Chobham Academy Book Group
40 Cheering lane, London
The winner of 2016 is...
Today was the final group meeting of 2016 and the students who had been at the Carnegie Awards ceremony yesterday announced the winning book to the group. The everyone's delight the winning book this year was 'One' by Sarah Crossan! This book has been the favourite of the group all year and everyone was really happy that it had been chosen. In her winner's speech Sarah Crossan said that she wrote in verse because she wanted young people to reclaim poetry for themselves and not feel afraid of it. She said that poetry needed to be accessible and enjoyable and that she hoped that by reading her books young people would realize that poetry can tell stories that they want to hear.
Posted on: 21 Jun 2016
Last meeting before the winner is announced.
Today was the last meeting before the winner was announced. 'One' is still at the top of the group's reading barometer and the group decided that their final question this year would be 'which book do you think will win?' The group discussed their own choices for the book they thought would win and the book they hoped would win. Shannon B wanted 'One' to win and believed that it would because it was accessible and a lot of people could read it and understand it. Shannon P thought 'There Will Be Lies' would win because it was written in an interesting style but thought that 'Lies We Tell Ourselves' would win because it tackled such a powerful issue. Liddy believed that 'One' would win but thought the winner would be 'There Will Be Lies' or 'Ghosts of Heaven' because they both had original writing styles and gripping stories. Liddy particularly liked the fact that all of the stories in GOH had been inspired by the spiral and that they could be read in any order and still make sense. Abi agreed with Shannon B that 'One' would, and should, win. She said that it should win because the ending was so powerful and surprising. Alissa agreed with Shannon P that 'Lies We Tell Ourselves' would win but she hoped that 'Fire Colour One' would be the winner this year. The group also had a discussion inspired by the books about the thing they found most scary about starting school. The discussion was inspired by Tippi and Grace in 'One', who start school for the first time aged 16 and Sarah and Ruby in 'Lies We Tell Ourselves', who start going to an integrated school in the 1950s. Most of the students were worried about being bullied or having fall outs with friends but fortunately these things did not happen. The students also had a debate about which characters had the hardest time starting school. Shannon B thought that Tippi and Grace did because it would have been really scary worrying that people would be cruel to them but the rest of the group believed that Sarah and Ruby had the hardest experience because they were so isolated and were in real danger of being attacked every day. All of the students agreed that the good friends that Tippi and Grace made really helped them through school and said that having good friends was one of the most important things about school. There are only 4 days until we find out which book has won. We hope that Shannon P, Liddy, Abigail, Faye and Tanitia enjoy the announcement ceremony in London on Monday and look forward to finding out if the group favourite 'one' will be the winner this year.
Posted on: 16 Jun 2016
The group was a lot smaller this week because year 11 have left and year 10 are on work experience. Tanitia and Faye are in year 10 so were not at the meeting but we gave them a round of applause for their victory in the video competition (hopefully it was loud enough for them to hear at work!) We voted on a new poll question and updated our top 3 barometer and discussed what we had read over the holiday. We also looked at the different styles of shadowing magazine that were available and voted on which style our magazine should be produced in once all of the reviews have been collected. Most of the votes were for the doodle style in multi-colours and the magazine already looks fantastic! We can't wait to see it once every review has been added. Sadly, there is only one meeting left until the winner is announced. The race is on to finish all 8 books by 20th June...
Posted on: 10 Jun 2016
On Monday 6th at 4pm we got a phone call to say that Tanitia and Faye's video about The Rest of Us Just Live Here was one of the winning entries. As their prize they have been invited to the Carnegie awards ceremony in London on 20th June. They will be some of the first people to find out which book will win the Carnegie medal in 2016! Shannon, Liddy and Abigail have been invited to the ceremony as well in recognition of their fantastic video about 'One'. Well done on this incredible achievement.
Posted on: 10 Jun 2016
Today was our third meeting. Sadly Jessica could not join us for her last meeting as a Heritage student because she was in an exam - we wish her luck and hope she did well. Our year 10 students were also unavailable because they were running a bake sale to raise money for the year 11 prom. The Carnegie students are a busy group! At the start of the meeting we watched the videos made by Tanitia, Faye, Shannon, Liddy and Abigail. The group were really impressed with the videos and gave them a big round of applause. We then decided on our new poll question for the week and took a vote about our favourite books so far so we could update our barometer. One is at the top and has been a favourite throughout but Five Children on the Western Front is a new addition and is growing in popularity. Students discussed what they had been reading over the past week and swapped recommendations before we break up for the holidays tomorrow. A week without school means plenty of time for reading :) We had some group discussions based on the themes in the books. We discussed what wish we would make if we could have a wish granted (but only until sunset) like the children do in Five Children on the Western Front. The wishes ranged from sad, to crazy to hilariously selfish! We also discussed the dad characters in the books as a whole. A lot of them are damaged and not very good role models which adds drama to story lines but is a shame for male readers. There are some strong male characters, such as Mikey in The Rest of Us Just Live Here and the boys who go to war in Five Children on the Western Front, but most of the strong characters this year are female, Sarah from Lies We Tell Ourselves and Iris from Fire Colour One are examples that really stand out. In next week's meeting we will play the game from Fire Colour One, when I am dead and gone...You have to say what you would like your matter to become after you have died. It can be something really small, like a pencil nib, or something strange like a garden hose! One of our group has said she would like to be transformed in to a book. We are very sad to say goodbye to Lauren Coleman today. This is her last meeting as part of our Carnegie group. Lauren is moving to another school and we hope that she will keep in touch with our group members and become part of the reading groups at her new school.
