The Carnegie Medal is awarded annually to the writer of an outstanding book for children. The award is named for Andrew Carnegie, a self-made industrialist who in his own lifetime was responsible for setting up 2800 libraries in the English speaking world.
The awards process begins in September each year, as nominations begin for a ‘longlist’ of books which is announced in February. From here, the panel of judges narrow down the nominees to a shortlist of eight titles.
Our part of the journey is the most exciting, and this year our reading group had reviewers from Years 7, 8 and 9, each making a commitment to read what were agreed by all as being challenging books in their own way.
What makes the shadowing of the award more interesting is posting reviews, blogs and quizzes straight to a dedicated All Saints page on the website, and being able to visit the pages of other book groups in schools around the world, comparing favourite and ‘not so favourite’ shortlist books.
In our own book group we had eight dedicated readers, three of whom managed all eight books. As time ticked on, it became easier to discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the extremely varied selection of titles.
The Winner is announced every year on a live feed, which we were lucky enough to watch in school time, despite the 500+ other interested parties causing a few crashes along the way. Were our predictions right? Well the winner was one several students had identified as a strong contender: Buffalo Soldier, by Tanya Landman, was in our opinion a worthy winner! Below is what one of our students thought of it:
“I thoroughly enjoyed Buffalo Soldier as it was an interesting but mature book that played on my heart strings. I really connected with the characters as if I knew them in person. At times it made me laugh and cry. I was absolutely hooked to this book, you could even say I was addicted! My only one positive disappointment is it could have been longer. Although I am in doubt of a series I would like to see one. So if you like books with fast paced, adventurous action I recommend you read this book! I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. So jump on the wagon and read this book.” Elijah Allen – 7H