Reading for Pleasure
Our staff share some of their favourite books - the ones we enjoy reading outside of school that aren't always about our subjects!
a) Miss Milner-McLoone reads 'Etta and Otto and Russell and James'
This is a love story that spans fifty years, three lives, two continents and an ocean. It tells of school teacher Etta, during the Great Depression and of the two pupils who fall in love with her: Russell, a city boy who takes to farming despite his twisted leg, and Otto, who struggles in school but always tries hard. It is a story of love and joy, pain and passion, memory and forgetting - and one incredible journey.
b) Miss Sidney reads 'Under Milk Wood'
This is an emotive and hilarious account of a spring day in the fictional Welsh seaside village of Llareggub. We learn of the inhabitants' dreams and desires, their loves and regrets. The play introduces us to characters such as Captain Cat who dreams of his drowned former seafellows and Nogood Boyo who dreams of nothing at all. It is a unique and touching depiction of a village that has 'fallen head over bells in love'.
c) Ms Furness reads 'Peter Crouch: How to be a Footballer'
You become a footballer because you love football. And then you are a footballer, and you’re suddenly in the strangest, most baffling world of all. A world where one team-mate comes to training in a bright red suit with matching top-hat, cane and glasses, without any actual glass in them, and another has so many sports cars they forget they have left a Porsche at the train station.
d) Mrs Heron reads 'Home Schooling'
An insight into the work primary school children have to do at home during lockdown. This is a worksheet about suffixes and the rules about how to use them.
e) Mrs Graham reads 'Rebel Girls'
What if the princess didn't marry Prince Charming but instead went on to be an astronaut? What if the jealous step sisters were supportive and kind? And what if the queen was the one really in charge of the kingdom? Illustrated by sixty female artists from every corner of the globe, Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls introduces us to one hundred remarkable women and their extraordinary lives, from Ada Lovelace to Malala, Amelia Earhart to Michelle Obama. Empowering, moving and inspirational, these are true fairy tales for heroines who definitely don't need rescuing.
f) Miss Milner-McLoone reads 'The Emigree'
‘The Emigrée’ is taken from Carol Rumens’s Thinking of Skins, published in 1993. An emigrée is normally a person forced to leave a country for political or social reasons, but might there be a metaphorical use of the term here?
g) Mrs Howells reads 'The Book Thief'
It is 1939. In Nazi Germany, the country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier - and will become busier still. By her brother's graveside, Liesel's life is changed forever when she picks up a single object, abandoned in the snow. It is The Gravedigger's Handbook, and this is her first act of book thievery. So begins Liesel's love affair with books and words, and soon she is stealing from Nazi book-burnings, the mayor's wife's library . . . wherever there are books to be found. But these are dangerous times, and when Liesel's foster family hides a Jew in their basement, nothing will ever be the same again.
h) Mr Thompson reads 'Sully'
On January 15, 2009, the world witnessed a remarkable emergency landing when Captain "Sully" Sullenberger skillfully glided US Airways Flight 1549 onto the Hudson River, saving the lives of all 155 passengers and crew. His cool actions not only averted tragedy but made him a hero and an inspiration worldwide. Sully's story is one of dedication, hope, and preparedness, revealing the important lessons he learned through his life, in his military service, and in his work as an airline pilot. It reminds us all that, even in these days of conflict, tragedy and uncertainty, there are values still worth fighting for—that life's challenges can be met if we're ready for them.
i) Miss Marshall reads 'The Silence of the Lambs'
The serial killer nicknamed 'Buffalo Bill' has been capturing and starving women, then murdering and skinning them. FBI rookie Clarice Starling is assigned to solicit help from imprisoned psychopath Dr Hannibal 'the Cannibal' Lecter, whose insight into the depraved minds of serial killers is second to none.
j) Ms Furness reads 'The Cruel Prince'
One terrible morning, Jude and her sisters see their parents murdered in front of them. The terrifying assassin abducts all three girls to the world of Faerie, where Jude is installed in the royal court but mocked and tormented by the Faerie royalty for being mortal. As Jude grows older, she realises that she will need to take part in the dangerous deceptions of the fey to ever truly belong. But the stairway to power is fraught with shadows and betrayal.
k) Mrs Claydon reads 'Cinderella'
In Roald Dahl's version, Cindy defies her Ugly Sisters, meets a magic fairy and lands a dance with the prince at the palace ball. So far so good! But far from being the perfect gentleman, the prince turns out to a perfect beast and chops off the heads of Cindy's meddling sisters… The magic fairy grants Cindy one more wish but what will she do to escape her sticky predicament?
l) Miss Salvin reads 'The Graveyard Book'
When a baby escapes a murderer intent on killing the entire family, who would have thought it would find safety and security in the local graveyard? Brought up by the resident ghosts, ghouls and spectres, Bod has an eccentric childhood learning about life from the dead. But for Bod there is also the danger of the murderer still looking for him - after all, he is the last remaining member of the family. A stunningly original novel deftly constructed over eight chapters, featuring every second year of Bod's life, from babyhood to adolescence. Will Bod survive to be a man?
m) Ms Furness reads 'Siege'
A top-secret government programme needs a crack team of undercover military operators. They must have awesome levels of determination, endurance and fitness. They must be able to think on their feet. The recruits undergo the most rigorous and testing selection process the modern military can devise. And in order to operate in circumstances where adult forces would be compromised, the recruits must be under sixteen.
n) Miss Andrews reads 'The Island'
On the brink of a life-changing decision, Alexis Fielding longs to find out about her mother's past. But Sofia has never spoken of it. All she admits to is growing up in a small Cretan village before moving to London. When Alexis decides to visit Crete, however, Sofia gives her daughter a letter to take to an old friend, and promises that through her she will learn more.
When she finds Fotini, and at last hears the story that Sofia has buried all her life: the tale of her great-grandmother Eleni and her daughters and a family rent by tragedy, war and passion.