Year 10 Book Club

We have a strong culture of reading here at Brisbane Grammar School, developed over the years by our enthusiastic Library staff. Ms Palmer in the Middle School Library and Ms Ragen in the Senior Library are both keen advocates for books, reading and literature and both have instigated a wide range of initiatives to enthuse, engage and inspire boys to read.

Recently we held our first Year 10 Book Club with a group of enthusiastic boys. Over pizza and ice creams we discussed Lian Hearn’s Across the Nightingale Floor, and the concepts of disguise and honourable death, the treatment of women and persecution of minority groups. Lian Hearn is the pseudonym of well-known Australian author, Gillian Rubinstein, and she wrote her now famous Tales of the Otori series after receiving a research grant from Asialink, a fund set up to assist Australian artists working in Asian countries. The five books in this series give a fascinating insight into life and death in ancient, feudal Japan.

One of the boys in the group read this book last year and analysed it in depth to create an excellent book trailer for his English assignment. He comments:


Beautiful, classic and elegant are just a few words used by reviewers to describe Across the Nightingale Floor, by Lian Hearn, and indeed, the bestselling author of this novel deserves these words of praise. The book had me hooked from the very beginning, with descriptive, poetic language and plenty of action. The well-constructed plot kept me enthralled in the plight of Takeo, a young, now orphaned boy, who attempts to avenge his family. Hearn creates a descriptive, well-paced text, and the epic tale continues on for a series of five books, all of which I enjoyed tremendously. This is truly a book to pick up and never put down. (Kieran B.)

An understanding of Asian culture is a core aspect of the new Australian Curriculum, and this very enjoyable series will undoubtedly hold an important place in schools for many years to come.

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