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Saturday, 6 March 2010

The Big Book Week Post

Hi Everyone,
What a mammoth week! I hit a brick wall of tiredness last night but I'm feeling refreshed this morning after such a good night's sleep.
So here's the post about book week. The highs and the lows.

Robert Crowther, Pop-Up Book Artist, worked with years 3 & 4. He talked about his transport series which are great non-fiction books for boys aged 7 - 9. He explained how he learnt to make pop-ups and showed us the different stages in the design process. We then all had a go at making our own. I made one of a Pac-Man eating an alien. Lots of fun and his books are works of art. If you're looking for an unusal gift for a boy who is fascinated by Cars, Trains, Ships or Planes, then I highly recommend buying one of Robert's books. All the children were amazed! After school we ran a book fair and the children all dragged their parents into the library to beg them to buy books. Fun!


I admit that I could barely contain myself on the way to work Tuesday morning. It was an absolute pleasure to ask Keren to visit my school and talk to Year 7 & 8. I learnt so much more about how When I Was Joe came into being. I was awestruck. You all know how much I fell in love with this book. If you missed my epiphany with this novel, check out my review. I wish I could remember everything that Keren said but I think the rest of the week ruined those brain cells. These are the things I can remember:
  • Keren began by explaining that someone in the room could be lying about everything: their name, their past, maybe they can't even remember what the truth is anymore. It was a very dramatic way to being a talk about writing on the theme of witness protection.
  • She explained that although she had been a journalist and a reporter, she had no idea about how to write a book. On the advice of a friend she went to an evening class and this was what gave her the structure she needed to write a book. Deadlines are a great motivational tool! I couldn't agree more.
After the sessions were over Keren and I went for lunch to a little Greek restaurant. It was so funny because I have no idea where any shops or restaurants are near to my work. I just drive there and back. I had to Google somewhere for lunch. Anyway, Keren was so wonderful to talk to and I confessed all about my NaNo book and how I'm stuck in a rut with it. She gave me some very helpful advice which I cannot thank her enough for and now I feel like a must not give up on my idea but just thinking, rewriting, editing etc. I think I might do an evening class too because I need routine for just about everything and this would certainly help. Keren was so desperate to tell me about Almost True but I wanted to wait to read it in August so we talked about home, writing in general and family stuff instead. Thanks for a great day Keren! Some of the kids have nearly finished Joe and it hasn't been a week yet. A complete success!

Sadly, my work day ended with a teacher being rude to me. I was really upset and had a bit of a cry when I got home. This is the low of which I spoke at the beginning. Managing a week as busy as this is very stressful so when a member of staff treats you like a slave, it kind of pushes you over the edge. Needless to say I told my boss and let her deal with it. I got a semi-apology on Thursday.

My day off and so I left my Assistant and my Boss to manage the book fair and the Year 6 book group. They call themselves The Book Worms.


World Book Day saw staff and students dress up as a book character. Here I am as Sophia the Snow Swan Fairy. A huge thank you to my sister for making my costume. I wish I could wear wings more often!


The final day and we had Pete Johnson come into school to speak to Years 5 & 6. Year 5 have a tendency to be a little rowdy but they were all so engrossed. It was more of a performance than a talk because he also wanted to be an actor and I think he put that into his presentation. He spoke about 7 of his books but there are so many more. The book that I sold most copies of was Phantom Fear but his most popular book around the world is How To Train Your Parents. Apparently, there are four techniques you can use to train your parents but he wouldn't tell us what they are. We need to read the book to find out. One student told me he tried it when he was in Year 3 and got into lots of trouble. I'm wondering if I might have a parental backlash on my hands LOL.

I also had the Senior School Book Quiz on Friday lunch time. I styled it on a pub quiz. There were 6 groups of 5 students taking part and it was pretty crazy but lots of fun. I gave sweets and badges to everyone who took part but the winners got to choose a book and I'm going to order it for them. I also had to go to assembly to announce the winners.

Finally, we had the staff book group in the library. I was so tired I don't really think my thoughts contributed much but we did choose the next book. It is The Brief Wondrous Life of Ocsar Wao by Junot Diaz. Anyone read it?

So I do have a contest to celebrate my book week but I'm going to give it a separate post because this is already way too long. I will also write the promised how to plan a book week post for those people who were interested.


Tam said...

Wow - you've had such a busy week, no wonder you were exhausted! Hope you've got a nice relaxing weekend planned :)
Really pleased Keren's event went well - When I Was Joe is an ace book!

Bookalicious Ramblings said...

What a great post! I really enjoyed reading about your Book Week and I can see why it must've been very busy. Great photos too and you're totally adorable as that snow swan fairy - great choice! :D What did other kids dress up as? If I had the guts, I'd definitely dress up as Pipi Longstocking, haha!
Anyway, thanks for this great post and I hope you manage to recover soon from such a busy week! Glad to hear it was a success though - well done! :D

Luisa Plaja said...

