February 24

The Hunger Games

“The Hunger Games” movie

Click here to view the trailer.


“Why you still need to READ The Hunger Games” – winning entry by Max Weber

The Hunger Games is one of the greatest book series I’ve ever read. With the impending movie release, why should people read it over the movie? Consider this: why do people still read Harry Potter, or Twilight? Because you just can’t compare the two types of media on the same level.

Movies condense a book into a few hours and cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. Literature is so much more different. Reading is an experience. Books have a way of expressing emotion and telling a story in a way that cinema just can’t compare to. The authors have a responsibility of describing everything in a story, and creating original scenery and unique characters, using only words. The real magic comes when the reader imagines what it looks like. Everyone pictures scenery different, even if it’s written the same way.

The Hunger Games is a truly amazing book series, which is why it’s getting a movie made of it in the first place. It deserves it. However, out of any Book-to-Movie adaptation I’ve ever seen, I’ve always preferred the book. I truly doubt that with a book this good, I’d ever stop reading it, no matter how good the movie is.

Max Weber

What to read after The Hunger Games?

Try these titles:

F ROT Divergent by Veronica Roth

F NEW The Ask and the Answer by Patrick Ness (Chaos Walking series)

F CLA City of Bones by Cassandra Clare (Mortal Instruments)

F OLI Delirium by Lauren Oliver (followed by Pandemonium)

F CAS Graceling by Kristin Cashore

F WU Legend by Marie Lu

F HIG The Bridge by Jane Higgins

November 11

November Competition: Book Spine Poetry

All I Ever Wanted:



A Kiss in Every Wave.

Find Me A River

Falling Under,

Into White Silence.

First Light.


What better way to mesh a love of books with poetry?

Try to create your own towering poem using titles around you.  You can be as literal or as abstract as you like.

What will you win? There are two chances to win in this competition – firstly:

At Aquinas, you’ll win a $25 voucher for 1st prize; 2nd and 3rd place will also win prizes.

Send a photo of your poem by email to: marjo@aquinas.qld.edu.au


National Book Spine Poetry Competition

You might also like to use the same poem to enter a national competition to win:

  • four young adult titles (we’ll negotiate which genres you prefer)
  • an ‘Inside a dog’ USB pen
  • an ‘Inside a dog’-tag

You have until November 30th 2011.

What is book spine poetry?

Instead of explaining, just take a look.

You have until November 30th 2011 to enter your book spine poem. You must post a copy of your entry beneath the book spine poetry blog post (remember to resize to 500 px first) or tag the photo with the Inside a dog Facebook page.  You can also email your entry for our team to post in both locations on youthlit@slv.vic.au . Please type ‘Book Spine Poem’ in the subject line.

The Centre for Youth Literature team will judge.

Get creative!

Source URL: http://www.insideadog.com.au/blog/november-competition-book-spine-poetry

November 11

What are QR codes?

Maybe you have been seeing a few of these codes around in magazines, websites or billboards.

QR (Quick Response) codes are similar to bar codes that can be scanned by ipods, iphones and smartphones. They contain images, links to websites or text messages. As more and more people use smartphones, QR codes have become the easy way to link to internet content while out and about.

For example this code in the library, links to the OPAC, or Library Search. Students can use their mobile device to find books and DVDs.

You will need to download a free QR code scanner app from App Store or Marketplace. Open your app then, just like taking a photo, hold the screen over the QR code, and you will be taken to the image, message or webpage connected to the code.

Try making your own QR code!  Google or Kaywa both have generators that you can use.

May 30

Kate Hunter talks about ‘Mosquito Advertising’

home_kateMrs O: How did you come up with the idea for your series ‘Mosquito Advertising’?

Kate: The idea behind Mosquito Advertising had been swimming around in my mind for many years, but it only took form as a book in 2008.

Six years before that, though, when I was home with my first baby, I thought a show about ads being made by non-advertising people would be fun, so I wrote up the idea and took it to the Seven Network. They agreed it had potential and made a pilot (a test episode). But the concept was not appealing to advertising agencies, because the show revealed all their secrets!
So my idea morphed into a story – which was great because I realised that a story doesn’t need a network, or a production company or anything but an idea and some time. And no matter what anyone says, there is always time for something you really, really want to do.mosquito advertising

At first, writing Mosquito Advertising was difficult because I was unaccustomed to writing anything that takes longer than 30 seconds to read aloud, but I had a keen publisher and a serious deadline, so I kept going.

