Monthly Archives: June 2014

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The Bloody Mary Dare… Will James Dawson be Alive tomorrow?

Bloody Mary… Bloody Mary… Bloody Mary… Bloody Mary… Bloody Mary!

What Can I Say to Myself?

I came across a link to a brilliant motivational poster for the library & classroom on twitter today:

I created an A3 downloadable .pdf poster based on the original, click on the image to download a copy:


Request a FREE Lego StoryStarter sample kit for your school!

The sample kit is a great way of finding out a bit more about StoryStarter, the new literacy resource for Key Stages 1 & 2, because it contains a selection of bricks, special elements and Minifigures that you’ll find in the full set as well as three small base plates on which to build your story.


Once you have your sample kit, use it to build a story of your choice, then video yourself or your pupils telling the story for your chance to win a class pack of StoryStarter worth £649.99*. Simply upload your video to YouTube then visit to enter the competition. PLUS, the winning stories will all be made into a book and one overall winner will have their story made into a LEGO® animation!

You can find the request form here

The Impact of School Libraries on Learning

A considerable body of international evidence shows that school libraries impact on:

  • Higher test or exam scores equating to academic attainment: this includes academic attainment in the form of higher standardised test scores in reading, language arts, history and maths, and better grades in curriculum assignments or exams;

  • Successful curriculum or learning outcomes, including information literacy: this includes higher quality project work, the development and practice of information literacy, increased knowledge and reading development;

  • Positive attitudes towards learning: including increased motivation, improved attitude towards learning tasks, self-esteem, and wider reading for pleasure.

    Canadian Learning Commons book

    The Canadian Library Association (CLA) is pleased to announce the launch of its latest publication Leading Learning: Standards of Practice for School Library Learning Commons in Canada at the annual CLA National Conference and Trade Show in Victoria, BC, on Friday, May 30th, 2014. This publication presents a model for the development and implementation of the school library as a library learning commons. It provides educators with a common set of standards of practice for moving forward. CLA President Marie DeYoung stated that the organization considers this publication as a “definitive learning support that is critical for all Canadian schools.”

    The Three by Sarah Lotz

    Black Thursday. The day that will never be forgotten. The day that four passenger planes crash, at almost exactly the same moment, at four different points around the globe.

    There are only four survivors. Three are children, who emerge from the wreckage seemingly unhurt. But they are not unchanged.

    And the fourth is Pamela May Donald, who lives just long enough to record a voice message on her phone.

    A message that will change the world.

    The message is a warning.
    I will start by saying that The Three is not in any way a YA novel.

    Sarah Lotz first came to my attention as half of Lily Herne – the composite author composed of Sarah and her daughter Savannah, together they wrote the excellent post-apocalyptic zombie trilogy Deadlands.

    As a teen I was a fan of Stephen King, Dean Koontz, James Herbert and Ramsay Campbell. Teen tastes for horror have not changed much although there are more YA authors writing in the horror genre I think that The Three will have definite appeal to teens that enjoy a heavier read.

    It took me just over a week to read, I would normally have devoured The Three as quickly as possible but work and life demanded that I get some sleep and go to work as well as being a person so I read the book in chunks, in bed often late into the night which is the perfect time for horror. The blood and guts is kept to a minimum there are no long descriptions of gorn, and, with the exceptions of the Khayelitsha crash and the Aokigahara Forest scenes there is very little to do with bodies.

    It taps into our subconscious fears – flying, creepy children, conspiracies, age, infirmity, religious fundamentalism and the thoughts that those we love may not be ones we actually love.

    Told in pieces through interviews with family, investigators, the police, religious leaders as well as reports and news articles The Three is the first genuinely creepy book I have read in years.

    Sarah conveys the rising paranoia and fear through words in articles and interviews perfectly. Telling the story through multiple viewpoints and formats is brilliant, the words of each of the participants in the interviews stitched together a greater, more terrifying story, told across the world. I spent a large portion of the novel wondering if there was something not quite right with the children or if it were just end times paranoia that was causing global fear and distrust. The dénouement does not disappoint!

    If you enjoy horror then I implore you to pick up a copy at your local library or buy your own!

    The feeling of disquiet I had when I finished The Three is still lingering in my memory.

    You will not be disappointed and there will be a sequel!