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!



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!

Alix has been reading...



Tom Gates: Everything's Amazing (sort of) by Liz Pichon *****
"It was like a diary and I found it interesting because there were a lot of illustrations and things."

Find out more about the World of Tom Gates on his website.


Molly, Heather and Aimee have been reading...


The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne **** 
"It is quite a sad story but it's an amazing storyline." - Molly
"It is a bit emotional and sad." - Aimee
"I think it was quite emotional and it was very deep."- Heather

Dead Romantic by C J Skuse 
"It was good but it was a wee bit inappropriate like at the end but it was good. 3/5" - Molly
"I think it was a great book. I don't think it is appropriate for people under 11 it has some rude parts but overall it was great. 4/5" - Heather

Extraordinary Dogs by Elizabeth Wilhide *****
"It was heart warming to see all the dogs helping their owners and helping the world." - Molly

David's been reading...

I had a Black Dog by Matthew Johnston *****

It's a great help book about depression and it really helped.


Stan Lee Excelsior Award Winners 2015

Pupils in JYHS Library voted

MOONHEAD AND THE MUSIC MACHINE by Andrew Rae

our winner and it picked up the 'Judge A Book By Its Cover Award' but the national pupil vote choose something different;

3rd Place
ALL-NEW GHOST RIDER: ENGINES OF VENGEANCE by by Felipe Smith and Tradd Moore

2nd Place
MS. MARVEL: NO NORMAL by G. Willow Wilson and Adrian Alphona

1st Place
SUPERMAN / WONDER WOMAN: POWER COUPLE by Charles Soule and Tony S. Daniel

You can read all of the shortlist for yourself in the library and see if you agree.
Dear All

We need your help, the school library needs new books. We have set our target of £2000!  

The easiest way you can help us achieve this is to please sign up to  https://www.easyfundraising.org.uk/causes/jyhspa
and help us out. 

There's more than 2,700  Retailers to choose from on easyfundraising and deals to be had.
including Argos, John Lewis and Amazon.

Do you use your phone to shop online? Download the easyfundraising app and you can raise a whopping 50% more to help the school library buy new bookshttp://www.easyfundraising.org.uk/raise-more/easyfundraising-app/

We really need your help, to help all the pupils of James Young High School to have a updated library.

Thanks for all your help.

The Fundraising Team
JYHS Parent Council

The Future is Here #BTTFDAY


Since the dismal weather means you aren't out playing on your hoverboards how about tucking up with a Pepsi Perfect and a dehydrated pizza and reading a good time travel tale instead.

The Time Machine by H.G.Wells (fee eBook)
Classic time travel where having build his time machine (a phrase coined by Wells) this Time Traveller hops around the past and future observing but not interfering.

You can also read H.G.Wells' gripping, time travel, murder mystery, short story 'The Chronic Argonauts' for free online.

A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court by Mark Twain (free eBook)
The hero of this tale finds himself uprooted from 19th century America to Medieval Britain where he sets about setting up the infrastructure for a civilised society.

If you can head down to the library why not try:

Tom's Midnight Garden by Philippa Pearce
A grandfather clock that strikes 13 opens a portal to the 19th century in this classic children's story. If you haven't read it yet now is the time, there is good reason why this has remained in print since it was first published in the 1950s.

The Time-Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
Henry can't control his spontaneous time travel while his wife, Claire, is stuck on the same linear path as the rest of us. This is a tear-jerker folks, keep a box of tissues on hand.

The Restaurant at the End of the Universe by Douglas Adams
Sequel to The Hitchhicker's Guide to the Galaxy it sees our hero of sorts Arthur Dent on a quest with his new found travelling companions to find somewhere for lunch. Where better than at the end of the universe?



Meet Kick-Ass author Mark Millar

When: 7pm Friday 27th November 
Where: Wishaw Library in North Lanarkshire 
(Before you discount it was being too far Wishaw Library is a mere 35 minute drive from the school!)

Mark was already a comic superstar (writing for Marvel and DC as well as for the creator-owned comics in his Millarworld line), before the huge success of movies Kickass and Kingsman made him a movie superstar too. 

Join Mark in conversation as he discusses his rise from a dreamy 13-year old schoolboy in Coatbridge (hopefully sending comics pitches to New York every week), to a veritable titan of the graphic novel industry. He’ll be chatting about his latest publication, Jupiter's Legacy, as well as the comics that helped him get where he is today.

Tickets are free but you need to book - get more info here

(This is part of Book Week Scotland)

Ian's been reading...

House of Robots by James Paterson *****
It's about... a boy who brings a bro-bot to school
What did you think of it? Really really cool

Big Hero 6: Book of the Film by Irene Trimble ****
It's about... a 14 year old boy whose big brother dies in a mysterious fire.
What did you think of it? Not bad, could have some pictures.

Fantastic Mr Fox by Roald Dahl *****
It's about a fox who out smarts 3 evil farmers and their 108 men! Fantastic (Mr. Fox!)