It’s been a long time since I was thirteen, but I remember that time clearly and mostly with happiness. I also remember the books I loved – Enid Blyton made a huge impression on me – particularly The Naughtiest Girl In The School series. I read the first one when I was eight but was probably secretly re-reading them for years. In the end, I just wrote the kind of book I would have liked to read. The characters are mostly hybrids of people I met and worked with. Some I just made up. No one is based purely on a real person.

My main motivation to write a sequel to Mosquito Advertising, The Parfizz Pitch was that I’d said I would. There was no getting out of it. Like Katie Crisp, I’m a big one for imagining things are easier than they appear.

But once I was into it, it seemed that the characters I had created became real, and I was curious about what they would do next. Advertising agencies grow, change and even shrink over time and Mosquito Advertising is like any other agency. Only with its office in a backyard.

Overnight success does funny things to people – I wanted to explore how Katie would handle it. How it would affect her relationships – both with her family and her mates and how she would juggle her passion for advertising with the pressures of school.

It’s also fun for me to write ads as Katie and the rest of the gang; to imagine what I would do if I had the opportunity to work on a dog food account and an airline. What would the people who ran those businesses be like? Why would they do what they do?

As a writer, I wanted to create a bigger book – not in terms of word count but in terms of action and relationships. There’s a death. A romance. A fight. In many ways, it was a challenging book to write, but I think because of that it’ll be a fun one to read.
Visit my website: http://www.katehunter.com.au/
May 24

‘The Hunger Games’ by Suzanne Collins – book to film

FIRST LOOK: Jennifer Lawrence As Hunger Games Heroine Katniss

By Sara Hammel, Wednesday May 18, 2011 (from People magazine)

FIRST LOOK: Jennifer Lawrence As Hunger Games Heroine Katniss | Jennifer Lawrence

Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss

Jennifer Lawrence had her doubters when she was cast as Katniss Everdeen, the heroine in the dystopian trilogy The Hunger Games. Fans worried the pretty blonde Oscar nominee was, well, too pretty to play the tough warrior. … She certainly looks the part. Lawrence, 20, has gone brunette and sports a rugged tan, and she shows some fight in those blue eyes in a photo on the cover of this week’s Entertainment Weekly, … Winter’s Bone actress Lawrence tells the magazine  …”I love this story,” she says, “and if I had said no, I would regret it every day.”

Read the rest of the article at: http://www.people.com/people/article/0,,20493206,00.html

Better still, READ THE BOOKS! ‘Hunger Games’ trilogy, by Suzanne Collins F COL

Here’s an interview with ‘Hunger Games’ author, Suzanne Collins:

Watch more of Suzanne’s interviews at: http://www2.scholastic.com/browse/video.jsp?pID=1640183585&bcpid=1640183585&bckey=AQ~~,AAAAAFv844g~,BASb5BU03X_L2cn86MC9qSzQHunGEilJ&bclid=1745181007&bctid=1840656769

April 28

How to write a book review

Write a Review

A book review is like any other piece of writing. It has a beginning, a middle and an ending. Grab attention, give your opinion (don’t just tell the story), finish off the review with a recommendation. A blog entry for Aquinas Reads is really a short review which aims to draw in readers – to entice them to read the book! Not sure what to say? Here’s my advice:

How to write an online Book Review (for our blog):

  • Get the reader’s attention in the first line with a catchy intro, such as a short quote.
  • Give the title of the book and the author’s name near the beginning of the review.
  • Give a brief outline of the story, the setting and the main characters without giving too much away.
  • Explain why you liked it so much.
  • To whom would you recommend this story?
  • Sign the review with your FIRST NAME ONLY and Year level.
That’s the short version. The Scholastic website will help you write a much better review. It says to keep these tips in mind:

Be honest: Give your review personality and remember that kids want to know what you REALLY think.

Be detailed: Tell us exactly what you liked or didn’t. Was it a story you couldn’t put down? Were the characters just like people you know? What made it special?

Be accurate: Be sure to get the title, author, and character names right, plus double-check your spelling and grammar. We aren’t able to post reviews that don’t make sense or have the wrong information.

DON’T spoil it: Please don’t give away the ending! Tell readers enough about the plot to hook them, but keep them hanging so that they want to read the book.

Find out how to write a review in more detail at: http://teacher.scholastic.com/writewit/bookrev/index.htm

I particularly like the tips this author gives to young writers here.

Perhaps you’d like to use a scaffold to help you write a formal book review? Find one here: http://www.aquinas.qld.edu.au/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=124&Itemid=152

Remember that the more reviews you read, the better your reviews will be, because you understand the genre and know what to expect in a review’s content and writing style. Look on Goodreads for lots of great reviews.

