Monthly Archives: August 2011

The Exciting Adventure Genre, Writing Reviews & Review Reading Goals

Hi everyone, this week we are taking a closer look at the Adventure Genre.  One of the reasons is because Simon Higgins is visiting and many of his books contain gripping adventures.


Adventure:  stories involve an unusually dangerous or  exciting series of events.

Some thrilling books in this genre include:

(1) Boy Overboard by Morris Gleitzman – Jamal and Bibi dream of soccer glory and playing in the World Cup but can they survive the treacherous journey to Australia as refugees?

(2) When the War Began by John Marsden – The first in an enormously popular series that has also been made into a movie.  On their return home from a camping trip, Ellie and her friends are shocked to find their world shattered, their families have disappeared and their country Australia has been invaded by an unknown force.

(3) Famous Five Series by Enid Blyton – This is a highly recommended series.  It may have been around for a while but it was my favourite growing up and continues to be popular with many students.  The Famous Five are Julian, Dick, George, Anne and of course Timmy the dog.  They find adventure wherever they go and usually have to follow the clues to solve an amazing mystery.  If you like working out a good mystery this is the one for you.  I wonder while you read if you can guess the answers to the clues before they are revealed.

To allow you to easily identify this amazing genre we have put stickers with mountain climbers on the spine. But of course there are thrilling adventures contained in many other genres. 

For example we have categorised the following in:


(1) The Hobbit & The Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien  – Set in imaginary worlds the characters have to go on very perilous journeys either to recover or destroy something.  The Lord of  the Rings has of course been made into a most beautiful series of movies and The Hobbit is about to be released.  I prefer the Hobbit it’sa little easier to follow with fewer characters.

(2) Rowan of Rin by Emily Rodda – This of course is often studied in year 7 and tells the story of Rowan, a timid bukshah tender who sets out with some of the villagers to find out why the water has stopped flowing to their village. 

True Stories:

Boy & Going Solo by Roald Dahl – Read about the famous writer Roald Dahl’s real life compelling adventures growing up and later his exploits surviving war.

Historical Fiction:

Tomadachi The Edge of the World by Simon Higgins is described on the blurb as a ‘great action-packed ripping yarn which is also ‘ a terrific historical novel which presents Japan’s feudal era in fascinating detail.’

YEAR 8 AUTHOR VISIT – SIMON HIGGINS – Year 8s Make a comment:

Did you see Simon Higgin’s presentation?  Post a comment telling us what you thought at the end of this post. 

If you want to know more about the author and his books visit the official Simon Higgins website.


Have a look at Patricia Baker’s presentation and think about the parts of an excellent book review.

The Slime Kids website  contains some great examples of book reviews that will give you ideas about how you can write one too.  Remember the aim of a review is to entice interest in the book you have read not tell the whole story.

If you go to Scholastic you can learn how to write a review step by step. 

Choose a book you have read this year and write your review. 

Save a copy in your Library Folder in your Documents to document your learning.


This week you should all be finishing up with the Premier’s Reading Challenge.

Visit the Premier’s Reading Challenge website if you need to update and it is before August 31st.

It is time to set new reading goals.

Revisit the goals you created and update them in your Library Folder.  The document is attached below if you have lost it:

Wide Reading Goals


Look in the bulletin for anouncements of the winners.  Congratulations to all the wonderful writers – we are so proud of you!

The stories collected to celebrate Book Week this year have been put together in a Zine or Anthology of Student Writing called after the theme  “One World, Many Stories.”   The theme resonates strongly with our school community and the winning story strongly represents the theme.  The book will sit in the LRC in this super comfortable area which is your portal to the world.  Come and read the stories and if inspired write a story or ask your teachers to put together a book with stories from you and your classmates that we can publish in the LRC!  We are very keen to make a space available for your stories!


This is where the Student Zine or Anthology will sit. This is your portal to the world. Travel the world without leaving your Armchair!

By the way, was very impressed with comments left  by Year 8 Banksia hoping to see many comments to this post too.

Mrs Papazoglou






Today, the Teen Library Advisors and Ms Sutton and Mrs Papazoglou went to see Harry Potter.  We had a fantastic time.  After viewing the movie, some of us might be inspired to read and re-read the books.  I know I certainly would love to.  My favourite part of the movie was when Harry captured Professor Snape’s tears in a phial and put it in the ‘pensieve’.  He went back in time and found that Snape really loved his mother and had always been protecting him.  It was very moving to see how much Snape had suffered.  What does everyone else like the best?  Mrs Sutton and I are really looking forward to your views. 

If you are in year 7 and 8,  please read the students’ comments and you can write a comment too.

Books into Movies

If you are in year 7 and 8 did you get to see Harry Potter?  While Harry Potter is set in modern times the setting and magic make it appear medieval.  There are many books that have been turned into movies.  Another one of my favourites is ‘The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas’ which is a real tear jerker.  It is fiction but blends history and World War 2 and imagines a tragedy that could have happened.  If you have read a book that has been turned into a movie or watched a movie that is also a book then tell me something about it.  Which did you like best – the movie or the book?  What did you enjoy about it?

Historical Fiction

This month the spotlight is on historical fiction.  Historical Fiction allows us to step back in time and experience the world of characters belonging to another time and place.  You can really learn a lot of history by reading this genre as authors have often had to do a lot of research to make sure that they write in a believable manner.  You can learn about famous people in history and different periods such as Ancient History and World War II. Sometimes there isn’t a lot known about the civilisation because it happened before humans could record how they lived their live in a great deal of detail.  For example, Jean M Auel takes us back to the Ice Age to the Neanderthal and Cro-Magnon periods but apart from remains and archaelogical findings she would have had to rely a lot on her imagination to make these cultures come alive.  I hope you give Historical Fiction a go and check these books out in the Fiction Area.  They’re the funny ones with the castle sticker on the spine. 

Click here to visit an interesting site that showcases Historical Fiction

Year 7 Visit – Oliver Phommavanh

On Tuesday Year 7s were treated to a fantastic visit by author Oliver Phommavanh.  He really was very funny and entertaining with a wacky sense of humour.  If you are in year 7 and would like to make a comment about his visit you can do it here or you can comment on his blog.

Click here to visit Oliver Phommavanh’s blog

Premier’s Reading Challenge – update by end of August

A reminder to everyone about the Premier’s Reading Challenge.  Bring back your consent form and update by the end of August so that we can verify your books.

Here is the link so you can find it quickly:   Premier’s Reading Challenge Login

Sharing is Caring

We have all been reading a lot.  I know teachers have been giving 10 minutes in class and many of us have been reading a lot for the Premier’s Reading Challenge or your own individual personal goals so what about posting a comment here and recommending something that you have enjoyed.

If you want to see what I have been reading locate the 2011 Reading Challenge icon on my sidebar.  If you click on the the tiny words view books you can see the books that I have been reading.  I am lagging behind many of you but I plan to read some quick reads to make up 15 for the end of August so that I can celebrate with you.

READERS’ CUP COMPETITION – Tuesday 16th & Wednesday 17th August

The 2011  Readers’ Cup Final is on Tuesday 16th and Wednesday 17th.  Come along and take part.  Bring your friends.  There are a lot of door prizes and quizzes for students and teachers in the audience.  If you are in year 7 it’s a good way to find out what it’s all about so that next year you can then get involved.


A teacher has just shared a glog created for ‘Book Week’ which is next week.

You may explore this site: