Category Archives: Senior Library

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Author Peadar O’Guilin ‘calls’ in to BGS

On Tuesday this week we were very fortunate to have Irish author, Peadar O’Guilin, visit our Senior Library to talk to three classes of Year 9 boys, while on tour to promote his new novel, The Call.  He had just arrived from the Perth Writers Festival, and is now on his way to Sydney and Melbourne to promote his book there.

Based on a mix of Irish mythology and horror, The Call tells the story of a brutal feud between the Sidhe (aka malevolent fairies/banshees) and humans. The Aes Sidhe, ancient rulers of Ireland, were banished to the greylands (a type of hell) many years ago after being defeated by humans, but now they have found a way to get back at humans by ‘calling’ every teenager into the greylands for a deadly game of survival. Each teen is only gone for 3 minutes and 4 seconds in human time, but this equates to 24 hours of terror and torment in Sidhe time. Normal schools no longer exist, and each remaining student learns only how to survive in the greylands. Many come back maimed or mutilated; many never come back at all – but one girl is determined to survive.

Read more about his book, or come to the Library to borrow a copy.

 


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Our OverDrive eBook Collection has grown

Here are a few series that have proven to be popular in hard copy and so, to help us keep up with demand, we now offer these great series as part of our OverDrive collection. 

Magisterium –  By Holly Black & Cassandra Clare

Think you know magic? Think again. The Magisterium awaits . . .

Most people would do anything to get into the Magisterium and pass the Iron Trial.  Not Callum Hunt.  Call has been told his whole life that he should never trust a magician. And so he tries his best to do his worst – but fails at failing.  Now he must enter the Magisterium.  It’s a place that’s both sensational and sinister. And Call realizes it has dark ties to his past and a twisty path to his future.  The Iron Trial is just the beginning. Call’s biggest test is still to come . . .

– OverDrive

Books available in the series: The Iron Trial, The Copper Gauntlet, The Bronze Key.


Empire Series – By Raymond E. Feist & Janny Wurst

Enter the mysterious and exotic world of Kelewan… Mara, the youngest child of the ancient and noble Acoma family, is about to take her pledge of servitude to the goddess Lashima when the ceremony is disrupted by news of her father and brother’s death in battle. Despite her grief, as the only surviving member of her house, Mara must now take up the mantles of Ruling Lady. But she soon discovers betrayal at the heart of her family’s loss, and the Acoma’s enemies have brought her house to the brink of utter destruction. Daughter of the Empire is the magnificent first book in The Empire Trilogy by Raymond E. Feist and Janny Wurts. Mara, an inexperienced political player, must draw on all her wit, intelligence and cunning to navigate the ruthless Game of the Council, regain the honour of House Acoma and secure the future of her family. But with assassins waiting around every corner, it might take everything Mara has simply to survive.

– OverDrive

Books available in the series: Daughter of the Empire, Mistress of the Empire, Servant of the Empire. 

The Belgariad – By David Eddings

Myths tell of the ancient wars of Gods and men, and a powerful object – the Orb – that ended the bloodshed. As long as it was held by the line of Riva, it would assure the peace.  But a dark force has stolen the Orb, and the prophecies tell of war.  Young farm boy Garion knows nothing of myth or fate, but then the mysterious Old Storyteller visits his aunt, and they embark on a sudden journey. Pursued by evil forces, with only a small band of companions they can trust, Garion begins to doubt all he thought he knew…

– OverDrive

Books available in the series: Pawn of Prophecy, Queen of Sorcery, Magician’s Gambit, Castle of Wizardry, Enchanter’s End Game.

Serpentwar By Raymond E. Feist

This is the first book in the bestselling Serpentwar series. A nest of vipers is stirring… Ancient powers are readying themselves for a devastating confrontation… A dark queen has raised her standard and is gathering armies of unmatched might. Into this battleground of good and evil a band of desperate men are forced, whose only hope for survival is to face this ancient power and discover its true nature. Among them are some unlikely heroes – Erik, an illegitimate heir denied his birthright, and his friend Roo, an irrepressible scoundrel with a penchant for thievery. They are accompanied by the mysterious Miranda, upon whom all must wager their lives.

– OverDrive

Books available in the series: Shadow of a Dark Queen, Rise of a Merchant Prince, Rage of a Demon King, Shards of a Broken Crown. 

Lord of the Rings By J.R.R. Tolkien

Continuing the story begun in The Hobbit, this is the first part of Tolkien’s epic masterpiece, The Lord of the Rings, featuring the definitive text and a detailed map of Middle-earth.  Sauron, the Dark Lord, has gathered to him all the Rings of Power – the means by which he intends to rule Middle-earth. All he lacks in his plans for dominion is the One Ring – the ring that rules them all – which has fallen into the hands of the hobbit, Bilbo Baggins.  In a sleepy village in the Shire, young Frodo Baggins finds himself faced with an immense task, as his elderly cousin Bilbo entrusts the Ring to his care. Frodo must leave his home and make a perilous journey across Middle-earth to the Cracks of Doom, there to destroy the Ring and foil the Dark Lord in his evil purpose.  J.R.R. Tolkien’s great work of imaginative fiction has been labelled both a heroic romance and a classic fantasy fiction. By turns comic and homely, epic and diabolic, the narrative moves through countless changes of scene and character in an imaginary world which is totally convincing in its detail.