March 9


Screen shot 2011-03-09 at 2.27.27 PMGoodreads.com is free to join, visually attractive, simple to use and almost without any commercial intervention!
This website is especially useful for readers and for reading promotion.

Its uses include:

* Logging the books you read, rating and reviewing them
* Keeping track of books you want to read
* Checking what your friends are reading
* Reading others’ recommendations and reviews
* Finding out more about an author
* Linking to an author’s website or blog
* Finding other works by the same author
* Sourcing books in the same genre – in lists
* Joining online discussions about a book

Why not take a look! It’s an easy way to become more involved in reading.

February 15

Online Bibliography Maker

Having problems getting your bibliography sorted? Get help from one of the sites below. Here are the steps to make your bibliography:

1. Go to the site.
2. Choose the type of reference.
3. Write in the details of their reference into the generator.
4. The generator will give the completed reference.
5. Copy and paste the reference into a Word document.
6. Arrange your references in alphabetical order by first entry to make your bibliography.
7. Add the title ‘Bibliography’.
8. Check your work. Great work! You’re finished!



August 23

Aquinas students cross Story Bridge

Story Bridge climb studentsGovernor General David Metzenthen and MarjAquinas students climbed the Story Bridge on Friday. At the invitation of The Children’s Book Council of Australia, they joined authors and Readers’ Cup teams on a Story Bridge Adventure climb to celebrate the beginning of Book Week 2010, themed ‘across the story bridge’. Teacher Paul Hand, who accompanied them, said that the view was spectacular. Our students then attended the Book of the Year Announcement, where winning authors were congratulated by Her Excellency, the Governor General, Ms Quentin Bryce AC. Marj Kirkland, Aquinas College’s teacher librarian and National President of the CBCA (pictured here with Ms Bryce and winning author David Metzenthen), said, “Reading builds bridges. It helps us to understand others, fires our imagination and improves literacy.”

August 3


I have just seen the coolest site! It’s called 12words and can be found at http://12words.com.au

If you are aged 15 – 25 and live in Australia, you could win a writing mentorship or a laptop, simply by writing 12 words! How cool is that! Now’s your chance! You might think that writing a novel is hard…sometimes writing something concisely is just as difficult!

Ernest Hemingway once wrote: “For sale; Baby shoes; Never used.” Those six words put together conjure up vivid scenarios. What can you say in 12 words? If you think you’d like to improve your writing, this is your chance! Try your luck! Mrs O.

May 2

Book Trailers

If you love watching movie trailers, why not look at some BOOK TRAILERS! Here are a couple to start you off from best-selling Australian authors and then a few from O/S. Sorry, but you’ll have to copy and paste the links…Mrs O.:

‘The Wildkin’s Curse’ by Kate Forsyth:

‘Edsel Grizzler’ by James Roy:


‘Nineteen Minutes’ by Jodi Picoult:

‘The Hunger Games’ by Suzanne Collins (one fan trailer – there are lots!):

‘Gone’ by Michael Grant:

‘City of Bones’ by Cassandra Clare:

August 4

Book Show Bags

Book_BagIt’s show time in Queensland, which of course means Show Bags!

So there’s no better time to introduce Book Show Bags. Students read a book of their choice then choose to ‘display’ that book to others by a selection of objects or activities associated with the book, housed in a bag. You could supply students with brown twine topped bags or let them supply their own.

The displayed items could include: a biography of the author, objects from the book, information about the place the book is set, a crossword made from words or characters in the book, newspaper articles about the topic, a book review they have written, a replacement cover they have created, short blurbs about other similar books, a bookmark for the book…the possibilities of items and applications for this activity are only limited by your imagination.

May 21

Book Dates

Blind date with a book compressedDo we judge a book by its cover? Often we do! A book cover can be a visual feast of hooks to get us to open up and join in the adventure…or if it does not market the book well, that incredible adventure may just be passed over.

Book Dates encourages students to question book covers, to visualise the characters and settings, to guess what the book is about and what might happen within its pages. Books covered in brown paper bags? Sounds different…but how does it work?

Students pick up a bagged book off the table and read the activity stapled onto the bag – predicting, visualising or summarising what the book might be about from clues on the cover, back of book or first paragraph. Then they are encouraged to choose a book to read themselves as well as one to recommend to a friend.

Not all blind dates work out, though. There’s an escape card which can be used to put a book down, and of course if you don’t really enjoy a book, you can always choose another. But who knows which character or adventure you’ll embark on after that first blind date!