Monday, November 14, 2011

Marcus Sedgwick

Popular children's author Marcus Sedgwick visited San Anton School last week. His books, amongst which are Floodland, The Book of Dead Days and My Swordhand is Singing, have won and/or been shortlisted for numerous awards.

He is also the author of The Raven Mysteries, a series of books featuring the Otherhand family, an assortment of charmingly bizarre characters who live in an old castle. Undoubtedly, the hero of these stories is Edgar, the pet raven who acts as the voice of reason amongst all the odd goings-on that happen in and around Castle Otherhand.

The Grade 7s knew about The Raven Mysteries and were keen to meet the author who created this marvellous world. In they trooped, and took a seat in the library. After a brief introduction, Mr Sedgwick took over.

video

(Images in the video were taken from http://www.petewilliamson.co.uk and http://www.ravenmysteries.co.uk/.
The song used is Roustabout by Beats Antique and remixed by Bassnectar.)

His soft-spoken yet confident manner won the children over immediately. He took them on an extensive and detailed tour of Castle Otherhand, discussing the strange characters and creatures that inhabit the numerous rooms. Such as Lord Valevine Plantagenet Vesuvius Ropey and his laboratory, the place where unfortunate frog experiments take place. Or else Solstice's knack for writing soporific poetry. Or Cuddleweed's perpetual hunger and bone-rattling nervous disposition. Or the gigantic, mysterious tail of the unseen creature that dwells in the darkest recesses of the castle.

Despite all the information that Mr Sedgwick supplied, the students still had loads of questions to ask. Some of them were about the Otherhand books, some were about his other novels for older readers, whilst others concerned the art and craft of writing. Mr Sedgwick was kind enough to answer all their questions. Afterwards he also signed their books.

It was a very successful visit that the students enjoyed immensely. Thank you Mr Sedgwick!

Marcus Sedgwick's visit was organised by Merlin Library and Books Plus.
Visit Marcus Sedgwick's website at http://www.marcussedgwick.com.
Visit The Raven Mysteries website at http://www.ravenmysteries.co.uk



Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The Ponds of Wonder


This Tuesday, Mr Brian Abela, the new Assistant Head of the Middle Sector, presented his new book: The Ponds of Wonder.

The book tells the story of Tom Hanson, a boy who receives a mysterious package from a long distant relative. This occurrence sets in motion a series of events that send Tom and his friend Ben on the greatest adventure of their life.

Mr Brian explained how he had the idea for the book when he was a little boy. He had written an essay outlining the story, for which he got a pat on the back and a very good mark! As years rolled on, he kept on thinking about this story. One day he decided to put pen to paper (or rather finger to keyboard) and write it all down. The result became The Ponds of Wonder.

After his talk, Mr Brian took time to answer questions from the students and was also kind enough to sign their books.

(If you want to learn more about The Ponds of Wonder, or you have read it and would like to comment about it, you can visit the book's site on www.thepondsofwonder.co.cc.)

Friday, June 10, 2011

Christmas at the Flat

I sat on the sofa playing with my rubber band. After a few minutes of doing nothing, I took another tour of my new flat.

It was hardly entertaining, seeing the same boring grey flat everyday. It had only been one week since I moved in with my mum. One week away from Christmas, one week after my parents decided to separate.

My mum did everything to cheer me up: she bought me clothes, took me to restaurants, stuff like that. It was kind of her, considering we were pressed for money.

Why would she think some clothes and my favourite ice-cream would cheer me up? Well, normally they would, but not this time.

I couldn’t sleep. Every night I lay in bed, tossing and turning. I even pinched myself to wake up from this nightmare of a life.

After what seemed like a century, Christmas Eve came. It was a special night. The first night I ever got some sleep. I woke up in the morning to see a colourful dining room with two bright chandeliers, the wall painted violet, stockings hanging up on the wall and I got a whiff of the roast turkey in the oven.

Hmm, maybe I’ll enjoy this Xmas after all!

World Book Week 2011

Short Story Competition FIRST PLACE

Christina Camilleri

Poem about Dogs


I like dogs tall and small - they all like to play with a ball.

