Six Word Books

 

Last term, our second years were set the challenge of describing a favourite book in exactly six words – no more, no less. This is harder than you think! They met the task with enthusiasm and whimsy. The entries above are the ones which were selected as the ‘top six’ by a team of staff members. Ms Dickson, the librarian, will be announcing two winners in assembly next week. Each will win a €10 book token. All of the top six will receive a small prize. Well done, Aaliyah, Persis, Dunah, Missy, Isabelle and Tori!

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The ‘Six Word Books’ display during the event

If any librarians or other educators would like to use the files and images from this contest, feel free to get in touch with me: library@stdominics.ie

 

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Openly Straight – Bill Konigsberg

This novel follows the struggle of Rafe Goldburg and his coming out story. As Rafe comes to the realisation that his differences will be a challenge, he must learn to break down the barriers that lie ahead without forgetting who he truly is.

Review by Cindy Ariyo

Black History Month – Famous Black Authors

Maya Angelou

  • Writer, poet, screenwriter, actor, dancer
  • 1928-2014
  • Missouri, USA
  • Famous book: I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (1969) – Autobiography
  • Famous poem: Still I Rise
  • Maya Angelou made literary history with I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings which was the first non-fiction best-seller by an African-American woman.

Chinua Achebe

  • Author, Educator, Publisher
  • 1930–2013
  • Nigeria
  • Famous book: Things Fall Apart (1958) – Fiction
  • Things Fall Apart has sold more than 20 million copies and has been translated into more than 50 languages.

Ben Okri

  • Author
  • 1959-
  • Nigeria & England
  • Famous book: The Famished Road (1991) – Fiction
  • Okri won the Booker Prize in 1991 for The Famished Road.

Mildred D. Taylor

  • Author
  • 1943-
  • Mississippi, USA
  • Famous book: Roll of Thunder Hear My Cry (1976) – Children’s Fiction
  • All of Mildred D. Taylor’s novels are based on personal stories based on her own family and tales she heard at gatherings throughout her life.

Andrea Levy

  • Author
  • 1956-
  • England (& Jamaica)
  • Famous Book: Small Island (2004) – Fiction
  • Andrea Levy’s father was one of the generation to sail from Jamaica to England on the Empire Windrush Ship in 1948.

Toni Morrison

  • Author
  • 1931-
  • Ohio, USA
  • Famous book: Beloved (1987) – Fiction
  • Toni Morrison was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1993.

Malorie Blackman

  • Author, Teacher
  • 1962-
  • London, England
  • Famous book: Noughts & Crosses (2001) – Fiction (series)

This is what Malorie Blackman had to say about writing about racism in children’s literature:

 I think a lot of racism comes out of ignorance and fear, and we can start to combat it by showing different cultures, races, religions in story contexts. Stories promote empathy, a sense of being able to see through the eyes of others and being able to walk in another person’s shoes. That said, we also need more books which feature children of colour, children with disabilities, working class children, LGBT teens, etc which are just about children and teens having adventures and not necessarily about their disability, colour, culture, religion. Books should be mirrors as well as windows.

I generally make my major characters black because that’s who and what I am and I’m started writing in part to redress the imbalance regarding ethnic diversity in children’s literature that I felt acutely as a child, but the ethnic identity of my characters is never the whole story. I try to make my characters real people who are trying to live their lives and deal with their problems. For example, a black boy who needs a heart transplant is pretty much the same as a white boy who needs a heart transplant (Pig Heart Boy).

Nicola Yoon

  • Author, Programmer
  • New York, USA & Jamaica
  • Famous book: Everything, Everything (2015) – Fiction
  • Nicola Yoon had a full-time job while writing Everything, Everything. It took her three years of writing from 4am-6am before work.

 

All the above-mentioned books – and more! – are available in the school library.

 

More authors to follow…

It’s Black History Month!

February is Black History Month! While Black History Month originated as an African American celebration, we recognise it here in the St Dominic’s library. We have a great selection of books by Writers of Colour in the library.

bhm 2019BHM 3

We’ll be having events later in the month, including a discussion on African Irish identity, some readings from Michelle Obama’s Becoming and a special one-off African-themed audiobook/colouring club after half term.

Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls – Elena Favilli & Francesco Cavallo

From the back cover:

“Goodnight stories for rebel girls cover reinvents fairy tales, inspiring girls with the stories of 100 heroic women from Elizabeth I to Serena Williams. Illustrated by 60 female artists from every corner of the world, this is the most-funded original book in the history of crowdfunding.”

Review by Ally C.:

The book I read is called Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls. It is about 100 women from Elizabeth I to Serena Williams. It is illustratedby 60 female artists from all over the world. It is non-fiction.

I love this book because it is very inspiring and tells you the story behind your favourite artist, explorer, ballerina, politician, scientist, queen, princess… you name it.

I would definitely give this book a 10/10 and it is a must-read. The reason why is because it is very inspiring and interesting and you find out the history of the women’s rights we have today, like voting in elections, cycling in competitions, equal rights, being in the army, having our own businesses or being able to have a proper job.

Frida Kahlo, by Guillermo Kahlo

My favourite story was Frida Kahlo’s because she is an inspiration to us all and what you can achieve through all the odds.

Ally is a first year student in St Dominic’s College. Her review was awarded joint second place in the school’s 2018 ‘Book in the Bag’ Book Review Contest.

The Weight of Water – Sarah Crossan

From the back cover:

“Armed with a suitcase and an old laundry bag filled with clothes, Kasienka and her mother head for England. Life is lonely for Kasienka. At home her mother’s heart is breaking and at school friends are scarce. But when someone special swims into her life, Kasienka learns that there might be more than one way for her to stay afloat.”

Review by Nicole P.:

The book I am reviewing is called The Weight of Water. The author of the book is Sarah Crossan. She has also written various other books. The book Apple and Rain was one of her other popular books. The Weight of Water was shortlisted for the CILIP Carnegie Medal in 2013.

The book is set in Stansted, Coventry. The protagonist is a twelve, almost thirteen, year old girl called Kasienka. Kasienka is a quiet, resilient girl who comes from a broken family. She leaves Gdańsk Główny for London in search of a home and her father. Kasienka and her mother are both Polish and are discriminated against throughout the book but Kasienka learns to fight back.

I liked the writing style and the descriptions in the book. The format is unique [The Weight of Water is written in verse.]. The only thing is that I prefer different genres of books, but anyone who likes romance would like this book. I recommend this to 12-15 year olds. Ratings: Writing: ****, Plot: ****, Characters: ***. Overall I rate this book 3.5/5.

Nicole is a first year student at St Dominic’s College. Her review was awarded joint second place in the 2018 ‘Book in the Bag’ Book Review Contest.