In 2017 we are once again lucky enough to be working with a group of fantastic Year 10 boys from Eastbury Community School. Over the next four months they will be blogging on this webpage about their experiences on the programme. The aim is to understand and potentially challenge their views about reading. The 2016 blogs are also still live.
On Thursday 30th November we took a trip to Trafalgar Studio Two to watch The Red Lion theatre performance.
Final thoughts about the programme:
I really enjoyed the blogs and the program in general. It increased my ability to read. I am proud I managed to read a book in a day. The program is relaxed, not forced. You don’t have to do it. The programme also showed me that everyone has the time to read and after so this programme I’ll carry on reading. When Michelle talked to my mum, my mum was really happy I got chosen to participate in the programme. I would recommend this to all schools around the country
Over Christmas I read the second book of Adrian mole. I found it unique and exquisite from every other book I have read. It makes me feel alive inside the book as if I am observing from different angles. It shows how the protagonist grows older as the years go by. These things I find entertaining. Before I would never have read. The only books I read was the series skulduggery pleasant and I enjoyed it. However I never really liked reading. The way I think is if I like it I’ll do it and if I don’t I won’t. This mentality helps me read properly and I never skip pages to see what happens. Now I’m going to read the 3rd book of Adrian mole series and see what happens to him next… the thing is that I prefer comedy books over action.
"Instead of playing PS4"
In a week I found the time to read and finish The Curious Incident of the dog in the night time.
I found that the book made me feel mixed emotions and is quite funny.
You feel for Christopher, the protagonist, who has a condition and who doesn’t understand people. He is also a great mathematician and is doing his A levels at the age of 15.
He finds the neighbour's dog dead with a garden fork in it and he starts to investigate. He finds out who kills the dog which shocks me. One of the biggest shocks is that you find out that his mother is supposedly is dead and then you find out she isn’t dead and that she just left his father.
The way I found the time is instead of playing ps4 longer I read and when in the car I read and made use of my time. I would read again, and in fact I'm reading the Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13 ¾ next.
"I want to read the sequel"
This is the second book I have read and I find it quite relatable to my life. This book was better than the curious dog in the night time (in my opinion).
The book was done in the eyes of a 13 ¾ year old named Adrian Mole who is going through puberty and is suffering from family issues.
He likes a girl called Pandora and she starts going out with his best friend. He starts talking about how he wants to do good. I think that this book leaves me at an annoying cliff hanger as he says he needs to apologise. I think I want to read the sequel of the book.
I really enjoyed reading this book and it’s really special to me. It contains many life lessons and makes me question myself and the future. Where will I be? What will I do? Chances are, lots of people like me have no clue what they want to do. It’s a struggle almost every adult and many children go through. “What do I want to do with my life?” “What am I passionate about?” “What do I not suck at?”
Tuesdays with Morrie (TWM) is a really brilliant book. The more I read it, the more I feel fascinated by the ideas and the feelings Mitch feels as he learns to cope with the death of his old wise professor. Mitch suffers so much pain and neglect yet he still comes to his professor and takes advice on how to improve himself. He learns life is a gift and we must embrace it. We may face problems and set-backs in life but we must learn to stand up to it and accomplish it.
Morrie is a very warm hearted person who had a tough childhood and yet he finds courage, kindness, friendship and a valuable character. Those are the qualities that defines him and his legacy will remain long after his death.
Final thoughts about the programme:
Taking part in the programme has made me read more as there have been more opportunities presented to me which have gived me more of a chance to read a wide range of books. Every session was very relaxed and tranquil which helped and encouraged us to read even more as we were in a good state of mind.
Trip to theatre RED LION SHOW
The theatre is called Trafalgar studios. When we walked into the studio there was a setting of three rows of benches around the stage. My seat was directly in front of the stage which meant we had a good view. The characters were directly looking at us at certain points in the play, it seemed like these moments were of high emotion which made the performance more realistic.
I didn’t really enjoy the show because it was more of an old peoples show. It was nice to see the play for the first time but I never got the jokes they were making. My opinion of the show is that it is more of an old peoples show as they are familiar with the jokes. I would rate the show 3/5 stars. I think the theatre should allow more space to the viewer as the stage setting was very cramped. My goal over Christmas is to finish my book as I don’t have many pages left.
