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Nailing Jelly to a Tree

Nailing Jelly to a Tree is a place for the Parkes High School Library to share news and information for students, teachers and parents.
You are viewing a "read only" archived blog from year 2011.

The Book Thief - Chicago's 'One Book'.

Last updated 29 May 2012, 11:50 AM

One Book, One Chicago

The Chicago Public Library has chosen Marcus Zuzack's The Book Thief as the book to celebrate in this year's One Book, One City program that runs across the world. This means many in Chicago will be reading this modern Australian classic!

One Book, One City began in Chicago ten years ago. The first book chosen was To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee.

Still Hungry for The Hunger Games?

Last updated 15 May 2012, 11:45 AM

Check these out:

25 Series to read if you love The Hunger Games.


Must Reads for Hunger Games fans

 And if you are interested in the effects of violent stories like The Hunger games on young people, this is an interesting article:

Staging Self: 'The Hunger Games'.

The Information: A History, A Theory, A Flood

Last updated 15 May 2012, 11:47 AM

Libraries deal with information. Genes are information. This means...?

I have been reading this amazing book by James Gleick, which shows the connections between Mathematics, Science and Information. In reading the chapter about genes, I was fascinated with the definiton of genes as information, whose only purpose is their own survival - Richard Dawkins' theory of the 'selfish gene' - first posed by samuel Butler in the 1870's as "...why should it be said that the hen lays the egg, and not that the egg lays the hen..." (Or, in mathematical terms, X is just a Y's way of making another Y).

Gleick quotes Daniel Dennet, who said in 1995,

 "A scholar is just a library's way of making another library."

Wow. It's made me think...

Maudlin May or May Madness?

Last updated 09 May 2012, 11:52 AM

Here in the southern hemisphere May is when the days really begin to shorten and sometimes it really feels too dark and cold to get out of bed, BUT, usually the days are gorgeous and sunny if you can get outside. And I know we have nothing to complain about when even near the end of Spring,  northern hemisphere friends are still freezing! My Scottish friend Fiona complained about snow only last week!

So we can let winter us get us down or turn the SADS (Seasonal Affective Disorder) into madness based on indoor pursuits, like books, film and organising our favourite websites, just as I have recently using Delicious. Delicious and other bookmarking sites allow you to store your favourite or bookmarks in the cloud so they are accessible anywhere you are.

My Delicious account is GrumpyLibrarian. Suggestions for links in my Books stack are very welcome!

Once again we are thrilled to have a display of art in the Library, some more chickens which you know we love! They are a brilliant addition to the shadow boxes that have been on display since Term 1.

Cheeky Chickens to Cheer Up May!












Shadow Boxes - a mise en scene of talent!

P1000581 P1000578 P1000582

P1000583 P1000584 P1000579




Parkes High Library Street Art Project

Last updated 27 April 2012, 03:12 PM

I am thrilled that The P&C Association and myself were successful in winning a Country Area Support Program (CASP) grant in Term 1. The money we have gained from this, plus more donated to the Library from the P&C, will go towards the Street Art Project.

The Street Art Project is about painting the three levels of stairs up to the Library with street art style designs. 

The designs, made up of words and images, will support the school's ethos of Innovation, Inspiration, Inclusion, our motto Dum Vivo Disco (While I Live I learn), the tenets of PBL, Respectful, Safe, Responsible, and promote the benefits of reading and literacy and the importance of the Library within the school.

Graffiti on Cinque Terre, "Lover's Lane"

Street Art in Lovers Lane, Cinque Terre, Italy.

 Students will participate in workshops run at school, including some by professional street artists from Sydney, to explain the difference bewtween illegal graffiti, which is vandalism, and street art which is a legitimate art genre.

These artists will also help students design and create the images and words, and help with painting techniques.

Cool Stuff I Discovered in the Holidays!

Last updated 27 April 2012, 02:48 PM

Crazy triangles!



See Hugo Arcier's graphic representation of the Japanese tsunami in 2011in a film called Fiction 1:


 Decay and Decomposition


 Share your sounds!


