Book Review: And Then There Were None

Submitted by Alice

And Then There Were None Classic Edition: Christie ...The book, And Then There Were None, by Agatha Christi is a murder mystery about ten people who are sent to a place called Soldier Island. None of the guests know each other, or why they were summoned there. On this island there is only one huge eerie mansion in which the guests are supposed to stay in. Inside, there are two things that catch everyone’s eye. The first object is a framed poem titled, Ten Little Soldier Boys. The piece explains how at the beginning of a mission there were ten soldiers. While on their journey, one after the other dies from a specific cause until there were eventually none left. The second things the guests quickly notice are ten clay soldier figures on a table.

Coincidentally, every night a person in the house is murdered. One by one, the people in the mansion die of the same causes as the soldiers in the poem, and every time someone perishes, one of the clay soldiers mysteriously disappears. The survivors constantly search for an escape, but somehow all sources of communication have been cut off. One by one, the people go mad, and one after the other gets killed until everyone is dead.

The ten main characters in this story are Vera, Justice, Armstrong, Philip, Blore, Emily, Anthony, MacArthur, and the two servants, Thomas and Ethel. At the beginning of the book all of the characters are excited to be on a supposed “vacation.” As people start to mysteriously die day by day, the guests become terrified, paranoid, and suspicious of each other. Some even go mad, and give up on trying to protect themselves. Overall, the feelings of the characters towards the end of the book are chaotic and maddening.

And Then There Were None is written in first person, and also has many unexpected twists and turns. This makes the tone of the book dark, mysterious, and horrific.

I love reading And Then There Were None by Agatha Christi because it is full of cliffhangers and clever plots, which never fail to entice me to read even more. It’s always the little things that make a book great.


Alice is in grade 7 and has volunteered her time as a library monitor.

Book Review: The Whispering Skull

Submitted by Emma

Lockwood & Co: The Whispering Skull

Book 2 in the Series

Review #166 // The Whispering Skull (Lockwood & Co. #2) – Jonathan ...

 Lockwood & Co, The Whispering Skull is a fictional story by Jonathan Stroud about a ghost hunting agency in an alternate Victorian London. Lockwood and Co get hired to exterminate the ghost of Edmond Bickerstaff, a Victorian doctor who was obsessed with communicating with the dead. Everything goes smoothly until the Bone Glass inside the coffin of Edmond Bickerstaff goes missing. Made by Bickerstaff from bones of the dead with ghosts trapped inside them, the Bone Glass allowed you to see the world of the dead. Now Lockwood and Co must risk their lives to get back the Bone Glass. with the help of a whispering skull in a jar, they eventually destroy the Bone Glass and set everything back to normal… for now.

Antony Lockwood, Lucy Carlyle and George Cubbins are the main characters in Lockwood and Co, The Whispering Skull. Antony Lockwood is the head of the agency and has a talent to see apparitions of ghosts. The other members of the team are Lucy Carlyle, who has the psychic power of listening to the memories of ghosts and George Cubbins who has both talents but is not very good at them.

The story is told by Lucy Carlyle in a first-person narrative. The tone of this novel is generally scary like in a ghost story, some mystery and a few bits of humor here and there. This is the kind of book where things happen fairly quickly, so you have to keep track of everything.

I enjoyed this novel for three reasons. The characters where expressive, funny and realistic, the plot was very thick with suspense which made me want to keep reading until the end and I enjoyed the whole ghost story feel to it.


Emma is in grade 7 and works as a library monitor. 

Quilchena Reading Challenge: ALTERNATE April edition

Whoa. Hold on! Back that truck up! Did you read that correctly??? An ALTERNATE Reading Challenge? Mais, pourquoi? Well, I know that not everyone lives in the library, like I do, and I thought perhaps it may be a bit too challenging to find things to read to fit all the categories this month so…. I give you:

Get Caught Reading . . .   April Challenge version B

You probably have a favourite place to sit and read at home. You might have a few. You might be finding, these days, that you need to seek out new, interesting places to read because your usual spots are, well, a little overused at the moment. This month, you have an Alternate Reading Challenge: to Get Caught Reading in unusual places.
Be creative! Take a photograph of yourself for each category and send it to Mme Brogan.  Try to be reading something different in each photo.

This month, Get Caught Reading….

  1.  …under a tree.
  2.  …surrounded by soft things.
  3. …with a family member.
  4.  …while you’re eating.
  5.  …in public (but not too close to anybody.)

If your family doesn’t want to give consent for media release, you can still participate! Either you can pose for photos with your back towards the camera, or you can set up your shots with your reading material (and other personal touches) in the spot where you’re reading, just sans vous.

Quilchena Reading Challenge: April

Calling on all Quilchena Readers!!!