"The world is so different to my own"
The book I am reading is called Mazerunner. So far I have read up to page 33. Last week on the 13th November to 17th November I read for 5 minutes per day. I have started to read for 15 mins a day now. I intend to read after I have revised, this is because I feel more relaxed at that time.
The characters in the book are: Thomas, Chuck, Alby, Gally and Newt. Thomas lost his memory and Chuck helps him out.
Thomas woke up in a place called the glade. Alby is the leader of the crew. Gally is the guy that thinks he owns the Glade when he doesn’t. There are 2 people that run the maze and they are called the runners. I enjoy reading this book because it is an interesting book and it wants you to read more so you know what will happen next. This is my type of book to read because I like to read books with action in them. The fact that the characters are so different to me and my friends and the world is so different to my own means that every sentence keeps me hooked.
Final thoughts about the programme:
Coming here has made me wonder why I haven’t been reading books.
I am really surprised that everyone here, that came to help me, have actually been working hard to help me want to read books even more than I used to do.
In the book there is man called Morrie and he is an old man that is really ill. When he was a child he was doing a lot of activities that made him gave him asthma causing him to have to stop. But now he is older; he was doing University work and he didn’t want to stop because of his illness. He told his students he was teaching with an illness so he might die whilst doing it.
When I first saw the book I thought that it was a book that people just read because they have nothing to do, but after I started reading it I found that I kind of relate to it. Me relating to it causes me to want to read the book more and find out what will happen as the book goes on.
I have been really enjoying the book as I have read the book at Saturday and Sunday night. I am starting to understand the book much better than I was before when I was just reading at form time for only 15 minutes now I can read for ½ an hour.
On Thursday we went to the theatre and watched a play about football. It was very fascinating. There was a really big moral in the play; the moral was that if you cheat in life, life cheats you. This moral is good because in the play it shows that the coach is trying to cheat to get more money and tricking the player to make him think that he is getting most of the money. Then the caretaker says he used to do football and he tries to trick the child into staying. The story shows what life is like for good footballers and what they are going through.
Final thoughts about the programme:
My overall impression of these sessions were that it was quite calm and my view on reading books was enhanced as I’m encouraged to reading a book that I would not necessarily read. I would normally engage with reading graphic novels and manga (Japanese comics) because I find them very amusing and engaging visually with fictional stories. Due to this, I struggled to find an intrigue with books with “lots of words in it”.
However, because of this given opportunity, I have grown to like books other than my typical reading choice (especially with the one I was reading- The Curious Incident of The Dog in the Night Time) because it taught me that you don’t necessarily need visual effects for an intrigue and excitement. Furthermore, I’ve grown to realise that the language of a given story as well as the way it is portrayed is highly significant in conveying a hidden message as it will ultimately interest the reader in different ways. This message could perhaps create a sense of mystery compelling the reader to decipher hidden parts and events of the story inevitably carrying the reader throughout the story. I felt this way when reading The Curious Incident because I felt many emotions such as the way I can sympathise and relate to the protagonist of the story, Christopher, a boy with autism – this compelled me to read further on. I now have more of an interest in reading books other than my old typical book choice.
Meditation on creativity
“Creativity is a phenomenon
Whereby something new and somehow valuable is formed.
The created item may be intangible or a physical object”
Creativity… well… anything could express creativity.
I see it as the conceptual augmentation of innovation
Whether it be an “intangible or a physical object” or just a “phenomenon” of creation
In terms of books, it’s a highly valued recipe;
Which all authors and readers value considerably.
How can a book form without creativity?
Can they convert our minds into a type of heredity?
Perhaps just a stationary vehicle without ignition
Books help expand our ways of thinking and cognition.
Reading, interpreting, analysing
Or even just skimming!
Imagination is re-invented as a deliberate way of perceiving
Books may help expand us in a varying train of thought
Or just for you, a way of thinking thoughtlessly
Can’t you see creativity’s constant fluctuation?
Slowly or even quickly?
