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North London Collegiate School, Jeju, South Korea

Sometimes ... you all make me so proud!
Thank you all for your efforts in CCA today. It is quite possibly my favourite hour of the week and that is mainly because you all make it such fun and you are all such a pleasure to be with. Great work on your mind maps today - thanks to those who have finished theirs and we'll complete the rest next week. What makes me really happy are your discussions about the books - Katie and Yejin, your observations on Rook and our discussions on class and society were fantastic; Elysia and Sunny, your chat about Saint Death and After the Fire were brilliant; Yubin and Alex you were spot on with The End of the World. All of you, yes EVERY ONE OF YOU are really inspirational and you just make me exceptionally proud of you all. Thank you.
Posted on: 17 May 2018

Mind Maps and Miracles
Hi folks, today and next week we will be creating mind maps of the eight shortlisted books. So please screw on your creative heads, bring forth your vivid imagination, un-tap your art-filled hearts and hopefully we'll create some magic and miracles.
Posted on: 10 May 2018

Carnegie Bingo - The Aftermath!
Hi folks, What an excellent meeting this week ... we hope you all enjoyed the Bingo and that you're not all looking decidedly like Chup-Chups, bearing in mind the amount we gave away and the amount you all won. The dentists of Jeju all seem very excited. Your mums and dads, possibly less so. A big shout out to Mr Davies, our resident bingo caller for being the MC with such a fine slice of Nottingham panache. He is a class act. Thanks also for all your continued enthusiasm for the books and reading. Your discussions are exceptionally inspiring and it brings me the utmost joy to hear you talk about the books when you finish them and swap them over. Who would've thought Beyond the Bright Sea could have proved so controversial?!
Posted on: 07 May 2018

Books and Music - Playlists of Choice and Quality
Hi folks, I love music. You all know I love music. And Mr Davies loves music. You all know Mr Davies loves music. I love books. You all know I love books. Mr Davies loves books. You all know Mr Davies loves books. Books and music go hand in hand. Every book should have a playlist. Therefore, if you get the urge (and you should) please send Mr Davies and I your playlists for any of the shortlisted Carnegie books. The playlists should be 3 songs long ... or more if you are keen. Prizes for any entries. However, only good music is acceptable ... and, trust us, Mr Davies and I are purveyors of VERY good music. But we do have very wide ranging tastes so please, please, please we won't judge your taste ... well, not much anyway ... as long as the music fits the book ... Here is a my starter for Saint Death: A matter of Time / Los Lobos: Border Radio / Dave Alvin: Ay te dejo en San Antonia y mas / Flaco Jimenez: Play at maximum volume obviously ... and annoy the neighbours. We look forward to your tunes.
Posted on: 30 Apr 2018

Banana Honey Cake and Book Reviews ... In That Order
Howdy folks, I hope you're enjoying your reading. Today we're going to submit some book reviews to our page of the website so get your creative, literary and thesaurusly (I'm really not sure that is a word) minded heads screwed on ... I'll provide the banana honey cake to get you all started. It's sunny outside, it's mufti day, there's no homework tomorrow, and I've been listening to Buffalo Tom this morning (and managed to purchase a ticket for their London show in December) so today is officially a Good Day!
Posted on: 26 Apr 2018

Top, top, top meeting today
Hi y'all, I thoroughly enjoyed our meeting today. Your initial perceptions of the books and how you are getting on with them was lovely to listen to and I am now bouncing my way home feeling very happy indeed. You all make me very, very happy and proud and I love you all.
Posted on: 19 Apr 2018

We're Up and Running
The books have (finally) arrived! They look great, they smell great, and they taste great. Don't worry, I've only nibbled at the corners so you'll all still be able to read them. We'll be distributing them on Thursday. Shadowing the Carnegie Medal in our very own little bit of East Asia.
Posted on: 09 Apr 2018

Happy Half Term and Happy Reading!
Hi folks, just to wish you all a very happy half-term. Enjoy the sunshine, enjoy the sea, enjoy some reading ... and write a few book reviews for me.
Posted on: 26 May 2017

Wasn't Tanya great? And more very fine book reviews
Dear comrades, It has been a couple of weeks since we last rambled and chewed the fat. Wasn't Tanya Landman great? She was a star and I hope you all enjoyed meeting her. She definitely enjoyed meeting you and, let's be honest, it isn't every day a bonafide Carnegie Medal winner washes up on the Jeju shores. Thanks to Tanya for all her efforts. We love her! Well done on the Carnegie Bingo last week. I rather enjoyed myself and thanks to Sohee for helping out. She, too, is a star! And we love her too. This week there is banana cake (hurrah), book review writing (hurrah), and peaceful reading (hurrah). And a massive thank you to Elysia and Heidi for their fantastic book reviews. They are perfect and you have made me very happy!
Posted on: 12 May 2017

