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Our group has agreed to put together an Aylesford 'Carnegie Book Group' Magazine.
Your role as a member: Look at other magazines and consider what kind of content is included in the issue. Think about the Carnegie Awards – what might a Carnegie magazine reader find interesting?

Some features you might consider including…

• Carnegie Awards profile (information about the awards, previous medal winners, a profile of Andrew Carnegie, names of this year’s panellists)
• Reviews (write an article-length review about a shortlisted book)
• Articles (about anything to do with reading, books and/or Carnegie!)
• Book duel (compare shortlisted books, what are the similarities/differences? Which one is better and why?)
• Recommended reading (rate and review other non-Carnegie books you have read recently)
• Polls & discussion (e.g. ‘What makes a good author?’ 4 members think x because… but I think y because…)
• Author profiles (Have any of the authors had books nominated for Carnegie before?)
• Opinions on the shortlist (Who might win? What does the group think? What do other shadowing groups think?)
• Shadowing news (news about our group, or news from other shadowing groups)
• Reading tips (what you love about reading, what inspires you to keep reading, are there any Carnegie books you didn’t like at first but would recommend sticking with to the end? What was the first ever book you remember loving?)
• Photographs (photos of the group, of members reading the books, photos of the library, etc)
• Illustrations/comics (e.g. could draw your own cover design for a shortlisted book and a description of why you chose that design, or could illustrate characters, etc)
• Fun stuff (poems, quizzes, puzzles, interviews, etc)
• Member profiles (fun information about group members, your group leaders, about the library, etc)

Be as creative as you like! Consider these ideas as well as your own. Think of what features you’d like to include in the group magazine and then discuss with members what you’re willing to contribute. Decide deadlines between you and arrange times to work on the magazine together.

Posted on: 12 May 2015

Poetry activity

Carnegie Book Group
Activity: Write a poem !

and be in time (tick)
Or be spontaneous
With extraneous

Write it about
the shadowing meetings,
just… reading

It can be as playful as Tom Sawyer
or as serious as a lawyer

As long as a blue whale
or as short as a rabbit tail.

Once you’re done,
and have had sufficient fun,
Put it on the group blog
(Or hand it to the librarian)

The end. Frog.

Posted on: 12 May 2015

Notes from the first meeting

Hi all,

To those who weren't able to attend the meeting today, not to worry! Any questions you have just ask in the library and make sure to collect a book before the Easter holidays. Obviously if you're reading this, you have been given your log in! If you're not,'re not reading this, so...I'll just stop typing.

To those who were able to attend, thank you for your time and do pretty please let me know if you have any issues logging on to the site.

Also, Daisy pointed out to me just now that 'The Middle of Nowhere' (on the shortlist) had been published in 2013! So I suppose the nominees are not all necessarily recently published, as I'd previously believed! Hmmmmmmm... Sorry about that! I don't know how these beliefs slip in to my mind...

Miss Hobart

Posted on: 17 Mar 2015

Hello all,

Once you have been able to access the shadowing site, please feel more than free to start posting on this blog or doing anything you like to the site - it is your group site.

This blog will be a convenient way to communicate about the group meetings and generally share ANY random thoughts on what you're reading. Just don't put on spoilers without warning! As it's not likely that everyone in the group will have read the same books as you yet.

The posts operate with html formatting, so you may need to Google 'html codes and tags' to learn the basics if you're not already familiar with them. Very simple, just lots of '<' and '/>'s whenever you want a line break or, for example, to put something in bold.

Anyway, good luck and please make the most of this, especially over Easter and May half term!


Miss Hobart

Posted on: 17 Mar 2015

The shortlist is out!


The CILIP Carnegie Medal 2015 shortlist

When Mr Dog Bites by Brian Conaghan (Bloomsbury)

Apple and Rain by Sarah Crossan (Bloomsbury)

Tinder by Sally Gardner (author) and David Roberts (illustrator) (Orion Children’s Books)

Cuckoo Song by Frances Hardinge (Macmillan Children’s Books)

The Fastest Boy in the World by Elizabeth Laird (Macmillan Children’s Books)

Buffalo Soldier by Tanya Landman (Walker Books)

The Middle of Nowhere by Geraldine McCaughrean (Usborne Books)

More Than This by Patrick Ness (Walker Books)

Which means that the following didn't quite make it past the longlist stage...

My Brother's Shadow by Tom Avery (Andersen Press)

Us Minus Mum by Heather Butler (Little Brown, Young Readers)

The Company of Ghosts by Berlie Doherty (Andersen Press)

The Year of the Rat by Clare Furniss (Simon & Schuster Children's Books)

Monkey and Me by David Gilman (Templar)

Scarlet Ibis by Gill Lewis (Oxford University Press)

Hello Darkness by Anthony McGowan (Walker Books)

Close Your Pretty Eyes by Sally Nicholls (Marion Lloyd Books)

Trouble by Non Pratt (Walker Books)

Picture Me Gone by Meg Rosoff (Penguin Books)

Smart: a Mysterious Crime, a Different Detective by Kim Slater (Macmillan Children's Books)

Grasshopper Jungle by Andrew Smith (Electric Monkey)

The only one I have read so far is The Company of Ghosts by Berlie Doherty (who is a twice winner of the Carnegie Award)... and I loved it, so this means that the shortlisted ones must be inconceivably good...? I would still encourage all of you to read the longlisted books, though unfortunately the school library only stocks 'The Company of Ghosts' at this stage (and of course the shortlisted ones which we'll be reading anyway).

Of course, I can't wait to read through all of the lucky shortlisters... fingers crossed for a speedy delivery from our supplier!


Miss Hobart

Posted on: 17 Mar 2015

Self-referential first post

Greetings, Carnegie-ers!

Before revealing the Carnegie shortlist, I'll briefly explain a little bit about the Carnegie Medal...

What is it?

The Carnegie Award is a process which has occurred annually since it was set up in 1936.
It was named after the philanthropist, Andrew Carnegie, whose ambition it had been to make libraries free to the public. The award seeks to popularise the use of libraries, especially in the case of young people.

How does it work?

Various recently-published children's books get nominated, then really good ones are selected for the longlist, then from the longlist they are shortlisted (on the basis of being really, really good!).

The panel of judges (mostly librarians with lots of experience reading children's books) read through the shortlisted books and come to decide on a winner. The winning book is awarded the status of 'Carnegie Medal winner' and the author gets to feel deservedly over-the-moon (which is a lot better than over-the-sun incineration).

It is a big event, as lots of school libraries across the United Kingdom take part and host an internal vote.

Schools can compare their group's winner with the final Carnegie Medal winner, and (depending on the results) join in a wave of either outrage or glory (or simple acceptance, in the case of the emotionally stable).

Why is Aylesford taking part and why is it worth it for me?

The focus of our Aylesford School group is to encourage reading for pleasure, but also to encourage you to reflect critically on what you are reading and to share these reflections with others.

We know you are all avid readers already, but we want to see you think about the style/structure of the books, to think about how the stories make you feel and to assess how effectively they come together at the end - all so that we may determine together which book (we think) deserves to win.

So, the group should be a fun opportunity for you to explore books you might not have otherwise considered reading, to discuss your opinions about the books with others and to challenge yourselves to read in a more pro-active, analytical way.

We hope that you will really love being a part of the group and that it will help to develop the literary talents that we know you have already.

I can certainly say I love that each of you are a part of this experience, and I am looking forward to reading these books with you and hearing what you think.


Miss Hobart

Posted on: 17 Mar 2015