Or am I just waffling with the utmost sophistication?
All these things and much, much more
Verily, thought is creativity,
And goes on in infinity…
I have been reading The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nightime. The book so far features an individual that is 15 years old (whose name is Christpher Boone) who suffers from a mental illness called Aspergers Syndrome and faces difficulty with communicating with others or identifying other peoples emotions. He is an individual with a relatively high IQ and indulges in weird responsive behaviour even though he is very smart. There was an incident to do with his aunt where her dog has been murdered and the murdered is still at large and uncaptured. He feels that its his duty to find out who the murderer is and atone for their unlawful acts to the police because he loves dogs and detective work. Along the way he talks about lifes enigmas, and human thought as well as maths and science problems throughout the story.
Overall, this book is quite educational; socially relatable in some areas and quite funny and inappropriate in some areas. At this point, I still don’t know who the murderer is but I’m getting the sense and understanding about the situation between his mum and his dad and have been left to realise and uncover more of the mystery as I go on through the story...
Final thoughts on the programme:
Taking part in this programme has broadened my horizons on the amount of types and genres of books there are to read. I also enjoyed this programme because it was a quiet environment to relax and read.
I have chosen to change my book from ‘The Maze Runner’ to ‘The Curious Incident of The Dog in The Night Time’.
If you havent read the book you might not want to read my summary below!
The book is about a 14 year old boy called ‘Christopher Boone’, Christopher suffers from Asperger’s Syndrome. This condition makes it difficult for Christopher to communicate and interact with people. The sufferer also tends on having repetitive patterns of behaviour. Christopher discovers a murdered dog in Mrs Shears back garden; when she notices it she accuses Christopher of murdering it because the dog was in his arms. She would then proceed to call the police and not let Christopher leave.
The police continued to apprehend him for him ‘assaulting’ an officer (Christopher did this because he wasn’t used to people touching him); later on his dad bailed him out and he was let off with a warning. Christopher’s dad warned him not to get involved but Christopher defied his dad’s wishes even though they promised. He knocks door to door to ask his neighbours if they had seen anything or anyone at that time. He then sees Mrs Alexander gardening and she says she “heard about the dog’s murder”. She invited him in for tea but when she went to get it he ran away because hear feared she called the police.
He had been sitting watching a TV show when his father asked him about his book; Christopher had told him it was about the dog’s murder and he told him he had been speaking to Mrs Alexander. His father went berserk. He said some unrepeatable words and he grabs Christopher and throws him across the room. The next morning, his father comes and apologises.
I have been given The Maze Runner to read and so far I have gotten mid-way through chapter 3. When I first started the programme I didn’t think I would enjoy it and it made me open my eyes on how fun reading is. The book starts off with Thomas waking up in what seemed to be an elevator. Then, a large group of boys pulled him out with a rope. When he was pulled out he was filled with curiosity because the only thing he could remember was that his name was Thomas. He had discovered the place he was in was called “The Glade”. We are then introduced the leader of the group Alby and Chuck. Thomas and Chuck had a conversation and chuck guessed he was about 16 and that shocked Thomas, who thought he was older. So far I have found the course challenging because I’ve had to find free time during my week and having to feed back about what I have read. But I have enjoyed reading about the action that happens in the story and hope to read another 20 pages by next week. I wasn’t sure where or when I would find time to read because when you actually plan out when you’re going to read, you never actually keep to it. I have been reading just when I have nothing to do at the weekends.
Dillion and Calum
Dillion and Calum have been reading The Maze Runner. Over the past few weeks we haven’t been reading much purely on the basis that Calum has been busy revising but also because of laziness which is Dillion’s only reason.
Dillion: I didn’t read because I was lazy and didn’t want to read. I left it way too long before I continued to read, so I have started to forget what I had read and that meant that I found it difficult to motivate myself.
Calum: I haven’t done much reading recently because I have been revising for my PE Mocks at the end of the year. I should have found time during my day or even during school time but I couldn't bring myself to do it because I was tired from revising.
Dillion: In order to get better at reading I should find time on the weekends to continue reading regularly, and this would mean that I would be able to remember and understand the novel’s plot.