– OverDrive

Books available in the series: The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers, The Return of the King.

The Iron Druid – By Kevin Hearne

Atticus O’Sullivan, last of the Druids, lives peacefully in Arizona, running an occult bookshop and shape-shifting in his spare time to hunt with his Irish wolfhound. His neighbours and customers think that this handsome, tattooed Irish dude is about twenty-one years old — when, in actuality, he’s twenty-one centuries old! Not to mention: he draws his power from the earth, possesses a sharp wit, and wields an even sharper magical sword known as Fragarach, the Answerer.

Unfortunately, a very angry Celtic god wants that sword, and he’s hounded Atticus for centuries. Now the determined deity has tracked him down, and Atticus will need all his power — plus the help of a seductive goddess of death, his vampire and werewolf team of attorneys, a bartender possessed by a Hindu witch, and some good old-fashioned luck of the Irish—to kick some Celtic butt and deliver himself from evil.

– Goodreads

Books available in the series: Hounded, Hexed, Hammered.

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the GalaxyBy Douglas Adams

On 12 October 1979 the most remarkable book ever to come out of the great publishing corporations of Ursa Minor (and Earth) was made available to humanity – The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

It’s an ordinary Thursday lunchtime for Arthur Dent until his house gets demolished. The Earth follows shortly afterwards to make way for a new hyperspace bypass and his best friend has just announced that he’s an alien. At this moment, they’re hurtling through space with nothing but their towels and an innocuous-looking book inscribed with the big, friendly words: DON’T PANIC.

The weekend has only just begun…

 – OverDrive

Books available in the series: The Hitchiker’s Guide to the Galaxy; The Restaurant at the End of the Universe; Life, the Universe and Everything; So Long and Thanks for All the Fish; Mostly Harmless. 

The Phoenix Girls By Brian Knight

When thirteen-year-old orphan Penny Sinclair moves to the small town of Dogwood to live with her godmother, she expects her life to become very dull.  She doesn’t expect to find a strange talking fox roaming the countryside near her new home, a kindred spirit in her new friend Zoe, or the secret grove where they discover the long hidden magic of The Phoenix Girls.

– OverDrive

Books available in the series: The Conjuring Glass, The Crimson Brand, The Heart of the Phoenix. 

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Duke of Edinburgh Volunteers

Each year we have students volunteering in the library as part of the Service requirement for the Duke of Edinburgh Awards.  These students assist with returns, collate statistics, help with displays, and search online for book summaries and cover images of new books. They also learn how to cover and repair books.

They quickly become independent workers, knowing what jobs need doing and working efficiently and diligently with all tasks. They are a great assistance to the library staff, allowing the staff to concentrate on other duties.

Written by BGS Library Technician Bernadette van den Hout


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Books and friendship combine in the BGS Book Clubs

The fantastic reading culture at Brisbane Grammar School is reflected in some of the extracurricular activities provided by the libraries.  BGS is lucky enough to have three different active book clubs for students to join throughout their time at Grammar, and these are a great opportunity to engage with books and other boys in a relaxed and social setting.

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The Senior School’s Aficionados Club is available to boys in Years 9 & 10. This club discusses both books and movies, and meets in LC309 every second Friday lunchtime. Members are all offered the opportunity to attend the Somerset Festival of Literature later this term, and there is also the possibility during this year that the club will meet with other schools in the area for shared discussions.  If you are interested in joining, contact Ms Oxley.

Years 7 & 8 students may join our Inside Story Book Club which meets every Friday during lunch in the Centenary Library.  Members of the club in the past have represented BGS at the annual Readers Cup Competition, have assisted in organising Library activities such as the ever popular Library Legends and have had the opportunity to meet once a term with St Joseph’s College (Terrace) for a shared book club.  Should you wish to become a member of this club please see Ms Smith in the Centenary Library or attend one of the meetings on a Friday.

The Middle School Library holds meetings every Tuesday during lunchtime for The Lunch Bunch.  Each term Ms Palmer will run activities focusing on a particular topic; currently the boys are learning about coding, while in Term 2 The Lunch Bunch will take the form of a book club.  This club is for Years 5 & 6 boys. Should you require any more information, or if you would like to join, please see Ms Palmer in the Middle School Library.


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Year 8 Poetry Slam

Tuesday lunchtime this week saw a flurry of activity and a buzz of anticipation in the Forum as Year 8 boys streamed in for our second annual Year 8 Poetry Slam. As part of their English classwork, each of the boys had to write a slam poem in class then, as a class, they voted on the best one to be performed at the year level competition.

To set the scene, the first poet off the rank was Keng, last year’s winner, who performed his winning poem for this year’s cohort. Nine of our Year 8s then performed in quick succession, with Mr Kobez, Keng and one of the Year 8 students acting as judges. The quality of the boys’ poems and presentations was outstanding, and set the bar high for next year’s competition! Taking out first place was Abineash, with Charlie placing second, and Dillon in third place.

