Reading Ambassador #9 – Jonathan LEE

What are you reading at the moment?

At the moment I’m reading The Thief by Clive Cussler. The main character – Isaac Bell – is a spy who is trying to stop Germany from rising to power using a new invention of the time, which was hugely innovative at the time – known to us as a microphone. The Germans believed that they could use it for propaganda, to get the Americans on their side. The story is set in the 19th Century – just after the industrial revolution. This is the fifth of the Isaac Bell series, and this series is more ‘spy’ oriented, where Cussler’s  other books tend to be more action & adventure. It’s the type of book that I enjoy reading. I’m also reading Animal Farm by George Orwell.

Where’s the most enjoyable place that you do read or have read a book?

The most enjoyable place that I read is in bed at night, when everyone has gone to bed. This is usually in the holidays.

What was your first reading memory?

I didn’t do a lot of reading until I got to secondary school & found  books Like the Cherub Series [Robert Muchamore]. I guess the genre of books that I like isn’t really for younger readers. I do remember in Year 3 the teacher reading to us – in the afternoons, especially when it was hot – she read Charlie & The Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl.

Thank you, Jonathan, for being our Reading Ambassador, and to Denise for the interview and photo.

Costumes and cakes – Book Week shenanigans at Melbourne HS

Amongst the favourite of all Book Week activities at Melbourne High School is the Friday “Dress up as your favourite book character”. The whole day is very disruptive and fabulously enjoyable. The library hosts an impressive and very popular (from all accounts) morning tea, and students in costume are permitted to partake of the gourmet fare. Costumes immediately change the way people feel, even those just observing in civilian dress, and this day created its own vibe. We are grateful that a number of students and staff take the trouble to dress up, and the competition and parade at lunchtime are enjoyed by many. Here are a few highlights from the competition – Padraig was the witty MC, as well as being ‘the man in the black suit’. I’m including details students were required to provide about their choice of character.

Padraig is obviously the one in the black suit. I decided to make the boys grungey – trying out different photo editing apps.


Padraig dressed as the man in the black suit from book of the same name by Stephen King.
Padraig: “I chose this character because he is not only stylishly dressed but possesses insane laughter and evil. Much like myself.”


Daniel came dressed as the tabloid reporter Freddie Lowndes from Red Dragon by Thomas Harris
“This is one of my favourite books, where this character is a journalist who defames a person who turns out to be a serial killer. My character is tortured and set on fire.”
Special features: glasses, vest, hat and tie.


Carlo came dressed as Sadako from Sadako and the thousand paper cranes by Eleanor Coerr
“because I am fascinated with origami and I enjoyed making the many cranes.”
Special features: “the cranes themselves and I also made a special golden crane.”


Maxim came dressed as Tom Sawyer from The adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
“because this was a book I enjoyed and loved as a child, with Tom being the witty main character.
His special feature: straw hat.


Chi Rui came dressed as the hungry caterpillar from the book of the same name by Eric Carle
because it was “the most prominant book character from my childhood.”
Special features: mask and sleeping bag.


Christopher came dressed as the Zombie from The Dead by Charlie Higson.
“I chose this character because he’s awesome.”
Special feature: blood everywhere.


Mangala came dressed as B2 from Bananas in pyjamas “because
Bananas in Pyjamas was my favourite show/book when I was a child.”
His special features: the homemade hat and pyjamas.


Harry dressed as Scarface from Scarface, the 1932 American gangster film based on the 1929 novel of the same name by Armitage Trail.
He chose his character because “I like history  and 1920s gangsters have class.”
Special feature: cashmere jacket $1000, silver gold studded watch, gold studded belt like Scarface and life-like scar on left cheek.


Austin was Wally from Where’s Wally? by Martin Handford.
“I chose this character because I loved the books as a little kid.
My special feature: I am hiding somewhere in the room. Can you find me?” Well done, Austin, for being completely in character during the day and surprising us with your entrance.


Vivek dressed as Spongebob Squarepants from Spongebob: I ripped my pants.
“I chose the character because I had the hat.
Special feature: me!”


Jeremy came dressed as Dracula from Bram Stoker’s Dracula because “Dracula has a very recognisable image and a striking personality”.  Special features: “my cloak and ability to drink blood.”

The library staff didn’t disappoint – many of us came as characters from Alice in Wonderland. Here’s Di as Alice –


Maggie as The Cheshire Cat.


Marie as the March Hare


Denise dressed as Phryne Fisher, the main character in Australian author Kerry Greenwood’s series of Phryne Fisher detective novels.


Our lovely library student, Ally, came dressed as Madeleine from Ludwig Bemelmans’ classic Madeline children’s books.


Here are some of our well dressed teachers – can you guess who they are?




