On June 18th, we joined keen readers up and down the country in eagerly awaiting the announcement of who’d won this year’s Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medals. As with previous years, we were in school, discussing books and celebrating with shadowing groups from a few high schools across Norfolk.
Our Librarian, Harriet, has shared her account from the morning which you can read below, plus we also have some thoughts from Children’s Librarian, Adam McGee, and some pupils from Caister Academy, both of whom joined us on the day. If you’re interested in our other CKG posts, don’t forget to check out our archive here.
Here at ELS we look forward every year to the grand final celebration and announcement of the Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Awards, plus more recently the Amnesty International Honours. For some years now we have held our own event on the same day, bringing together several shadowing groups, this year from Long Stratton, Caister, Litcham, Wymondham Academy, and Northgate High Schools.
Every year we’re impressed and moved by the enthusiasm and perceptiveness of the young shadowers, who come together to share their thoughts and particular passions – or dislikes – of the shortlisted titles. This year it took only an extremely short time for the initial shyness of meeting new students to disappear, and the discussion flowed readily, culminating in our usual vote for our particular favourites to win.
We had a tie for top place in the Kate Greenaway Award, with both the First Book of Animals illustrated by Petr Horacek (poems by Nicola Davies), and Thornhill by Pam Smy proving equally popular, with the latter winning a further tie-breaking vote. Nationally, Sydney Smith won for his illustrations in Joanne Schwartz’s Town Is by the Sea (reviewed here last month).
The students’ choice for Carnegie Award winner was more straightforward, with Will Hill’s After the Fire coming a clear top. The national award went to Geraldine McCaughrean’s Where the World Ends (reviewed here last summer).
As with the picture books, it was lovely that every shortlisted title had its champions, and showed that students were confident enough in their opinions to follow their own preferences.
Many thanks to the students, their librarians and shadowing group leaders for another fabulous and uplifting morning, and thanks to our host Long Stratton High School.
Adam McGee, Community Librarian for Children and Young People
I was invited by ELS to help out with their CKG shadowing morning which was both exciting and nerve-wracking. Usually I work with children aged 7 and under, so the prospect of leading a discussion on YA fiction with a group of teenagers was slightly terrifying, but I needn’t have worried! I was amazed by how passionate the students were about reading, but also by their ability to debate books in a friendly, engaging manner. The depth of discussion was fantastic and I was genuinely inspired by the end of the event. Knowing that there are so many young adults who absolutely adore reading makes me feel like the future is in safe hands!
Sarah, school Librarian:
The students really enjoyed the morning. They loved the mix of discussion and making new friends with similar interests. They were all disappointed about the winner as they wanted The hate u Give to win, but at least it won the Amnesty International award.
We have set up our own book award based on the Carnegie. The students enjoyed reviewing the books so much they wanted to carry on, so they have each picked a book from the library to read and then we are going to swap the eight books and find their favourite from the mix.
Rudey’s review of ‘Beyond the Bright Sea’ by Lauren Wolk
Beyond the Bright Sea was a very expressive novel and the author showed her courage and curiosity to uncover her past.
Crow is a determined female who will push to show the islanders of Cuttyhunk that she is equal, and even if her parents were ill, she is fighting to see who she truly is. This is an amazing book and Lauren has written Beyond the Bright Sea very well.
Sonny’s review of ‘Saint Death’ by Marcus Sedgwick
Saint Death was a good read. It was enjoyable, serious, mysterious and exciting. I would say you need to be a certain type of person to read this book, it depends much on your personality. You may not like this if your preferred genre of books are teenage romances, comics or educational. However if a bit of thrilling, action, horror or mystery gets your attention then this the book for you. Personally, I like most of these but don’t take horror books with a keen eye. You may like this more than me… you may not.The plot is stable; that is all I will say. Definitely above average in most areas of the book. The characters, writing and settings all hold up for themselves. One issue I have however, is that the book can go down the path of being predictable. A few pages will be easily foretold; it can feel like your reading a book you have already read. Furthermore, some pieces feel rushed and untidy. Overall though I would say it is a good read for adventurous people. Overall score 2/3 stars.