A big thank you must go to all of our contestants for making this such an enjoyable event, as well as to the Year 8 English teachers for their excellent work in coaching the boys to write and perform at such a high standard.

poetry-slam


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Snitch and Broomstick Races in the Learning Commons

Last Friday three teams of teachers pitted their skill and speed against the boys in in our inaugural Snitch and Broomstick Races in the Learning Commons. Teams of two had to start at the Forum end and put on a gown, hat and tie, then ride a broomstick to the Library doors while carrying a golden snitch in a spoon. There, everything had to be swapped over to their partner who then ran back to the other end.

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Mr Irvine and Mr Hows from the PE Dept, Ms Bruerton and Mr Jones from the Science Dept and Mr Celm and Dr Barrie form the Economics/History Dept were all great sports and competed valiantly, but no-one could match the speed and technique of our winning team, Year 12 students Davis and Mitchell.

 

 


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A World without Antibiotics – Is this our Future?

Superbugs at the Olympics
Did you know:

  • that scientists have not discovered any new antibiotics for the past 30 years?
  • that multidrug-resistant bacteria (superbugs) kill more than 9,000 Australians each year?
  • that by 2030, more than 16,000 people will die each year — that’s more than 300 each week!!
http://superbugs.imb.uq.edu.au/

Bringing this frightening future much closer to home, superbug-infested waters were an issue that surrounded the Olympic Games in Rio this year. What did this mean for our Australian athletes?

If you are interested and would like to find out more, this free event is one you should not miss!

At this event, you will hear personal stories of athletes and the challenges doctors faced when treating the athletes who entered the superbug-infested waters in Rio.

Register now for this free community event and hear from:

This exciting expert panel will also include UQ researchers, who will discuss measures taken to prevent superbugs from taking a stronghold at the Olympic Games.

Where:  UQ Institute for Molecular Bioscience Auditorium

When:   5.30-7.30pm Thursday night 17 November

This event has been organised by Mathilde Desselle, from the UQ Community of Open Access Drug Discovery (CO-ADD). In August this year she gave a presentation at our TEDxYouth@BGS event, focusing on the race to find new antibiotics. The premise of her talk was that “the threat of antibiotic-resistant bacteria continues to rise, but the number of new treatments available has flatlined, and this has placed us dangerously close to a return to the pre-antibiotic era, when even simple infections caused death.” (http://www.co-add.org)  However, the CO-ADD mission is to help researchers worldwide to find new, diverse compounds to combat drug-resistant infections by testing, free of charge, thousands of chemical compounds which might otherwise be thrown in the bin.

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’10 Minute Raves’ #2 with legendary teacher Mr Ian Howlett

Surprised, amused and delighted were the group of boys who attended our second in the series of “Raves” from a legendary teacher. Ian began a rapid fire set of recommendations for good books to to read. He began with the “beach reads” style of authors who entertain with their works. From Grisham, Dan Brown and Matthew Reilly he moved on to a range of his favourite historical novelists such as Ellis Peters, Lindsay Davis, Patrick O’Brian, Liam Hearn and Laura Joh Rowland.

But as Grammar tradition demands, he kept the best till last. Launching into a history of his readings of Jane Austen, Mr Howlett challenged his audience to put off reading his favourite novel “Pride and Prejudice” until the time is right – perhaps during University, perhaps not – or possibly well after. His explanation for doing so was very well reasoned, but it probably has had the opposite effect. I’m sure everyone attending the talk could not wait to get their hands on a copy.


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’10 Minute Raves’ with legendary teacher Mr Wayne Zeller

I never knew that there was a nursery rhyme “One flew East, one flew West, one flew over the Cuckoo’s nest”, but Mr Zeller does that when he is talking about books – always shining a light on some aspect of a novel we did not expect. From Kesey and Heller, he took us on a gallop through a forest of great writers, Richard Matheson, Cormac McCarthy, Stephen King, Robert Ludlum before rounding off with nineteenth century classics. Thanks to his art, this rave was both instructive and enjoyable.


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‘Inside Story’ hosts a shared Book Club

Thursday afternoon saw the final joint book club meeting between BGS and St Joseph’s College, Gregory Terrace (Terrace) for 2016.  The Years 7 and 8 book club ‘Inside Story’ played host for the second time to the Terrace book club equivalent.  For the past three terms the two schools have met one Thursday afternoon a term to discuss a book they have all been reading.  The boys and their librarian book club leaders meet, enjoy some pizza and cordial and share their opinions on the most recent book that has been set.

The past two meetings have seen students and staff enjoying ‘Masterminds’ by Gordon Korman and ‘Wool’ by Hugh Howey with some wonderful and thoughtful conversations occurring.  This term the students have been reading ‘The Firebird Mystery’ by Darrell Pitt, a Steampunk novel based loosely around the concept of a Sherlock Holmes style mystery.  This book brought up some interesting conversations about World War II and other great YA series’s that fall into the same Steampunk category.  These events are a great chance for students to engage with books, and other boys, in a social setting and something we hope to continue in 2017.