The Latymer Link - page 11

T
his year we have enjoyed “shadowing” the CILIP Carnegie Medal with a group of Year 8 students. The
Carnegie panel of publishing experts select eight of the best books published for teenagers this year. We read
these shortlisted books over summer term, meeting each week in the Library for discussion and debate, and
finally choosing our top three books.
There was a varied selection, from dystopian novels like More Than This by Patrick Ness to novels set in
other countries, such as The Middle of Nowhere by Geraldine McCaughrean where the story unfolds in the
Australian outback. The novels deal with tough themes such as slavery and “freedom” in early American
(Buffalo Soldier by Tanya Landman), or growing up with a condition like Tourette’s syndrome (When Mr Dog
Bites by Brian Conaghan). The students read their way through the books, and then shared their opinions in
our lunchtime book group. “The books were amazing, and the book club was really fun” said Mary and Lilah,
book club members.
We are asked to judge which is the best written, most successful novel. After debating the strengths and
weaknesses of each book, our Latymer choice was More Than This by Patrick Ness. We posted our vote on the
national website. However, the overall winner this year was Buffalo Soldier. Although it wasn’t our favourite,
we had enjoyed the great characterisation of Charlie, the ex-slave girl who has to join the American army and
fight against the Native Americans. So we were happy to celebrate the winner, and Carnegie Shadowing 2015,
with an end-of-club picnic in the quad.
Mirander McAllister, Librarian
Adventures in Reading
Carnegie Shadowing 2015
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