Doberman, Labrador, Pitbull or Pug, I like to give them all a hug.

Boxer, Daschound, Terrier, Alsation; but the one I love most is my Dalmatian, my Pepper, overall.

He's white with black spots like paper full of black ink dots, but with a special one right on top of his nose and tiny ones all over his paws.

He's now very frail as he's fourteen years old but if cats steal his food he's still pretty bold.

The dog is man's best friend I'm sure about that and I'll never exchange my dog with a cat.

World Book Week 2011
Poetry Competition FIRST PLACE
Adriel Camilleri

Thursday, June 09, 2011

New Harry Potter 7 Part 2 Posters!!!

Over at Yahoo! Movies there's quite a number of terrifyingly awesome pictures from the last Harry Potter film to hit the screens on the 15th of July. And these include a number of stunning new posters featuring the main Pottster protagonists.

Click HERE to have a look.


Chocolate

Chocolate in my shoes
Chocolate in my hair
Chocolate in my ears
Chocolate everywhere

Chocolate is so good
Chocolate drives me mad
When I don't have chocolate
It makes me very sad

I want chocolate now
Chocolate in my plate
If I don't have chocolate
I will eat somebody's date

World Book Week 2011
Poetry Competition Runner-up
Emilie Gregory

A Change of Life

I'm Katelynn, I lived at the Stonestars Orphanage. I have a dog called Pinny, she's a Labrador. So here's my story...

At my orphanage we were not allowed to keep dogs so I was playing with Pinny at the back of the building. Suddenly Mrs Peterson, the Orphan Mother, called me for lunch, and Pinny ran away because she knew that voice!

Later, after lunch, I brought a hoola hoop and held it low. Pinny managed to jump through. I put it higher and higher and she managed every time!

Strangely enough, there was a circus director standing nearby watching me and Pinny, and he told me: 'Dear girl, you and your dog have a great talent, you are what I am seeking for my circus!'

I told him: 'Yes, I would love to! But I must ask the Orphan Mother first.' So I ran off to Mrs Peterson. I asked her and she said: 'Of course, but who is Pinny?'

I answered very quietly: 'My dog.'

She shouted at me and sent the director away but behind her back he gave me a telephone number. The next day I packed some clothes, wrote a letter, left it on my cushion and the director helped me out of the window.

When we arrived at the circus, I was shown to my very own wagon. As I was settling in, I heard somebody shouting outside.

Moments later, Mrs Peterson came in and hugged me goodbye.

I started practising new tricks with Pinny and three months later I had my first show. I did my hair red and curly. I put on a glittery tourqouise hair-band with a pink rose, and the same for a bangle. I wore a silver leotard and silver ballerinas.

I noticed that the entire orphanage came to see my number! I saw them in the audience and I waved!

At the end of the show I asked for a microphone and said that I missed my friends at the orphanage very much and that they should come visit me one day.

When everyone left I lay down in my wagon and thought about how happy and lucky I was and that I had a wonderful future ahead of me.

I guess this really was a change of life!

World Book Week
Short Story Competition Runner-up
Lisa Hirth

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

I saw a Cat


I saw a cat chasing a rat.
The cat was so fat
That he fell and went Splat!

He gave up. Then saw a bat.
He tried to jump but he was
too fat.

The cat was hairy;
to the rat and the bat he was scary!

World Book Week 2011
Poetry Competition Runner-up
Zak Muscat

The Mystery of the Mummy's Treasure

Joe, Lee, Samantha and Catherine went on a trip to Egypt with their parents. They had been waiting eagerly for this holiday and it was the one they would never forget.

It was Saturday and Lee stepped out of the plane. He was so glad to be in Egypt. Lee loved studying history and his favourite topic was Ancient Egypt.

He was joined by the others and they called a taxi. First they went to the inn where they were staying and then left to go to the Egyptian Museum.

There was a lot of information about mummies. On display there was a note that was written to the Pharaoh Tutankhamun. It said that when he would die he would be gifted with lots of gold.When the children had a look at it and read it they had an idea, an adventurous idea.

The next day the children were supposed to go to visit the Capital City but they asked their parents to go see the pyramids instead. After ten minutes of pleading, their parents said yes so they were off to the pyramids.

