Our Book Review Newsletter

Red Hot Reads has lapsed for some time, but we’re adding to our Book Review Newsletter again, starting in 2017 –  so that you can read our latest acquisitions.  Some of our books are donated to us by Read Plus because we have a team of reviewers willing to share their reviews to help other educators and students select YA novels.  Most of the reviews will be scooped from book review sites.  Watch this space.

Maladcapture1apted by R. Kurti

Walker Books, 2016. ISBN 9781406346299
(Age: 13+) Recommended. Science versus Religion in this fast-paced dystopian adventure. Cillian, a budding mathematician, is the sole survivor of a terrorist attack on the Metro (subway). Triggered by the trauma, hitherto untapped superpowers enable Cillian to save himself. Sadly, his father’s parting word, ‘Gilgamesh’, quickly becomes his quest.
Within hours, Cillian’s home is burgled and he knows he must look for the answers to the sole clue to his real identity. But there is another lost soul for him to meet in Foundation City. Tess is an orphan. She was raised by an extreme religious group, ‘Revelation’ who were responsible for the subway disaster and every other attack on the high tech ruling elite. Tess is sent to observe and ultimately destroy Cillian but the pair become friends, united by their distaste for the extremism on both sides.
Of course the friends endure, but it is clear they have unfinished business in Foundation City. In Maladapted, characterisation is not one of Richard Kurti’s strengths so readers looking to get to know Tess and Cillian, will be disappointed. However, the electrifying plot commands you to keep reading and we can expect that the main characters will be fleshed out in the ensuing series. Maladapted is crafted to satisfy fans of the Maze Runner and Divergent series or similar novels in the popular dystopian/sci-fi/horror category.
Deborah Robins

Read more reviews on ReadPlus Book Blog.

eBooks are working again.


Our eBooks user names and passwords are working again. Choose from over 1,000 titles and some new titles added over the holidays.  To download an eBook to your device, visit our easy instructions.  The App is the easiest way but you can also use your laptop visiting Smithfield’s Wheeler’s webpage and search for books via the library’s online catalogue.

New Titles

These novels were added in February 2017.

A Tragic Kind of Wonderful  (Lindstom, Eric)

American Monsters (Landy, Derek)

Sunny Side up (Smale, Molly)

The Thousandth Floor (McGee, Katherine)

The Atomic Weight of Love (Elizabeth J. Church)

As I Descended (Robin Taley)

Unplugged  (Donna Freitas)

A Million Worlds with You  (Claudia Gray)

Made You Up (Francesca Zappia)

Red Pyramid (Riordan, Rick)

Throne of Fire (Riordan, Rick)

Serpent’s Shadow (Riordan, Rick)

In Order to Live (Yeormi, Park)

The Children of Men (PD James)

The Iron Woman (Hughes, Ted)

The Iron Man (Hughes, Ted)

The Smell of Other People’s Houses (Hitchcock, Bonnie-Sue)

Another Night in Mullet Town (Herrick, Steven)

The Rest of Us Just Live Here (Ness, Patrick)

Beck (Peet, Mal/Rosoff, Meg)

Prep (Sittenfeld, Curtis)

American Wife (Sittenfeld, Curtis)

A Prayer for Owen Meany  (Irving, John)

Sisterland (Sittenfeld, Curtis)

Booked (Alexander, Kwame)

The sun is also a Star (Yoon, Nicola)

If Blood Should Stain the Wattle (French, Jackie)

Rain Stones (French, Jackie)

Words in the Deep Blue (Crowley, Cath)

The Road to Winter (Smith, Mark)

Sister Heart (Morgan, Sally)

Great Valentine (Lili Wilkinson)

My Sister Rose (Larbalestier, Justine)

Goodwood (Frosby, Holly)

Gemma (Kaufman, Amy/Kristoff, Jay)


Top 50 Australian Authors for 2017

Clicking anywhere on the banner image takes you to Booktopia’s list.

Be Creative – Blogger’s Club Meetings Wednesdays

For Students

Our keen writers and readers are starting to muster each Wednesday first break in the eLearning room. Budding novelists and keen Reviewers are reading and critiquing YA books in exchange for free books offered to us by READPLUS.  We want you to come along and hone your writing. Good readers in year 7 & 8 are encouraged to attend to be eligible for the annual regional Reader’s Cup in term 2.

For Teachers

You can be creative too. Check out this link to the 50 best FREE online tools for Teachers.

2017 International Year of Sustainable Tourism Display

Welcome to Year 7 and welcome back to the library for 2017, The International Year of Sustainable Tourism and Development. What better way to mark the year than with our own mini rainforest cableway.

The Skyrail Rainforest Cableway competition is open ALL of Term 1.  That gives YOU plenty of time to enter. For competition details visit our Competition page to  download the competition flyer  You can view the presentation or visit the Library display.


Join us in the eLearning Room every Monday first break and bring your mates. We have cards, chess, scrabble and other board games.


Do you love to write?  Do you like to read? It doesn’t matter what.  Join us every Wednesday first break and network with other readers and writers.  Help with some of the writing about the place – blogs, competitions, newspaper articles, fiction or anything at all.  We need JUNIORS to compete in Reader’s Cup.  We need SENIORS to lead, coach and write book reviews for free books for the library.  Like to publish your writing? Why not start a blog?

Social Media and Job Searching



We’ve waved farewell to our Year 10’s, 11’s and 12’s this month. Permanently in the case of Year 12’s.  Now’s the time to consider how your social media profile can count when searching for a job. A digital footprint of which you can be proud, is one quite important aspect of your global citizenship – one of our 6 C’s of education in the 21st Century.

These snapshots remind us to consider how a prospective employer will screen you online before deciding to hire you. Check out the full infographic on globalcitizen.org   Clicking on the link takes you to the most common mistakes to make online and how to correct them.


Altruism in the form of donating or volunteering is obviously highly valued by everyone in our community – not just employers.


Breast Cancer Awareness Month – October


Colouring has become a relaxing pastime for adults. El’Lanna, the senior student pictured, is certainly taking time out in the library to clear her mind. [Photo by Jayne Johnson] signs are special because October is Breast Cancer awareness month.  Support kits, with colouring in templates and information can be obtained from the BCAN website. We have a number of YA novels that deal with grief and loss – two that have characters affected by breast cancer are:

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness has already been released as a film in Spain.  We eagerly await the film’s release in Australia with Sigourney Weaver and Liam Neeson.  Our library holds both print & eBook editions.


Stresshead by Allayne Webster.

ePlatform eBooks


Our Wheeler’s eBook tool has changed.  We are now using ePlatform. Watch our promo.

To borrow eBooks you need an Online eBook Password. Your MIS ID is your username/login. Don’t know your eBook password?  Ask Library Staff to assist you, then follow the steps below.  Occasionally, you will be sent a reminder of your username and password.

Finding your eBook through your Phone App is the fastest and easiest way. Open Eplatform App after installing it – see Step 3 below. Ensure that you choose our library from the list and are connected to our special school eBook Platform: https://smithfieldshs.wheelers.co/  Browse or search for an eBook to borrow.

Finding your eBook through our Online Catalogue

1. Another way is to browse all eBooks through our resource catalogue online. Change the search field from “Subject” search to “eBooks” in the drop down  menu. Over 1,000 eBooks will be listed. Some of the classics are in the public domain so they should not expire in 2 weeks but remain on  your device.

2.  Alternatively, search by title, author or subject as you would any other resource and choose to borrow/read if it happens to be an eBook.

Downloading your eBook

3. For your very first download, you may need to download the software you will need to open the eBook. Our laptops should already have an ePub reader installed.  For other devices, choose from the software below.

a. Mobile devices and tablets require the ePlatform by Wheelers App. Download it free on your Android device. Or Download it free on your iPhone.

b. Most eReaders already have EPUB compatible software [unfortunately these eBooks are incompatible with Amazon Kindle]

4. Open the Online Library Catalogue on your selected device.(smithfieldshs.cmeweb.libcode.com.au)

5. Select your eBook and click on the green “Download eBook” button (right hand side). This will then open to the book title in the Smithfield High School Wheelers Platform.

6. Click on “Login to download this title” and login using your MID ID and password given to you by the school library staff (ask us if  you forget. Your device should remember the password after the first time.

7. Click on the “READ” link and the eBook will launch on your phone using the ePlatform App. Every time you open your book on your mobile device, it will remember your place.

NOTE: the eBook will disappear from your device after 2 weeks. If your loan expires, re-borrow the title immediately provided someone else has not reserved it.


