Book Week

Creating a quiz based on our Australian young adult fiction collection helped us gather our thoughts and contemplate the theme for Book Week 2016, Australia! Story Country. We decided to encourage the boys to create and share stories whilst enjoying the familiar space which is called a library but here, at St James College, it is so much more.

Damian Perry created four fabulous book marks around a reworking of the latest sensation, ‘Book-e-Mon!’ these were produced as a limited release for Book Week and all library patrons received one when they returned and borrowed resources.

For the first time a mobile library trolley was set up and students were able to borrow and return books in the comfort of their own classrooms. This novelty will be ongoing as we support the boys in their silent reading endeavours during homeroom time on Tuesdays and Thursdays throughout the year. Something about the mountain coming to you springs to mind…..

Our celebration of story began with an invitation for all students to enter the quiz which centred around our display of Australian fiction titles and connected to the jigsaw of Australia which some very keen students managed to finish in the four school based days of the week. Alexander Hy 9M won the quiz.

On Monday 22nd August at lunchtime the first session of the Year 9 spelling bee was held with a Book Week flavour.

Year 9 Spelling Bee
As I entered the library on the 22nd August, I knew it was going to be a battle. A battle between the giants of spelling. I knew it was going to be hard, so I was prepared...not really. I had to redeem myself from the embarrassment of spelling the word 'gauge' wrong last year and a capital letter the year before. The topics this year were Maths, Science, Humanities and English. There was also a special category of Book Week words.

As I stood up to spell my first word, I was ‘ultra nervous’ and I felt that pulses of electricity were going through my body just like a charged up Pikachu. After the first round, no one had spelt their given word wrong. Then came the second round. This time I was a lot more confident entering the spotlight as people actually started to muck up on their words. Not me though. I was determined to win. Then came the third round, where the words were steadily getting harder, but not hard enough to challenge me, but that was a different story for some. After the end of the third round, I was once again feeling rather nervous as I've been in this position the last two years, and failed. But this time I succeeded, and even though feeling really happy on the inside, I knew I still had a journey to overcome.

There were still three other people left that I needed to beat and as I started to think about the win, two of the guys messed up on their words. It was my chance. Two people left, me and my fellow opponent, Ned. It was the final. Ned came into the spotlight first, and was given his word. As he was spelling it out, I sat with butterflies in my stomach as I thought he would be able to spell it correctly, but no, he didn't. It changed my mindset completely. So now instead of spelling to survive, I was spelling to win. I stood up slowly, trying to cheer up Ned, and walked over slowly to the microphone. My heart was racing as I was up there, but I kept it calm. Ms Blake and Ms Leschinski struggled to find a word hard enough for me and left me stranded nervously waiting for my word. The tension was rising with every second. But then they found a word. A word that I've never heard before, even though it sounded like the easiest out of the whole competition. The word was 'sluicing'. But somehow, I got it wrong. Sluicing is pronounced like 'slucing', so that's how I got it wrong. Unfortunately, that was the last word for day, so that meant it was going to continue on another day.

Fortunately, we didn't have to wait too long. Two days actually, to finish off with the spelling bee. We spelt our first 2 words correctly until... Ned got his wrong. So again, it was my chance to finish the spelling bee off, but this time I didn't need to wait so long for my word. The word was camouflage. I felt that it was a quite an easy word to spell for me, but with me, you never know when I'm going to muck up. I kept my composure and slowly spelt the word out, and finally, finally I spelt the word and this time correctly!

It was a great time being in the spelling bee and I would like to commend everyone for their efforts, especially Ned.
Peter, Year 9 Solomon

Tuesday of Book Week had the whole school actively involved in the great outdoors of the SJC Book Week athletic sports. On Wednesday at recess we hosted the final rounds of the Year 9 spelling bee which Peter Nguyen has so wonderfully described. At lunchtime we enjoyed all the hilarity of our One Liner Storytime game which employed the use of character glasses and the imagination of the story telling participants. The photographs tell the tale.

Thursday was the opportunity for the library student leaders, our monitors Nick Nikolitsis, Jordan Stamatakos and Jake Penny, to organise an event. They continued to entertain all of us, staff and students alike with a fabulous game show, ‘How well do you know your mate?’ The laughter was continuous and the atmosphere throughout the game was a true highlight of the week. Pairs of contestants were separated and asked the same question. Matching answers were the optimum result but the path to compatibility, or in this case a true knowledge of your mate was sometimes rocky. Congratulations to all the boys who participated in the game, both contestants and audience members. Trent, 10L and Sam, 10S were the winners and they were very pleased with their Dymocks voucher prize. All the boys received a lolly pack which came with one of limited edition Book-e-Mon book marks.

The final day of Book Week was completely given over to the writing event, ‘Write a Book in a Day’ which provides the perfect full stop for such a great week.

Many stories were told and shared during Book Week.

Deirdre Riordan

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