George's Marvelous Medicine by Roald Dahl *****
It's about a small boy and his mean grandma. I like the four different effects the medicine has: #1 Tall #2 long legs #3 long neck #4 tiny

The Twits by Roald Dahl*****
It's about two evil people - nothing but hilarious.

Mrs Wilson's Been Reading...

Dandy Gilver and the Proper Treatment of Blood Stains by Catriona McPherson ****

This is book five in the Dandy Gilver series, though since I totally failed to look that up before I started reading it is the first in the series I've read. The plot is self contained so there was little that was affected by this oversight, though I did wonder about Dandy's husband and Alex as it's clear there has been more of a story before the setting of this book.

Set in Edinburgh during May 1926, as workers down tools to support the coal miner strikes, Dandy takes up a job as a ladies maid to try and help a wife who fears her husband is going to kill her. However it's the apparently wicked husband who is bumped off in a locked house where the only suspects are his wife and the staff.

I do like a locked room mystery and this one was certainly diverting. I liked the characters and the little bits of history thrown in -it was interesting to find out about the 1926 strikes something I'd never been particularly aware of. Enjoyable to read, I'll be on the look out for the first book in the series.


English Zoo Links



Issues Articles we used in class can be found here
(You will need a password and username from the library to access these)

Gemma's Been Reading...

The Thief Lord by Cornelia Funke 5/5
Scipio was a thief and it follows him around.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K.Rowling 5/5
It was amazing I loved it.

A Brief History of Pants by Kjartan Poskitt 3/5
It was hilarious.

Ancient Greece 3/5
It was very informative.


Mrs Borthwick's been reading

A Question of Blood by Ian Rankin 3/5

A slow starter, but hard to put down near the end. Focus on Inspector Rebus as he investigates the shooting of three pupils in a school in South Queensferry.

If you like crime novels, this is the book for you!

Amy's been reading


Dear Olly by Michael Morpurgo 4/5 - It was very emotional I cried.

Have a Little Faith by Candy Harper 3/5 - The book seemed to go on forever. I wouldn't recommend it.

Best Friends by Jacqueline Wilson 5/5 - It was about two best friends. I ♥ it.

Don't Blink

Target Who donated some classic Doctor Who novels to JYHS Library plus with the new series airing on BBC we thought it only fitting we make it a display but be warned;

"That which holds the image of an Angel becomes itself an Angel."



Want to read a Doctor Who story but can't get to the library? Have no fear you can download some for free on the BBC website. Including the original Stephen Moffat short story that 'Blink' was based on!

Not up to speed on the the Weeping Angels? Questioning Umbrella has a handy guide on YouTube

What's Your Story?

Stories worth telling don’t only live in books, or even on paper, and creative writing definitely isn’t just something you do in school.

If you’re keen to create, to share, and to gain skill as a writer or illustrator – 'What's Your STory' can’t wait to hear from you!

They’re looking for 10 young people in Scotland with stories to share and a passion for discovering how to tell them. They’re not just talking novels and poems, They’re talking video games, blogs, fanfic, slam poetry and spoken word, TV, movies, comic books, journalism, illustration, zines, song lyrics, web serials and anything you’d like to write!

Head over the the website for more information and details on how to apply

Ian's been reading...

Roald Dahl is one of my favourite authors.

The BFG by Roald Dahl 5/5
It's about an orphan girl who is kidnapped by a 24 foot giant. 5/5 Amazing!

Danny the Champion of the World by Roald Dahl 5/5
A coinless boy who finds out his Dad's deepest, darkest secret. Superb.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl 5/5
It was about a poor kid called Charlie Bucket who finds a golden ticket! I loved it.

Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator by Roald Dahl 5/5
Charlie inherits the Wonka Chocolate Factory! Fantastic.

Matilda by Roald Dahl 5/5
A 6 year old bookworm girl finds she has a secret power. Magical.

Fairy Tale Reads

Inspired to read some Fairy Tales?

If you fancy just a quick look into the bits Disney missed out have a read of this article over on the Scottish Book trust.

Want to take it further?
You can find free e-book versions of the original tales on Project Gutenberg:

German - Grimms' Fairy Tales by Jacob Grimm and Wilhelm Grimm
(Includes Little Red  Cap (aka Riding Hood), Rumpelstiltskin and Hansel and Gretel among others)

Danish - Fairy Tales of Hans Christian Andersen by H. C. Andersen
(Includes Emperor's New Suit, Little Mermaid and the Ugly Ducking plus more)

French - The Fairy Tales of Charles Perrault by Charles Perrault
(Includes Cinderella, Little Red Ridding Hood and Sleeping Beauty plus other stories)

Arabic - The Arabian Nights Entertainments by Andrew Lang
(Also known as One Thousand and One Nights this collection of stories includes Aladdin and Sinbad the Sailor)

Fancy looking at the Pied Piper of Hamelin for yourself?
Have a read of the Brothers Grimm story here
and have a read of the is article from the Independent which offers a possible explaination for the story.



Eilin's been reading...

Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins 4 out of 5
It's about a girl called Katniss and a boy Peter who get chosen to go into the Hunger Games. I thought it was a very cool and fun book to read.

