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World Book Day – Let’s Talk about Books

It’s World Book Day today! Usually, when everyone is in school, teachers and pupils arrive dressed as their most loved characters from literature and bring in their favourite books to talk about. Despite not being together to dress up and enjoy talking about books, the English Department has enjoyed talking via messages and Teams about our favourite reads. Our English teachers and pupils have created ‘Book Stars’ in line with our ‘STAR 21’ theme. Take a look at some of our favourite books and why we love them:

Molly O’Leary

My favourite book is ‘Tess of the d’Urbervilles’ because of how poetic Thomas Hardy’s writing style is, and how tragic a heroin Tess is. The characters are beautifully brought to life in this book, and you are able to become entirely lost in the narrative.

Elowyn Ryznar

My favourite book is ‘The Hunger Games’ (pictured on my Kindle) because it is a good adventure story and is very moving. You feel so many emotions throughout the book, and I would definitely recommend it for ages 11/12 and up. My favourite characters are Katniss Everdeen because she is a strong, female lead and is very brave and independent, and I also love the cat, Buttercup, because he was there throughout the whole series and was very stubborn and sweet all at the same time.

Miss Garlinge

This is a mixture of books I’ve recently read plus a few of my favourites. ‘Shadow of the Wind’ is the first of four books which is set in Barcelona, 1945. Daniel finds a mysterious book entitled ‘The Shadow of the Wind’, by Julian Carax. But when he sets out to find the author's other works, he makes a shocking discovery: someone has been systematically destroying every copy of every book Carax has written. I particularly like the beginning of the novel where a young Daniel is taken into the Cemetery of Forgotten Books, a labyrinth of unique, antique books described in a magical way. This book has everything; mystery, humour, love and a great storyline. Other books include the new J.K. Rowling story, ‘The Ickabog’ plus a lovely story called ‘The Scent Keeper’, along with my favourite Roald Dahl book ‘The BFG’. A mixture of books here for all ages.

Teagan Girling

My favourite books are ‘The Bible’ and ‘Swallows and Amazons’. I love ‘The Bible’ because I get to learn all about my religion and about Adam and Eve. I love ‘Swallows and Amazons’ because it always has a massive adventure like they sail to islands, get kidnapped by pirates and have a secret cave.

Tom Howie

I chose ‘Divergent’ to be my favourite book as it’s set in a dystopian post-apocalyptic world, the characters grow from their sheltered lives to see what society has become, and it explores what it means to be human. Also, whilst the series’ ending is quite sad, it’s satisfying and nicely ties off the story.

Mrs Milner-Hughes

The one in the middle is the type of book you read when you get to my age! It is beautifully written, with lots of lovely descriptions of the natural world. The ones making up the star are books I have enjoyed in both English and Welsh. Favourites in my star are ‘A Room with a View’ by E.M. Forster and ‘Great Expectations’ (That’s Life!) by Charles Dickens as well as one of Mr Fletcher’s books.

Josh Davies

My favourite book is ‘The BFG’ because it teaches kindness, compassion, empathy, and emphasises celebrating and loving our differences. I also love the BFG's great ears!

Mr Russell

I fell in love with reading in primary school when introduced to a class reader, ‘The Hobbit’ by J.R.R. Tolkien - my teacher was an artist and she painted the hobbit hole. Words came to life from someone else’s perspective. ‘The Sharpe Series’ brought history to life and allowed me to follow someone through time and Clive Cussler novels brought escapist adventure to life. ‘The Tipping Point’ and ‘How to Make a Camel Smoothie’ keep my mind agile and filled with useless facts and useful maths. ‘Addicted to Adventure’ is a window into the life of someone I know and ‘Who Moved my Cheese’ helps me to understand people I don’t know. ‘Churchill’, ‘Napoleon’ and ‘Leadership Matters’ help me understand conflict, change and decision making. PG Wodehouse makes me laugh out loud at the situations people get themselves into. Laughter is precious and only a few authors have the ability to make you laugh out loud.

Mrs Turner

These are books I have read recently during lockdown, am in the process of reading and have yet to read. David Walliams’ ‘Code Name Bananas’ is what I read each night with my children and they are definitely learning the love of ‘just one more chapter’ when we should all be asleep! It is also Walliams really becoming like Roald Dahl; I didn’t feel this way about some of his earlier books. I love the ‘Wolf Hall’ series by Hilary Mantel as many may know I love History, and equally ‘The Berlin Girl’ was a fictional tale of the foreign press discovering the atrocities of the Holocaust and made a change from reading autobiographies of Holocaust survivors. Jojo Moyes is a wonderful author for me; I know I’ll relax and get lost in any of the worlds she creates and Richard Osman’s ‘Thursday Murder Club’ was impossible to put down, full of wit and very clever.

