Monthly Archives: December 2011

Trends – South Colchester Academy

Students at South Colchester Academy (grades 7-12) have only submitted 13 nominations so far, but they represent some rich and diverse reading interests at the school. Ms. Cochrane has reported that the only title to receive two nominations is a popular manga series: Death Note by Tsugumi Ohba.

Light Yagami is a model student until he finds the “Death Note,” a supernatural notebook that will kill anyone whose name you write inside its pages.

Here’s what SCA students had to say about the series:

  • It’s epic.
  • Awesome book.

As mentioned above, no other book received multiple nominations, but the ballots have included some interesting and unique picks like the ones listed below:

A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess

In a futuristic England, 15-year-old Alex is jailed for rape and murder and rehabilitated by the state using experimental techniques.

 Reason for nomination:

Excellent use of language.


A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin

The powerful Stark and Lannister families fight to control the Iron Throne in the first book of the epic fantasy series Song of Ice and Fire.

Reason for nomination:

Captivating, great character development, and a unique writing style.


Crank by Ellen Hopkins (I said she’d appear again.)

This free-verse novel (based on the experiences of Hopkins’ daughter) depicts Kristina Snow’s addiction to crystal meth and her horrifying downward spiral.

Reason for nomination:

The book is very moving and the way it is written is very unordinary.


Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling

The seventh and final Harry Potter novel. I won’t say anymore for those who’ve not yet read it.

Reason for nomination:

It’s one of the best books I’ve ever read, it’s exciting, adventurous, outrageous, mysterious, funny, and sad.


The Help by Kathryn Stockett

Set in Jackson, Mississippi during 1962, three women –  two African-American maids and a progressive, white journalism graduate –  embark on a dangerous and life-changing project.

Reason for nomination:

Shows the point of view from blackmaids which made me look differently at the discrimination people face.


Do you have any thoughts on the books nominated by SCA students? Are there any you’d love to see in the Top 10? Are there any you’ve never heard of but want to check out?

Trends – Cobequid Educational Centre

Students at Cobequid Educational Centre (grades 10-12) have submitted the largest number of nominations to date. Librarian Ms. Allen has counted 293 nomination forms, but many more have been handed in.  The number one book at CEC (with 12 nominations) is: To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee.

Published in 1960 and set in the Depression, Harper Lee’s only novel examines racism in a small Alabaman town through the eyes of eight-year-old Scout Finch.

Here are some reasons why CEC students chose this as their favourite book:

  • It touches the heart.
  • A brilliant novel about compassion, struggle, and race issues. A timeless classic.
  • A very dramatic and intense story.

Coming in a not-so-surprising second with eight votes is post-apocalyptic favourite The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins.

Reason for nomination:

Excellent plot.



There is currently a three-way tie for third place at CEC. The following novels have received five nominations each:

Under the Dome by Stephen King

This book follows the inhabitants of a sleepy little town in Maine after it is suddenly cut off from the rest of the world by an invisible force field.

Reason for nomination:

The story keeps you hanging and doesn’t disappoint in the end.


Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer

The final book in the Twilight saga. (I won’t say any more about it so I don’t spoil anything for those who haven’t read it.)

Reason for nomination:

Once you start reading you can’t stop.


The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton

Ponyboy, his brothers, and friends are poor outsiders (“greasers”) who are constantly fighting with the snobby rich kids (“socs”), until the rivalry spins out of control and a soc is murdered.

Reason for nomination:

It has a good storyline.


There are also many books at CEC that have only been nominated once or twice by students. Have you read any of the CEC top picks? Do they deserve a place in the Top 10?

Trends – Hants North Rural High School

As we check out what students are nominating at Hants North Rural High School (grades 7-12), it’s becoming clear that teens across CCRSB read an incredibly wide range of books. Ms. Dixon has reported that out of the 30 nominations received so far, only two have been nominated more than once. The frontrunner at HNRH right now (with four nominations) is: The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins.

Here are some of the reasons why The Hunger Games is a favourite among HNRH students:

  • I love this book because of Katniss’s struggle to survive and how much effort it took just to live.
  • This is a brilliant novel with a strong female protagonist. The book was thrilling from cover to cover and I found myself unable to put it down. This book will appeal to people of all ages.
  • Because it is extremely interesting and makes you never want to put it down.

The only other title to receive multiple nominations (two) is the picture book Strong to the Hoop by John Coy. Ten-year-old James tries to hold his own on the basketball court after he is challenged to a game by a group of older boys.


Reasons for nomination:

  • It is a good book because it is awesome.
  • It is a good book because it is the best book in the whole world.

Author Ellen Hopkins has shown up on a couple of ballots  (for her books Crank and Tricks), but neither book received multiple nominations. For those of you unfamiliar with her work, she writes very powerful free-verse novels about tough issues (e.g. drug addiction, abuse, mental illness). This will likely not be the last time her name appears on this blog.

The rest of the nominated books at HRNH only received one ballot each and represent a variety of genres, including fantasy, romance (particularly supernatural), and historical fiction. Here are a few honourable mentions:

Eragon by Christopher Paolini
Eragon is a simple farm boy, until one fateful day he finds a blue stone that hatches a dragon.

Reason for nomination:

Phenomenal book for the author’s first novel. Really good fantasy read for veterans and newcomers to the genre.


Going Bovine by Libba Bray

In this award-winning novel, 16-year-old Cameron Smith goes on an epic road trip with a video-game-obsessed dwarf, a lawn gnome, and a punk rock angel named Dulcie to search for a cure for his mad cow disease.

Reason for nomination:

Because I like cows and yard gnomes.


Jessica’s Guide to Dating on the Dark Side by Beth Fantaskey

Jessica Packwoods is a normal senior in high school – at least until the hot new exchange student claims she is actually a Romanian vampire princess and his long-lost fiancee.

Reason for nomination:

When I read this book I couldn’t put it down.


Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder

This classic, semi-autobiographical tale of pioneer life follows the Ingalls family as they leave Wisconsin just after the Civil War and build a new home in Kansas.

Reason for nomination:

Because it teaches kids about how people grew up in the olden days.


What are your thoughts on the books HNRH have nominated? Are any of your favourites on this list?

Trends – West Pictou Consolidated School

Results are coming in at West Pictou Consolidated School (grades 7-8). Ms. MacEachern at the library has received 30 nomination forms from students, and there is quite an interesting mix of titles. Like at Springhill High, most books have only been nominated once. With four nominations, the most nominated book is: Conspiracy 365 : January by Gabrielle Lord.

This is the first book in an action-packed series about 15-year-old Callum Ormond, a fugitive on the run from his father’s killers.

West Pictou students had this to say about the book:

  • “”Action packed thriller. Always leaving you wanting more.”
  • “The book series is awesome! Lots of action. A lot of my friends read it!”

There are currently two runners-up with two votes each:

Ways to Live Forever by Sally Nicholls

This tearjerker chronicles the last four months of eleven-year-old Sam McQueen’s battle with leukemia.

Reason for nomination:

“Because the book is a very emotional story that teens can connect to.”



The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Every year in the post-apocalyptic world of Panem, 24 teens are forced to fight to the death in the Hunger Games.

Reason for nomination:

“It has a bit of everything — action, romance, and lots of suspense. It’s for everyone!”



A single nonfiction title has been nominated: The Zombie Survival Guide by Max Brooks. Although it’s only received one nomination, you can’t argue with the reason for its inclusion:

“If a zombie apocalypse ever happened, this book would help.”

(That sounds like a book I want handy when the end is nigh.)



What do you think of the books students at West Pictou Consolidated have nominated?