CKG & FLY week 2016

It’s been all go in our office this week, so please bear with us as we take you on a quick whizz through the last five days…

On Monday, we were in school at our annual Carnegie Greenaway shadowing event (this year hosted by the lovely Wymondham High!) discussing the shortlisted titles and who we all thought would win. One of our Librarians, Harriet, has written a little recap of our morning which you can read below. You can also read Litcham High’s recap of the event over on their Books and Beyond blog.

Sarah Crossan

Apryl and I had a wonderful morning, as ever, celebrating the culmination of a year’s reading and enjoying books eligible for the Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Awards. These are chosen and judged by librarians, but there are shadowing groups in schools all over the country whose responses and thoughts are caught wonderfully on the shadowing website Three school groups, from Litcham High, Caister High and Long Stratton High, joined our hosts Wymondham High Academy, to network (and make instant friendships!), discuss, protest, advocate and finally vote for their favourites. Amazingly – we think this was a first! – our young Norfolk readers chose the same titles as the librarian panel nationally; Sarah Crossan’s ‘One’ and ‘The Sleeper and the Spindle’ by Neil Gaiman, with winning illustrations from Chris Riddell. The celebration in London was live streamed and those who could stay and had the patience to wait through the speeches were well rewarded. We were also really interested = and delighted – to hear about the new Amnesty/CILIP Honour awards, which were selected from the shortlists. Ross Collins’ fun ‘There’s a Bear on My Chair’ won the award for a picture book, showing tolerance and patience with great humour and warmth. By contrast ‘Lies We Tell Ourselves’ which won the novel Amnesty award is harrowing and shocking in its detailed descriptions of racism, violent bullying and religious intolerance in southern USA in the late 1950s.

Caister 1

(The Caister High CKG shadowing group, pictured at our event!)

Also this week, we’ve been catching some of the brilliant talks and events the UEA FLY Festival has had to offer. Perhaps the most exciting was seeing Chris Riddell on Tuesday afternoon, fresh from his Kate Greenaway win the day before.

Chris Riddell

It’s not the first time our paths have crossed (we saw him at a conference last year) but it’s always so wonderful to hear him talk, especially as in his awards speech he praised libraries and the importance of librarians (here here!). He even signed our copy of his award-winning book- in gold pen, no less!


Author Elizabeth Wein has been on tour around Norfolk this week, working in partnership with Scottish Booktrust to visit 9 schools in 5 days. Yesterday afternoon, she appeared at FLY in the City at Norwich’s Millennium Library and we were so pleased we managed to catch her. She gave visiting students a fabulous overview of the historical inspiration behind her three novels, revealed she’s a qualified pilot AND that she frequently reads some of the fan-fiction readers have written about her books. We’ve been so fortunate to have her in the county this week and by all accounts, her school visits have been a resounding success- come back soon, Elizabeth!image3

Below are this week’s Friday Reads and, in case you missed our post earlier this week, you’ll also find some recommendations to support Refugee Week and SMSC in your school here.

Harriet: Continuing the theme of Refugee Week, I am reminded of a life changing book shades of graywhich was on the Carnegie shortlist a few years ago: Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys, which was harrowing and revealed a little known part of WW2 history, and I’m really looking forward to reading her new novel, also about WW2 refugees, Salt to the Sea. My favourite book as a child of about 10 was Ian Seraillier’s The Silver Sword, and I’ve just realised my daughter’s favourite at a similar age was Judith Kerr’s When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit. The former was published only 11 years after the end of the war, and must have made quite an impact, with its tragic story of children struggling to survive in a ruined Europe while searching for their families, while the latter is a memoir of Kerr’s own childhood, fleeing Nazi Germany.

Mandy: The Girl with a Parrot on her Head by Daisy Hirst

ParrotThis is a really good debut picture book and already shortlisted for a prize. When this little girl’s best friend moves away she is first of all angry, and then becomes very quiet and organises her once exuberant stuff into boxes…but the wolf threatens to escape at night. It’s only when looking for a bigger box to contain the wolf that she finds another potential friend and I, for one, breathed sigh of relief!

The characters are quirky – ( who is good with newts?!) and the illustrations charming. The story will be great for your KS1 toolbox: friendship, moving house, depression, PSHE, emotions, SMSC…the lot!

(Walker Books, £6.99 paperback, ISBN 978104635528, find it at a Norfolk Library)

Zoë: It’s Elementary by Robert Winston

robert winstonFor anyone fascinated by natural elements and chemistry, this is a great book to find out more.

It begins with the history of alchemy, including one Nicolas Flamel (yes, him from Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone!) and how this science developed into chemistry, over many hundreds of years. A timeline charts many important discoveries and the scientists involved.

Naturally the periodic table is included, with facts about many elements, and a number of common elements are covered in detail, from where they are found to how they are used and more in-between. You can even find out the make-up of a dog! Brightly coloured images and a range of different sized fonts make this a dynamic read which can be easily dipped in and out of.

(Dorling Kindersley, £8.99 paperback, ISBN 9781405358040, find it at a Norfolk Library)

You’ll find our past Friday Read recommendations here.


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