The Best Childrens Books and Stephen Fry.

Last updated 03 April 2012, 03:58 PM

The Guardian's Best Teen Books

The Guardian has published a list of the best children's books, based on "a combination of personal recommendations, enduring classics and currently popular borrowings from school and public libraries – are suggestions and starting points only, of course (and the age ranges attached even more so), but hopefully there will be something, somewhere for everyone. "


Stephen Fry's series Fry's Planet World, screening on ABC TV, is a fascinating look at the history of words. In last weeks episode, he said

“Almost everything I am I owe to Libraries...

Libraries still for me have this extraordinary charge...when I go in one I feel this buzz. It’s almost sexual, there’s something about the fact that behind all these bound copies there are voices. There are people murmuring to you, seducing you, dragging you into their world.

These are wonderful, magical places.

If there’s a campaign I am really behind it’s saving our Libraries.”


Cool new stuff.

Last updated 29 March 2012, 02:53 PM

These two new resources open our eyes and make us think.

The Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory has just uploaded its digital archive project.

Untitled by Stephen Birch 2005

The Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney has just reopened after extensive renovations. 

The Hunger Games

Last updated 28 March 2012, 09:51 AM

Everyone has been waiting for this! I hope you get to see it during the holidays - here's a sneak preview!


Telling Stories

Last updated 21 March 2012, 10:17 AM

The Little Refugee

An adaptation of Anh Do's memoir, The Little Refugee, illustrated by Bruce Whatley, has just won an Indie award for best children's book.  Can't wait to buy this for the Library. The Happiest Refugee is already available for loan.

Little Refugee

Image from Booktopia.com.au

Great perspective in support of short stories by Nathan Englander:

"I can't understand why short stories don't take off in our ADD, no-attention-span, video, Twitter, Facebook-updating world, where everybody is bathed in some screen glow. Here's something where you can sit down and read a whole story through in just a few minutes.

"You know, nobody tells another person a novel. The short-story form is the way we tell stories as human beings. It's a natural length of time. It's a spring-loaded, pressurised form, where this whole life is lived in the span of a story."

Englander has just published a collection of short stories called What We talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank, and with Jonathon Safran Foer has translated the Haggadah, the Jewish Passover Book.

Reading, Writing and Competing!

Last updated 15 March 2012, 12:43 PM

There are some exciting competitions happening at the moment for readers, writers and creative types!

See detaile on our school website.



This is the first competition in a series for The National Year of Reading.

Each competition you enter will bring you close to winning the

grand prize which includes an e-reader.


Create a poster promoting reading using Cheezburger.com http://cheezburger.com/builder/poster.


The poster will look like the one below.

NYOR Comp 1

Teen Ink and Fighting Words!

Last updated 15 March 2012, 02:39 PM

I have just been made aware of this great online magazine for teens, Teen Ink, which showcases a magazine, website and books written by teens. If you are interested in publishing your own writing, check this out!

And in Ireland, author Roddy Doyle and others hold a workshop to foster creativity through writing in young children. Read this article, with its links to other cool site about writing, from The Guardian.

Reading and reading and stuff...

Last updated 27 February 2012, 09:45 AM

I am up to Mankell's 10th in his Kurt wallander series and love how when you re-read favourite novels you find much more than first time around. I know how they end, though, and have that fear of getting nearer the end, not just of the series but of the relationship you develop as a reader with the characters.

Speaking of series'. we will run our very successful 'World Series Series' Competition again this year. It will be part of our Year of Reading competition, run in conjunction with Parkes Shire Library . Watch this space for details!

We have also catalogued the whole Cherub series by Robert Muchamore, and Cornelia Funke's Inkspell series, thanks to the free book sreceived from the Woolworth's Earn&Learn promotion. This was organised last year by Mrs Vere, who kindly donated all the points to the Library.

 You can see all our new books on our school webpage .

Check out David Dale's regular Who We Are column from Saturday, which gives statistics about how we spend our leisure time multi tasking. apparently, 41% of women and 26% of men visit the Library in their leisure time.

