What’s That I See? CKG on the Horizon…

There are now just THREE DAYS before the winner of the 2016 Carnegie and Kate Greenaway awards are revealed and we’re really excited for our shadowing event on Monday, not just because by lunchtime we’ll FINALLY know who the winner is, but because we get to discuss all of the titles with groups of students from three of our Norfolk schools. We just know they’ll have interesting things to say about what they’ve been reading- they’re often even more opinionated than us!

If you still need bringing up to speed, we recommend taking a look at the CKG shadowing site here; to date (as we write this!), over 9631 reviews have been shared by young readers. According to the site’s reading barometer, Nick Lake’s ‘There Will Be Lies’ is currently “burning”, so who knows if the young people’s opinions will match those of the judges whose choice will be announced on 20th June. We’ll post a recap of our day once it’s taken place but in the meantime, why not take a look at Litcham School’s blog? As our Shelf Talk hosts, they’ve been sharing their thoughts on many of the titles shortlisted for both the Carnegie and Kate Greenaway and will be one of the schools we’ll be getting together with next week. You’ll be able to stream the official awards event live from London here– it’s almost the same as being there (almost)!

The Summer Reading Challenge Big Friendly Read trailer launched recently and you can view it below; we’re really excited for a summer of reading and for young people in East Anglia, there’s also the ImagiNation project. You can read some more information about it here, and there’s even a pdf to download and share with those you think may be interested in the creative reading project for 11-18 year olds.

Finally: we won’t elaborate too much (because we wrote a post about it yesterday), but we were incredibly sad to hear that the Guardian Children’s Book site is to close after five years. You can read a special retrospective here and while the resources available on the page will still be available online, we’ll miss the diverse and distinctive voice the team brought to the world of children’s books, in particular giving children the opportunity to make their voices heard.

You’ll find this week’s Friday Reads below:

Apryl: The Sleeper and the Spindle by Neil Gaiman, illustrated by Chris Riddell

SleeperAsk me which book I think should win the Kate Greenaway Award this year and I will (after a little bit of deliberation) tell you that it’s this, Neil Gaiman’s unique take on Sleeping Beauty, accompanied by simply amazing illustrations by Chris Riddell, the Children’s Laureate (and one of my favourites!). Not only is the story a wonderful twist on a well-trodden tale, but the whole book itself is a pleasure to behold, from cover to cover! Definitely one worth popping on your shelf and something I know I’ll come back to for years to come.

(Bloomsbury, £12.99 hardback, ISBN 9781408859643, find it at a Norfolk Library or on our SLS eBook platform)

Gail: Welcome to the Neighbourwood by Shawn Sheehy

WoodA brilliant pop-up book about how animals build homes. Sturdy(ish) constructions and clear information. If you’ve been watching Springwatch you’ll be pleased to hear there’s even a stickleback in there! Great for work on habitats, building, animals, homes, neighbourhoods and for Forest Schools.


(Walker Books, £14.99 hardback, ISBN 9781406358766)

Harriet: When Marnie Was There by Joan G. Robinson

MarnieI may have read this way back in 1967, but hadn’t been to Norfolk then. The new film has alerted me to this quiet, lovely story set very definitely on the coast around west and north Norfolk. The new animated film is set elsewhere, but I do encourage everyone aged 9 to 99, to go back to the original story and enjoy its haunted, melancholy character. Anna is a foster child sent to the coast to profit from the sea air after an attack of asthma. Believing herself unloved and too difficult to form friendships, she does nevertheless make close friends with the mysterious but lively Marnie, and later, with the jolly family who move into the house on the marsh where Marnie herself had lived. This new edition has an interesting postscript by the author’s daughter, talking about the Norfolk setting, which is a vital, constant presence in the novel.

(HarperCollins, £6.99 paperback, ISBN 9780007591350, find it at a Norfolk Library)

Mandy:  How to look for a Lost Dog by Ann. M. Martin

DogI had Ann M. Martin “pigeonholed” in a category marked ‘Babysitters Club’ but this title is a little gem. Rose’s beloved dog Rain is lost during a massive storm. The story of how to find her, what happens next and how Rose copes at school and at home as someone with autism, with no mum and an angry dad combine to give a moving and engaging story.

To find a story about a girl with autism is a rare thing, this is also very readable and engaging as well as giving the reader a real insight into life with autism. And if you’re a dog lover, who could resist Rain’s seven white toes?

(Usborne, £6.99 paperback, ISBN 9781474906470, find it at a Norfolk Library)

Zoë: Dead Man’s Cove by Lauren St John

CoveThis is the first book in a series about Laura Marlin which I found to be an enjoyable read, tempted by the quote from The Times on the front cover: “Dead Man’s Cove will delight fans of Enid Blyton”.

Laura is orphaned and spends her first years living in a Children’s Home. An avid reader, she longs for excitement like many of the characters in the books she reads. Matron warns her to be careful what she wishes for. Like many children, Laura frequently asks ‘Why?’ When we first meet her, Laura wants to know why it has taken eleven years for her uncle, who is willing to adopt her, to be found.

This question is answered as the story develops, once she moves to Cornwall to live with her uncle, Calvin Redfern. Along the way, Laura encounters many mysteries (which generate yet more questions) getting the excitement she has longed for, and discovers adventures are not quite like those in books.

(Orion, £6.99 paperback, ISBN 9781444001488, find it at a Norfolk Library)

You can view our previous Friday Reads here.


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