When they arrived the children were amazed! They couldn't believe how big the pyramids were! Their parents went around the pyramids slowly, talking to each other. While they were distracted, the four children ran away.

They looked for Tutankhamun's pyramid and when they found it they entered. They looked around the pyramid but saw nothing special. They kept on walking and they fell into several traps but after they finally managed to reach the tomb of the Pharaoh. The four children opened the tomb and out came a mummy.

Trembling with fear, they hid behind the throne. But the mummy didn't come for them, it just kept on walking. After the mummy was out of sight they looked inside the tomb and found the treasure. They carried it back and showed it to their parents who were surprised.

Then they went back to the inn for a nap.

This was the best adventure they had ever had! They will never forget this day!

World Book Week 2011
Short Story Competition Runner-up
Adrienne Gatt

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

The Funny Bunny

There was a bunny bunny bunny
who was very funny funny funny.

He had a lot of money money money,
he kept it all in his tummy tummy tummy.

But he missed his mommy mommy mommy,
so he got married married married,
his wife in his arms he carried carried carried.

He had a baby baby baby,
who was called Maybe Maybe Maybe,
but he ran away from home home home,
and went all the way to Rome Rome Rome.

So there was this bunny bunny bunny...

World Book Week 2011
Poetry Competition Runner-up
Nicholas Galea

The Magical Chair

Once there was a boy called Oswald and he had an old chair in the darkest corner of his room. It was decorated with wonderful gold leaf all around. One day he invited his friend over to his big lovely house. They went up to his room.

As soon as Oswald sat down on the chair, it started to glow. There was a flash of light and the room changed into what seemed to be a study with books of all kinds.

Books about dragons and giants and all sorts of magical creatures.

The boys were startled. They had no idea where they were and wondered whether they were ever going to see their parents again.

They opened the door and saw a huge staircase that looked like it went on forever. Oswald looked back and saw that the chair had gone. They took a few books with them as they knew it was a magical world.

When outside they realised that they were in a forest. This odd creature came up to them and said: 'I know where your chair is. Follow me on a quest and go back home.'

So the boys followed him. They got out of the forest and found the chair but one leg was missing. Oswald saw a creature running away with the leg. Luckily, the creature was friendly and gave them the leg back. He glued it back on and left.

When the boys got home Oswald said:'Phew, I'm glad we're back.'

World Book Week 2011
Short Story Competition Runner-up
Daniel Grech

Monday, June 06, 2011

Wildlife


In the deep blue sea
there's a strange whale
in the cold blue water
deep and bright and pale.

On the white ice
there sits a sea-lion
not like the one in Africa
this is not a fierce lion.

World Book Week 2011
Poetry Competition Runner-up
Alexander Hawkes

The Absent-minded Scientist

I am the best scientist in the world. I make a potion every day. Today's potion will bring dead flowers back to life. You just have to mix it with the water.

There, it's ready. I leave it on the table to settle. I need to go to the bathroom.

When my mother sees it and she puts it in the fridge. I come back from the bathroom. I am thirsty and I go to get a drink. There is some fruit juice, which is unusual, because my mother believes that it is unhealthy. I still drink it. A few minutes later I go for a nap.

When I wake up I go to the mirror to fix my hair and I have the biggest shock ever. I have become an old man! I have white hair, I am short, my face is wrinkly. And I am hairy all over!

I go to the doctor and he starts laughing. He tells me that since I am a scientist I should solve the problem myself.

I rush back home. It clicks that I must have drank the potion, thinking it was juice. I go back to my laboratory and do some more, keeping in mind that this time it has to work the other way round.

I drink it, hoping it will turn me back to my former self.

It does! I am back to being beautiful me. And, as my mum adds, stupid me.

World Book Week 2011
Short Story Competition Runner-up
Lisa Galea

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Rita Antoinette Borġ and Marisa Attard visit San Anton

As part of World Book Week activities, an award-winning author and illustrator visited San Anton School.

Rita Antoinette Borġ, the author of Taqsamx it-Triq, Fuxa and Rebecca's Choice, amongst other titles, accepted our invitation for the second year running.