Lastly for today, a few weeks ago I saw this photo by Greg Weight, an homage to the famous black and white photo Sunbather by Max Dupain. Love it!

(Speaking of art, don't forget Miss Alfred's two new blogs Darkchamber and Artmaking, see the blog roll)

National Year of Reading: What have you been reading?

Last updated 08 February 2012, 02:47 PM

Holiday Reading

Over the holidays I revisited John Christopher's Tripod series, which began with The White Mountains (1967), a book I read at school. It was followed by The City of Gold and Lead and The Pool of Fire, and then a prequel in 1988 which explained the trilogy. I really enjoyed reading them again, but only a week ago John Christopher died, one of those weird coincidences.


Henning Mankell's Swedish crime series involving the policeman Kurt Wallander has been a favourite of mine for a few years, and I began reading them all again too (in chronological order this time!) I also enjoy the Swedish TV series based on the books, but the English version, starring Kenneth Branagh, is no where near as good.

I have just finished The Finkler Question, which won the Man Booker prize in 2010 and tells the story of three men, two of whom are recently widowed, and explores their Jewish-ness or lack of. I found it very boring, but it does make some ineteresting obsevations about what it's like to be a Jew in the modern world.

Motivational Art

Last updated 08 February 2012, 02:28 PM

Art as a motivator

I strongly believe that interesting and beautiful images can stimulate, inspire and motivate everyone. To me, a blank wall is a scary thing!

As you may have seen, we regularly display student art work on the wall in the Library. This has been so popular and kids love seeing their creations on the mantlepiece or wall.

We also create art to engage and motivate the students. here are some we've created ourselves.


Images cut from a Burberry designer bag left outside a hotel room to be thrown away, shopping bag, paper bag from the AGNSW, the newspaper and a Vogue magazine.


Our coffee table is made from two stacks of books held together by steel rods and glue, to which a shallow box has been attached. Each term I change the display in the box, which is covered with a piece of glass.



The caption on both canvases says "Where are you going after school?"

The artwork was bought cheaply at a discount shop, then added to with images cut from magazines and newspapers.



Bright Colours for a New Year

Last updated 08 February 2012, 02:29 PM

Colour Makes the World Go Round!


The purple and pink walls are new, painted by our amazing SAM and her husband in the holidays. I love my 'Wild Things' cardboard cut out. The speech bubble show mine and my SAO's names, a word of the week and quotes.


Am also loving this orange colour called 'WOW' . I have commissioned a Year 11 student to paint a dragon over the door as if about to eat whoever comes out...


The hanging fruit give a clue to the location of the cooking books.



Christmas 2011

Last updated 08 February 2012, 02:31 PM

Christmas Decorations

christmas decs1

Students painted papier mache baubles to hang from the ceiling.

2011  November 017

2011  November 015

2011  November 016

Ugly gas heater covered in wrapping paper. "Is that a real present, Miss?"

2011  November 005

Students recycled old key tags to make Christmas bunting.

2011  November 004

Very hard to unravel once tangled!



Where Did November Go?

Last updated 30 November 2011, 10:13 AM

The Big Invisible Month

Nothing has happened on NJTAT for the month of November because there was so much going on I haven't had time to tell you about it!

Four of our students and myself signed up for the Nanowrimo, National Novel Writing Month, project  in which we committed variously to word count goals of between 20 000 and 50 000 words. The fours students are in Years 9 and 10 and during November also had to deal with final assessments and exams. One Year 7 student who did not sign up to the project was nevertheless enthused to keep working on a story he has been writing for some time, and has reached over 15 000 words.

Three of us have completed our word count and the other three are well on track to complete their goals by midnight on November 30.


Nanowrimo Winner


Having been immersed in writing for the whole month I have discovered some great new blogs and websites about writing.

