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Miss Dowzall

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Awakeri School


Welcome to our library page!!

Library News Librarians Book Reviews Kids Lit Quiz Writers' Corner Library archives

Library News: Our librarians have been selected for the year by Miss Dowzall (teacher in charge of library) and Mrs White (our librarian).
Mrs White's latest message. If you want to read some of her old ones, click here, there are some fantastic entries!

It's the middle of the year so naturally my mind was on… Starting school! Actually with the farming changeover, the floods affecting many families and lots of five-year olds we have had around 24 new children start over the past two months. It can be a tough experience. Coming in at mid-year when it feels as if all the other friendships are set in stone, especially in the older classes, is daunting. And being five and having countless new rules, expectations, playgrounds, and enormous older children thundering past must feel a little bit like arriving on a different planet! Luckily there are plenty of friendly faces to support new kids and lots of excellent books mirroring those feelings of nervousness and helping everyone to feel not so alone. Here are my top ten picture books and chapter books about school. There are lots more at the Awakeri school library – open lunchtimes and after school to anyone who needs some quiet time!

10 best Picture books about starting school, teachers and new experiences
School's first day at school – Adam Rex; told from the perspective of a brand-new school building and how it feels a little nervous about the changes ahead.
Cleversticks – B Ashley; A new boy finds school hard until he discovers he has a skill that no-one else has.
David goes to school – David Shannon
If you ever want to bring an alligator to school, don't – Elise Parsley, a young girl gives sage advice about show and tell choices!
Little rabbit goes to school – Harry Horse; Little rabbit is a bit nervous about leaving his favourite toy at home but taking him to school proves to be complicated as well.
Lily's purple plastic purse – Kevin Henkes; Lily thinks her teacher is amazing, but when she gets told off it takes a while for her to see both sides of the situation – but can she fix the situation?
Look, there's a hippopotamus in the playground eating cake – Hazel Edwards; there's a few different stories about Hippopotamus, in this one he provides a familiar, quirky face to a little girl starting school.
Marshall Armstrong is new to our school – D. Macintosh; sometimes new people do things very differently.
My teacher is a monster, No I am not! – Peter Brown; Meeting a teacher outside school time is weird – if you're not careful it can change your perspective!
Harry and the dinosaurs go to school – Ian Whybrow
10 best chapter books about school and being the new kid
Middle fiction

Angel of Nitshill – Anne Fine; the new girl is really different. She challenges the way things have always been – could she be an angel?
Baby aliens got my teacher – Pamela Butchart
Weirdo series – Anh Do; being the new kid is even harder when your name gives everyone the giggles!
Terrible two – Mac Barnett; new town, same old pranks. But the town already has a prankster, how will it cope with two and can they be friends?
Senior Fiction
Dork Diaries series – Rachel Renee Russell; starting at the swanky Westchester Country day school brings lots of new problems for Nikki.
Millicent Min, girl genius – Lisa Yee; Millicent hides her true abilities to protect her new friendship.
Tomorrow Girls series – Eva Gray
Star girl – Jerry Spinelli;
HIVE series – Mark Walden; Okay, it's the Higher Institute of Villainous Education so not your average school story, but a great action-packed one!
M/S graphics
Dumbest idea ever – Jimmy Gownley; inspired by real events, when prolonged illness causes Jimmy to go from cool kid to cringe at school, he comes up with a mad plan to turn things around…
Happy Reading!

Librarians at work Henali Patel, Sasha Cameron and Ella Murphy issuing books
Kendall McKane returning books to the shelves Jade Moloney


Photos from author Stacey Gregg's visit

Author Stacey Gregg had a big audience in our library, talking to her fans about her pony club books. Stacey gives Lucy Knott a rosette for answering a question about one of her books.
Afterwards we got to talk to her individually and she signed autographs. Librarian Margo White is keeping an eye on the queue.  

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Book Reviews

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Kids Lit Quiz
Kids Lit Quiz training off to a good start for 2016!

On Tuesday 27 Oct 2015 four of the children who will be competing next year at the regional Kids Lit Quiz Competition took part in a mini quiz run by the Tauranga Intermediate. The quiz is for Tauranga teams as a warm up for the official Kids Lit Quiz in March and this is the first time Awakeri School has been invited. We were also there to share and inspire other schools with the story of our success in the International Kids Lit Quiz with the children, librarians and teachers who attended. Mrs Petersen and Mrs White gave short Power point presentations outlining the events of the last six years of KLQ for Awakeri and some details about the training we do with the teams each year. Then onto the quiz – always the most exciting part! The quiz consisted of five rounds of ten questions and Awakeri were lucky enough to hold on to a strong first round lead to win the competition! The prize of choosing three books each from the sponsor Books-A-Plenty in Tauranga plus several spot prizes of books and chocolates certainly made the day worthwhile for the team! On the return journey we stopped by to see the statues of Lynley Dodds' famous dog and cat creations along the waterfront. Here is a picture of the team with Hairy Maclary and company, from left; Ben White, Riley McDonald, Alex Robbie and Tayla Jones.

A huge congratulations to the 2014 KLQ teams. The A team won the BOP regionals, won the NZ nationals and then came 3rd in the World finals in England. Congratulations Finn Spod, Ben White, Emily and Alex Robbie, also coaches Ann Petersena and Margo White. To check out our past glorious KLQ history go to the Academic archives page.