She started off by introducing her parrot friend Pepito, a lively puppet that hails all the way from South America. The Grade 4s were keen to mention other animals that live in the same region as Pepito's, such as the caiman, the anaconda, the cougar and the macaw.

Ms Borġ then read her story about Fuxa, a timid hedgehog who tries to cross the road amidst the busy traffic of rush hour. After much trepidation and concern, the tiny animal finally makes it to the other side, to the relief of all her friends and family.

Finally, Ms Borġ read an excerpt from one of her favourite books by one of her favourite authors: The Tale of Desperaux by Kate Di Camillo.

It was a great way to spend a morning and the children enjoyed Ms Borġ's visit tremendously.

The Grade 5s were in for a surprise because Marisa Attard, one of the best local illustrators, came over and treated them to an art workshop.

Ms Attard's portfolio is vast and includes such titles as Bongi Wongi u versi oħra għat-tfal and Ir-Razzett tan-Nannu Turu. She brought a sample of her work to show around and the children were amazed to see that Ms Attard is the person behind some of their favourite illustrations.

Ms Attard introduced herself by drawing a self-portrait. She then proceeded to sketch some characters displaying a particular emotion, and the children had to follow suit. It was wondrous to see with what glee the students took to this task, and everyone was keen to add his or her particular touches to the characters.

What followed was a drawing-by-request session. The Grade 5s were asking Ms Attard to draw something for them, which she did, and then they had to copy what she did or do their own version. So the library was full of drawings of dogs, lions, cats and people doing fun things.

It was a great session and one that the children will surely treasure.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Myths: The Story of Adonis

There once was an eleven-year-old boy called Adonis and he lived in Ancient Athens. He was tall and slim with jet black hair and a dark complexion. His eyes were as blue as the sky on a clear day and he was very strong and good-looking.

Everybody loved him because he was very helpful and kind. Every day, on his way to school, he passed the twelve white columns that used to support the ancient building called the Pantheon. He was always amazed with this building and every day he took a look around inside. Even though he loved Zeus, he was always afraid to speak to him.

One day Zeus came upon him and said, ‘Naughty children will never be on my side but you are different...I might make you a God!’

Adonis was very happy and he went back home smiling, but Hades, the god of the Underworld, was overwhelmed with jealousy because he wanted him on his side. So Hades appeared to Adonis and tried to get him on his side with special gifts like a flying horse. He also sent spirits to make his wishes come true. Adonis started smelling something fishy, but it was not actual fish of course! He knew, from all the books he had read, that Hades was trying to trick him.

The next day, Adonis received more presents from Zeus and Hades, and very soon, the two started to fight over him. They hurled lightning bolts at each other and Athens was very stormy. Adonis had had enough. He decided to stop the lightning.

After thanking the two gods, he told them he would prefer to remain human. And both gods had no other option but to respect his wishes. Adonis knew that his happiness could not be achieved by power. And he died a happy man in his old age.

Kyle Cuschieri

Friday, May 06, 2011

The Apple Tree


Once upon a time there was an apple tree. A little girl named Rebecca said: "I want an apple." But her mother said no. So then she went to her father. But her father said no too. So she felt very sad.

Then she remembered her cousin's house. But even he said "No, you can't have an apple." Then she remembered her other cousin but she said no too. Then she went to ask her grandma but it was no use because she said no too. So she went to her grandpa and finally (phew!) he said: "yes, you can have an apple from the apple tree."

When she went to pick an apple from the tree, her mother came and she told her she wasn't allowed to eat apples from the tree so Rebecca said that her grandpa had given her permission. Her mother was very angry. Rebecca told her father and even he was cross with her. Then she went to her cousin's house to tell him that she picked an apple from the apple tree. She expected him to be glad but he was furious. So she tried her luck with her other cousin. But she was as furious as her mother. So she tried at her grandma's house. She was VERY cross.

Finally she went back to her grandpa's house. Fingers crossed! When she told him he laughed out loud and said: "You silly girl! It was only a joke! You can't really have one!"

