David's been reading...


The Broons, Beno and Oor Wullie by D.C.Thomson *****

I've been reading a mix of golden age classics and the more modern annuals. They are all great for the family. Perfect for reading on a cold day wrapped in a cover.

Hannah's been reading...Lorien Legacies series


I am Number Four by Pittacus Lore ****
It is about aliens trying to save their planet. It was very good and I'd definitely recommend it.

The Power of Six by Pittacus Lore ***
This is the second book in the Lorien Legacies series but wasn't as exciting as the first book (I am Number Four).


The Great Big Children's Books Poll

Ahead of World Book Day, booklovers across the UK & Ireland are being asked to vote for their favourite heroes and villains in children’s books.



Young Writers

Enjoy writing? Fancy a challenge? 
Have a look at the Scottish Book Trust's page for the latest opportunities for Young Writers.

If you are 13 or under the BBC Radio 2's 500 Words Competition is running just now. 
Deadline is 7pm on 25th February.

Mr.Holt's S3 Sugar Tax Links

Aim: to get a better understanding of the effects of sugar, and the reasons for and against a tax on it.


Outcome: to have 5 or 6 points and quotations about the health effects of sugar and reasons for and against a sugar tax.

How Mexico Took on the Soda Giants - The Guardian

Why is Sugar so Addictive - BBC 

Sugar Free Check App  

Sugar Tax Would Work - BBC

Sugar Health Threat Underestimated - The Guardian  

Jamie Oliver Calls for 20% Sugar Tax on Fizzy Drinks - City AM

Sugar Tax Debate - City AM

Ms Dewar's been reading...

Joe Pike - Project Fear ***
An insider's look the Referendum detailing the comedic incompetence and back stabbing going on in the No campaign. It's a bit repetitive at times and the author wastes his time trying to build suspense given we already know who won.

To Davy Jones Below - Carola Dunn*
I like a 1920s set murder mystery as much as the next person, but this was disappointing - humourless, suspense less and slow.

Free e-books @JYHS Library

As a member of the school library you are a member of West Lothian Libraries (ask Mrs.Wilson for your borrower barcode) - find out more about borrowing eBooks here


Why I think Watchmen is the best graphic novel in existence by Grant



Besides being one of Time Magazine's 'Top 100 Novels Ever Written' the Watchmen series has enormous fan following. So big in fact that it's famous 'smiley blood spatter' has become an iconic part of pop culture and is referenced in movies, TV and even other graphic novels.



Watchmen was originally published by DC Comics between 1986 and 1987, written by Alan Moore with the iconic art being provided by artist Dave Gibbons and colourist John Higgins. Watchmen is beautifully drawn and well written and is, in my opinion, like the Holy Bible of comic book fiction.

Almost every fantasy or sci-fi graphic novel written since Watchmen was first published has taken at least a bit of inspiration from the book, yet, Watchmen still stays its own book - unique to any other.

What makes the Watchmen novel unlike any other comic book or graphic novel is its complexity, in its narrative and its political, moral and ethical commentary on war, injustice and the value of human life. Are our doings throughout history and in everyday life are truly justified? If we do something for the 'greater good' do we really consider the impact on all dimensions of life and reality? Is it better to tell ourselves and others the same lie in order to keep balance or should we tell the cold, unwanted truth to sustain innocence and morals?

Basically you could apply and compare this book to any political, moral or ethical situation on Earth right now (especially right now) and you'd find more similarities than differences.

Ms Dewar's been reading

A S A Harrison - The Silent Wife ***
The was written pre Gone Girl otherwise I'd say it was a rehash of Gone Girl - a capable, fairly enjoyable story of a super-controlling spurned wife

Michael Frayn - Skios ***
Heavily signposted farce - didn't enjoy it much.

Dan Rhodes - When the Professor got Stuck in the Snow *****
"I have devoted swathes of my life to kindly telling people how ignorant they are, and correcting them, and giving them the opportunity to think as I do" says 'Richard Dawkins', the noted scientist marooned in a snow bound village. This is a very, very funny satire, also featuring a lovely cameo from 'Lynn Truss'

Ms Dewar's been reading


Elena Ferrante - My Brilliant Friend*****
These are the best books I have read in a long time - the first 2 in a quartet complex, deep  & beautifully written & translated. It centres on Elena (Lenu) & her brilliant, difficult friend Lila growing up in the patriarchal society of Naples  -  so far, Lenu has escaped to university in Pisa, while Lila has been trapped in a violent marriage

Deborah Copaken Kogan- The Red Book ***
I finished this but only just - a novel about middle aged middle class people finding themselves at their Harvard reunion - the cover was the best bit.

Suzanne O'Sullivan - It's All In Your Head****
Really interesting book by a doctor on her patients who suffer the real pain and disability of psychosomatic illnesses - eye opening answer to if the body rules the mind or if the mind rules the body ( it's b)

Mary Stewart - My Brother Michael*****
A re-read for one a series of this lovely books - romantic thrillers written in the late 1950s and early 1960s. This turns on the fall out from of the second world war, but it's the strong characterisation and fabulous descriptions of Delphi before mass tourism which makes it feel like a mini holiday.

