Sunday, August 28, 2011

Book 9 - Romeo's Ex by Lisa Fiedler - Verona, Italy

I love Shakespeare's plays. I love the comedies, the histories and the tragedies and Romeo and Juliet is one of my favourite plays. I also really enjoy fictional adaptations of Shakespearean plays. Lisa Fiedler has taken the minor character of Rosaline and made her into a complex, intelligent and beautiful young woman. No wonder Romeo was infatuated with her. Obviously the story relates to the days surrounding the Capulet ball and Romeo and Juliet's marriage and tragedy. Fiedler takes the story and tells it from several points of view - Rosaline, Benvolio, Tybalt, Mercutio and even Romeo tell their parts of the story as the tragic events unfold. Rosaline has an interest and some skill in the art of healing which makes her role in the conflict one of guardian and protector. Despite her best efforts and those of her newly found allie Benvolio they cannot prevent the tragedy from taking place - though I do enjoy the twist and turns Fiedler adds to the story, even at the end. Shakespeare's script is included in italics, though attributed to other people. I think any one reading the play, Romeo and Juliet, would enjoy and benefit from reading this book as well.

To read a little of the story in preview - try the look inside from Amazon

Here is a more detailed review from Davd Bisson

Friday, August 19, 2011

Signs and wonders in IICS library

This week the new signs were installed in our library. After attending an IB MYP librarians' workshop I came back determined to improve our library signs. We began researching about library signs and then consulted with our school marketing department. What did we want? Bilingual English and Turkish language signs to show students and teachers where different parts of our collection could be found. They had to be clear, easy to read and complement the existing signs in the school. We read many articles on signs in libraries - all pointing out that first impressions really count. Signs to me are different to displays and posters. We will create some guidelines about displays and posters in the library this year. Importantly the IBO nature of this school should be reflected in what is seen in the library. The Learner Attributes need to be on display. We will be working on displays more throughout this year - more blogs to come. Some great websites showing school library displays are school library displays by Elaine Pearson and creative library displays

 So our old signs are on the way out. They were small and very hard to notice and read. We often were directing people to the parts of the collection they were looking for. This made them more dependent on us. The new signs are big and beautiful as you can see. So far only staff have seen them but the comments have been very favourable. In two weeks time I'll let you know what the students say.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Book 8 - Hunter by Joy Cowley - New Zealand

A classic survival story with a interesting time shift twist. Joy Cowley sets her story in the remote area of Fiordland in the South Island. The first character we meet is a 15 year old slave called Hunter in the year 1805. He is a gifted tracker and hunter but because his tribe was conquered he was enslaved. He is taking a hunting party to find a Moa - a large, now extict flightlass bird. We then also meet 14 year old Jordan and her two younger brothers who are flying back to their family in the year 2005. Their plane crash lands in the same Fiord that Hunter was in and Jordan struggles to help her brothers survive in the treacherous conditions. Somehow Hunter senses Jordan's needs through time and somehow she intuitively hears follows his guidance to shelter in a cave, ways to find food and how to care for her seriously injured brother.

Interesting links between the two times and the desperate need of Hunter and Jordan to escape their circumstances to survive.

See great student reviews from Aquinas College