Newhaven Book Beats – January 2022

newhaven book beats january 2022

Books that KS3 students are reading with staff this term

Newhaven School Library Blog/News, Reviews and Giveaways
Carole Oldfield

Library Lessons Launch – 2022

This term library lessons are all about reading together as a group, listening, understanding an author’s intentions, finding a voice and sharing ideas. This will help you develop a regular reading habit. Little and often is a good way to start if you have got out of the routine.

In Gardens and NEST, Mr Ojo, Mr O’Donoghue and Mr McCann will be joining us for the first time. At Kings Park we’re working with Ms Bardell, Mr Osijo, Ms McLeod, Jenny, Annette, Cathy and Freya.

Newhaven Students’ Poetry Selection

Eight students won giveaways last month. Seven chose notebooks, pens and pencils and responded to the poetry choice challenge.

The task was to choose a poem from the Poetry By Heart website, then say what you like about it using 30 to 100 words. Their responses are insightful and reflective. Congratulations to you all.

Click on each poet to see which poem they wrote. Read what our students said about the poems below.

sonny lettah  jacob sam la rose  beowulf  matt goodfellow

robert bridges   rita dove  thomas hood

These are the poets whose work was chosen by Newhaven Students.

Student Choices, Your Voices

‘Sonny’s Lettah’ by Linton Kwesi Johnson (1980)
“Linton’s poem is so wonderful; upon reading it made me feel like I was with my family in Jamaica as the poem was written in Jamaican English. It has made me feel at home loving the story itself, and the meaning. I heard police brutality when he says, “Jim starts to wriggle di police start to giggle,” which means Jim was in pain and the police were mishandling him and all they did was giggle. It seemed like I can relate as what happened to George Floyd as this was made in 1984 and police brutality happens 20+ years later.”

‘A life in dreams’ by Jacob Sam-Ca Rose (2010)
“I like this poem for many different reasons, here are a few. I like the way for the first three paragraphs have repetitive starts such as ‘there’ and ‘have/has’. My favourite part is the second paragraph, the concept of running but going nowhere appeals to me.”

Beowulf by Unknown Author (Year 1000)
“The first reason I’ve chosen this poem is because it is the oldest on the list. I think it would be interesting to look back over 2000 years ago.”

‘Remember’ by Matt Goodfellow (2020)
“I like this poem because it helps me picture a worried feeling but says it will be alright. This poem is about switching emotions to happiness, to sadness, to happiness again. I imagine at the home bit it is flooded at one side and overflowing to the other side. This poem is about finding hope in dark places.”

‘Silence’ by Thomas Hood (1823)
“The language made me be very imaginative thinking about life, nature and the world. It also talks about freedom in this quote in my opinion “But clouds and cloudy shadows wander free” and he also uses the clouds as there are no humans around and this quote, “where Man hath been”, suggests that they are definitely not around.

Also, in this quote “Though the dun fox, or wild hyena, calls, And owls, that flit continually between, Shriek to the echo, and the low winds moan”, even though it is noisy there is true silence/peace.”

“Ö” by Rita Dove (1980)
“I chose this poem because I was attracted to the title of the poem “Ö”. The title stood out from the others as it was just one letter, so I wanted to find out what the poem was about.

“London Snow” by Robert Bridges (1890)
“I chose this poem because it’s a very good poem for the time it was made in and I love snow. I have been to London before multiple times and it’s a unique poem.”

One other year 7 student has won a non-fiction book about our planet and conservation and is making her choice this month.

Freedom in Flight

sky dancer  eagle warrior   gill lewis

“Tame birds sing of freedom. Wild birds fly.” John Lennon.

Did you know that there is an organisation called Wild Justice which fights for the rights of animal and bird species?

“Species can’t take legal cases in their own names, they can’t write to MPs and they can’t sign petitions, but, together, we can stand up for wildlife using the legal system and seeking changes to existing laws.”

Wild Justice has given Newhaven School copies of two books by Gill Lewis. In both stories the main characters have strong feelings and beliefs and have to fight for what they believe. I have two of each book to give away, so ask me if you’d like one.

In under 50 words

Sky Dancer
Joe shares beliefs handed down from his father but when Ella moves in next door their shaky friendship makes him wonder about new ways to care for the moorland environment he loves.

Eagle Warrior
When Granny’s dog is poisoned by food put out for a rare Golden Eagle, Bobbie decides she must find courage to do all she can to protect the bird. This book is printed in a dyslexia-friendly format.

The first chapter of Eagle Warrior is on the Barrington Stoke website.

Holocaust Memorial Day (HMD)

Holocaust Memorial Day (HMD) marks the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest Nazi death camp, on 27th January each year. “When we learn about the Holocaust and more recent genocides we learn for a purpose: to challenge present-day discrimination and hostility.”

This year the theme is One Day, taken from the words of Iby Knill, one of the remaining survivors of the Nazi Holocaust.

“You didn’t think about yesterday, and tomorrow may not happen, it was only today that you had to cope with and you got through it as best you could.”

There have been subsequent genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur. Genocide is still happening. The website lists persecutions of Yazidi People in Iraq, Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar and Uyghur Muslims in the Chinese province of Xinjiang.

newhaven ww2 books

Books on the Second World War and the holocaust in Newhaven libraries

You can read the first chapter of ‘After the War’ and find out more about Noor-un-Nissa Inayat Khan.

Watch a 30 second book trailer and an interview with author Marcus Zusak

There are more books about the Holocaust on these Book Trust reading lists. Ask if you’d like us to buy any of them for the library. I have request forms waiting to be filled in.

Last Word: Seven leading artists to paint seven survivors

Seven leading artists are to paint portraits of seven survivors of the Holocaust. They were children in the camps and are now in their 90s and have made their lives in Britain.

“The paintings will stand as a lasting reminder of horrors that will one day be lost to living memory.”

At The Gallery you can see photographs from the making of a BBC documentary about this art commission. In the documentary audiences will hear the testimonies of the men and women who witnessed one of the greatest atrocities in human history


There was no library blog in December, so now is the time to get back into the giveaway game…

Challenge 1
Look at the five book covers at the top of this month’s Book Beats.

  1. Which name appears on both covers?
  2. Which two jobs does that person do? Use the information on the book covers or try this website.


Challenge 2
Look at the seven images of poets that students chose.

  1. Which of the images shown is the subject of the poem rather than a picture of the poet?
  2. List the years when the poems were written, in the correct chronological order.

Use your school email account to send your response to me at

If you send the correct answer, you can ask me about your gift options:

1. Choose a book, (price limit applies…), from our book supplier.
2. Choose a notebook, pen and pencil from the Library Stationery Hoard (ask me!).

Maximum one gift per person
Deadline: 31st January 2022
Open to students from all Newhaven sites, learning at home or at school