Here the four students write about their experiences in England:

Our long and exciting journey started all the way back in Term 3 last year. Each week we would spend one lunch time being quizzed to find the top 8 students in our school with good literature knowledge. When the teams were chosen our fantastic coaches Mrs Petersen and Margo quizzed us in teams and gave us heaps of ideas and books to read. 
In May, we competed in the regional competition where schools from throughout the Bay of Plenty battled to be B.O.P champions and for the cash prize of $1000 and the chance to compete at the national quiz.
The next quiz, which was in Wellington was much harder, not only were we competing against the best teams in NZ, the questions were much more complicated and we had to buzz in before the other teams to answer a question.  We only won that quiz by one question.
As national champions we were given the chance to compete in England for the Kids’ Lit World Cup. We started training every school day, with Margo and Mrs Petersen always giving us something new to learn, they gave us information about authors and illustrators, suggested different books to read and websites to investigate about books and nursery rhymes.
Then early last month, we were off to England. Going to England is not cheap, and with only 3 weeks to raise enough money for 6 people to travel it would have been almost impossible without the help of so many great sponsors.

The Quiz, the reason for it all, the battle of the readers happened on the Tuesday of the trip. On the morning of the Quiz, we all dressed in our handsome uniforms and got on the coach, bound for the Princess Pavilion.  After a practise run through of the quiz with mock questions, we begin to get a bit, no, a lot nervous. The teams filed onto the stage, Australia, Canada, us, Singapore, South Africa, UK and finally USA.
Finally, we were all seated at our tables awaiting the last Kids’ Lit Quiz for 2014, the world final. After what seemed like a bagillion years sitting at our table with Lord Ripper, our team mascot, the two Steves introduced the man who made it happen, quizmaster Wayne Mills and the Quiz could begin at last. After the first category we were doing quite well but at half time we were coming dead last. During the second half we started to creep up the score board and by the end we were pretty sure we were third although they don’t show the score in the last round. Sure enough they called us up for third and we were proud beyond words, far beyond words.

When we were in Cornwall, the teams and their coaches got treated to a week of fun activities around the glorious city. On Sunday we went to Glendurgan Gardens and the teams loved doing the maze and going on the Giant’s Stride, a huge six person swing. On Monday we visited Heartlands which is a big mining museum with a great playground, and then we went to Pendennis castle, where we met a historian/author called Steph Haxton. On Wednesday we went to Restormel castle and Swanpool beach, where the teams got to go kayaking and bell-boating, which is like rowing a waka. On Thursday we went to the Minack Theatre and a castle called St Michaels Mount, which is in the middle of the ocean. On Friday we went to a fascinating place called the Eden project, where we learnt all about plants, and how they are used.

Travelling to England as a member of the NZ National Kids’ Lit Quiz team has been a great social experience and an excellent way to meet new friends from around the world. Some of the highlight memories were getting used to the weird and wonderful accents, being invited by the Canadian team for a breakfast of pancakes and maple syrup, learning new games from other countries and running through a hedge maze with new friends.  One Canadian boy was a master magician and could make a coin appear from behind your ear, an Australian member was amazing at soccer, and a Singaporean was an excellent photographer. During the week of activities everyone became really good mates through jumping off rocks into the freezing cold English Channel, playing manhunt in a 13th Century castle ruins and ultimately, the quiz world final and celebratory Gala dinner.
Some of the things we will take away from this once-in-a-lifetime experience apart from memories and photos are that we now have a new network of friends to keep in touch with for future adventures. We have also had a taste of city life and all that goes along with it, like crowds, riding the London underground and navigating through train stations and airports. We’ve had opportunities to chat with famous authors and our eyes have been opened wide to the knowledge that can be learned from books and world travel.

3rd in the World. Wow!
Mrs Petersen, Emily, Alex, Ben, Finn and Mrs White represent their school and country with excellence.

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Writers' Corner

Milky white clouds, as soft as a new merino jersey,
Stretches of treetops below me,
I soar on golden wings,
close to the dazzling sun,
When I screech, the sound echoes around canyons and valleys,
Breathtaking sights unfold before me,
The life of a bird is magnificent.


Some responses to The Hobbit from Room 14:

Bilbo Baggins

Bilbo is good, I think mainly, because he is too nice to be EVIL!!!!
Bilbo has a very big role in The Hobbit, well, because he is the Hobbit. He is the lucky 14th person in this adventure.
Bilbo is like me in a few ways.
First off, at the start of the book, he is quiet and would rather be at home with a book in front of the fire than be outside in the cold, adventuring.
Bilbo is also like me in another way. His Baggins side is quiet, calm, respectable and scared of adventuring. But his Took side is adventurous, outgoing and daring. Like him, I am quiet and don't like to go too far outside my comfort zone. But on the other hand, I am adventurous, love exploring and I love the feel of adrenalin running through my veins.
So comb your foot hair and relax for an awesome book.

Georgia L.C.


With his teeth like splinters and eyes like moons, Gollum is actually quite a fearsome character. I mean, he sits in the dark with a magic invisibility ring on, stalking stray goblins. I love the way he is so easily surprised. One minute he's about to eat someone, the next, he's sitting on the floor bawling! But for a low life creature like him he's pretty smart. I wonder where he got those riddles and where did he find the ring? So much is not known about him. What was his real name before he took on Gollum? I felt quite sorry for him. Sitting in a cave, catching fish and goblins all alone in the dark must get very lonely. Still, he is a horrible thing. His raspy voice is really freaky. The way he talks makes himself sound like a horror movie.
So anyway, "Make hassste, make hassste," and stop reading this before Gollum gets you!

Finn S



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