It is time for the fourth installment of the 2020 Quilchena Reading Challenges!!! Just because we’re not seeing each other at school every day doesn’t mean we can’t share our reading adventures. We can read together… apart!

I am going to continue posting our monthly Reading Challenges as planned, but I will also be posting ALTERNATIVE Reading Challenges each month in case the traditional challenge category format is a bit too tricky in the limited way we are living at the moment.
We will also have to modify how you can submit your completed challenges. More on that below.

If you’re just joining the fun, here’s how to participate:

  1. Download the April Reading Challenge.
  2. Start reading! Choose books, that match the categories in the challenge and write down the titles as you complete them. You must read these books in April. (There is no length/difficulty requirement. Choose books that interest you, that are an interesting stretch, or are in some way a good fit for you right now.)
  3. Stay tuned for what to do when you finish this month’s challenge. I have a couple of ideas of how you can show me…. I’ll tell you soon.

There will still be a draw for a prize for students who complete each month’s challenge.

I will create challenges each month from now until June. There will be a special prize draw for readers who completed and handed in all 6 challenges.

Read on for the April editions of the Quilchena Reaching Challenge:

Spring has sprung!  April Challenge version A

The first day of spring was technically last month but the weather is now getting noticeably warmer and the trees and plants are growing new leaves and flowers. There are many special days in April (did you know that World Penguin Day is April 25th?) Maybe you should take your book outside and find a perfect reading spot from which to observe the warming of the season.

  1. A book of poetry or a story told in verse. (April is Poetry Month)
  2. A joke book, or a humorous novel. (April 1st is April Fools’ Day)
  3. A book with an environmental theme. (April 22nd is Earth Day)
  4. A book in honour of a cultural or religious festival. (Sakura, Vaisakhi, Ramadan, Passover, Easter, etc)
  5. A story that takes place in a forest.

The eve of our return to a new way of being together

Greetings Quilchena families,

I hope that you are all healthy and that you are finding ways to be calm and joyful these days. This is a very strange time we are living through right now and there are so many different ways to react; we may experience many of those different reactions all in one day!

As we navigate the next few days and weeks, you will hear from classroom teachers and from Mrs Sleep. You can also stay tuned here for links to activities, conversation starters, and other helpful connections to our learning community.

You will hear from your classroom teacher by the end of this week. In the mean time, start getting up at a regular time each day and follow a basic schedule (that includes getting dressed and eating regular meals 😉) and KEEP READING.

I’m looking forward to the interesting things we will discover as our attention is focused in different ways over the next few months. Please reach out if you are struggling: hearts are open.

take care, and stay tuned.


Does your family get enough sleep?Image result for children sleeping creative commons

We often sacrifice sleep for other things in our lives but sometimes we push our baseline too far and our lack of sleep can impact our health.

Did you know:

  • According to the World Sleep Society, the risk of injury increases by up to 70 per cent when young athletes get less than eight hours of sleep. Conversely, sleeping more than 10 hours a night has been shown to increase sprint speed, shooting accuracy and mental health of college-aged basketball players. (source article)
  • Lack of sleep causes irritability, increased stress, forgetfulness, difficulties with learning and low motivation. Over time, it can contribute to anxiety and depression. (source article)
  • Sleep problems are one of the most common concerns for parents. In fact, sleep problems have been estimated to affect 30% of children. (source article)

The Canadian Pediatric Society has produced a general guide to the amount of sleep young children need over a 24-hour period, including naps.


There are a lot of excellent resources on the Canadian Sleep Society website. There is a lot of great information, podcasts, and other resources.


Moving Remembrance Day forward

Some families have very particular traditions of how they mark Remembrance Day on November 11th. For others it can be a day with not a lot of focus towards a specific purpose. Many teachers have been reflecting on how best to approach this day in an inclusive way, while being mindful of the diverse backgrounds our students carry with them–some may have violent conflict in their very recent past, while for others war may be a more abstract concept.


Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Peña

Click for more information on this titleI offer a possibility for a new tradition on Remembrance Day (I am likely not the first to take this path): Use this day as an opportunity to reflect on how compassion plays a roll in your life. Read some thought-provoking books about compassion and living a peaceful life, be intentional about sitting or walking quietly to think about where compassion often plays a roll in your life, and where it might be needed, or have some purposeful conversations with loved ones.


Book - Why Am I Me? by Paige BrittPictured are a few of the books in the Quilchena library that are good conversation starters. Each image is linked to the book’s catalog record.

What to read next?

Nathaniel is a magician’s apprentice. His birthparents left him for the money. Now, he is forced to live a secretive life where magicians show no mercy, djinn are summoned in pentacles, and where your birth name must never, ever slip out. Welcome to the witty, complicated world of Jonathan Stroud’s The Amulet of Samarkand.

