An afternoon in the company of Chris D’Lacey

After a busy week, the Library Ladiez were able to settle down with a group of Y7-8 students and a large contingency of Y5 students from Backwell Juniors, for an afternoon of stories from the author Chris D’Lacey. Chris visited us a few years back to promote his Dragon Chronicles, and this time he was talking about his new trilogy, The Unicorne Files. As always, he told us a lot about his background and how he came to write his stories and then gave us some tantalizing tasters of his new books. Students had plenty of questions when he had finished and he stayed late to sign copies for those who wanted to get reading over the weekend.


We have copies of all books in the library and if you want to find out more about Chris and his work, click on the links below:

Click here for the Dragon Chronicles website

Click here for the Dragon Chronicles website

Click here for The Unicorne Files website

Click here for The Unicorne Files website


David Gatward was here!


Year 9 (all of them) will know what this means. The rest of you will need to read the rest of this post to find out!!

The Library Ladiez have had their eye on David for a while, having heard reports of his entertainment value as well as his enthusiasm for promoting reading and writing. So when we found he had some days free, we booked him up to work with the whole of Y9.

He agreed to 2 talks (so we could have 1/2 the year group in the 6th form theatre at a time during their English lessons) and a writing workshop for 25 students, put forward by their English teachers. Inbetween these we managed a “Literary Lunch” with 4 boys keen to meet David close up, and a few English staff. All in all, a busy but successful day. We will let our pictures speak for themselves, but scroll down to read what the students’ thought of the events – because we wanted to make a good impression upon them. I think we did!

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Chloe said: “David Gatward was a brilliant author to have visit. He instantly got our attention when he told us he wasn’t one of those ordinary authors that just read their books in front of us! He told exciting stories about his life and why he started writing. overall, a great talk.”

Ellie attended the writing workshop and said: “David Gatward was one of the most bombastic and hilarious authors I have ever had the pleasure to meet. His ways of conjuring a story from the depths of his mind are far from the ordinary. However, after he shared them with us I have to admit that they did work extremely well. Through everything he said he weaved in the fact that to be a good writer you have to have the confidence to be able to read your story aloud to others. I think now I have finally grasped that idea! David’s talk later, was far from dreary, especially when he got into his climbing tights from the 1980s, which were so bright they almost made you feel ill!! His talk also inspired me to do a bit more with my life, with some crazy things thrown in, because ordinary is boring!”

Ed said, “David was great! He was funny and told us what he did to get where he is today, which was really interesting”

You can find much more information about David on his website here.

And the winner is……………

Giving ourselves a pat on the back for forecasting the winner of the Carnegie Medal 2015 last Friday: Tanya Landman’s Buffalo Soldier. Tanya was in school a couple of years ago telling us about life for a writer and leading a couple of writing workshops. Thrilled to hear she is now a winner!

Winners tweet

Click here to read the first chapter. What do you think?

Let’s not forget the fantastic young illustrator, William Grill who wins the sister medal, the Greenaway Award for his Shakleton’s Journey.

Biggest Carnegie Reading Group ever!

The Library Ladiez have been so busy over the last two terms, we have not had time to blog! Our Carnegie Reading Group attracted 43 students this year, with a record number of 35 attending throughout. 27 students finished the course (reading 5 or more of the shortlisted books) and were able to go to the Carnegie Lunch at Churchill Academy to join a similar sized group there to debate the 8 titles shortlisted for the award.

shortlist picture

Click here to go to the Carnegie Shadowing Website to find out much more about the award for the best written book of the year.

We started back at Easter with several sets of the books and just over 2 months in which to read them. We have met weekly, with cakes baked by our lovely readers to fortify ourselves, while we get to know the books, each other (the students range from Y7 – 10) and participate in booky activities.

Small Group

Students have been encouraged to post reviews on our own page of the website and every week Mrs Gibson chooses a Star Reviewer:

Star Review

Read more reviews by our students on our home page by clicking here

We all try to read as many of the books as we can so that we can attend the Carnegie Lunch with Churchill Academy. This year we had to meet earlier because of prior engagements at Churchill, so we went armed with cake and plenty of opinions for a day of quizzes, games, lunch and The Big Debate!

We judged the fantastic T shirts created “in the style of” the shortlisted books, by Churchill students, and it was really hard to choose 3 winners, but here they are:

It was our turn to provide the cakes, also “in the style of”:

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We had a fantastic and often heated debate in the afternoon before casting our votes

  1. Buffalo Soldier by Tanya Landman
  2. More than This by Patrick Ness
  3. Apple and Rain by Sarah Crossan

Now all we can do is wait, and catch the winner on Monday 22nd June at 1pm. We’ll keep you posted!