News & Events

Magic Moments in the LRC

What is a Magic Moment? A moment that takes your breath away…a moment to savour…a moment so momentous that it rips your being into small pieces…a moment of joy because of a great new insight…for Mrs Abrams and Mrs Sharples it is all these, and more – it is a moment when a young person falls in love with a book. Gaby (Yr 9), a member of our Kindles & Croissants Book Group, filled the LRC with magic today when she described her experience:

‘You know I don’t read much but I was ill the other day and it gave me the opportunity to read. I read a whole book in a day, which was a record. I really enjoyed it. It started off nicely then got sad. [The hero] got caught up in a fight with the school bully and then something bad happened. It was more hopeful at the end. It changed the way I look at people who are a bit unkind to me – I don’t know what they are dealing with inside. My Mum was so happy that I finished the book – and that made me happier’.

The YA novel which has caught Gaby’s eye and heart is Anthony McGowan’s Rook, shortlisted for the 2018 Carnegie Book Award. It opens with a scene in which the protagonist, Nicky, saves a young rook who is attacked by a sparrowhawk. This mirrors the boy’s own future when he faces expulsion after an incident with the school bully. Gaby has checked out the other two books in the trilogy, Brock and Pike, to read over half term. Bravo, Gaby!

Others have been caught up in the magic of books: Emily (Yr 9) found Simon Mason’s YA novel Running Girl ‘really interesting….the popular girl at school has been found dead and it’s all about how the teenage sleuth Garvie Smith (who always skips school and smokes) uncovers the murderer before the detective. The reader sees things Garvie sees and is made to think about the tiniest details’.

Talia was ‘blown away’ by Robin Talley’s Lies we Tell Ourselves (YA). In 1959, in small town Virginia, in the midst of the American Civil Rights movement, Sarah and 9 other African American teenagers are about to enter the previously all-white Jefferson High School for the first time. They are petrified; but they are also brave. They are determined to fight for their rights to equal education. Talia comments: ‘After reading just a few chapters my eyes were opened…integration was not wanted by white people. 10 young teenagers were abused just because they wanted to graduate from a good school they were spat upon, and called things that no one today would dream of saying. This book is powerful – to read about someone who has been hurt verbally and physically because of their race, is really difficult to take in’.

Ruby (Yr 7) is a great fan of Robin Stevens’ Murder Most Unladylike series. She describes her latest novel, Top Marks for Murder, as the best of the series: ‘This particular book is set in Deepdean School for Girls – a school very much like ours except we don’t have murders committed every 5 seconds! The main characters, Hazel Wong And Daisy Wells, set out to solve a murder witnessed by accomplice Beanie. It is the 50th Anniversary of the School so this puts the parents under suspicion. I recommend this book to all as it has great twists and turns.

It rates 5 OUT OF 5 STARS ***** !!!’

Katherine Rundell’s The Good Thieves is a great adventure story for Year 7 and up. Jack has been cheated out of his home by a conman with Mafia connections. His ‘sparky’

granddaughter, Vita, and her group of friends, embark on a perilous journey to try to restore his fortune. A book about loyalty, love, and bending the rules!

The Community Book Group were touched by the magic of Pat Barker’s The Silence of the Girls (for 6th form and up). It is a re-imagining of the Iliad from the point of view of Briseis, the Trojan Queen who is awarded to Achilles as part of the ‘booty’ of war. Given a mere mention in Homer’s epic, Briseis is, however, a significant figure in the Trojan War, caught between Greece’s most powerful warriors. Emily Wilson of The Guardian writes that ‘Barker’s novel is an invitation to tell those forgotten stories, and to listen for voices silenced by history and power’.

Mrs Karen Abrams

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