Harry Bingham - This Thing of Darkness ****
Four stars because of a giant hole in the plot of what is otherwise a really interesting, different series of police thrillers with a brilliantly unusual main character - a policewoman who is not a loner alcoholic or a multitasking supermum but dealing with serious mental illness. Also - funnier than that sounds. I've read this once already since it came out in summer and will read it again.

David's Top 5 Reads


1. Tenth Man Down - Chris Ryan
2. The Hobbit - J.R.R.Tolkien
3. Super Fudge - Judy Blume
4. Cross - James Patterson
5. Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck

Lego Club Challenges

As part of JYHS Library's Lego Club we offer the chance to win chocolate if your design wins the challenge.

Today was a whopper with three challenges being rolled into one - build a sea animal shaped catapult with only 25 bricks.

Watch out it's a Shark-apult!

video


Think you could do better? Join us after school on a Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday and prove it!

Grant's Top 5 Books

1. Carrie by Stephen King
2. Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin
3. Wolf of Wall Street by Jordan Belfort
4. Batman: The Long Hallowe'en by Jeph Loeb
5. Holes by Louis Sachar

Mrs. Wilson's Top 5 Books

In no particular order:

1. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
Arthur Dent hitches a ride just before the Earth is destroyed but what he really wants is a cup of tea. Adams' book is wonderful, I've lost count of how many times I've read since 2nd year in high school but I still find it funny and every reading beings a new perspective.

2. Crocodile on the Sandbank by Elizabeth Peters
The first of the Amelia Peabody stories which I can't recommend highly enough. This volume sees our Victorian heroine head off to Egypt and end up mixed up in an adventure on an archaeological dig site. The author's an Egyptologist so the archaeology is spot on.

3. Flashman by George MacDonald Fraser
Harry Flashman is a Victorian war hero to the public but is really a coward and bully. You shouldn't like him but you do and the stories are brilliant adventures with the added bonus of being historically accurately.

4. Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
The shadow of Maxim de Winter's first wife is long and haunts his new wife when she arrives at his magnificent home, Manderley. It's a brilliant read and was not at all what I had expected.

5. Cat Among the Pigeons by Agatha Christie
Hercule Poirot solves the murder of a PE teacher at a girls school. I love all Christie's work as a rule but this one is a personal favourite.


Free chance to meet author Keith Gray



Meet Keith Gray for free at 6.30pm on the 26th November 2015 at the Bathgate Parnership Centre, Lindsay House, 22 - 25 South Bridge Street, Bathgate EH48 1TL.
Click here for larger version of the flyer.  
For more information email dswestlothian@gmail.com 
You can find out more about Keith here.  
This event is being held as part of Book Week Scotland.  

Gemma's Been Reading..

King of the Cloud Forrest by Michael Morpurgo ***
Not the best. Entertaining at times but felt like it went on and on.

How to Fossilize Your Hamster: And Other Amazing Experiments for the Armchair Scientist edited by Mick O'Hare **** 
Great experiments to try.

Mr Stink by David Walliams *****
It was amazing, funny at times.

The King's Curse by Philipa Gregory *****
Amazing.

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott *****
I love reading as it captures my imagination.

My Head Teacher is a Vampire Rat by Pamela Butchart *****
It was hilarious I loved it.

Reading Hack Podcast

The first JYHS Library Podcast has been launched! 
The junior Reading Hack group discusses the big issues rasied by the Harry Potter series.

Mrs. Wilson's been reading...

Batgirl: Vol.1 The Darkest Reflection by Gail Simone ***

This particular book collects the first few issues of the relaunched Batgirl for the 'All New 52' and was originally published in 2011. It reads well as a stand alone volume and the six comics link nicely together. The stories and characters are enjoyable to read and the alternative art work is interesting to look through. You don't need to know the lore of the comics to read the new 52 (and I have to say I've found it more of a hindrance when you have preconceived ideas about the characters) so it's a good place to start into the DC universe.

Three stars is probably harsh for this collection - it's probably really a four but while I enjoyed the writing and artistry, I was disappointed by the a younger, able bodied Barbara Gordon (though the repercussions after being wheelchair bound is a addressed in every issue). Not that this young incarnation wasn't an interesting character in her own right, just that she isn't as interesting to me as the she was as the wheel-chair bound, older, Oracle/Barbara Gordon before the reboot.

Mrs. Borthwick's been reading..

A Question of Blood by Ian Rankin ***
Crime in Edinburgh!
Crime in West Lothian!
Crime everywhere!
Slow to get to the ending though :(

The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell **
It's about spirits occupying the bodies of different people in a very confusing manner. Written from the perspective of several characters. If you like strange - you'll love this!

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