Archive for February, 2012

Library Blog Quiz Winners!

Posted: February 24, 2012 in Competitions

Congratulations to all the students who entered our National Year of Reading-themed quiz!  Quite a few clever people turned in correct sets of answers, going into the draw to win a book voucher from our literary friends at Readings book shop in Carlton.  We are delighted to announce that this week’s winner was Prabh Sidana!  Runners-up this week were Wendly Zhao, Frida Ciblis, Dean Baskedis and Chris Bahn, who all get an award possibly involving chocolate and/or frogs.  Prizes will be available for collection from the library on Monday.

Library Blog Quiz Extended!

Posted: February 17, 2012 in Competitions

Hey quiz-lovers! Due to heaps of people being away on camp in the last week, we have extended the deadline for library blog quiz entries until next Friday March 2. This means you still have the opportunity to enter our quiz and win amazing prizes: just scroll down or follow this link for quiz questions! And remember…

New Books in the Library

Posted: February 17, 2012 in Good reads

Here is a quick look at some great new books coming soon to your very own school library!

Why We Broke Up

This is a new book from Daniel Handler.  Never heard of him?  Actually you might have: Handler is the real name of Lemony Snicket, author of the cheerful yet grim Series of Unfortunate Events novels.  Why We Broke Up is an epistolary novel, which is a fancy way of saying that it is written in the form of a letter. 

According to Amazon, “Min Green and Ed Slaterton are breaking up, so Min is writing Ed a letter and giving him a box. Inside the box is why they broke up. Two bottle caps, a movie ticket, a folded note, a box of matches, a protractor, books, a toy truck, a pair of ugly earrings, a comb from a motel room, and every other item collected over the course of a giddy, intimate, heartbreaking relationship. Item after item is illustrated and accounted for, and then the box, like a girlfriend, will be dumped.”

We have it on good authority that this novel is both hilarious and really really sad.  The word ‘bittersweet’ has been thrown around quite a lot in reviews.  This book, as well as having the usual book stuff like characters and a plot, also features beautiful illustrations by Maira Kalman, who is a visual columnist for the New York Times.  Awesomely, there is a website spinoff called the Why We Broke Up Project where you too can submit your tragic story of love lost, or just enjoy reading about the breakups of others!  You can also see Daniel Handler talking about the book here.

Eight Keys

This novel by Suzanne LaFleur, author of Love, Aubrey, is a tale of friendship, family, love and bullying.  The ellevn-year-old protagonist, Elise, lives with her aunt and uncle following the death of her parents when she was very young.  She is having a miserable time at school: schoolwork is hard, her best friend is a social liability, and she has to share her locker with a terrifyingly mean girl called Amanda who squashes her lunch every day.  Times are tough.

The story takes a turn for the mysterious when, after her twelfth birthday, Elise finds a mysterious key that turns out to unlock one of the eight locked rooms on the second floor of her aunt and uncle’s barn.  This key heralds the beginning of a transformational journey for Elise that, according to one reviewer, ‘may help her become the person she is meant to be’.

This book is aimed at a slightly younger age group – maybe Year 7 to Year 8 – and is a great exploration of the difficulties of growing up as well as an uncompromising look at the misery of being bullied.  Suzanne LaFleur also has a website that contains reviews of both this and her first book, as well as some great tips for aspiring writers.

War Horse

Michael Morpurgo’s War Horse is not, in fact, a new novel – it was first published in 1982! – but has recently been reprinted following the release of the film of the same name.  Unusually, the novel is narrated by the horse itself, Joey, who is bought by a drunken farmer and forms a close relationship with the farmer’s son, Albert.  Unfortunately the First World War happens and Joey is sold to the British Army and shipped off to France to be in the cavalry.  Albert is heartbroken and tries to join the army so he can be with Joey, but he’s too young, and Joey is left to fend for himself as he travels through wartime Europe.

One reviewer described this novel as “a poignant story with a strong anti-war message. Like Joey the horse, many of the casualties in this World War I novel understand little about why the battles are fought and lives are lost. To Joey, the fighting is cacophonous, chaotic, and random — an eloquent statement about the pointlessness of the violence. Horse lovers will sometimes be upset by War Horse, but they will also be moved by the kindness shown to Joey and the horse’s deep bond with his young master, Albert.”  Michael Morpurgo later wrote a prequel to this book, entitled Farm Boy.

If you’re interested in the film of this book, check out the trailer:

We may have mentioned how excited we are about the National Year of Reading happening in 2012.  So excited, in fact, that we have decided to make this, our first Library Blog Quiz of 2012, a National Year of Reading-themed challenge!

For those of you who came in late or are new to UHS in 2012, here’s the deal.  Every so often we run a Library Blog Quiz on this very blog where you, as long as you are a Uni High student, can answer ten fiendishly devious questions and thus go into the draw to win prizes, glory and chocolate frogs.

How to enter:  Fill in the form at the bottom of this post with your name, email address and the correct answers to all ten questions.  Entries which answer all questions correctly will go into the draw to win a book voucher from our literary friends at Readings book shop.  This competition will close at 10am on Friday March 2nd, and winners will be announced on the blog later that day.  You must be a Uni High student to enter this competition.  Good luck!

Quiz Questions

1.  Famous Australian author Miles Franklin was, despite the name, actually a woman.  What was her real name?

2.  Leigh Hobbs is a great Australian children’s author who used to teach art at Uni High!  What is the name of the cat featured in many of his books?

3.  Isobel Carmody, another fantastic Australian author (do you sense a theme emerging??) has written many great books including the Obernewtyn series.  How old was she when her first novel was published?

4.  Markus Zusak’s award-winning novel about a little girl living in Nazi Germany during World War II is, oddly, narrated by Death.  What is the name of the book?

5.  Justine Larbalestier is the Australian author of the Magic or Madness trilogy.  She is also married to an author!  Can you name both her husband and one of his novels for young adults?

6.  Larissa Behrendt, a writer and academic, won the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for Prize for Indigenous Writing with which novel?

7.  Which book won the Children’s Book Council of Australia ‘Older Readers Book of the Year’ award in 2011?

8.  Who wrote the classic Australian bushranging tale ‘Midnite’?

9.  Which Melbourne writer, also a columnist in The Age, released as memoir last year entitled You’ll Be Sorry When I’m Dead?

10.  Which well-known poem celebrating Australia’s unique natural features was written by Dorothea Mackellar?

National Year of Reading 2012!

Posted: February 10, 2012 in Events

This year, 2012, is set to be a very special one.  Not only because the Mayan calendar has predicted that the apocalypse will probably occur some time in December, but also (and more importantly) because our mighty nation is celebrating the National Year of Reading in 2012!  This year a bunch of libraries, schools, school libraries and community organizations will be getting together to celbrate and promote literacy and reading in Australia.   

If you follow the link to their website you will see that many libraries are planning activities and celebrations throughout the year: have a look on their calendar and see if there is anything good on at your local library!  Meanwhile, we here at the Uni High library are getting pretty excited about the National Year of Reading and are planning some celebrations of our own, so watch this space for more National Year of Reading news and events.

Welcome to 2012!

Posted: February 3, 2012 in General

Welcome back to school everybody!  Here at library blog headquarters we are very much looking forward to another great year of books, reading, laminating stuff that probably shouldn’t be laminated, and helping people figure out how to use the photocopiers.  Lots of great stuff is set to happen this year: new books, library adventures, the Hunger Games movie coming out, and possibly even some more library trivia quizzes on the blog!

For now, however, we would like to leave you with our very best wishes for a happy and productive start to the school year, and the following inspiring 1990s animation still which is the library’s unofficial motto for 2012: