Monthly Archives: November 2011

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Teen Librarian Monthly November/December

Good news everybody. You can now download the final TLM for 2011 here: Teen Librarian Monthly

Authors Live: Murderous Maths with Kjartan Poskitt

Date: Thursday 1st December

Time: 11am – 11.40am

Age group: P4-S2 (8 – 14 years)

Venue: Your classroom, library or home computer

If you miss the live event you can watch or download the video from 8th December 2011 using the same link.

Event info:

Kjartan Poskitt is a mathematician like no other: he will entertain pupils with maths tricks, crack them up with jokes about mathematical formula and engage pupils with complex algebra. This event will take place on Thursday 1st December 2011 at 11am.
The nationwide event is part of the Meet our Authors programme, run by Scottish Book Trust, Scotland’s leading agency for the promotion of literature, reading and writing and sponsored by Scottish Friendly Assurance, one of Scotland’s leading providers of tax-free family savings and investment solutions.
Meet our Authors includes an exclusive series of authors’ events streamed live over the internet to provide young people, parents and teachers with the chance to get up close and personal with some of the world’s leading children’s writers. The programme is the first of its kind in the UK. Anyone can watch by visiting:
Kjartan Poskitt will be the 10th children’s author to take part in the Meet our Authors project which began in 2010. To date more than 400,000 children across the UK have taken part in the webcasts
Author biography:

Kjartan is a freelance everything. Since getting his engineering degree he worked on Saturday morning TV (including BBC’s Swap Shop!), presented science and maths programmes, warmed up thousands of studio audiences, toured his one man show, played a lot of pub pianos very loudly and has been Widow Twankey. In recent months he has been touring the country demonstrating mathematical tricks and oddities from his books.

His books have been translated in up to 20 languages and include the “Murderous Maths” series, “The Gobsmacking Galaxy”, “Isaac Newton and his Apple”, the “Warp Maze” with cartoonist Stephen Appleby, 4 books in his notorious “Killer Puzzles” series, handbooks on Practical Jokes and Secret Codes, 6 support books for the BBC Schools series “Megamaths” and a GCSE maths guide.

He has also written songs and scripts and worked as a games consultant for a wide range of children’s TV shows and his music for TV includes the original theme for the BBC’s “BRUM” and the long running “SMART” series.

Meet Our Authors on Facebook

We set up a Meet Our Authors Facebook page where you will find back ground information, interviews, video clips and weblinks all about the programme. We also feature a great competition for each of the events which you can enter (Facebook account needed).


Raspberry Pi

The first question most people ask whenever I mention Raspberry Pi is:

What’s a Raspberry Pi?

The Raspberry Pi is a credit-sized computer that plugs into your TV and a keyboard. It’s a capable little PC which can be used for many of the things your desktop PC does, like spreadsheets, word-processing and games. It also plays high-definition video. We want to see it being used by kids all over the world to learn programming.

The second question is is usually so what has that got to do with libraries?

Well not much, unless you want to… I don’t know – set up a library-based technology group.

So why the Pi? Well they are low cost, they are cool in a geeky, tech kind of way and they can help libraries (both school & public) engage with young people by giving them hands-on experience with small, shiny bits of tech.

The Raspberry Pi will be out sometime between now and December. I fully intend to purchase several and create a tech group that will look at the different ways in which these tiny computers can be utilised. From standard TV computing to integrating them into clothes with small possibly touch-capable screens and micro-keyboards in the sleeves as well as possibly powering them with solar panels in clothing and possibly jamming them into small powered gliders to create self-guided aeroplanes.

There are so many possibilities! To start thinking about what you can accomplish with a slice of pi take a look here: Raspberry Pi

National Non-Fiction Day

National Non-Fiction Day is an annual celebration, initiated by the Federation of Children’s Book Groups in partnership with Scholastic Children’s Books. It aims to celebrate all that is brilliant about non-fiction and show that it’s not just fiction that can be read and enjoyed for pleasure.
The first National Non-Fiction Day was celebrated on the 4th November 2010, and annually thereafter on the first Thursday in November.
This website aims to give you as much information as possible about National Non-Fiction Day, as well as information about non-fiction titles, authors and available resources, to be used in the classroom or at home.



According to the introduction 23 is the smallest prime number with consecutive digits; a human cell has 23 pairs of chromosomes; julius Caesar was stabbed 23 times when he was assassinated; William Shakespeare was born and died on 23 April; John Forbes Nash, the Nobel Prize-winning mathematician and the subject of the film A Beautiful Mind, was obsessed with the number 23; Michael Jordan wore the number 23 throughout his career and David Beckham first started wearing the number 23 when he played for Real Madrid; Psalm 23, the ‘Shepherd Psalm’ is the best-known of all the psalms; there are 23 letters in the Latin alphabet (there is no J, U or W) and this is the 23rd edition of Top 10 of Everything.

All lists are all-time and global unless a specific year or territory is noted.

Unless you are an obsessive cover-to-cover reader this book is perfect for dipping into for interests sake or using for checking specific facts. It is broken up into 10 sections. Being a (possibly stereotypical) Librarian I turned to the Libraries & Loans pages in the culture and Learning Section and – hey it focuses on UK Libraries on the first page and also includes a handy definition of what makes a classic. The 10 latest Carnegie & Kate Greenaway medal winners are also mentioned under Book Awards.

This is excellent for quick reference AND calming down a group of over-excited teens (and even adults), it is amazing for exciting even the most jaded anti-book teen just by flashing the crocodile teeth on the cover their air of seen it and couldn’t care disappears and they start reading. the snippets of additional information scattered throughout the books has increased the use of a number of other non-fiction reference books in the library.


Being armed with lots of knowledge is your first – and often best – line of defence, whether you’re dealing with a charging bull, an angry mob, a trembling earthquake, or anything else that might shake you to your core.
From the Introduction: The captain’s soothing voice announces over the loudspeaker: “Ladies and gentlemen, we’ve reached our cruising altitude.” Time to sit back, relax, and watch the in-flight movie. but it smells like something’s burning. You look out the window…uh-oh, your plane’s engine is on fire! – this has actually happened to me
I needed The Worst-case Scenario Survive-O-Pedia when I was 11, and not just for the many interesting articles on surviving the worst the world has to throw at you. The information on page 51 would have saved me from near electrocution and blowing all the fuses in my family home.

Deep under the years that have built up around me like a coral reef I am at heart a teenager. I love fact books and books that you can dip into and learn often gory and gruesome facts, the survival tips are also good – I have already made copious notes on surviving shark attacks as I am going back to cape town over Christmas and there have been several incidents involving sharks at my local beach. The teens of today are not so different from the teen that I was, those that love reading are in my library every day and the kids that are not so fond of books are tempted in by books such as this one!

The information is concise, the pictures colourful and the book is written in such a way as to impart information as quickly and interestingly as possible. I keep this book behind my desk as the original that I won on twitter disappeared two days after making its way onto the shelves.

These are both really fantastic books and have proven to be popular with boys & girls in my school, I have had to adjudicate in several face-offs when different groups have wanted them at the same time!

T S Eliot Prize Shadowing Scheme Launches Today

The T S Eliot Prize Shadowing Scheme provides an excellent opportunity for students to engage with the best new poetry by shadowing the judges of the T S Eliot Prize for Poetry. Two poems from ten collections shortlisted for the T S Eliot Prize will be available to download from from 1 November.

The Shadowing Scheme is run by the Poetry Book Society in collaboration with the English and Media Centre. Students are encouraged to read the poems and to take part in a poll to vote for their choice of winner.There will also be a competition for individual ‘A’ level (or equivalent) students to write the best 500 word rationale for their choice of poet.

Prizes for the winning student include tickets to the T S Eliot Readings and the award ceremony in January 2012, with the chance to meet the winning poet, and a complete set of the 10 shortlisted titles.

For further details, please visit the Poetry Book Society website at The Scheme will start on 1st November and a teachers’ guide will be available on the emagazine website at