The Great Reads Award 2017 πŸ“šπŸ“šπŸ“šπŸ“šπŸ“š

This is the second year of The Great Reads Award, a debut YA award shortlisted by SLARI (School Library Association of Ireland) and voted on by teen readers! This summer I’m delighted to one of those school librarians who gets to read wonderful YA books with other librarians to decide on which books will make the shortlist! πŸ€“βœŒπŸ“šβ€
The shortlist will be ready in late August, just in time for all of our eager readers teens to get going on their reading once we are back to school! Our Lady’s is going to be very much involved in the awards so we will get as many readers on board as possible! πŸ‘

Here’s the current longlist, which will be whittled down to eight from 20 by the end of August. I foresee some very hard decisions as they all look so interesting! 😍

Follow the awards for updates on TwitterΒ @greatreadsaward

FacebookΒ The Great Reads Award

I have a lovely little pile to read over the next few weeks, and I’m very tempted to add a few more! πŸ€“πŸ˜‚

As always you can follow the library on Twitter for more updates @ourladyslibrary 🐻

Senior Book Club – May

May Senior Book Club Recommends…



The PowerΒ by Naomi Alderman

In The Power the world is a recognisable place: there’s a rich Nigerian kid who larks around the family pool; a foster girl whose religious parents hide their true nature; a local American politician; a tough London girl from a tricky family. But something vital has changed, causing their lives to converge with devastating effect. Teenage girls now have immense physical power – they can cause agonising pain and even death. And, with this small twist of nature, the world changes utterly.

This extraordinary novel by Naomi Alderman, a Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year and Granta Best of British writer, is not only a gripping story of how the world would change if power was in the hands of women but also exposes, with breath-taking daring, our contemporary world.


The Blood MiraclesΒ by Lisa McInerny

The second novel from the author of the Baileys Prize-winning The Glorious Heresies*

Like all twenty-year-olds, Ryan Cusack is trying to get his head around who he is.

This is not a good time for his boss to exploit his dual heritage by opening a new black market route from Italy to Ireland. It is certainly not a good time for his adored girlfriend to decide he’s irreparably corrupted. And he really wishes he hadn’t accidentally caught the eye of an ornery grandmother who fancies herself his saviour.

There may be a way clear of the chaos in the business proposals of music promoter Colm and in the attention of the charming, impulsive Natalie. But now that his boss’s ambitions have rattled the city, Ryan is about to find out what he’s made of, and it might be that chaos is in his blood.

*The Glorious HeresiesΒ is highly recommendedΒ ifΒ you haven’t read it yet!

CBI Book of the Year Awards Shadowing Scheme 2017 πŸ“–πŸ€“β€

Our Book Club are delighted to be part of the CBI Book Awards Shadowing Scheme this year!  Established in 2005, the CBI Shadowing Scheme is a unique programme for schools and libraries, designed to encourage awareness and enjoyment of the CBI Book of the Year Awards. 😊

How it works

Each of our Book Club members will read at least two of the choices (which are age appropriate!) by the 10th of May. Up until then we will discuss how our reading is going, and pair up with readers on the same book to discuss them more in depth and to avoid spoilers for others! On the 10th of May, we will each give the books we have read a number of marks out of 100. We will then average the marks for each book and fill out our special CBI Book Awards Ballot Sheet and send it back! It will be very exciting to see if any of our favourites end up getting the Children’s Choice Award! πŸ€“

Another extremely exciting aspect of being a part of the Shadowing Scheme is that by returning our votes by the 12th of May, we will be in with a chance of attending the CBI Book of the Year Awards ceremony in Dublin’s Smock Alley Theatre on 23rd May as part of International Literature Festival Dublin!! Book nerds unite! πŸ˜‚βœŒπŸ€“πŸ“–

CBI will announce the Children’s Choice Award during the official prize ceremony in May. The shadowing groups alone choose the Children’s Choice winner so every vote counts! Look out for CBI’s Q&A with shortlisted authors and illustrators on Instagram (@kidsbooksirel) and check out their YouTube channel (CBI-Childrens’ Books Ireland) for lots more.

You can read more about the CBI Awards here

Anybody who is not currently in Book Club, but who would like to be part of the Shadowing Scheme can come and join us on Wednesdays for the 2nd half of lunch! We have books and biscuits! πŸ“–πŸͺ

Here is this years shortlist from which we have chosen four titles to read



The four titles chosen by Book Club are:

The Call

The Call

by Peadar O’ GuilΓ­n

This YA novel is my mashup of the darker parts of Irish mythology and classic survival stories.

‘Your people drove them out of their homes. Thousands of years later they turn up again – and they’re gonna wipe you out.’


On her birthday, Nessa finds out the terrible truth about her home in Ireland – the truth that will change her future forever.


That she and her friends must train for the most dangerous three minutes of their lives:



That any day now, without warning, they will each wake in a terrifying land, alone and hunted, with a one in ten chance of returning alive.

