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Welcome to our Anniversary Blog by resident blogger Jake Hope. Jake will be reading and reviewing all of the past CILIP Carnegie Medal winning books during the anniversary year. We are also asking shadowers to "Adopt a Book" and join in reading and discussing the anniversary titles in their shadowing groups.

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15
Aug
2017

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Sea Change

Carnegie winner: 1948
Author: Richard Armstrong

Sixteen year old Campbell Renton, known as Cam for short, harbours ambitions to become an officer.  Having been ensnared with menial jobs on the ships he has helped to crew in the past, he hopes his fortunes might change in Liverpool when he boards the Langdale.  Seizing the opportunity to discuss this with the Chief Mate, h is disappointed when denied the opportunity to take part in a night watch.

This disappointment mars much of the voyage to Barbados and Cam bristles under a perceived sense of injustice, seeking revenge, though soon realising the folly of his actions.  Filled with derring-do, the book offers a richly realised voyage across the seas, plotting an accurate journey and carefully explaining methods of navigation and also the challenges that the climes and the stowing of the cargo entails.  The journey across the seas matches Cam’s own emotional journey as he comes to realise his place as part of a team on board the ship.

The richly realised, and often uneasy, relationship between Cam and Andy the mate, together with the realism with which jobs and duties are described, the various encounters with fire, pirates and inclement weather ensure readers are ensnared by action and adventure on the high seas, but by a wholly unsentimental account of life on a merchant vessel.

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