"Ok. Sorry for picking an apple from the apple tree. Goodbye!" she replied.

by Ylenia Coleiro

Sunday, March 06, 2011

New THOR and CAPTAIN AMERICA trailers!

Two of the most popular comic titles will soon hit the cinema screens. Thor and Captain America: The First Avenger are sure to be great hits with superhero action film fans.


Monday, February 21, 2011

New Books for the Library!


The nice people over at AUDIO VISUAL CENTRE have donated a number of awesome books to the library. The titles are varied: sports, history, science, entertainment, astronomy, biology. They are beautiful books (as one expects from DK) that will enrich the library's reference section and are sure to prove invaluable to the students.


Thursday, February 17, 2011

The Gypsy

Esmeralda and her puppy were hiding in the bushes, hoping that the angry crowd would go away. They were after the girl because they wanted to put her to death.

Esmeralda was a gypsy and people believed that all gypsies were thieves. But Esmeralda was not a thief and in order to earn pennies she organized shows and dances with Yuri. This angered the people so they decided to kill her, which is why she was hiding. There, in the bushes she stayed, until Mr. Dobblin spotted her.

She took her bundle of clothes and whispered to Yuri: “Someday this will end. The sooner we go, the sooner it will happen.”

They reached a field of wild horses. She looked for her horse, Bluebell.

Luckily she found him, and lifted herself up. Yuri and her bundle of clothes were with her and so they galloped off. Only when they reached France did they stop for a rest.

She knew she was safe here. In France they were celebrating the birthday of Captain Grainger, a famous captain who fought and won a battle against gypsies.

Actors and dancers were invited to perform. Esmeralda, who knew nothing of the captain’s hatred towards gypsies, wanted to join in the celebration and so she danced along with the French. She made a show that included singing, dancing and some tricks she had taught to Yuri.

Claude, one of Grainger’s friends, fell in love with the girl. They became good friends but she loved the captain and not Claude. The captain was in love with her too and soon enough, proposed to Esmeralda.

They were married and lived happily but one day the servant of the captain heard Esmeralda tell her awful tale to herself, while riding on a horse. The servant told the captain about it and the captain forgot all about his love for Esmeralda.

She was taken to prison with all the other gypsies. They were going to cut her head off.

She was puzzled and no longer loved the captain. But she didn’t stay in prison for long as Claude rescued her.

He bought a piece of land where they hid and built a high wall which only he knew how to go through. Then, together with Esmeralda and Yuri, he built a house. Claude took care of the two. Yuri guarded the house from wild animals and he slept on a cushion next to Esmeralda. Esmeralda made crafts that Claude sold at the market for 10 gold pieces.

Esmeralda started loving Claude the way he loved her. But alas, one day Grainger found Esmeralda. He grew suspicious seeing Claude selling all those crafts at the market, and followed him to the house. The captain arrested the three of them and wanted to have them hanged. But before the hanging, Esmeralda asked the people:

“Why should I be hanged. I did not steal, like the other gypsies, and I’ve been a good wife to the captain, but in his hatred, he forgot how to love.”

The people realised how unfair the captain had been to his wife and was punished. As for Claude, he married Esmeralda and the two of them and Yuri lived in their house. The wall was removed.

With all the money they earned from selling crafts, they bought a lot of new furniture.

They continued selling crafts and started making up shows.

Christina Camilleri

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Horrid Henry Film!

A live feature film (in 3D!) chronicling the adventures of our favourite naughty boy is in post-production. This means that Horrid Henry's first foray into film is ready and the technicians are adding the finishing touches. It should be out for Summer. :)

Here is what the people at IGN MOVIES have to say about it:

The film sees Horrid Henry, Lord High Majesty of the Purple Hand Gang, waging his ever constant battle against the tyranny of adults, only this time it seems the adults really are out to get him!

Horrid Henry was created by author Francesca Simon and is the most successful children's literary character in the UK after Harry Potter, with book sales of more than 16 million.

(Trailer below is courtesy of TrailerSpy.)


Friday, January 28, 2011

Free Books!

