Newhaven Book Beats – Spring/Summer 2022

2022 read for empathy collection

2022 Read for Empathy Collection – new lists out now

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

Book Beats is becoming a seasonal blog so I’ll let you know in class when the next one will be out. Meanwhile, I hope you enjoy this edition for spring and summer. It looks back to World Book Day in March and forwards to Empathy Day in June.

We have student library news too. Jay, our senior student librarian will be leaving this year. He tells us about his dream bakery with books. Nylah, Year 7 student librarian, set herself a World Book Day challenge. And we hear from sixth formers taking the Duke of Edinburgh award who have been volunteering in the library.

Empathy, our Human Superpower

Empathy Day is on 9th June. Empathy is the ability to experience and understand other people’s emotions and perspectives. The theme for 2022 is ‘Empathy, our human superpower’.

Reading helps us understand ourselves and others. Scientists say that we can train our brain to understand other people’s feelings by reading stories. When we engage with characters in a book we take a walk in their shoes.

You can borrow many of the 2022 Empathy Collection titles from Newhaven Libraries. And you can win one in one of our blog giveaways this month (see last item in the blog).

Cakes, Bakes and Books by Jay Durrant

“Being a student librarian has given me the idea to merge two of my favourite interests. My two interests are baking and books. When I’m older I have a dream to have my own bakery but with a library all about baking on the floor above!

My favourite thing to do to help out in the library is checking in new books and cataloguing them.

I’ve been a student librarian at Kings Park since I started at this school in 2020 in Year 10. Once a week I come into the library and work with the *best librarian, processing books and improving/maintaining the library.”


One of Jay’s delicious cakes. I taste success! And the first book in the Wolf Brother series. The cake is long gone but you can borrow the book from the library.

*Thank you, Jay! I will miss you and the hard work, help and humour you bring every week.
And thank you for inspiring me to read the Chronicles of Ancient Darkness by Michelle Paver. Within ten pages of the first book I was hooked, booked and cooked. I can’t believe it was first published in 2004 and I haven’t read it before.

Chronicles of Ancient Darkness series

There are lots of ways to find out about an author and their books. Here are some great links for Michelle Paver.

Takeaway Menu for World Book Day 2022

It was World Book Day on 4th March and this year is the 25th anniversary. Chances are you remember World Book Day at primary school where students and teachers dressed up as book characters. Students have told me about being witches and wizards, tigers and Tiggers.

I’ve been Mr Grey, the headmaster in ‘Demon Dentist’, and one of the Roald Dahl witches. My nephew, who lives in Iceland, chose Pippi Longstocking.

2022 world book day books

2022 World Book Day books

This year at Newhaven School you took home more than fifty books between you and there are still copies to give away. Use the brilliant new ‘Look Inside’ feature to explore them all.

Twenty-five books went to the hospital school room, where Heather and Carly dressed up and took the books round to children in Safari, Tiger, Hippo and Dolphin wards.

What are KS3 students reading this term?

Every KS3 class has a library lesson or two each week. The autumn term is for book ‘tasting’ and judging. The spring and summer terms are for reading together, broadening reading experiences and developing good reading habits.

The books come from collections selected by experts, such as Book Buzz, the School Library Pack, Empathy Lab, World Book Day and Greenwich Transition Book Club. We read the books out loud in class to improve reading, listening and comprehension and encourage discussion and empathy.

Click on each book to find out more on the Book Trust website.

peak peril book  rat book

boy everywhere book  the dog runner book

In under 50 words…

7KP Peak Peril by Sharna Jackson (World Book Day)

“Thinking of doing a bit of investigating? A little light snooping? A sprinkle of scammery?” Nik and Norva head to the Peak District on a school trip and a break from their home-based detective work. But it seems these two sisters will find a mystery to solve wherever they go.

9A, 8KP, 9KP Rat by Patrice Lawrence (Book Buzz)

When mum is sent back to prison, Al blames Mr Brayker. He is a trouble maker who has got it in for her. Al seeks revenge with the only two creatures he can rely on: pet rats, Venom and Vulture. A moving story of loneliness, community and friendships.

9B Boy, Everywhere by A.M. Dassu (Greenwich Book Club)

Sami has a comfortable life in Syria: best friend, video games, trying out for the football team, a loving family. But this life is shattered by a bombing and the family sells everything to take a long harrowing journey. Will their UK destination be welcoming, or safer than Damascus?