Oh, fabulous post - I loved reading it, and what great pictures! I love your Snow Swan Fairy outfit! And how brilliant to hear about all the author visits. I bet everyone's really enjoying Keren David's When I Was Joe.
Thank you for this!

Cat Clarke said...

What a week! You must be completely exhausted. I wish there had been a librarian like you at my school - sounds to me like you go above and beyond the call of duty!

Jo said...

Great post, Becky! So glad your week was a success. It's such a shame, we never had anything like this when I was at primary school :( Which means no dressing up either. Love your outfit! What sort of school do you work at? Primary and secondary school kids? I'm confused. Lol.

Becky said...

Good question Jo. I work at a Prep school. Our pupils are 3 to 13 years old. There are very few school around now on this model. I love it though. So much variety in terms of being a librarian.

Bookalicious the children had so many different costumes, I wish I could post the pics but as I'm sure you'll understand, I have to maintain child protection procedures. Keep all my little munchkins safe. We had everything from The Mad Hatter, to Percy Jackson with Zeus's lightning bolt, Puss-in-Boots, Horrid Henry, Tweedle-Dee and Tweedle-Dum. Great fun!

Tam, I agree Keren's book is amazing. I'm a total fan girl!

Luisa, you're right! Everywhere I go around school I see my kids with When I Was Joe and it rocks! Even the parents want to read it. Yay!

Cat, I don't see it as above and beyond. It only happens for one week of the year and if I get the kids reading more or something different, it all feels worth it.

prophecygirl said...

Wow, what a great week! It all looks and sounds amazing - well done! Now go and have a nice relaxing weekend :)

Lenore said...

Love your costume!

Shweta said...

You had a some really busy days Becky. Happy that you pulled it off well. You shouldn't let what others say hurt you.People who hurt us are not worth thinking and crying about.

Great to know you got to meet the author of When I was Joe. Book sounds really great and I really liked your review of it.

Nina said...

You had such a fun week! And omg your costume is so much fun and you like a real fairy! :) Your sister has done a wonderful job!

I love this post, it's so much fun to now more about the library you work at and the bookweek you organized. Good job!!

Have you noticed how many times I used the word fun... :)

Becky said...

LOL Nina. Fun is a great word to sum up the week.

Shweta, I totally agree that I should have let someone upset me but I think my tiredness didn't help. Hubby wiped away my tears so it was okay and I'm back to being my happy-go-lucky self now.

Lenore & Nina, I shall pass on your compliments about my fairy outfit to my sister! :-)

Charlotte (The Book on the Hill) said...

What a week ! It's so cool to read about it, thank you for sharing all this ! And your fairy outfit is awesome. Did the swan come to life ? :)

Rhiana said...

Sounds like you had a fab week, I love the costume too! The pupils at your school sound very lucky, my daughters school did nothing :-(

Jill of The O.W.L. said...

Oh wow what a lot of fun stuff!!! You're amazing for putting that all together. Think of all the kids you reached about reading and books within this week. Well done!!

Oh and I'm sorry some stinky teacher and to ruin part of it. Not nice at all!

Elie said...

Looks like a fun week. I love your costume. Good thing someone gave you a semi-apology.

The Book Bug said...

Wowza. You did have a mammoth week! I am so jealous you got to meet Keren David and got to dress up.

StephTheBookworm said...

I love your costume! So fun!

Christina/Book Addict said...

WOW! Incredible. I can tell that the Book Week meant a lot to you and it shows. I'm sure the kids had a blast. It looks like it was extremely successful. :)

Don't you hate when a staff member takes the wind right out of your sails? I can TOTALLY relate. I try to not let it go, but it's hard sometimes. (Anyway, I have to get back to my grad class-BOO!) But hope you have a great weekend. You deserve it after the week you had. Well done!
PS- Awesome costume! ha!

I Want To Read That said...

Looks like a busy but awesome week (despite the rude teacher!). Loved seeing all the pictures - your costume is ace:)

Lauren said...

This is such a fun post. I'm having a hard time picturing my old school librarians dressing up as book characters (apart from Miss Marple, but I'm pretty sure they all dressed like her every day). Sounds like a fun job, apart from rude people. Grrr.

Sarah said...

Sounds like such a fun week (apart from the rude teacher - glad you could get your boss to deal with her!). Loved your costume & it must be so much fun to have authors in to talk about their books. We never had anything like that happen in my school LOL

brizmus said...

I have read the Brief Wondrous life of Oscar Wao, and while I liked it, it was also somewhat. . .confusing at times. You can read my review here: http://brizmusblogsbooks.blogspot.com/2009/09/review-brief-wondrous-life-of-oscar-wao.html
Anyhow, it sounds like book week was AMAZING, with meeting Keren being the major highlight! What a cool thing! :-) I also LOVE your costume! Every time I get a brief glimpse into your personal life, I am just awed at how much you remind me of my sister. She would be proud of the costume your sister made.
I so wish I could have your job.

Yunaleska said...

Wow it sounds like you had an awesome week! Especially meeting up with Keren :)