Tanya Landman chats to you ... in person! What are the odds of that on Jeju!
Hi folks, So, I hope you're all enjoying the first books now they have finally arrived! Tomorrow (Friday) I am not with you for your CCA. However, you have the infinitely better option of Tanya Landman who will regale you with excellent stories about all sorts of things. Look after her and make sure you all ask her questions about her writing, her books, and her experience of the Carnegie Medal. You rarely get a chance to meet a real-life, award winning, absolutely brilliant author so enjoy the experience. There will be cake! No Mr Guy but an author and cake ... surely the best CCA ever!
Posted on: 27 Apr 2017

We're gearing up for Shadowing 2017
Hi comrades one and all. Firstly, it is with great sadness that we have to say that June Seo will not be with us in person this year. One of our finest book reviewers ever has (inexplicably) chosen the rolling hills of Ascot UK over the far more exciting extinct parasitic volcanoes of Jeju as her erstwhile place of residence. However, she is undoubtedly with us in spirit and we will always save a piece of cake for her. That being said, we do have a very, very fine squad of Shadowers this year and we are excited to welcome them all to the incumbent proceedings. We're running the Shadowing as a CCA this year so it shouldn't be quite so chaotic and we should get a few more things completed. Not only that, but for the price of a couple of packets of ramen and some imported custard creams we have also secured the brilliant talents of year 12s Sohee Choi and Chloe Yoon who will help Mr Guy to run the group. They are both extra-special and extra-lovely people who will undoubtedly bring some order to the ordinarily shambolic proceedings so far witnessed by the group. We are all very excited. We are very excited by the long list and will be doubly, if not triply, excited by the short list when it arrives next month. And we will be quadruply excited by the cakes when they arrive during the first meeting. I look forward to seeing you all. Can you tell that I'm looking forward to it? It is my favourite, favourite, favourite 8 years of the year. See you all soon ... and feel free to choose some of the long list to read. I have already loved, loved, loved Railhead and The Stars at Oktober Bend. Beck, meanwhile, is just very, very dark. In a very dark way.
Posted on: 27 Feb 2017

Last Meeting of the Year - Today!
Hi comrades, after the epic (literally) reading of The Odyssey yesterday and the fact that we are 8 hours ahead of the UK, this is our only chance to find out who has won this year's Carnegie Medal. Come to the library at 1.30pm (I know it is a bit earlier but I keep getting told off by various people when you arrive late to afternoon lessons eating cake) and we'll do the honours. I trust no one has looked at the website ...
Posted on: 22 Jun 2016

June Seo ... a heroine of our time!
We love June Seo. Not only because she is in the best tutor group of all (there is no debate about this) but because she has just written the most beautiful book review. Ever. June, you make me very, very happy. Thank you!
Posted on: 22 Jun 2016

Marcus and Frances are ace ... official
A huge shout-out and massive thanks to Marcus Sedgwick and Frances Hardinge for skyping us way over yonder in Jeju. We were actually a little late to see them dribble milk down their chins as they ate breakfast and they didn't quite have time to see us indulge in apple cake and banana cake but their talks were both brilliant! They are both such lovely people and they were very kind to us as a group and answered all our questions. And we got to see both their rooms where they write! And Marcus's V For Vendetta mask. And Frances's goose. Thanks again Marcus and Frances for being absolute stars! You are equally Jeju's favourite authors.
Posted on: 20 Jun 2016

Kae will one day have a star named after her ...
A massive well done and thank you to Kae for her latest books reviews. They are ace and you are a shining star that / who makes this librarian very happy indeed. Extra Pockys / Pockies (I'm not sure what the plural of Pocky is) will be winging their way to you at the skype session tomorrow.
Posted on: 14 Jun 2016

Skyping on Wednesday with Marcus and Frances (we're almost on first name terms, I like to think)
Hi all, Just to remind you that we will be skyping the legendary Marcus Sedgwick and Frances Hardinge on Wednesday ... that's this Wednesday folks. I'm hugely excited! Meet in the library at 5.45pm and we can watch Marcus eat his breakfast in France as we talk. And then we can have morning coffee and cake with Frances. Alas, no lemon drizzle cake but there will be Dorset apple cake and banana cake which you can eat and tell the authors whether it is edible or not. Can't wait!
Posted on: 13 Jun 2016

Minsu - Champion Book Reviewer and Bingo King!
So, Friday was a rip-roaring success. Well done to Minsu for writing a splendid book review (read it on the webpage) and for winning Shadowing The Carnegie Medal Character Bingo! (Catchy title!). Thanks to Ms Le Roux for her excellent efforts as the Bingo Caller. Surely a career in the Gala Bingo, Peckham, South London beckons. Have a lovely week off all of you ... revise (a lot), read (a lot), relax (a lot) and write (one or two) book reviews. We will meet on the first Friday back (after the exams). There are too many () in this blog entry. Love you all (massively).
Posted on: 31 May 2016

We love Kae (even more than we loved her last time we blogged)
Read Kae's latest book review because it is beautiful ... and she writes them for you, me and everybody. Thank you Kae. And, I tested Minsu's theory that Hyopjae Beach is rubbish for reading and I do see his point (to a certain extent). It was a bit too sandy and when the wind whips up a bit then it gets everywhere! However, if you move to the noodle house, which the survey suggests, this is infinitely better. And the noodles are splendid too! Good voting by everyone, BTW, as the summit of Mount Halla now seems hugely popular. Personally, that is a little too far from tea and cake for me but there is obviously inspiration and reward to be gained from climbing so high to read! Keep reading folks!
Posted on: 16 May 2016

