The Portal, Scotch College, Melbourne, Australia

To manga or not to manga? That is the question

 Do you read manga? If so, why?


Has anyone read The Fullmetal Alchemist?


The Killer’s Tears by Anne-Laure Bondoux


Although it has a fable-like quality, this story doesn’t shy away from senseless violence and gore! It begins with the murder of a young boy’s parents by a wanted criminal, who spares the boy, moves into his home and slowly develops a curious relationship with him. The two become dependent on eachother, and their bond is challenged when another stranger appears on their wild and isolated doorstep. What follows is a deeply moving and fascinating tale, rich in its language and longlasting in its effect on the reader. This is a short, immensely satisfying read.

Ms Michelle Sweeney (Librarian)

Lit CLub visit to MLC Lit Club, April 2014

 On the afternoon of Wednesday 30th April, a group of 16 adventurous, outgoing and socially advanced young men accepted an invitation from a like-minded group of young women from MLC to attend a joint meeting.
After a brief tram ride down Glenferrie Road, the excitement level was high as the boys arrived at MLC. Once inside the library, the boys joined the girls to hear from guest speaker Fiona Harris. Fiona has written two books and the third series of the ABC television show, Prank Patrol, and is one of Australia’s most prolific performers, featuring in shows such as The Librarians, Skithouse, Comedy Inc, Offspring, Mr & Mrs Murder and many others. Fiona spoke about getting started writing your own comedy and the importance of drawing inspiration from your own comedy heroes.
The next stage in the proceedings was a trivia competition hosted by MLC’s trivia master Tara. Some extremely challenging questions sent the groups’ brains into overdrive and afternoon tea couldn’t come quick enough for some! The meeting came to an end with a delicious array of hot and cold snacks and as always there were cries of “ we didn’t have enough time” and “when can we do it again?” A term four meeting at Scotch College is soon to be locked in… Until then, let’s get blogging!!

CBCA books - irrelevant to you?

The annual CBCA list of short-listed books chosen by older adult judges are no longer relevant to today’s teenagers. Discuss!


Has anyone read any of these books? How would you rate them?



Do covers turn you off?


Talking of books which appeal to boys vs girls…are you missing great books because the cover turns you off? Which of these books would you take off the shelf?

For girls/guys eyes only?


 John Green is an example of a best-selling YA author who successfully writes ‘relationship’ fiction that appeals equally to both guys and girls.

Can you think of any others? Or are some books geared to and best read only by girls or guys exclusively?? Tell us what you think!

 By the way, John Green has a terrific website - take a look…


Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer

 Chris McCandless was young, well-to-do, and college-educated, with a rich network of friends, colleagues and extended family - so how did he come to die of starvation, after months of being alone, in the isolated wilderness of Alaska in 1992 at the age of 24? This true story unravels the mystery, and, the remarkable journey, of a young man seeking himself, testing his boundaries and turning his back on the privileged, materialistic and conventional world he knew. This is a moving, thought-provoking book about the journey that we are all on - whether we go into the wild or not - and Chris McCandless’ story will walk on with you.

Ms Dianne Visnovsky (Teacher Librarian)

The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling

I borrowed the audio book “The Casual Vacancy” by J K Rowling – it is read by one my favourite actors Tom Hollander. He brought the book to life – an idyllic English village has many secrets to reveal as the book progresses. It is an English version of “The Slap” with the characters letting out all their angst, hate, vindictiveness, love, secret desires and jealousies. The beginning of the book opens with someone dying unexpectedly – that sets in motion a sequence of events as people vie for that person’s spot on the local parish council (hence the title of the book). There are characters that you will love, some you will detest, some you will feel awfully sorry for, and some you wish you could give a good talking-to and pull them into shape. I’m sure that reading the book would provide as much entertainment and enjoyment, however it’s ages since I borrowed an audio book and this one provided a lot of fun as my husband and I drove to Wilsons Promontory then Narooma in NSW and home again over the holidays! 

Ms Jan Dunn (Admin)

Cuckoo in the nest by Michelle Magorian

Anyone who has read and cherished Goodnight Mr Tom by the same author will feel instantly at home with this novel. Set in post war Britain when rationing and unemployment were rife, we follow the life of 17 year old Ralph who is intent on becoming an actor when all around him are working class, concerned only with getting a secure job and planning for a stable future. It is character driven and Ralph’s struggle to win over his father pits two immovable objects against one another. It is a book for the holidays with strong images of life in Britain in the 1940s and packed with satisfying emotional energy.

Mr Peter Hillman (Head of the Library)