Friday, 20 April 2018

What the Dickens?

Year 8 have begun reading 'Great Expectations' in English this term - for the vast majority, it's their first encounter with Charles Dickens's writing. 

So what do our Year 8 BOOKClub members think about it? 

Well, one of them loves it so much, she's getting her own copy to read ahead - with VERY strict instructions to keep spoilers firmly to herself of course! 

The students are loving the characterisation of Pip, Mr Pumblechook, Mrs Joe and, of course, Miss Havisham:  "She must smell!" - Yes, indeed she must!  Yuck.  But why does she want Pip to befriend Estella?  Where's the story going? 

Sorry - you'll have to wait to find out in class. 

Miss Corbishley. 

Monday, 16 April 2018

North Herts Book Awards: "And the winner is......."

Mrs Hunt (our super Librarian) once again took students from Fearnhill School along to the North Herts Book Awards - an annual event organised and judged by school librarians in North Hertfordshire. 

This year, the speaker was Miriam Moss, author of 'Girl On a Plane' and our students were not only treated to listening to her speak, but got to meet her in a Q&A session as well.  

The awards were held at Knights Templar School and were attended by six other schools including us.  

Students and librarians chose the winner from this year's shortlist - Lucy Adlington for 'The Red Ribbon'.  

And, most excitingly of all, Fearnhill School will be hosting the awards next year!  So - BOOKClubbers, we'd better get reading that shortlist!  

You can read a write-up in The Comet paper here:  

Wednesday, 14 March 2018

A Whole Day Devoted to Books???? Yes!

This month saw World Book Day, and at Fearnhill we celebrated in the library during our English lessons. 

But just which books do we recommend? 

Based on the surprise success of 'The Fault In Our Stars', we decided that 'An Abundance of Katharines' was bound to be a winner. 

Miss Corbishley recommends 'Gangsta Rap' by Benjamin Zephaniah:  "It's not as try-hard as it sounds!". 

And 'Summoner' piqued the interest of at least two of our members. 

Frances Hardinge and Penny Joelson will have to wait for now - perhaps we'll return to them later in the year. 

For now, get down the library and grab one of these beauties! 

Friday, 2 February 2018

The Edge - a Year 8 class novel

Sick of Harry Potter and all that fantasy nonsense?  Want a dose of gritty reality in your reading?  Well you've come to the right place.  

'The Edge' by Alan Gibbons certainly packs a punch with its protagonist, Danny, fighting to keep him and his mum safe.  

This novel has provoked a lot of discussion in class about the various issues it raises, and students have found the straight-forward character voices really engaging.  

But, as this isn't a BOOKClub book, we need to ask YOU what you thought of it.  

Did you enjoy the book?  
What was it that you liked or didn't like?  
Did you find the multiple narrative difficult to follow, or did it make it more exciting?  
And last, but not least, should we teach it to Year 8 again next year?  

Let us know in the comments below.  


Saturday, 13 January 2018

Are you a man or a mouse? A tale of friendship and hardship

OK, so this isn't strictly a BOOKClub post, but I've had such a fab time with this novel, I felt the need to share.  Indulge me!  

Year 9 have been enjoying this short novel by John Steinbeck and wow - what a reaction we've had! 

(Our Year 7 and Year 8 BOOKClub members haven't read it as part of BOOKClub, but there's always a copy in the classroom and we've talked about the story.)

Year 9 have absolutely loved the characters in this book, with lots of empathy being shared in the classroom. 

What's been particularly surprising, is how the students have reacted to the way the characters deal with their own particular situations: 

"Curly's Wife is really unlikeable at first.  But when you understand how rubbish her life is, you can understand why she behaves like that.  She's just lonely." 

"I thought Lennie was weird - I didn't know why he was relying on George so much.  The ending is harsh." 

Too many spoilers to share much more.  Suffice to say, this is a book to read in Year 9 before the pressure of GCSE texts hits! 

Tuesday, 12 December 2017


Well now, Christmas simply wouldn't be Christmas without a festive story or two now would it? 

Our favourites: 

'How The Grinch Stole Christmas'

'The Night Before Christmas'

'The Polar Express'

'The Snowman'

Have a lovely Christmas.  Hope Santa brings you (and me!) lots of books. 

Miss Corbishley. 

Saturday, 9 December 2017

Skellig - a ghost story? A horror story? You decide...

This term, Year 7 have been enjoying 'Skellig' by David Almond. 

Their reviews have been almost overwhelmingly enthusiastic: 

"It's good the way it doesn't tell you what the man is doing in the garage.  He might be a ghost..."

"I think the man is the ghost of the man who used to live in the house.  It is a bit scary, but it's more of a mystery than a horror story.  I really like it." 

"The bits with the baby make me sad.  I like it when books make you have an emotional response.  It's like the author is trying to make you feel a certain way and I think that's good." 

And I must say, I agree!  Many of our Year 7s have decided that they will read the prequel, 'My Name Is Mina'.  So check yours out of the library quickly and let us know what you think.