TAG | books


The ABCs First Tuesday Book Club has released a list of the 10 top ‘must-read’ Australian books as voted by Australian readers in 2012.




These books are either classics or on their way to becoming classics – enduring works of literature with a message that spans time and generations:

  1. Cloudstreet – Tim Winton
  2. The Book Thief – Markus Zusak
  3. A Fortunate Life – A.B. Face
  4. The Harp in the South – Ruth Park
  5. The Power of One – Bryce Courtenay
  6. Jasper Jones – Craig Silvey
  7. The Magic Pudding – Norman Lindsay
  8. The Slap – Christos Tsiolkas
  9. The Secret River – Kate Grenville
  10. Picnic at Hanging Rock – Joan Lindsay

Find them at a bookshop, a local library or borrow them from our Library when you return next year.


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Reading Olympics


The combination of the National Year of Reading with the London Olympics  provided a golden opportunity for us to run a Reading Olympics competition for all our Middle School boys.  The boys were challenged to see who could read the most in the 8 weeks leading up to and during the London Olympics, and this was a perfect way to not only link reading with sport but to also reward a non-sporting achievement.

The 16 Middle School classes divided neatly into 4 sporting teams and 4 countries, and each boy was given a score-sheet based on his country and team.  Each 10 pages read represented one point, and medals were awarded according to how many points were earned – 2000, 3000 and 4000 for Years 6 and 7, and 3000, 4000 and 5000 for Year 8. The boys whole-heartedly rose to the challenge and we ended up awarding 111 individual medals – 55 gold, 23 silver and 33 bronze – while the overall winners of each sporting team and country received trophies. The most successful team was the Athletics team with 49 medals, the Australian team came second with 34 medals and the Cycling team placed third with 31 medals.

During the 8 weeks of the competition, 1344 books were recorded as read; in reality this number would have been much higher because boys who were not in the competition were also reading. In all, it was a very enjoyable and highly successful competition promoting books, reading and literacy.




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LibraryThing for Libraries


LibraryThing for Libraries is a recent exciting addition to our Library catalogue, an add-on which allows you to find similar titles in our Library, explore other titles with similar tags, read reviews written by people around the world, write your own reviews, and see a virtual bookshelf of the books located before and after the title you are looking at.

This library-enhancement package is based on LibraryThing, “a cataloguing and social networking site for book lovers where you or anyone else can create your own library catalogue of books: books you own, books you’ve read, books you’d like to read, books you’ve lent out … whatever grouping you’d like.

Since everyone catalogues online, they also catalogue together. You can contribute tags, ratings and reviews for a book, and Common Knowledge (facts about a book or author, like character names and awards), as well as participate in member forums or join the Early Reviewers programme. Everyone gets the benefit of everyone else’s work.

LibraryThing connects people based on the books they share” and LibraryThing for Libraries connects you to other titles you might enjoy from our Library, while allowing you to read reviews from people around the world.

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National Year of Reading


2012 has been designated as the National Year of Reading, and both the Senior and Middle School libraries have a multitude of activities planned to celebrate this exciting year.

The idea for the National Year of Reading was first discussed at the Australian Library and Information Association Public Libraries Summit back in 2009.  Since then it has expanded to include authors, publishers, teachers, teacher librarians, book retailers, media organisations, government and corporate partners. More than 200 writers, publishers and organisations involved with reading and literacy are affiliated with the National Year of Reading, and ambassadors and patrons include: William McInnes, Bernard Salt, Bryce Courtenay, Kevin Rudd, Andy Griffiths, Morris Gleitzman, Susanne Gervay, Anh Do, Ted Egan, Robyn Archer, Anna Goldsworthy, Steve Parish, Anita Heiss, Graeme Base, Anna Bligh, Gary Crew, Shaun Tan and the Melbourne Football Club.

The National Year of Reading will officially be launched next week on 14 February at the National Library of Australia in Canberra, hosted by the First Tuesday Book Club’s Jennifer Byrne, actor and author William McInnes and award-winning children’s author Boori Monty Pryor.

(Information from SCIS Connections and Love 2 Read)

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Matthew Reilly at BGS


Last Friday night many of our students and staff were among nearly 600 people who enjoyed a fabulous night with Matthew Reilly, who was touring in Brisbane following the launch of his latest book Scarecrow and the Army of Thieves.  Among many other things, he spoke about the Bradbury Principle:  ” Never give up. Never say die. You are always in the race.”  (Based on Steven Bradbury’s ice-skating win at the Winter Olympics, Salt Lake City, 2002)

While this could succinctly describe all of Matthew’s main characters, it is also a reflection of his own life. At the age of 19 he had already written his first novel, Contest, but could not find a publisher. Determined not to let that stop him, he self-published his book, which was subsequently read by a publishing rep. From there he has become one of the most popular writers in Australia for teenage boys, and has inspired hundreds of BGS boys to develop a love for reading.  While speaking with some of our senior boys, he reminded them that it takes 10,000 hours of practice to be good at something, and encouraged them to never give up on their dreams.



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The Great BGS Book Swap

At the end of last term a very enthusiastic Middle School Service Committee team, under the guidance of  Mr Justin Shears, helped to run a Great Book Swap for boys in Years 6-8.  This was part of a national campaign, run by the Indigenous Literacy Foundation, to raise money which goes towards purchasing much-needed books for remote Aboriginal communities.  At the same time the boys could indulge their love of reading by swapping books, or purchasing them for a small cost.

Over the previous weeks, boys across the Middle School had brought in books they wished to swap, and the Service Committee team then worked in shifts to collect and coordinate all of these books.  After very successfully encouraging lots of  others to visit the Great Book Swap, the Service Committee boys were proud to announce that they had raised over $300 to help Aboriginal children experience the same pleasure and enjoyment from reading books that they have taken for granted all their lives.

To launch our Great Book Swap, favourite Australian children’s author and Ambassador for the ILF, Andy Griffiths, had visited the School just a few days earlier to promote the work he is doing in remote communities, exciting children across Australia about the joys of reading and writing.

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