Why Minsu loves reading in the Bijarim Forest and not on Hyopjae Beach
A big shout out to Minsu who argued passionately today about why the Bijarim Forest deserves more recognition as a idyllic reading spot, and why Hyopjae Beach is rubbish and a very uncomfortable place to read. Do you agree with him? Or do you love Hyopjae? Or is the best place to read on Jeju with a haenyeo diver? We're a democratic reading group so make your vote count. Vote today!
Posted on: 13 May 2016

Another inspiring meeting ... and even more inspiring cakes
Hi all, just to say that I love you all and that you were all really inspiring in today's meeting. I love hearing your views and your thoughts on the books - I really want you all to debate and argue passionately about what your favourite books are. And, a huge, huge, huge thank you to Amy for the best brownies and chocolate cupcakes on the island. Easily, easily, easily. You are a star! You are ALL stars! Chaotic stars, just like in There Will Be Lies. And that is a seriously good thing folks!
Posted on: 13 May 2016

I love a London bus analogy, even on Jeju ... and I love Kae too!
So, just like the number 13 bus in London, we wait ages for a book review and then four come along together. Following Elysia's latest thoughts on The Ghosts of Heaven, Kae has written three (count 'em) wonderful reviews for our page. Thank you Kae. We love you massively! More reviews are always welcomed and chocolate will be distributed to Kae and Elysia on Friday. Not that junk food should be an incentive for writing book reviews but ...
Posted on: 11 May 2016

We love Elysia (part 2) ... and our next meeting ... and other random bits of news
First up, Elysia has written another fantastic book review. We love you massively! Thank you - you make me so happy! I'm not saying a thing ... except a webpage with more than two book reviewers would look so much better than webpage with just two reviewers. Please send me some reviews. I see that many of you (or maybe readers from elsewhere) have been voting in our poll and Hyopjae beach seems a hugely popular place to read. And rightly so. The top of Mt Halla also seems very favourable, though personally that seems a long way to go to read a book. And there are a distinct lack of cake shops atop Halla. However, keep voting and there will be a new poll imminently. Don't forget to listen to some of the shortlisted authors. They are really interesting and it really helps with reading some of the books. Lastly, we have a meeting this Friday! 1.45pm in the library. We will be discussing the four books we didn't discuss last time, and Amy is bringing in cupcakes. Thank you Amy. And did I mention that a few book reviews might be good? Sending out waves of literary love to all of you. As always.
Posted on: 10 May 2016

Elysia is an absolute star! ... and a wonderful Book Group meeting!
First up ... massive thanks to Elysia for being the first of the group to add a Book Review. Elysia, it is a brilliant review so thank you so much! More reviews are wanted / needed / pleaded for ... so please give them in to me. Elysia come and see me for an edible prize that involves chocolate! Everyone else ... well done on a lovely meeting last Friday lunchtime. Your opinions and views on the first four books were really great ... I so love to hear you all talk and chat about what you think! It makes me so happy! Next meeting will be on Friday week. There will be cake!
Posted on: 04 May 2016

Meeting and Cake! Enough Said.
We have a meeting this lunchtime in the library. We will be discussing the books, looking at the website, and eating cake. I know you're not allowed to really eat cake in the library but, despite my socialist and egalitarian leanings, I am also God (or insert whichever religious or spiritual deity you wish - we are, after all, inclusive) of this place and I can bend the rules if I want on occasions. And what is a reading group without cake? It's wrong, that's what it is. Looking forward to seeing you all ... and for some fearsome, heated, opinionated debate. And, obviously, I still love you all!
Posted on: 29 Apr 2016

A little bit of reading heaven in North East Asia ...
So, with Shadowing about to kick off in about one week's time we are busying preparing for our first foray into all things Carnegie. We have a group of hugely enthusiastic readers gathered together; we now know what shadowing involves and what the Carnegie Medal is; we are busily investigating where in the world we are going to get the shortlisted books from at such short notice; and we are (even more) busily compiling a request list of cakes that need to be consumed within the next 6-8 weeks. For everyone else in Shadowing land we want to also tell you a little bit about our school and where we live. We are situated off the south coast of South Korea, on the beautiful island of Jeju. Yes, it's that really little speck on the map you've just reached for and are pawing over with a magnifying glass. Jeju is famous for many things but especially for tangerines (they are the best in the world); oreums (extinct volcanoes); Mount Halla (the highest mountain in Korea); haenyeo divers (women free divers); beautiful waterfalls; glorious sandy beaches (some with black sand); a bizarre array of museums; the mighty Jeju United football team; welcoming and very friendly local people; and a particularly ace international school full of very lovely pupils. Come and see us all sometime - we promise you a warm welcome, plentiful food, especially cake, and as much chat about books as you want.
Posted on: 11 Mar 2016