9N Dog Runner by Bren MacDibble (School Library Pack)

A fungus has wiped out all grasses and Ella and Emery are alone in a starving city. They must escape upcountry but how can two kids travel such big distances across a barren, dangerous landscape? When you’ve got a few big doggos, the answer is you go mushing

My Big Book Challenge by Nylah Khalfan, Year 7

Nylah is a keen reader and helps out in the library every week during Choice time. She started reading the World Book Day books and then decided on a special challenge.

“My challenge is to read every single book from this year’s World Book Day collection. On top of that I am going to read all the previous world book day books that I can find…

So far, I’ve read fourteen of the twenty-four books and I’ve every intention to finish all of the World Book Day books in Kings Park library before the end of the holidays.

My favourites so far are ‘Hubert Horatio: A Very Fishy Tale’ by Lauren Child and ‘Planet Omar: Operation Mind’ by Zanib Mian. In Hubert Horatio I like it because it is comical, about literally a kid who saves his own life more than ten times. Planet Omar I like because the main character is Muslim, like me, and I really like seeing Islam characters in books.”

hubert horatio book planet omar book

Follow these links to try Nylah’s recommendation. We still have some spare copies of these books in the library if you’d like to read them.

Hubert Horatio: A Very Fishy Tale by Lauren Child
Read an extract, find some fun things to do and listen to an audio sample.

Planet Omar: Operation Kind by Zanib Mian
Read an extract and watch the author give tips on how to write characters inspired by family and friends.

From 1956 to Sixth Formers

The Duke of Edinburgh Award was first launched in 1956. This year it was added to options for Kings Park sixth formers. As part of the award students have been library volunteers. Here they explain more.

“We are the Duke of Edinburgh class at Kings Park with our teacher Holly. This qualification is an amazing opportunity as we get to volunteer our services in the community.

We have been volunteering in the Library to do different things such as labelling and cataloguing books and helping with digital elements such as this blog!

Libraries both in school and in the community are massively important as they provide safe quiet spaces as well as resources that are freely accessible to all as well as being vital community spaces. Anyone can borrow a book for free and we believe that money should never be an obstacle to accessing books.

We love helping Carole in the library. We are looking forward to creating our own Sixth Form section of the library which will include a new True Crime section.”

Joshua Willson and Morgan Linehan have been doing a lot more volunteering work for the library since Easter.

Morgan has chosen the first books for the sixth form shelves as she is a true crime fan. She also listens to true crime podcasts, so is thinking about titles for a ‘Recommended Podcasts’ list.

Joshua has a very distinctive style of drawing. You may have seen his Art Award work around the school. He is now designing posters for the library to promote different genre of stories.

Library Posters for Horror and Fantasy by Joshua

Final Thoughts, Thinking About Others

To draw this edition of Book Beats to a close, I am back to the theme of Empathy.


I recommend four short animations narrated by young people on the Duke of Edinburgh Award website. In the films they talk about how completing the Duke of Edinburgh Award has helped them cope with tough times. Hearing their stories will develop your empathy skills and help you to find answers to our second blog challenge.

Spring/Summer Gift Book Giveaways

Try one of the two giveaway challenges for a chance to take home a gift book. Follow the instructions to find the answers.

CHALLENGE 1 – Empathy, our Human Superpower

  1. Follow the link on the word ‘Scientists’ above, to a page called ‘Research and Strategy’.
  2. Look for the heading ‘What is Empathy?’
  3. Find this phrase: ‘Empathy is made up of 3 elements.
  4. What are the three elements listed?


CHALLENGE 2 – Final Thoughts, Thinking About Others

  1. Follow the link on the words ‘four short animations’ to ‘How the DofE can help young people navigate the new world.’
  2. Find the animated films about the true stories of four DofE award winners.
  3. What are the names of the four young people who tell their stories in the films?
  4. Choose one of the four quotes next to the animations which explain the problem that young person was dealing with. Name the young person who said it and copy out the quote.

Use your school email account to send your answers to or write them down neatly and hand them to me.

Students sending in correct replies can choose their gift. Either

  • a book from the 2022 Read for Empathy Collection shown at the top of this blog.


  • a notebook, pen and pencil combination from the Stationery Gift Collection.

Maximum one gift per person
Deadline: 30th June 2022
Open to students from all Newhaven sites, learning at home or at school