Battle of the Books:
On Tuesday 28th February, a team of Year 9 and Year 10 students mounted a coach to compete in one of the most famous kids’ book competitions in Yorkshire: the Battle of the Books. On the way, there was an excited but nervous hum of chatter on the coach and by the time we arrived at Roundhay School we all had butterflies in our stomachs. The Quiz master was Daniel Blythe; a well-known author who has written several Doctor Who books and some children’s books. There were five other schools competing and at the beginning, the mood in the hall was very tense. There were six themed rounds with eight questions in each one (fantastic beasts, name the character etc.). Each team had to choose a joker round in which they could receive double points for each correct answer. All of the questions had a varying degree of difficulty for example ‘Which district was Rue from in The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins?’ (answer: 11) The audience could answer separate questions in between each round. If answered correctly they could win a prize too! Mrs Bryden won a voucher by answering the following question: ‘What was the name of the lawyer who helped a man who was wrongly accused of a crime in a time of racial prejudice?’ (answer: Atticus Finch). In the end, it was a very close contest with Queen Mary’s School, Thirsk winning by only a point and a half. Although we did not win, it was a fantastic experience and we all had an amazing time!
Word Book Day:
On World Book Day Matt Dickinson (author of the ‘Everest Files’ and a famous filmmaker) came into KJS and gave a presentation in S1 for Year 7; he told them about how he climbed Mt Everest and the hardships he faced there. He also explained the importance of teamwork and how it was only because of reading that he ever achieved his dream of climbing Everest or becoming an author.
Afterwards, he did a creative writing workshop for a group of Year 7 students, asking them to write about what they would miss most if they went to Everest and which fictional book character they would take with them. Throughout the workshop, he was full of helpful advice and compliments about their work. To conclude the lesson, a few students volunteered to read their work out to the whole class. It was fun and it didn’t feel as if we were in a classroom!
At lunchtime, Matt came into the Royal Readers session and allowed us to ask him questions about how to become an author. Then he told us that if we could read the manuscript of his forthcoming new book and write a short helpful review about it, suggesting areas for improvement, our names would be in the credits at the beginning of the book! However, we had to do this in ten days so the challenge was on!
This term, we have been reading and reviewing the Leeds Book Award shortlists. Shortlisted authors have tweeted quotes from some of our reviews because they found them so interesting and inspirational.
In our weekly meetings, we have discussed in detail many things from apocalyptic viruses to bullying, dealing with adversity, being different and teenage life. It has been an amazing term and we have had loads of fun reviewing, reading and discussing the 12 shortlisted books. We have enjoyed reading all of the opinions from different schools across the region which sometimes act as a catalyst to our discussions - www.leedsbookawards.co.uk