the questions that no one will answer.
Sam and Felix have always had each other's backs ever since they first saw each other in the hospital but for them this year has changed in unexpected ways.
We personally loved this book and think everyone can learn from it. The crazy part is that we think we can weirdly relate. Staying at home for seven weeks during lockdown so we didn’t pick up any germs wasn’t an easy task but we all fought through it and we made it out the other side. We tried as hard as we could to stay positive and support others no matter how hard things got.
This book taught us to appreciate life while we can and that we should be more supportive of others around us because we don’t know what could be happening in their lives. Our favourite part was when they accomplished their goals because when they did them, they did them as a team.
We would recommend this book to any child over ten years - it could be a little scary for anyone younger.
PS - You will need tissues ready!
Reviewed by Elayna and Yasmin
National Simultaneous Storytime - Chicken Divas
Pupils from Manawaru School enjoy National Simultaneous Storytime this year
To literacy and beyond: Ako - Summer Edition
It's great to see local schools featuring so positively in our national magazine.