High School of Dundee
Our first look 2013
At our last meeting we all looked at the 8 shortlisted books and noted our first impressions fomr the cover and blurb. here they are:
Very scary, filled with red(blood)
Scary, futuristuc and creepy
Death, romance, heart-breaking and scary
Stand out, unusual cover
Looks different to other books
Unusual, could be about fitting in.
A Boy and A Bear in a Boat:
Strange, never seen this type of cover or book before.
Funny and a bit weird
Weight of Water:
Love stroy? Looks good, looks happy :)
Sounds different, a happy story
An adventure of self discovery
Code Name Verity:
Sad, a little scary? Very dramatic
Dangerous, romantic, sad
Dramatic and sad with some romance (the rose)
Greyhound of a Girl:
Dark, mysterious, sad and heart warming
Sad, moving and lonely
Very sad, moving and dark
Sad and scary
Dark and lonely
Sad, creepy and dark
Unusual, quite random
a bit weird, sci-fi, unusual
So thats what we think. We have now started reading them and will continue bloggin about our prgoress.
Bye for now.
Posted on: 30 Apr 2013
We all know that first impresions count and today we looked at the cover of each of the shortlisted books and here are our fisrt impressions:
Between Shades of Grey:
The front cover shows a plant in the snow, it makes it seem quite empowering.
This could be adventure and looks really good.
It seems very sad and moving but I really want to see what happens.
The Midnight Zoo:
Cover looks very interesting. There is a wolf on the front suggesting that it's animal related. Also, the blurb suggests its to do with war.
Adventure and fantasy?
The book cover makes it look like a dark and gloomy story!!
Small Change For Stuart:
Fantasy and adventure
This book has a confusing cover as it looks like it says Small for Change Stuart but it does sound gripping and mysterious.
A Monster Calls:
Horror and fantasy
Horror and adventure
Scary book (the cover is creepy)
It looks like a gripping and intersting book that will keep the reader reading.
It looks very intriguing and makes me want to read on.
My Sister Lives on the Mantlepiece (we had the hardback and the paperback to view)
The white cover looks better - it seems sad
It doesn't look very interesting but it sounds like somthing a person who likes sad or heartwarming stories might enjoy.
My Name is Mina
Looks exciting and funny
An adventure and comedy
Quite weird and an adventure
An historical adventure
Adventure and a comedy
This looks like a country classic but it sounds sort of tense and heartwarming.
The cover makes it look quite interesting and mysterious.
So thats what we think today. I wonder if we will agree once we have read all the books. Oh we didn't have Trash as both copies were already out on loan.
Posted on: 08 May 2012
Lord of the Libraries
Well... we were just forced to watch a rather hilarious parody of Tolkein's trilogy Lord of The Rings, as the title suggests.
It was doom!!!
Posted on: 01 Jun 2011
The 2011 Shortlist.... A Fickle Thing
Well, here we are once again: another short-list. A few surprises, it has to be said, and some disappointements: the shortlist we had made up ourselves was almost commpletely different from the actual, proper official list. We are currently debating a character in 'Prisoner of The Inquizition' and whether she is misunderstood or not.
Posted on: 25 May 2011
Well we buried the Graveyard Book and created a suitable headstone for it. Mr Meechan wanted to put real dirt over it but we talked him out of it.
I know this has taken me a week to update but with the end of term drawing near the library is a very busy place.
Our thoughts about Revolver
We all liked Revolver ad agreed that the opening chapter leaves you wanting to read on to try and find out what has happened. We felt that if we were Sig we would feel uncomfortable, confused and watched and we didn't understand why he appears not to be grieving.
We thought that the weather we very important to this story. We especially liked the way that the white cold background makes the characters and hut easy to imagine. Sig seems to blend in with the background at at the start of the story but stands out from it as the story nears the end, when the real strength within Sig surfaces and we get to know the real Sig.
We could not agree on what kind of story Revolver is: we thought it was a detective with a huge dose of suspense, drama and thriller. We felt that the author was expecting us to be the detectives and dropping clues throughout the story.
At the moment this book is at the top of our chart. We are meeting againg tomorrow to discuss another book.
Posted on: 15 Jun 2010
Burying the Book!
Today we are creating a headstone for the Graveyard Book. Currently we are carving the headstone as the crypt is already finished, and one of us is currently rating the books we have read. The tombstone has Latin Inscriptions on it! I wonder what it says... It's too old. I.e. 2 seconds! =] We are meeting again tomorrow too discuss the books that ALL of us have read, REVOLVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! He He, it is a good book =]. The headstone is almost finished! Time to bury the book!
Posted on: 09 Jun 2010
Today we went searching for some inspiration to characters we would have if The Graveyard Book was set in our local graveyard, The Howff. After about 45 minutes of browsing the headstones we came back to the library and worked on the lifes of some of our characters. Some of the following names may belong to 18th century Dundee businessmen however all other facts are fictional.
Here are our Howff Characters:
George Gurdywood – Ever since George was three, he loved soap since he saw his mother using a bar of soap. He would be useful to meet as he would keep you clean. He experimented with making soap out of ice cubes, but it did not end well as he caught pneumonia and died.
John Jolly – Here lies the great explorer Jolly, he sailed the seas in a tesco trolley, he only found out one thing of note, a tesco trolley, doesnae float. (Bletherton Braes we think)
p.s. he was actually a druggist. But that’s not as exciting.
p.p.s. he would be useful to meet as he would have medicine to keep you alive if you got ill.
Lady Douglas –
lady Douglas owned several horses, as she loved riding. She died when she fell off of her beloved horse, Cherrypop. She fell off the horse but her extravagant tasselled boot got caught in her stirrup. She was dragged for 17 miles before she hit a tree with an umbrella.