And it is Nessa, more than anyone, who is going to need every ounce of the guts, wit, and sheer spirit she was born with, if she – and the nation – are to survive.

Suitable for 14+

Published by : David Fickling Books



plain jane

Plain Jane

by Kim Hood

Jane has lived in the shadow of her sister Emma’s illness for over three years; her life is a never ending monotony of skipping school and long bus rides to the hospital, and her love life is not exactly setting the world on fire.

She feels like she’s stuck in neutral, until she meets Farley, who sees the world –  and Jane – differently. He may just be the person she can count on when things get tough. A heart-breaking novel about dark times, family and – just maybe – love.

Suitable for 12+

Published by : The O’ Brien Press



The Ministry of Strange, Unusual, and Impossible the ministryThings by Paul Gamble

The Ministry of SUITs is a novel full of adventure, hilarity, heroism and …pirates, The Ministry of SUITs tells the story of a secret Ministry hidden away in the far reaches of the Ulster Museum in Belfast. It deals with all the strange, unusual and impossible things in the world, the things we don’t want to have to think about or deal with as perfectly-normal-thank-you-very-much people: ancient monsters, wild animals, pirates, aliens and much more. Some people are born to work in the Ministry, and 12-year-old Jack is one of those people. Endlessly curious, perhaps to a level that might be called nosy, Jack finds himself and his frenemy Trudy as the Ministry’s newest recruits. And their first mission? To find out where all the school oddbods are disappearing to…

Suitable for 10+

Published by: Little Island Books


by Deirdre O’ Sullivan

‘I would like to make things beautiful, but a tawdry and repulsive kind of beauty. A braver sort than people have from birth. Sexy zombies on a bicep. That sort of thing.’ Ces longs to be a tattoo artist and embroider skin with beautiful images. But for now she’s just trying to reach adulthood without falling apart. Powerful, poetic and disturbing, Needlework is a girl’s meditation on her efforts to maintain her bodily and spiritual integrity in the face of abuse, violation and neglect.

Suitable for 15+

Published by: Little Island Books
Check out the library on Twitter  @DumblebearSays





March Book Review Competition Winner! πŸ€“πŸ“–βœ¨πŸ€‘

Our March Book Review Competition winner is Hannah Fowler in B1! πŸ™Œ

CONGRATULATIONS HANNAH! You have won a €10 book token which you can collect in the library! πŸ™ŒπŸ’ƒπŸ“–β€


Here’s her winning book review:


Book: Paper Towns  Author: John Green


Paper Towns  by John Green is a fictional novel about a teenage boy named Quentin, who has a huge crush on his neightbour, Margo Roth Spiegelman, since he was very young.  Quentin and Margo had always been very different; Margo had always loved going on wild adventures and solving mysteries, while Quentin had always preferred to stay out of trouble and within his comfort zone. When Margo invites Quentin to come with her on a ‘night of revenge’, he realises for the first time in his life that you should take risks and step out of your comfort zone. The next day Margo disappears and Quentin is determined to find her. she has left clues for Quentin to follow, like a trail of breadcrumbs. Quentin discovers that Margo has run away to a paper town. Now Quentin will stop at nothing to find her, and bring her home.

I chose to read this book because the blurb gave a very clear description of the book’s content and i was very interested to read it.  Paper Towns  was also recommended by a few of my friends.

The book sends a very clear message to all readers –  that life is about taking risks and having fun, as well as finding your own path.  After reading this book I have one question to ask: Why did Margo choose to not return home with Quentin at the end of the book?  MArgo was my favourite character because she was different to everyone else.  She also pointed out that “in the time that she lived in Orlando, she had never met someone who  had cared about things that really mattered.” This quote highlights  Margo as a character and was the best quote that stuck with me after I had finished the book.

I really enjoyed this book because it tells the readers to follow their own path and to live life to the fullest.  It also included many different levels of  humanity and ways of reasoning.  The ending was unexpected and a little disappointing, but it showed Quentin’s optimism throughout the book, and the sudden realisation that he couldn’t make Margo return. I would definitely recommend this book to young teenagers especially because of it’s use of metaphors, diction and perspective. I would rate it 4.5 out of 5 stars!



Thanks Hannah, what a great review!! John Green’s books are all available in the school library. We think that he is currently working on his next book which will be a must read when it comes out!

If you would like to read previous winning reviews click here

The deadline for next months competition is Friday 28th of April so everyone has plenty of time to enter! You can write a review on any book you like and give it a star rating out of five. Email the review to for a chance to win €10 book token!