George Drinkwater

I have so many books that I love. I like gothic fiction and stories like ‘The Vampyre’ and ‘The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde’. Dr Jekyll makes a potion that turns him into Mr Hyde – his destructive alter ego. The book I have in the middle of my star is the first in the ‘The Book of Dust’ trilogy by Phillip Pullman. I really enjoyed ‘His Dark Materials’ trilogy and this trilogy is supposed to be linked to it and even better! I can’t wait to get started.

Callum Thompson

My Favourite book is ‘Tom Gates: Biscuits, Bands And Very Big Plans’, written and illustrated by Liz Pichon. I like this book because it is very funny and quite good for children age 8 and up. It also has activities at the back of it so when I finish the Tom Gates book there is a little activity so you do not get bored for the rest of the day.

Louis Barclay

My favourite book is ‘Hollowpox: The Hunt for Morrigan Crow’ because it is exciting and gripping and Morrigan is a mischievous character and also has powers like a magician.

Amélie Russell

My favourite book is ‘Matilda’ because despite having a horrible life, the main character Matilda lives in her imagination loves reading like I do and actually has superpowers! It also has a really happy ending.

Mrs Russell

It’s so difficult to choose a favourite book – I have so many! One book that truly moved me when I was a teenager was ‘Tess of the d’Urbervilles’ by Thomas Hardy. I was amazed and enraged at the same time. ‘The God of Small Things’ by Arundhati Roy is another absolute favourite and ‘Possession’ by A.S. Byatt is a great read. I consider ‘Pride and Prejudice’ by Jane Austen and ‘Wuthering Heights’ by Emily Brontë to be absolute treasures and ‘Little Women’ by Louisa May Alcott makes me weep every time I read it. I recently read ‘Hamnet’ by Maggie O’Farrell – an imaginative account of Shakespeare’s family life and how he might have been inspired to write ‘Hamlet’ (my favourite play of all time!) It was beautifully written and O’Farrell’s portrayal of Anne Hathaway (Agnes) was stunning.

Eleri Thomas

My favourite book is called ‘Forbidden’ by Tabitha Suzama. Five siblings fall into hardship but two discover a forbidden relationship. Both must put on a façade to protect their family. Throughout the whole book, I was emotional, the ending was mournful and devastating but I enjoyed every moment reading it.

Miss Smith

My book star includes ‘Hagseed’ and’ Vinegar Girl’ - both based on Shakespeare plays because I love modern retellings inspired by the great man’s plays. Kate Atkinson is one of my favourite authors and I have absolutely devoured her Jackson Brodie novels - great detective fiction full of pop culture references and full of Atkinson’s dry humour. Love a bit of Stephen King and ‘The Institute’ didn’t disappoint - a real page turner. ‘Cartes Postale from Greece’ by Victoria Hislop has allowed me to escape to the sunnier climes of Greece while stuck in winter lockdown - proving that books give us somewhere to go when we have to stay where we are! ‘Hamnet’ is included not just for the Shakespeare connection, but for its power to genuinely move me - it made me sob! Scarlett Thomas is one of my favourite authors first discovered at uni when I picked up a copy of ‘The End of Mr Y’. ‘Oligarchy’ is her latest and is about the daughter of a Russian oligarch who is sent to a British boarding school - I read it in one sitting! ‘Let’s Talk’ is included because I am a complete fan girl when it comes to David (and Ben!) Crystal. The Gervase Phinn book is one lent to me recently by my mum - we often share books and discuss them and have since I was young. The book in the centre is my favourite book of all time by my favourite author - Connie Willis. ‘Doomsday Book’ is a time slip novel about a PhD student who goes back to the middle of the Black Plague and gets stuck there. It is, quite simply, brilliant. Incidentally, Willis is also responsible for the book that has had the greatest impact on me – ‘Passage’.

Fuchsia Jones

My favourite book at the moment is ‘The Gormenghast Trilogy’ by Mervyn Peake because of how beautifully the breath-taking gothic novel is written. Peake's engaging writing has the power to capture any reader and transport them to the expansive and decaying Castle Gormenghast. I also love the Trilogy as Gormenghast is particularly dear to my family as my brother and I are named after characters Titus and Fuchsia Groan who are siblings in the novel.

Harry Boyle

I love reading. That’s a fact. The book in the middle is a book about all the elements. I’m a big chemistry fan so I have lots of those. Maybe too many... ‘The horrible Histories’ is because I love learning about history. The one to the right of it is ‘Spirit Animals’. I’ve liked that series because each book is penned by a different author. ‘The Famous Five' was given to me by my granddad and I’ve loved mystery ever since. Next is my Latin book. Languages are a big thing for me. After that is ‘Beast Quest’. I was given about 100 of them by a friend when I was 13 and I’ve loved them ever since. Recently my brother has got into them. Next is another series I loved when I was younger: ‘The 39 Clues’ - also penned by different authors. Next is ‘Cherub’. It’s a spy thriller about a child spy training program. ‘The Spook’s Apprentice’ is next. A spook is a magical protector of sorts. ‘Bonce’, The statistics of the world. And finally ‘Killer Species’. This one was also cool as I love animals and the genetic aspect just intrigued me.

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