Nathaniel is an obedient, studious apprentice, with no experience with the outside world. His lessons? Reading, reading, reading, and yet more reading. With the three years’ worth of reading material his master ordered him to read, and the teachers who really do all the teaching, Nathaniel feels as if his master has taught him, well, nothing. But Nathaniel is a polite boy, and sticks to his reading without question, memorizing his lessons on magic with incredible speed.

Until one day, Nathaniel’s master calls for him, and Mrs. Underwood tells Nathaniel that his master had guests over, and wanted to show him off. Nathaniel had been excited, nervous, and scared, and was ready to shine. But what Nathaniel went through instead, was an alarming experience that he would never forget: being mortified by Simon Lovelace in front of dozens of magicians. Filled with childish hate, Nathaniel waits a whole year to cook up a sophisticated plan for revenge. But he can’t do it alone.

His plan? Stealing Lovelace’s Amulet of Samarkand. He knows exactly what he’ll do with the Amulet once obtained, and how he will come to stealing the Amulet. The one thing left he has to do is summon a demon, and charge him steal it. But summoning is not simple. Determined to get revenge, Nathaniel uses his knowledge to secretively summon Bartimaeus, a djinni with a hilarious sense of humor. But one thing seems to go wrong after the other, and when Bartimaeus discovers Nathaniel’s birth name, Nathaniel just might have to be smarter and craftier than ever before to get his sweet revenge.

Mostly written from Bartimaeus’s view, Jonathan Stroud created a magnificent story that really made me chuckle all the way to the last page. I really like the author’s use of footnotes, because they gave me a little background or meaning for some of the words that would otherwise leave me befuddled. The content in the book contains information on magic and wizards that you probably never heard of before. (Even I honestly did not know that dginn could be summoned, and used some of my knowledge from Disney’s Aladdin as a reference.) Anyway, this book was so much fun to read, and I recommend you read it if you like other fantasy books such as Kendra Kandlestar, Magyk, and Inkheart. The book always takes unsuspecting turns, and in the end, creates the unlikeliest of friendships. So what are you waiting for? I charge you to read the book!

*Hikari is a former Quilchena student and library monitor

What to read next?

Kiki Strike: Inside the Shadow City by Kirsten Miller


Are you a brave, witty girl, tired of boring Girl Scout meetings? Come join Kiki Strike and the Irregulars! (Or read the book rather.)

Ananka Fishbein is your average 12-year-old girl. Except for the fact her house in NYC has a built in library, and that she has the ability to see how a city might’ve looked like thousands of years ago. Normal right? Wrong.

When Ananka discovers a sinkhole right in front of her apartment building, things start to get really strange. A muddy, short figure comes out of the hole, and Ananka, as a courageous girl, goes down into the hole to check it out. Down there she discovers an underground world, undiscovered for countless years. Determined to find out more, she visits a nearby map store to see if they have any information. A mysterious lady shows her the Marble Cemetery instead, and Ananka spots the short black figure again. Could it be the same one as in the hole? And why does it seem so familiar?

When Ananka follows the creature, she finds an address to meet Kiki Strike, a mastermind detective girl with a dozen secrets. Ananka learns that Kiki is busy gathering a group of six super talented Girl Guides, called the Irregulars, to help her explore the Shadow City. But Kiki seems to have a different side plan, and it’s up to the Irregulars to sort it all out.

Join Ananka and the Irregulars as they explore the Shadow City, and get caught up in an adventure like never before.

Kiki Strike: Inside the Shadow City is probably one of my favourites in the Quilchena Library. Just when you think you pretty much know who’s good and who’s bad, the plot takes another twist, and keeps coming back to surprise you. There’s a lot of information in the story that often changes, so make sure you understand what’s happening when you read it. This book was cleverly written, and is a definite page-turner. If you like books about brave, unique girls and amazing adventures, this one is definitely for you.

*Hikari is a former Quilchena student and library monitor

What to read next?

True (…sort of) by Katherine Hannigan

I don’t usually read two books by the same author back-to-back. There are SO MANY books out there to read and I often want to move on to something new. However, when I finished Ida B by Katherine Hannigan and looked around for what to read next, I found myself choosing another book by the same author.

This story is unrelated to Ida B but still has Hannigan’s style. I appreciated the way she wrote about Delly, who starts to doubt that she is a good person because of how often she gets into trouble. It made me think of people I know who get into trouble a lot at school.

True (… sort of) is about Delly, who seems to fall into trouble more easily than she falls out of bed. Her heart is often in the right place and her spirit for adventure is strong but she acts before thinking about how her actions might look to others. This tendency tends to land her in hot water.
One day a new kid shows up in her class. Ferris Boyd is a mystery, but is maybe the only person who can save Delly from her terrible tendency for trouble. The problem is that Ferris Boyd may have a way deeper set of troubles than Delly can imagine.