Carnegie Shadowing 2022

Carnegie Shadowing 2022


Teresa Turton
Teresa Turton
Carnegie Shadowing 2022

The Yoto Carnegie Medal is awarded annually by children’s librarians for an outstanding book written in English for children and young people. Every spring, reading groups in schools across the country get involved with ‘shadowing’ the judging process for the Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medals. They read, discuss and review the books on each shortlist, and vote for their favourites to win the Shadowers’ Choice Awards.

Since March, around 15 students from Bushey Meads have been reading the eight books shortlisted for this year’s award. To that end, they put aside their normal choice of book to read these titles, incorporating a wide range of genres, highlighting many current and past issues such as racism, the plight of refugees, the Irish troubles, Japan’s tsunami, the uprising of slaves in 1760s Jamaica. We had books about friendship, loss, animals, forbidden romance, short stories to name but a few and our amazing Bushey Meads group read around 75 books between them in six weeks! Students willingly gave up some of their lunchtimes to meet and discuss the books, sharing their passion for reading. At our final meeting every student scored each of the books they’d read and voted on the official website for their favourites, having a direct input into the award process.

Then, on Thursday, when the awards were announced, I took eight of our group to Tring School for the day to join students from four other schools for a group discussion day. This is the first time Bushey Meads has participated in such an event so students didn’t really know what to expect. Students were put into mixed-school groups where they discussed each book in turn – I really enjoyed leading the discussion on our favourite book, it was so lovely to hear all the young people expressing their thoughts so eloquently.

After a ‘Big Quiz’ in their mixed teams came the big treat of the day – a talk and workshop by Manga artist, Sonia Leung. Her lively talk explained so much about the process of creating Manga and what it’s like to work in the business. Now, even I understand how to read these books – something that always left me bemused! Later, Sonia gave students a drawing masterclass – a treat to behold. I was especially proud of our students for their mature comments and willingness to work with people they’d never met before.

The Bushey Meads Choice was ‘When The Sky Falls’, by Philip Earle; it was also the most popular book within our group of local schools. However, nothing is ever guaranteed and when the official announcement was made, shadowers and judges alike, chose ‘October, October’ by Katya Balen as the Carnegie Medal winner for 2022.All books are available to borrow from our library, you can read the summaries at https://carnegiegreenaway.org.uk/yoto-carnegie-medal-shortlist-2022.

All-in-all it was an intense but rewarding few months and I was overjoyed to hear several of our students talking about taking part again next year. Well done and thanks to everyone who read any of the books and contributed to our display in the library.

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