Monday 21st September 2020
What a strange few months it has been for us all. Throughout the country, many key workers continued to offer their services so that the rest of us could stay safely indoors and away from the dreaded COVID-19. To all those doctors, nurses, shop assistants, bus drivers, care assistants, delivery van drivers, and so many, many more – a huge, huge thank you.
Slowly, other business and services have started to reopen and, although we are still in very uncertain and ever changing times, LRC staff were finally able to return to college last week and we are offering a new service to comply with the guidelines encompassing social distancing. And, more importantly, we have at long last seen some of our students.
In February – yes, February! – we were lucky enough to have been given books to distribute to our students as part of World Book Night and at long last they are finally finding their way to our doors. And at some point, we will promote these books and others, and distribute them to our students – all in a socially distanced way, of course.
World Book Night is organised by the Reading Agency and it’s a chance for libraries and booksellers around the country to promote literacy, not just to those groups of people that wouldn’t ordinarily consider picking up a book for pleasure but also those that find reading difficult -in fact, 1 in 6 adults in the UK struggle to read. Every year, there are a selection of existing books sent by publishers free for distribution but there are also several new books produced just for this event. These are ‘quick reads’ – abridged versions – of previously published books and are available for just £1. And whilst we are still waiting to promote our 2020 collection to our students, the Reading Agency has already announced the Quick Reads for 2021.
Click the link to have a look at the selection – Quick Read covers revealed for 2021
Young Adult Fiction – we have more than a few young adults at college
As with many events this year, the YALC – the YA’s Literature Con was cancelled. Due to be held for the 7th time in July, it’s (usually) a 3 day celebration of the very best in young adult books and authors. The initial YALC took place at the London Film and Comic Con in 2014 and was a project initiated by Malorie Blackman when she was the Children’s Laureate. It’s 3 days encompassing writing workshops, book signings, book-themed activities and brings together authors, publishers and readers.
And as with other mass participation events, it went online instead. You can see some of its events on social media at #AthomeYALC. Hopefully, next year the event can go ahead in its traditional format. Some of its regular attendees are representatives of Hot Key Books, a publishing house specialising in YA fiction (other YA publishers are available).
Hot Key launched a campaign earlier in the summer to recruit 10 young book bloggers to, well, amongst other things, blog for them for a year. Each blogger recruited would get proofs of all forthcoming Hot Key new books – printed and audio – plus would have the opportunity to ask for careers advice from senior Hot Key employees, interview authors for the Hot Key podcast, curate the content for the Hot Key Youtube and Instagram channels, and contribute to the Hot Key blog. For anyone interested in a career in publishing and the book world this is a great opportunity. 10 bloggers were duly recruited and you can see them on the Hot Key twitter page.
Obviously I’m not a teen blogger but I did manage to have a sneak peek at this newly published YA book, How it all blew up by Arvin Ahmadi.
YA fiction goes to school
We thought, as we are returning to College for a new academic year, that we would look at a few books where the heroes and heroines begin their literary journey doing the same.
The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky follows Charlie as he navigates his way through his first year high school, where he meets older step-siblings, popular Sam and Patrick, who befriend this natural introvert – a wallflower – and take him under their wings. It’s an emotional story as we follow Charlie and explore his past, and examine the fragility of his mental health.
Many books featuring sports agent and amateur sleuth Myron Bolitar have been written by Harlan Coben. He branched out a few years ago into the YA market to write about Myron’s nephew Mickey in the book Shelter. Mickey is 15 and at orientation for his first day at his new school, he met his new girlfriend, Ashley Kent, who subsequently goes missing. He turns to a couple of fellow students for help, and just like his uncle, becomes an investigator. It’s an exciting tale, with enough mystery and action to keep the reader entertained.
There are quite a few fantasy books which start with the new kid at school. In Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl we meet Lena Duchennes on the first day of her junior year and is brought to the attention of Ethan. Lena is a caster – a witch – and over the course of the school year we wait to find out if, on her sixteenth birthday, she goes to the dark side or the light side, and whether the love of Ethan puts her on the right path.
