The World According to Elaine and Moira

The exploits of Elaine and Moira as they promote reading for pleasure in Dundee


Our Blog aka Our Website!

Having been completely defeated by Plone, the thing used for school websites, we have come up with a cunning plan to use a combination of a Blog and Glow sites to have an online presence!  The information on our Blog is for all and sundry.  However, the School Zone will act as a portal for Glow members to access school/class related information and documents. Hope this makes sense:-)

And, the other great thing about this Blog and Glow sites is, even I (Elaine H) understand how it all works.  However, it is thanks to Moira and her sheer determination, vision and pizzazz, we are now up and running.


A Few More Borrow Box Titles

These are all included in the reviews on Dundee Reads but thought I’d pop them up here as well:-)

Click on the images to watch a review.

Murder in Midwinter by Fleur Hitchcock


The Restless Girls by Jessie Burton

How to Rob a Bank by Tom Mitchell – A Young Adult Novel

Unexpected Twist by Michael Rosen

Unconventional by Maggie Harcourt – A Young Adult Novel


Dundee Reads

Dundee School Librarians are working together on a book recommendation website, Dundee Reads. They are reviewing lots of different titles and, as it’s a ‘live’ site, it will be continually updated.

Many of the books are suitable for primary pupils, however, reviews for books with more grown up content i.e. Young Adult novels, are distinguished by a blue background.  Many of the entries are available to download free from Borrow Box.


Another Bunch of Borrow Box Reviews!

Click on the images for a short review of these books.

Tales of Terror from the Black Ship – This is a collection of spine tingling tales. Although this book isn’t specifically aimed at Young Adults, it is pretty gruesome and unsettling.  If you have a vivid imagination and are prone to nightmares…give this a miss! On the other hand, if you love, and can cope with, edgy, scary stories, this is definitely for you!!


One of Us is Lying – 5 American High School pupils are on detention. Each one claims they shouldn’t be there, that they’ve been set up. Then one dies and the remaining four become murder suspects! This Young Adult audiobook kept my attention from the first to the last:-)

Code Name Verity – This is a stunning Young Adult book about a young Scottish woman who is sent on an espionage mission to France in World War 2.  She is captured almost immediately and interrogated by the Nazis.  This story is not for the faint hearted, it doesn’t shy away from what she has to endure at the hands of her captors but her indomitable spirit makes this one of the most amazing audiobooks ever!

The Cherry Pie Princess – Peony is a young princess who wants to do more than be obedient and polite.  She borrows a cookery book from the library only to discover her father has imprisoned the Librarian, in a dungeon, for speaking to her.  In light of this, Peony decides she has to stand up to her strict father and try and change the way the Kingdom is run for the better.


Here Be Monsters –  is a Box Troll story and it is crazy, amazing and charming all rolled into one!  Probably aimed at Primary aged children but if you are a bit older, and have a liking for the bizarre, don’t let that put you off:-)


Once and Future – an epic Sci-fi Young Adult book. Political intrigue, battles, romance and saving the universe are all part of the challenges faced by the 42nd reincarnation of King Arthur who, this time round, just happens to be a teenage girl!


Terry Deary’s Victorian Tales –  is another gem of a book.  True stories are brought to life as they are seen from the perspective of fictitious children.  Love this wee series.


Fortunately the Milk  – is a rollercoaster of a story involving aliens, pirates, sharks, dinosaurs, human sacrifice and time travel.  One for a younger audience but great fun nonetheless!


The Animals of Farthing Wood –  The animals have to move from their beloved home before it is bulldozed by humans.  This is a tale of courage, community, tolerance and friendship.


Curse of the Mystery Mutt – if you’re in need of a laugh this is the book for you! Told by a dog that believes there is a giant sausage monster on the loose…need I say more:-)


Spellslinger – is the first book in a series of 6.  It is a Young Adult novel but might appeal to confident upper primary readers.  The hero, Kellen, is approaching his 16th birthday and should be ready to show off his magic skills.  Unfortunately Kellen’s magic hasn’t sparked and he is in danger of disgracing himself and his family.


The Extraordinary Education of Nicholas Benedict  – what a wonderful book! Nicholas is nine, he is an orphan, he has just arrived at a new orphanage and immediately gets on the wrong side of the reigning bullies, The Spiders!  As if this weren’t bad enough, Nicholas has a condition called narcolepsy which means he falls asleep, with very little warning, when he is stressed or excited.  However, Nicholas also happens to be an absolute genius!


Borrow Box Reviews

Elaine has posted reviews of the books we have downloaded from Borrow Box on Twitter so we thought it would be sensible to have some here as well! Click on the book jackets to hear what we have to say:-)

Northern Lights by Philip Pullman is the first book in His Dark Materials series. It is aimed at young people of secondary school age and older.


Step Sister by Jennifer Donnelly is a stand alone novel.  It is aimed at Young Adults.

Eve of Man by Giovanna and Tom Fletcher is the first book in a trilogy.  The next book is due for publication in April 2020.  You can see an exciting book trailer here on You Tube.  This is a Young Adult book.

Viking Tales by Terry Deary, four wonderful tales to be enjoyed by all ages:-)


Drawn from Experience Week 5

It was back to the Drawing Board for pupils taking part in the project.  Everyone has worked really hard over the past 5 weeks and this last session was no exception.  Ably led by Damon Herd and Rebecca Horner, from Dundee Comics Creative Space (DCCS), the S1s worked on the completion of their comic strips, and written submissions, to ensure their portfolios contained a range of material to inform the creation of the final comic! Damon and Rebecca were hugely impressed with the variety of ideas and how these were expressed both visually and in writing.

At the end of the session the portfolios were taken to DCCS where the next exciting stage of the project will begin!

Harris Academy’s School Librarian, Elaine Hunter, has been involved in, and hosted, all of the in-school sessions in her wonderful library.  She has gone above and beyond to ensure this project has run with meticulous smoothness…thank you Mrs H:-)

Thanks again to Steve Soave, 81 films,  who has captured the level of concentration and fun beautifully:-)

Drawn From Experience is funded by the School Library Improvement Fund


Drawn from Experience Wk 4

This week’s Drawn from Experience workshop focussed on techniques used by illustrators to convey drama and emotion.  Tom Foster is a professional illustrator of comics including 2000AD and Commando.   He explained how the use of colour, negative space and the positioning of objects help to illustrate mood, tension and emotion visually.

Alistair Wilson, Library & Information Worker, introduced Scott McCloud’s Understanding Comicsa must read for any budding comic book artist. Alistair also gave a brief overview of the influences of impressionism, expressionism and abstract art on comic book art.

Both speakers offered hints and tips to the class to help them with their task of representing their feelings and experiences in a way which will help the professional artists and writers charged with creating the final ‘transition comic’.

Once again Steve Soave, 81 films, was on hand to take the great shots you see here:-)

Drawn From Experience is funded by the School Library Improvement Fund


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