Samuel Wallace, wife Elizabeth Burns Wallace, sons Samuel and William Wallace – The husband and sons died in a house fire in their mansion in the country. The fire originated in the bathroom (ironically) when a spark came from the fire heating up the water in the tin bath. The only member of the family that got out of the house was Bethy Burns, but she was driven crazy when she found that her husband and sons had died, and she laughed like a maniac whenever she saw fire. One day, she saw a house on fire, and instead of calling the fire department, she threw herself into the fire, because the trauma of the fire at her mansion was too much to bear. May they all rest in peace.
William Foot – Mr Foot was a blacksmith, and he tragically died when an anvil fell from a high shelf onto his head. He died instantly, but it has been said that his ghost still haunts his old forge, murdering anyone who touches the blood-stained anvil in the corner of the room…
James Peeble – James was a weaver, and he made fabrics and made clothes for high society, such as Lady Douglas. When he heard of the death of Miss Douglas, he was distraught, and when he found she was dragged by her horse, he vowed to take the life of the terrible beast who had robbed her of hers. He crept into the barn and tried to strangle the horse, but the horse fought back and kicked him in the face. He was knocked unconscious. When the stable boy found him in that state, he stole his shoes and his money. When poor James awoke, he staggered many miles until he collapsed on the road. He was found by a kind Amish family. They tried to revive him, but without their internet access, they could not. James died tragically, without checking his emails.
Helen and Agnes Ambrose – Helen and Agnes Ambrose were sisters. Helen had terrible hair, and she hated her sister for having long, golden locks. One day, as she watched Agnes brushing her gorgeous hair, something inside her snapped. She picked up the sharp scissors, and snip, snip, snip went her hair, snip, snip, snip went her throat, and dead, dead, dead went Agnes Ambrose. Helen ran to Mexico, where she changed her name to Helena Ambrosia, and bought a sombrero to cover her horrible hair, of which she was deeply ashamed. Helen returned to Dundee to destroy the grave of her sister in the Howff. However, the gravestone was too big and while trying to destroy it, it fell on her head and killed her. It has been said that it was the ghost of her sister that killed her, in REVENGE!!!!!!!!!
Posted on: 26 May 2010
Reviewing, Reviewing, Reviewing...
We are all currently reviewing the Carnegie Books that we have read. The most popular in our group at the moment is Revolver' by Marcus Sedgwick. Second popular is ' Fever Crumb' by Phillip Reeve. Last but not least is 'The Vanishing of Katharina Linden' by Helen Grant. Next week we are going to do an activity concerning 'The Graveyard Book.' What it involves, however, we do not know....
Posted on: 19 May 2010
Message in a Bottle
This week we took a short break from our reading to do a "Nation"-related activity. Our Carnegie shadowers imagined that they were stuck on a deserted tropical island with only a small bag of goodies to keep them going. In no time at all we had a selection of parasols, combs, knives, a torch and other very useful items! We also had time to make a small pamphlet, "Desert Survival 101" which will be vitally useful for anyone stranded in the middle of nowhere! Finally, we quickly updated our Carnegie results...you'll find out soon who is topping our leaderboard!
Posted on: 13 May 2010
First Impressions Count
We were all excited to see the 8 shortlisted books this week. As an introduction to them we looked at them all and ranked them within three categories: best cover, best blurb and best first chapter (or few pages as was the case with some) Here are our results:
Winner for best blurb with an astounding 95% of the votes was The Vanishing of Katharina Linden. I think the short and mysterious blurb was enough to get us all hooked.
Winner for best cover goes to Revolver. Again I think the 'less is more' approach seemed to be a favourite among us.
Winner for best first chapter goes to The Ask and The Answer.
Deciding the best first chapter was difficult as they are all so different. To make it easier for us we marked them all out of ten and here are the full results(of our average scores):
The Ask and The Answer - 8.6
Revolver - 8.4
Nation/Fever Crumb - 8.2
The Vanishing of Kathatrina Linden - 8
Graveyard Book - 7.5
Chains - 7.4
Rowan the Strange - 7
Posted on: 29 Apr 2010
The Award For The Best Villain Goes To...
We had a debate about our favourite fairy-tale villains today, and it turned out that Cruella De Vil was the most popular.
Posted on: 24 Mar 2010
On this lovely Spring day, we have less members than usual thanks to good weather, bad buses and musically talented people being off at rehearsals. Everyone has started reading the books which are short-listed for the Red House awards, which include "Love, Aubrey" by Suzanne Lafleur; "The Hunger Games" by Suzanne Collins; and "Auslander" by Paul Dowdeswell. Most people are enjoying their current reads, and "The Hunger Games" is very popular - even Mr. Meechan likes it!
Big news for one of our members: Chloe Collins has been picked as one of ten prizewinners for The Puskin Prizes, a prestigious creative writing competition held between schools in Scotland and Russia. Well done to Chloe, whose prize is a five-day creative writing course in Inverness alongside Alis Reid (a second High School winner), other prizewinners as well as some famous writers, including one of the judges, Nicola Morgan!
We'll update this blog again next week - thanks for reading!
Posted on: 17 Mar 2010
It's finally here! The High School of Dundee has begun its preparations for the Carnegie Awards by assembling a team of excellent readers who will help to shadow the awards process.
As we await the release of the short-listed nominees on Friday 23rd April, our group will be voting on the Red House Children's Book Award.
We look forward to sharing our heated debates on this blog! See you soon!
Posted on: 09 Mar 2010
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