Fire Starter by Catherine Forde 4 out of 5
It is about a 16 year old called Keith who was in his house baby sitting for a week, but on the second day a strange boy went into the next door neighbors house from then on it became a catastrophe. Very good book.

Tim the Tiny Horse by Harry Hill
Tim the Tiny Horse at Large by Harry Hill
3 1/2 out of 5
They are about the life of a horse that is tiny (and blue). Funny and good book for young children under 10.

Mystery of the Burnt Cottage by Enid Blyton 3 1/2 out of 5
Five kids and a burnt cottage. Nobody knows who lit the cottage on fire and the kids try and figure it out! Good book for kids who are just getting into reading chapter books.

Middle School: Worst Years of My Life by James Patterson 3 out of 5
A boy called Rafe who wants to brake every rule in the school rule book. I thought this book was good but it trailed on a bit too much.

Laura's been reading...

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky ****
This book is about a boy who just watches life around him pass, and seems to find it quite hard to be 'normal'. He is very thoughtful, introverted and lets things happen to him, but we won't know why for a very long time. I loved this book. Charlie was a character that I could understand and enjoyed following his thoughts. I love how everything makes sense in the end, but before that, his life is still so interesting. The only downside is that I didn't find it overly thought provoking.

Treasure Island by R.L.Stevenson ***
The story is of a boy who finds a treasure map and goes out to find it. It is well known classic, yet I felt it lacked in some sense. For the genre it is, I felt it lacked an exciting story, which was there in a way, but I would have liked more adventure.

Looking for Alaska by John Green
This book is about a boy who meets a girl, but finds out he might not have known who she really was/is and tries to figure out this girl. I felt as though the storyline was a bit boring. Also, I can't seem to enjoy any of John Green's books as his style of writing doesn't work for me. The way thoughts and feelings are portrayed make them hard for me to relate/empathise with them. I kind of liked the ideas of the book, however.


David's been reading...

Hulk: Banner D.O.A. by Mark Waid and Mark Bagley *****
Bruce Banner has been shot in the back of the head twice causing brain damage and when he hulks out, Abomination attacks him. Great book loved it completely.

The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown *****
Professor Robert Langdon tries to solve the Da Vinci Code. I really liked it as it has an interesting plot and has great suspense and action at points.

X-Men the Ultimate Guide by Peter Sanderson *****
It is an in depth guide to the X-Men characters, eras and comics and it is an amazing book.

The Slippery Slope by Lemony Snicket *****
The 10th chapter in the series is about how Violet, Klas and Sunny try to reach VFD by travelling up a mountain. A great book - highly recommend reading.

Anna's been reading...

Ruby Redfort - Take Your Last Breath by Lauren Child

Score - 5/5

Ruby solves a mystery about mysterious happenings in the sea involving sharks!

Want to know more? Head over to rubyredfort.com

JYHS Library presents Comic Con


Mrs. Wilson (our cool librarian)  also got in on the act, mild mannered librarian by term but Batgirl at Comic Con.

Cool Librarian



Comic Con Guests

We have two more special guests coming to Comic Con -

Jessica Byrne is an illustrator whose work has appeared in the novel, Darker Shadows and the horror comic anthology, The Shadow Collection. She has submitted guest strips to the webcomic, Two Guys and Guy and writes and illustrates her own webcomic, The God Stone.

James McCulloch is the writer of the horror comic, City of Lost Souls, editor of the horror anthology, The Grime, a film review for GoGuide and has his own film blog called grandmasterwookisfantabulousfilmblog. He also sings and plays bass for the bands Bat Country Massacre and the Black Lights.

Top Ten Reads for Newbery Award


Gone by Michael Grant

"It isn't until the world collapses around you that you find out what kind of person you really are."  Looking for something exciting to read over the summer holidays? Check out the "Gone" series.

GONEReview of Gone: In a town in southern California suddenly all the people over the age of 15 disappear and the town gets sealed off from the rest of the world. The town falls into disarray so it is up to our hero Sam to restore order to the town but fear starts to spread when some of the survivors get powers.
I think everyone should read this book because it is loads of fun to read and it has got lots of action and some very good characters.
By heat man 06    

Review of the series: The Gone series is by author Michael Grant. It is about a small town where all the adults have vanished and the kids are trapped in a small town. Every kid under 15 stays in a dome. The kids must learn how to survive. Eventually other kids come and a battle starts. The books in the series are: “Gone”, which is about kids getting used to the new world; “Hunger”, which is about the kids starving; “Lies” which is about a psychopath who died in a fire, but is back for revenge;” Plague” which is about a disease inside the Dome, which the kids must fight off; “Fear” about a monster that has been hiding in the cage out to kill every last kid; and “Light” which is about Sam the main character fighting off the monster and Drake. Everyone should read this series because it is an award winning series and some of the best books I have ever read.
By Pedro13 


 Check out the book trailer and more information about the Gone series on the Michael Grant website. If you enjoyed 'Gone', then you should  read the next books in the series: "Hunger", "Lies", "Plague", "Fear" and "Light".