Our esteemed judges –



A portion of our audience –


I love the caterpillar’s moves on the catwalk –



Did I say how happy we were to see so many teachers get into the spirit of the day?



And finally, some pictures of our magnificent morning tea


And some of the cakes in our baking competition for The Big Cake Bake – talented students created this green eggs and ham


Maggie created an Animal Farm cake – love it!


Denise’s amazing picnic basket from Wind in the willows.


And so, another Book Week bites the dust. Y’all come back now!



Reading Ambassador #7 – Michael Tran

Michael TRAN – NYOR12 Ambassador #7

What are you reading at the moment?

Currently I’m  reading Harry Potter & the Chamber of Secrets [J.K. Rowling] for about the thousandth time (I’ve read them all before). I haven’t had the time to read much recently, so it’s good to pick up a book that I’ve read before (and one that I like) to get back into the reading routine. When I’m able to read more, I prefer the fantasy / adventure genres. In class – for wider reading – we’ve been reading classics. Recently we read The Merchant of Venice by Shakespeare – we read it out aloud as a class. I’m also reading Thursday’s Child by Sonya Hartnett.

Where’s the most enjoyable place that you read? 

When I’m reading I like to get into the atmosphere of the book as well, so I like to go to the park to read – somewhere where there’s nature. Otherwise – when the weather’s not so good – I like to read in bed, with a dimly lit lamp, a cup of hot chocolate and my iPod.

Where’s the most unusual place that you’ve ever read a book? 

As I mentioned before, I like to get into the atmosphere of the book that I’m reading, so when I first read Harry Potter & the Philosopher’s Stone I took it to my auntie’s house. She actually has a cupboard under the stairs. So I thought how – in Harry’s perspective  – would he feel, so I went into the cupboard to read a few chapters of the book. I didn’t stay there for much longer though, I couldn’t handle all the dust!

Thanks to Denise for the interview and photo, and a big thank you to Michael for sharing his reading habits with us!

Reading Ambassador #6 – Nathan Nguyen #nyor12


What are you reading at the moment?

I’m currently reading The Great Gatsby [F. Scott Fitzgerald] – I still haven’t finished it. I like it a lot because it’s really detailed. I like how the author captures how the society is too obsessed with wealth and status. The character detail is really in-depth & I like how the author develops the personalities. I’ve recently started reading classic literature, previously I’ve mostly read fantasy.


What is your first reading memory?

My first reading memory is at primary school where we had library classes. We had yellow library bags & if we had our yellow bags with us we could borrow, but if we didn’t have them we weren’t allowed to borrow – so that was always fun. When I was in Year 1 my teacher would read to us every afternoon. She would read books like The Enchanted Wood by Enid Blyton. That was the first book I bought for myself. Before I could actually read I remember that my cousins would come over and they liked to read, so they would read to me.


Where’s the most enjoyable place that you read / have read?

In the summer time I like to read outside. At home we have a hammock outside in the back yard under some trees & I would just lie there and read.


Which character has left a lasting impression upon you?

In The Enchanted Wood when the teacher read to us, I really liked the character of Moonface because he was really nice to Fanny and the others, so he’s a book character that I remember.

Thanks to Nathan and Denise for the interview and photo. We look forward to more #nyor interviews; it’s always interesting to peek into people’s reading habits. I think you learn a lot about the person.

Reading Ambassador #2 – Padraig Gilligan

I’m happy to feature our second Reading Ambassador – RA#1 was too shy to be featured online. We’re a little late to the party but the party is still going, so why not? In the spirit of the National Year of Reading 2012, I present to you – Padraig Gilligan.

Thanks to Denise for hunting down the Reading Ambassadors, interviewing them, photographing them and creating the display.

Here’s the interview:

What are you reading at the moment?

I’m reading Looking for Alaska by John Green. It’s a teen romance novel that has some very zany, very relatable characters. It’s set in contemporary America, in a boarding school in Alabama.

Where’s the most unusual place you’ve read a book?

I guess it would be The Chronicles of Malus Darkblade [Warhammer, by Dan Abnett] on a cadet exercise, half underground in a machine gun nest. It was pretty dark, I was in my cadet cams & had cam paint on. I had a mock rifle & just a little head torch to read by. I was in that observation nest for about 10 hours, and my partner & I took turns of 2 hours each on lookout. This was in the Rushworth State Forest near Graytown – it’s used for military training.

Where’s the most enjoyable place that you [have] read?

I really enjoy reading on trains because even if you don’t get a seat, which is sometimes not an option, you have these nice little chronological markers – in the form of the stops & stations that you go through – so you know how long you’ve been reading & how long you have left to read. So I have fun reading on a train & I find that I challenge myself to read a certain number of pages between each stop. I really like reading on trains.