Then there’s Twilight by Stephenie Meyer, or even her newly published Midnight Sun, which both follow the arrival of the vampiric Cullens to the school of Bella Swan. Midnight Sun is the same tale as the original but told through the eyes of Edward rather than Bella.
And then there’s Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by JK Rowling. It takes a couple of chapters but it’s not long before that acceptance letter comes from Hogwarts for Harry Potter in the first book of the series. Of course, a number of letters go unread before Harry is finally tracked down by Hagrid to a windswept island. What follows is a tale familiar to many parents as their child prepares for the first day at a new school – the buying of uniforms, books and, er, wands and a cauldron.
Macmillan and the World’s Biggest Coffee Morning September
As we have mentioned before, charities are really struggling to fundraise right now as most of their avenues for large fundraising efforts – marathons, walks, fun runs, etc – have been cancelled or are on hold. However, Macmillan are encouraging people to still be able to hold one of their Coffee Mornings this September – albeit a well planned, socially distanced one. They have offered a wide range of tips and ideas on their website on how to organise, host and ultimately enjoy a Coffee Morning.
European Languages Day 26th September
In 2001, the Council of Europe designated 26th September as European Languages Day and it’s aim was to encourage the learning of languages across Europe. It’s objectives included promoting the importance of language learning and increasing the range of languages learnt, promoting the rich linguistic diversity of Europe, and encouraging lifelong learning.
There are about 225 indigenous languages in Europe, with Russian being the most widespread (since the 18th century – it had been French) but with English as the most popular foreign language.
You can read more about the aims of the day on the official website where you will also find a range of facts and activities to do.
And it seems appropriate this week to include this review by library assistant, Paola of the Italian text, Cara Italia by Enzo Biagi.
Displays: Recycle Week 21st-27th September
Now in its 17th year, Recycle Week is a celebration of recycling, organised by WRAP under the Recycle Now brand. Glenn has put together a great presentation on the subject. Click here to give it a view.
Himself by Jess Kidd
I tried to explain to my mother about this book and it was very hard to categorise. A whimsical Irish ghostly mystery was the best I could come up with but that doesn’t really cover it. What I did tell her was that I enjoyed it immensely.
Mahony – a young Dublin man in 1976, raised as an orphan – is handed a note telling him the name of his mother, that she loved him, that she’s dead, and that he was born in Mulderrig in County Mayo. All things he never knew before. He immediately heads off to the village where he was born to find answers to other questions raised regarding the mystery of his existence and to find out, ultimately, what happened to his mother. He also finds out his name is Francis but he “keeps that to himself”.
The other thing to know about Mahony is that he can see ghosts. And the only ghost he can’t see is that of his mother, Orla.
Mahony is charming. And the book is charming. There’s obviously a darkness in the book too as we follow the events leading up to the death of Orla, and witness the repercussions as Mahony unearths the truth of his birth and his death. There are some other beautifully drawn characters – Mrs Cauley, his partner in the investigation in particular.
A wonderful, entertaining read.
The LRC has a copy of this book available to loan by Brooklands staff and students.
I know they were only mentioned last week but we’re still loving Nandi, Dave Grohl and their drum battle – and now he’s got his whole family involved in this latest production. He wrote and they helped perform a song just for Nandi. And her reaction is fantastic – Dave Grohl writes Nandi a song
Yes, we are still loving Nandi and loving @foofighters
Usage of our online resources and ebooks continues. Links can all be found on our website and Google Classroom, as listed below.
Access our virtual library online
You can search for e-books on the library catalogue or directly through our e-book providers.. Click on the Shibboleth login if requested and select Brooklands College. If you have any problems please do not hesitate to contact us at email@example.com.
Heritage Online | Proquest
The LRC website contains links to our resources, our online catalogue and is full of information about LRC use, plus there are book reviews, links to our displays and other items of interest. It is only available to College members (sorry) and can be found through links on the LRC Google Classroom, and on the staff and student intranets.
LRC Google Classroom page
Tutors have been invited to join the Classroom and should be passing it on to their students. It’s full of links to resources, and helpful advice and tips.
Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you need support with e-books, e-resources or anything else.