Noreen Wilcox Award Winner 2015

Noreen Wilcox Award for Excellence in Education

This year,  the Noreen Wilcox Award went to our own HOD Teaching & Learning, Ms Edita Sliskovic. The Australian College of Educators’ website states: “Noreen’s efforts to enhance the opportunities for students through the refinement of teaching practice were a constant focus of Noreen’s life. An exemplary model, Noreen demanded and achieved a high standard from those around her.”  Remind you of anyone?  That’s why we’re very proud of Ms Sliskovic – because these same descriptors apply to her own character, teaching and mentoring practices. I’m sure all her  past Philosophy and History students agree.



End of Year Stocktake

Checking in all school resources is important for many reasons. Of course we want to ensure that we have enough textbooks and library books for everyone in 2016.  But we also need to sight resources so that we can repair them, purchase additional copies if necessary and plan for the coming year. Lastly, we need to reconcile our holdings with our database so that we are not wasting time looking for resources, which cannot be found.  We are asking for the cooperation of students and parents in returning any and all school resources to the Library and Textbook promptly. Our emails and messages have been more urgent than ever, simply because with the inclusion of Yr 7, we have hundreds of extra students to supply with resources in 2016.

All Year 12 resources were due to be handed back Nov 16. Year 11’s and 10’s have until Nov 23rd and Yrs 7-9 can have resources until Dec 4, at the very latest.  Your cooperation in returning textbooks and library books, will save labour both in the library and the office. Please  return your loans BEFORE we spend time sending bills.

Are you a 21st Century Global Citizen?

Whether you are a student, parent, employer or teacher, scroll down this checklist of  12 collaboration skills to see whether you have what it takes to work together to get things done.


26 Questions Every Student Should Be Able To Answer

Also from the Global Digital Citizen website is another interesting list taken originally from an article by Terry Heick. What are the 26 Questions that every student should be able to answer at the beginning of the year? You won’t necessarily be able to respond to all of them off the top of your head, but learning and collaborating to learn will be more directed if you can answer a selection of these questions. Start with these:

1. What do I need to know about you?

2. What do you need from me more than anything else?

5. What’s the most creative thing you’ve ever done?

12. Are you a picky reader? What are your strengths as a reader?

13. What is your personal philosophy?

19. Where does your inner drive come from?

20. Who are your heroes or role models?

22. What are you good at that nobody knows?

23. What do teachers sometimes misunderstand about you as a learner?

Read the whole list here…

Books to Film

The Dressmaker

Some of our most popular titles have been made into films.  Mr Green seems to be the likely choice of author if one wishes to read the book before seeing the film.  Although, something is generally lost in translation – don’t you think?

This week, we displayed The Dressmaker, screening now at Cairns cinemas and starring Kate Winslet, Liam Hemsworth, Hugo Weaving and a whole cast of well-known Australian actors. Upon purchasing a new copy complete with a new “movie” cover, Tilly seemed to be carrying Mrs Robins’ first knee operated Singer Sewing Machines. The antique was still in her loft – so that became the inspiration for the display. We added a dance frock made by Vera Macfarlane in 1929 and Mrs Colgrave’s hat.


New Fiction

Ms Mesner quite enjoyed one of our latest acquisitions. She wrote, “Readers will laugh out loud and sympathise with a heart wrenching story as they enjoy Robin Benway’s, Emmy and Oliver.”  Read more of Ms Mesner’s impressions in her ReadPlus book review.


Infowhelming Internet Stats

Since the mid 90’s the internet,  and what we now term the nosphere, in general,  has grown beyond what could be described as exponential. Andrew Churches, an IT advisory teacher from New Zealand, had these examples at his fingertips when defining “infowhelm”  at his recent seminar in Cairns:

  • 4,230yrs of video is uploaded to youtube each year
  • 3,000,000,000 youtube are viewed per day
  • 300,000,000 photos are uploaded to Instagram each day
  • there are 1.2million ‘apple approved’ apps
  • 500,000 people currently hold ‘app jobs’
  • $5,000,000,000 in revenue made selling the add-ons to just one social media game
  • there are now more mobiles on earth than people
  • 90% of all information was created in the last 2 yrs
  • if we attempted to print out the internet, it would span from here to Pluto 13 times

To learn more about Andrew Churches, download his free IT educational resource.  Or visit his website.