Friday Headlines

the weekly newsletter from Dr Ruth Weeks, Headmistress

Librarian's Top Picks

29 June 2018

Don't know what to read next? Stuck reading the same books over and over? Want a suggestion you can trust? These top picks will include books from all genres, new or old and are hand-picked by the librarian to pique your interest. The best bit is they are all available in the school library.

Tamar – by Mal Peet – suitable for all

This moving story about love, lies and secrets in a time of war, was the winner of the 2005 Carnegie Medal. When her grandfather dies, Tamar inherits a box containing a series of clues and coded messages. Out of the past, another Tamar emerges, a man involved in the terrifying world of resistance fighters in Nazi-occupied Holland half a century earlier. His story is one of passionate love, jealousy and tragedy set against the daily fear and casual horror of the Second World War. Unravelling it will transform the younger Tamar's life...

Matched – by Ally Conde – suitable for Year 9+

"Matched" is not just another dystopia jumping on The Hunger Games bandwagon. It explores the ideas of choice, free will and love. On her seventeenth birthday, Cassia meets her Match. Society dictates he is her perfect partner for life. Except he's not. In Cassia's society, Officials decide who people love. How many children they have. Where they work. When they die. But, as Cassia finds herself falling in love with another boy, she is determined to make some choices of her own. And that's when her whole world begins to unravel…

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine – by Gail Honeyman – suitable for Year 8+

This is a moving story about Eleanor Oliphant, who has learned how to survive – but not how to live. Eleanor Oliphant leads a simple life. She wears the same clothes to work every day, eats the same meal deal for lunch every day and buys the same two bottles of vodka to drink every weekend. Eleanor Oliphant is happy. Nothing is missing from her carefully timetabled life. Except, sometimes, everything. One simple act of kindness is about to shatter the walls Eleanor has built around herself. Now she must learn how to navigate the world that everyone else seems to take for granted – while searching for the courage to face the dark corners she's avoided all her life. Change can be good. Change can be bad. But surely any change is better than... fine?

The Pursuit of Happyness – by Chris Gardner – suitable for older readers

"The Pursuit of Happyness" is the autobiographical novel from Chris Gardner, a successful businessman with a dark and difficult past. At the age of twenty, Chris, just out of the Navy, arrived in San Francisco to pursue a promising career in medicine. Considered a prodigy in scientific research, he surprised everyone and himself by setting his sights on the competitive world of high finance. Yet no sooner had he landed an entry-level position at a prestigious firm than Gardner found himself caught in a web of incredibly challenging circumstances that left him as part of the city's working homeless and with a toddler son. Motivated by the promise he made to himself as a fatherless child to never abandon his own children, the two spent almost a year moving among shelters, "HO-tels," soup lines, and even sleeping in the public restroom of a subway station. More than a memoir of Gardner's financial success, this is the story of a man who breaks his own family's cycle of men abandoning their children.

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