Check out the library on Twitter 


It’s Mystery Month with our Reading Reps! πŸ“–πŸ€”β“πŸ•΅

You might have seen some very artistic Mystery themed posters around the school, these are down to our school Reading Reps, who are hosting Mystery Month! πŸ•΅


The idea is to get us all reading something new and exciting, and what’s more exciting than a mystery?!  Get on board by checking out any of our mystery tagged books in the library, and start talking about and recommending books to your classmates! πŸ“–β€

You’ll find a list of some of the ‘mystery’ tagged books that we have in the library here. Have other book recommendations? Comment below!

Come in and take a look at our Mystery display, featuring some of the posters made by the Reading Reps and a selection of mysteries.

Expect another exciting theme next month! Well done to our lovely Reading Reps!! βœŒπŸ€“


Check out the library on Twitter  @DumblebearSays

Health and Fitness Week 2017! πŸƒπŸ™ŒπŸ™πŸ™‚

It’s day two of Health and Fitness Week at Our Lady’s and already so much has been packed in!

The launch, which included a talk from the fabulous Paralympian Ellen Keane, and a ridiculous and very brilliant staff dance video to Can’t Stop the Feeling πŸ˜‚,  was really fantastic.  We have also had mindful colouring, African drumming/dance groups, and even a morning rave! ⚑⚑

Tomorrow is digital detox day! 😱 But to distract us from the horror of not checking facebook and twitter πŸ˜‚ we have a bouncing castle on the grounds all day! πŸ™ŒπŸ‘‘

It’s great to see everyone going about the school in their active wear and sporting their Green Ribbons for mental health awareness. The schedule for the whole week is below, and it looks like there will be lots more fun had before the week is out! πŸ™Œβ€

We have an information point in the library which focuses on the theme of this years Health and Fitness Week, mental health.  This includes some mindful activities such as colouring sheets and origami book work templates (see the post about this here) a selection of books about teenage stress and mental health, as well as information leaflets on other aspects of mental health disorders.


We also have lots of games and jigsaws in the library which anyone is welcome to use at break or lunchtime. 

Most importantly though, we have lots of BOOKS in the library! πŸ“–πŸ“–πŸ“– Reading has been proven to help you de-stress, improve focus, and help you sleep better.  It also improves your memory and your intelligence, and can keep your brain agile as you age. Very importantly it also builds empathy which can help improve your relationships. What’s not to love?! πŸ“–β€

As well as our huge selection of young adult and junior fiction that you can borrow, or read in the library in a comfy corner on a beanbag, we also have audiobooks which are incredibly relaxing to listen to and we have a lovely little area especially for this. πŸ€“πŸ“–






 Check out the library on Twitter  @DumblebearSays



The 20th ever World Book Day is falling on Thursday the 2nd of March.  To celebrate, the library is running a Read-a-thon in aid of Barnardos. If you don’t already have your Sponsor sheet for the Read-a-thon you can download it here and start reading and raising money for a great cause over midterm! —>  readathon-sponsor-sheet-2017  They are available in the library and at reception as well.


There is also the option for anyone who wants (both staff and students) to bring in a book(s) in new or like new condition to donate to Barnardos for children in need. There will be a donation box in reception when we come back after midterm. β€πŸ“–

Another super exciting way that we will be celebrating is by having all first years and staff dress up as book characters on the day, and there will be prizes foe the best dressed! I can’t wait to see what everyone’s costumes are going to be! πŸŽ‰βš‘πŸŒŸ

There will be prizes for the best costumes on the day.

Happy reading and happy midterm! πŸ˜ŠπŸ“–β€

If anyone has any questions at all  you can comment below and i’ll get back to you as as soon as possible πŸ˜ŠπŸ“–β€IMAG1242.jpg

Check out the library on Twitter  @DumblebearSays

It’s the Christmas Tree of Knowledge! πŸŒ²πŸŽ„πŸ“š

The library’s Christmas Tree of Knowledge is back! It’s a tree made from books!

#irony πŸ˜‚

Come take a look at it, and while you’re here check out some of our amazing books for your holiday reading βœŒπŸ˜πŸ“šπŸŽ„

Here are some Book Club elves helping to decorate the tree! They also did an amazing job tinseling the whole library! Thanks to Sarah, Rachel, Saffron, Jennifer, Marie and Catherine! πŸŽ…πŸŽ„βœ¨


Check out the library on Twitter  @DumblebearSays

We have THE BEST President πŸ˜β€

I absolutely had to share this here. Our President Michael D. Higgins is the most wonderful person. Just read this letter that he wrote to a young girl who loves reading πŸ“šβ€βœŒ

“books are windows to many worlds, both real and imaginary, and the benefits, and joys too, of reading will last a lifetime. People who read books will not just have the experiences of their own lives, but are also to take into themselves the feelings, actions and wisdom of many others.”

“All of the Presidents you have read about will have tried, in their own way, to make this world a better place. I hope that you and all your friends will, too, keep faith in the power of each and every one of us to make a difference, working together to build a better, just and sustainable world.”



Check out the library on Twitter  @DumblebearSays