One month until CKG…!

PrintExactly one month today- Monday 18th June- the winners of this year’s Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Awards will be announced, and the awards cycle (which began with the nominations list back in November 2017) will be over.

In case you’ve been living under a rock for the last few months, you can find this year’s Carnegie shortlist here and a list of those competing Greenaway titles here.

If you haven’t investigated the CKG website then we suggest you do so over the next four weeks; there are shadowing toolkits and reading resources to help spark discussion among your students, author and illustrator videos where those nominees discuss and read from their books, and there’s even a gallery featuring artwork inspired by the Greenaway titles. There are lots of resources available for you to use in and outside the classroom, so why  not spend the next few weeks swotting up in time for the ceremony on June 18th?

Below are this week’s Friday Reads and don’t forget: you can find an archive of our past reviews just here.

Apryl: King of the Sky by Nicola Davies, illustrated by Laura Carlin

Laura Carlin is an illustrator whose work I really like, so I was pleased to find that this- her second collaboration with author Nicola Davies- is a wonderful look at migration and what it means to have a home which has particular resonance given the current climate.

A young boy moves from Italy to Wales, struggling to come to terms with the cultural differences that surround him. Despite feeling as though he doesn’t belong in this new place, there is one thing which reminds him of his previous life; pigeons belonging to his neighbour, Mr Evans. The pair form a friendship, bonding over the birds and a racing competition which will take one of the flock from Wales to Italy and back again.

This book is on the 2018 Greenaway shortlist and it’s much deserved…but will it win?!

(Walker Books, £7.99 paperback, ISBN 9781406379198, find it at a Norfolk Library)

Harriet: Sky Song by Abi Elphinstone

A dramatic and exciting fantasy adventure set in the frozen Arctic.

The white wastes and clear dramatic skies of the snowy far North seem popular settings at the moment, and this author has created an atmospheric frozen world where humans, animals and magical beings – one reminiscent of Andersen’s terrifying Snow Queen! – converge, fight, unite and ensure that goodness ultimately wins over evil.

(Simon & Schuster, £6.99 paperback, ISBN 9781471146077, find it at a Norfolk Library)

Zoë: Do You Speak Chocolate? by Cas Lester

Jaz frequently finds school challenging, partly because of her dyslexia and partly because she has a habit of acting before thinking. Her friend, Lily, has recently taken up with Kara and Jaz is finding it hard to be on her own in class.

Then Nadima starts at their school which pleases Jaz as it means they can sit together. However Nadima doesn’t speak English. This initially causes some confusion (particularly as Google translate doesn’t understand Jaz’s spelling) but, between them, the girls work out a system to communicate whilst Nadima learns the language. Being good at solving problems, Jaz shares a chocolate bar which bonds the two girls together.

Gradually Jaz learns more about Nadima and how her family came to be living in the town after escaping Syria. In a bid to help her new friend, Jaz makes several disastrous decisions which her mum helps her to learn from – thinking before acting as the sentiment was well-meant in each case. Friendship is a strong theme throughout and Nadima shows Jaz and the other girls its importance.

A great title for mature readers or a class story for Y5/6 that would promote plenty of discussion; around refugees, empathy and dyslexia in particular. I found it very moving.

(Piccadilly Press, £5.99 paperback, ISBN 9781471405037, find it at a Norfolk Library)

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