The month of May marks National Share-a-Story Month, co-ordinated by The Federation of Children’s Book Groups. To celebrate, our students and staff have shared their favourite books, in a bid to encourage others to get reading.
The peculiarity surrounding this last year has meant that we’ve had to get creative with ways of keeping ourselves entertained. Perhaps we’ll be glad to see the back of Zoom quizzes and excessive walking, but one activity that we hope will forever stick around is the traditional act of reading. The month of May marks National Share a Story Month, so to celebrate storytelling and how powerful it can be, we have decided to share some of our staff and student’s favourite and most influential books. Hopefully, we can inspire you with some of our choices.
I would have to say my favourite book is the first book of the Mirror Visitor quartet, A Winter’s Promise by French author Christelle Dabos. It is a fantasy book of pure imagination that sees Ophelia, a clumsy and misunderstood genius travel across the arks (floating islands on which the descendants of their immortal ancestors dwell) to meet the man she has been arranged to marry: the deadly Thorn. Ophelia sees herself being used as a political pawn in this marital arrangement with severe consequences not only for her, but all the arks. - Jenny, Year 12.
Order of the Phoenix is my favourite book mainly because I love adventure stories and it also has an air of mystery. In addition, characters like Harry Potter can apply to real life, such as the way he endures all the hate he receives in this book. Another aspect of books that I enjoy is humour, and there are slight touches of humour dotted throughout the book, which makes me enjoy it even more. The wide range of vocabulary present also enhances my own knowledge and also engages the reader into the story so I feel as if I am in the world of Hogwarts. - Vrishin, Year 8.
"You cannot buy the revolution. You cannot make the revolution. You can only be the revolution. It is in your spirit, or it is nowhere.” My favourite book is The Dispossessed by Ursula Le Guin. It is set on the fictional worlds of Urras and Annarres and follows the life of a physicist named Shevek. The story starts on Shevek’s home planet of Annarres, an anarchist utopia where money and power doesn’t exist: a perfect world (or is it?). The narrative then takes Shevek to Urras, a planet much more like our own where money and power permeate every decision, every interaction, EVERY THING. Can he survive – or, even, thrive – in this crazy new environment? - Mr Sackey-Ambler, Head of English.
The book that I favour above all others has got to be Watership Down. Never in my life had I read such beautiful literature. There wasn’t a single character that I didn’t look forward to reading about, and I could go on for hours about how wonderful it was that Richard Adams was talented enough to recreate them in a way that was not only relatable to us humans, but also remained true to their species as rabbits, birds, etc. The amount of time he must have put into the storyline, not to mention the rabbits’ religion and folklore, is unreal and, had I not read the book, I would have nowhere near as much zest for writing and reading as I do today. I truly was inspired. In fact, any ounce of skill as a writer I do possess today, I owe to that one book (as well as my general love for rabbits). It truly is a work of art. - Izzy, Year 8.
Charlie and the chocolate factory was read to me at school and the teacher who read it was so animated that it really brought the book to life. Oh how I yearned to get a golden ticket. I love the way Roald Dahl uses words and language in such a creative and inventive way to entice the reader. Wonka's Whipple-Scrumptious Fudgemallow Delight. I really do believe that this is where my obsession with all things chocolaty began. - Mrs Payne, Head of Pre-Prep.
As you can see, we have had some excellent suggestions from our staff and students. It is clear just how important reading, and sharing stories, actually is. Why not share a story with the people around you, and you may just get a great suggestion back in return.