Thanks to AGENDA's Books for Schools initiative, the library is now 203 books richer!! The shelves are teeming with information about far-off lands, domestic and exotic animals, awesome inventions, fascinating science and history. Also, tales of adventure, fantasy, horror, suspense and humour. Below is a taste of the stupendous books that are now part of San Anton's library!




Thursday, January 20, 2011

The Three Promises

Once there were three beautiful sisters: the youngest, Koseyapea, was the most beautiful and generous creature under the sun. Her elder sisters were jealous of her.

Their jealousy made them unkind and unfair and they never kept their promises .

One day Eleanor, their mother, said that she would give her most treasured jewels to the daughter she was proudest of. The first sister, Gold Eyes, went out to the woods to ask Spring for help.

When she reached the deepest part of the forest she cried:

Spring, Spring, come help me

And a good friend to you I shall be

If you grant me this wish

Three promises will be yours “

Spring came to see what this young maiden wanted and promised to grant her wish. Gold Eyes wished for a huge piece of land, in which she would organise grand balls and parties .

After Spring gave her the land, she told her:

Promise me you shall share with me some food from the land ,

Promise to say I gave you the land if anyone asks were you got it from

And lastly, be grateful that I did so”

Gold Eyes gave her word and went home. The same thing happened with Silver Eyes, the second sister who wished for a jewelery shop. It also happened to Koseyapea, who wished for a farm.

It didn’t take long for the two elder sisters to break their promises. Koseyapea remained faithful to Spring .

Spring made Koseyapea a goddess, and her sisters regretted that they hadn’t kept their promises.

Christina Camilleri

Friday, January 14, 2011

The Baby Monkey

Once upon a time there was a baby monkey. His name was Cheeky. His mum and dad were called Cheechy and Cheeko.

One day two men came to the forest where Cheeky, Cheechy and Cheeko lived. And those two men worked at the zoo. They wanted three monkeys. So they went hunting till they found the three-monkey family. They caught them with a net and then they put them in a box. They put the box in the truck. The monkeys were afraid but luckily Cheeky had very long nails so he could use them to escape through the hole.

When they got out Cheeko and Cheechy gave a slap on the men's faces with their tails. The two men became unconscious so the truck was out of control. So Cheeky decided to drive the truck himself. He quickly jumped into the driver's seat, took hold of the steering wheel and began driving. After a while he stopped the truck leaving the men unconscious locked in a box.
The monkeys got out through the windows and started swinging happily from one tree to another. They were free again.

Three months later Cheeky went to school and made lots of friends. He told them all about what happened. The other monkeys all stared at Cheeky because they had never heard anything like that. When school was over, he didn't want to leave because he had so much fun. But when Cheechy and Cheeko told him that they had bought lots of bananas he wanted to leave. When they got home and Cheeky saw the mouth-watering bananas he wanted one immediately. He took one and started peeling it.

When he finished eating it, he told his mum and dad that he made lots of new friends at school. Cheeko and Cheechy were so proud of Cheeky that they gave him another banana. Then he told them that he made lots of paintings at school. So they gave him another banana. He told them that his best friends were Bingo, Bango and Jango.

Next day when he was at school, he heard a noise coming from outside. He looked out of the window and saw two men in a truck. Cheeky recognised them. They were the two men who had captured him and his parents. So he told his friends to go and help scare the two men away. So they jumped on the truck and frightened the men. The men went away and were never seen again. So he went home and told his parents and they lived happily ever after.

by Ylenia Coleiro

Monday, January 10, 2011

MERLIN LIBRARY have kindly donated a SIGNED (!) copy of Darren Shan's latest book called The Thin Executioner:

Jebel Rum is a thin, scrawny boy. His father is the famed executioner in the city where they live. When Jebel is humiliated in public, he sets off on a quest to gain great strength and invincibility. If successful, he will be able to compete in a gruelling contest to prove himself and replace his father as the wielder of the axe. Failure, on the other hands, means certain death.

To win the favour of a fire god, Jebel must make a human sacrifice. He finds a slave who is willing to pay this grisly price, and the pair set off on a trek through lands deadly and unwelcoming. In the course of their travels they will encounter hatred, bigotry, slavery, death and a whole lot more. It is the nightmarish adventure of a lifetime…


Thanks! :)