Calum: To improve upon my reading skills I must use some of my time during the day where I am not doing anything; I could pick up my book and start reading. To be honest, I was mainly tired from revising most nights and couldn’t bring myself to it. Sometimes it’s just not possible to read as much as you would like.
Dillion: Over the Christmas holiday I’m going to try and get to half way through the book or at least read regularly every other day so I can keep in the habit.
Calum: Similarly to Dillion, I would like to have read up to about half way through the book and try to read every other day.
Final thoughts on the programme:
The reading group was fun however there was some boring bits such as reading for 1 hour, I can only read for a maximum of 10 to 20 minutes. But the fun bits such as doing the blogs I actually enjoyed doing because it made me think a lot more.
My book is about a boy called Thomas and he was put in this place called the glade, he lost his memory so he cannot remember his family, he couldn’t even remember his own name for a while. Thomas, Gally, Newt, Ably and Chuck these are the main characters you see in the book. This book is a fun book to read, because it is interesting and a type of story that I enjoy. This is because it’s a mystery and keeps me intrigued. Also in the text there is a huge maze and there are people who run the maze because they know the maze the most out of all of them, they are called the runners. They have been running around the maze for a long time and they still cannot find a way out of the maze. So far in the story the runners are a big part of the action and create fantasy in the novel. Also in the maze there is a creature called the Griever, if you get stung by this creature you will begin to change and you will become insane and start attacking the other people. A negative consequence which plays out in the story is when a character called Ben, who is a runner, is stung and he started to change and when he changed he attacked Thomas. This was a really tense moment in the book.
I think I’m on page 40 and up to this point I’m really enjoying the book because it’s a mystery and an adventures book that keeps me hooked. Every page it tells you something new that you didn’t know before. I am hoping to read another 20 pages by next week, I will find time in the evenings to do this.
"Had a huge influence on me"
I'm usually an occupied person, however, I managed to find time to read where I usually don’t. I feel that the book that I’m reading has had a huge influence on me during my week and is starting to make an impact on the way that I operate and the way that I think.
At first, my thought about this book was that it was going to be quite dull and boring; this was based on the way the book was presented. As I opened the book to read on a Saturday night, it was as if I was opening up to a world that I can relate to.
The book Tuesdays with Morrie is a book that has lot of life lessons that you can educate yourself with and learn from. It all starts off where there is a professor who teaches sociology but later on finds out that he is diagnosed with ALS. This, however, doesn’t affect him as he now becomes more positive than ever. He starts talking and giving advice to young man called Mitch who is the author of the book and this offers a different perspective to the story when reading.
One of the best quotes that really screamed at me was, "Sometimes, you can’t believe what you see, you have to believe what you feel […] if you are going to have other people trust you, you must feel that you can trust them, too- even you’re in the dark". I can’t wait to finish this book!
Final thoughts about the programme:
I really enjoyed the trip, taking part in the project has helped me read and understand more about texts. It encouraged me to reflect on what I like and don’t like about reading different books.
My poem is about an imaginary dream car that can take you into a book and help you understand more about it, like a guide or a helper.
At first I was given this book, it is called The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. I have read the beginning up to page 20. However when I got this far I realised that this was not the book for me. This is because I sometimes read books from the action/adventures genre and Curious Incident does not fall under this category. The book starts with a boy that got framed for killing his neighbour’s dog. But we know that he didn’t kill the dog. When I finished reading, the police have just arrived to work out who had.
I didn’t get on with this book because for me it wasn’t grabbing my attention at the start. I prefer it when stories open and get straight to the action and pull me right into the action. Even though the book is about a dog that is killed with a pitch fork, for me it wasn’t a very exciting beginning. My star rating is three stars.
Adventures in Reading
In a book you will discover
A whole new world between each cover.
Adventure romance or even crime
You will be guaranteed an amazing time.
In a book you’ll learn a lot
A load of knowledge in a single shot.
In a book you will lose yourself
And it won’t just stay up on the shelf.
In a book you’ll experience a change
After that magical literary exchange
Between the reader and the writer
Which will make you smarter even brighter