Hardie Grant Egmont publishers have begun the Ampersand Project to promote the fiction work of young writers. To quote from their website, "We want to cater to our teenage readers who just aren’t into fantasy or paranormal romance, and show them a world just like this one. Real life can be just as dramatic and thrilling as other-worldly adventures, and any teenager who’s climbed out their bedroom window for an illicit adventure knows it."

Read about this project at http://www.hardiegrant.com.au/egmont/contact-us/the-ampersand-project.

 I've also found the website of Jessica Able, who lives in New York and creates comics and is writing a script for a Graphic Novels about Roller Derby's on Mars.

See her work here:  http://jessicaabel.com/

Inside a Dog is a webiste "all about books – by young people, for young people."

Inside a Dog 2 

It is named after the quote by Groucho Marx, "Outside of a dog, a book is  a man's best friend. Inside a dog, it's too dark to read." http://insideadog.com.au/

Also, Sydney Story Factory will open next year. It was started by journalists Catherine Keenan and Tim Dick and runs programs in schools. They are rasing money by selling artworks of books painted by some of Australia's leading artists. See details at http://sydneystoryfactory.org.au/


Sydney Story Factory

"The Sydney Story Factory kindles the spark of creativity in every child.
It is a not-for-profit creative writing centre where children aged 7 to 17 get free help to write stories of all kinds."



Art in the Library

Last updated 25 October 2011, 02:39 PM

Ceramic Exhibition

Year 9 and Year 10 Visual Arts

 Year 9  have created gorgeous pots stencilled with words from the British Council's most beautiful words (http://www.britishcouncil.org/home-70-beautiful-words.htm). The slab pots are galzed with overlapping translucent letters that form the words flabbergasted, passion, whoops, smithereens, lullaby, flip-flop, love, hodgepodge, sunflower, fantastic, fuselage, tickle, blossom, hiccup, peekaboo, zing, bubble, smashing, mother, using techniques like those by Mini Graff. You can read more about her on Ms Alfred's blog Artist's Practice, http://mstrudy.edublogs.org/

Year 9 Visual Art ceramics     Year 9 Visual Arts ceramics      Year 9 Visual Arts ceramics

Year 10 have also been busy creating gorgeous cups and saucers with a sea theme, They were inspired by the artist Vipoo Srivilasa (http://vipoo.com/gallery.htm) and remind us of the Mad hatter's tea part in Alice in Wonderland!

 Year 10 Visual Arts ceramics   Year 10 Visual Arts ceramics   Year 10 Visual Arts ceramics

Year 10 Visual Arts ceramics   page from Alice In Wonderland by Lewis Carroll   Year 10 Visual Arts ceramics

Year 10 Visual Arts ceramics

This week I also read about Robert Malherbe and really liked his paintings http://www.timolsengallery.com/pages/artists_details.php?artist_id=38; and thought that Guan Wei's works were also really interesting http://www.martinbrownefineart.com/index1.htm.

It's easy to believe that some really interesting artists will come out of Parkes High School in the future!


Lee's Book Review

Last updated 17 October 2011, 12:04 PM

The Dead I Know by Scott Gardner

Hi guys,

During the school holidays I read some great books and discovered a new Swedish crime writer, Asa Larsson. BUT, I read The Dead I Know by Scott Gardner, from the school library, and it was awesome!

The main character is a teenager called Aaron who goes to work for a funeral director because he’s having trouble at school. He doesn’t speak much and sleepwalks, often finding himself in strange and awkward places when he wakes in the morning.

But he is very good at his new job and can handle being around the dead. He describes driving with a body in the back of the funeral director’s van, and the smell –“It was no worse than the toilets at the caravan park, just complicated by the fact that the source of the smell was dead and it was never going to get any better. I wondered how bad the van would smell if the corpse to be collected was rotting.”

His boss, John Barton, is kind and understanding and John’s family, including his daughter Skye, become a safe haven for Aaron. It is Skye who he opens up to as his sleepwalking and dreams become more terrifying and we discover the horrific event that caused them, and why he is so good with dead people.

The Dead I Know is a great, quick read. Try it, and then maybe try Scott Gardner’s other books. See you ,




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