Posted on: 26 May 2016
No Editing Necessary
Five members of our shadowing group have created videos to enter in in the Carnegie video completion. The theme of the competition was: no editing required. Students were asked to create their own short video (of up to 60 seconds) about one of the Carnegie shortlisted books for 2016.
Liddy, Abigail and Shannon from year 8 made a video about ‘One’ by Sarah Crossan. They used props and signs to give their video impact without special effects. The link to their video is below:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yFCQ4zdr0pM – One by Liddy, Abigail and Shannon
Tanitia and Faye, from year 10, made their video about The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness.
They used an app that allowed them to pause during filming so they could make a video based around ‘draw my life’ (where people explain aspects of their life by drawing on a whiteboard) - without having to use special effects.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0UTJUTXpZr0 – The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Faye and Tanitia
Both videos are fantastic and will hopefully encourage others to read the books they are based on. We have submitted the entries and wish all of the students good luck.
Posted on: 24 May 2016
Second Meeting 2016
Today was our second meeting as a group. We looked at our Shadowing site so far and voted for a new poll question and the top 3 in our updated barometer.
Our new poll questions is ‘Which book’s writing style is your favourite? ‘They are all really different so it is hard to pick just one!
The new top 3 on our barometer are:
• There Will Be Lies – at number 1
• The Rest of Us Just Live Here – at number 2
• One – at number 3
The students took it in turns to give a synopsis of a book they have read to the group. Kristie gave a fantastic synopsis of Fire Colour One, which resulted in two more copies being taken out at the end of the meeting.
Shannon, Liddy and Abigail are entering the Carnegie video competition. They need to make a video that is no longer than 60 seconds about one of the books. They have chosen to make their video about ‘One’ by Sarah Crossan. They have been really busy making props because the rules of the competition are that editing is not allowed! We wish them luck with their video and will upload it to the site when it is finished.
We are really sad that we only have one more meting left with Jessica Ince, who is in year 11 as she leaves at the end of this term. She has been a fantastic member of the group since it started last year and has been one of the school’s top readers since year 7. We also have only one more meeting with our year 10 members before the winner is announced because they are on work experience for two weeks after the holiday. Luckily they will be back in time to join us for the winner’s announcement party.
At the end of the meeting we tool a poll to see which book the students think will be the winner this year. Nearly every student voted for ‘One’ by Sarah Crossan. It will be interesting to see if, after another week of reading the nominated books, the students change their minds…
Posted on: 19 May 2016
Our first meeting of 2016
Today we had our first meeting and discussed out initial opinions of the books. We read the blurbs and first lines of each book as a group and then voted on which we though was best.
The votes were as follows:
Best cover – One
Best Title – The Rest of Us Just Live Here/One
Best Blurb – One
Best First Line – Lies We Tell Ourselves
One is a firm favourite with the group already. Sarah Crossan’s book in the Carnegie short-list from 2015 (Apple & Rain) was also a favourite when we were discussing the short-list this time last year. Some members of the group had not picked One as a first choice when the books arrived but had been recommended to read it by friends who had chosen it first. One of the fantastic things about being part of the Carnegie group is being able to discuss books and authors we love and make recommendations to each other. Being in the group encourages you to read new things that you might not have found for yourself.
One member of our group, Tanitia Moore, has entered the Carnegie Short story competition. She wrote a story that was just under 300 words long based on the journey theme. We wish her luck in the competition. We also discussed another Carnegie competition that is closing in two weeks’ time. The challenge is to make a 60 second unedited video about a book of your choice. This creative challenge got a lot of us thinking and planning our entries.
At the end of the meeting we took out official group photograph. We were so busy discussing the books that we had to take the picture quickly so that the year 8 students were not late to an exam!
Overall we think that this is a strong short-list with some excellent authors. We look forward to reading them all and debating which should be the winner for 2016.
Posted on: 12 May 2016
The winner is announced!
The winner has been announced. Unfortunately the final group prediction was not correct. Apple & Rain did not win. The winning book this year was Buffalo Soldier. Students agreed that it was a worthy winner even though it was shocking in parts. They also said it would be a good book to have on the English curriculum (possibly for year 9). Thank you to all students who took part in the Carnegie group. We hope you will be part of the group again next year.
Posted on: 24 Jun 2015
Final group meeting
For our final group meeting we had a party to celebrate all of the reading and hard work the shadowing group have put into the group this year. They definitely are Hive Heroes! In keeping with the party theme we played a game-instead of pin the tail on the donkey we played pin the winner on the poster! Students were asked for the final time to guess who the winner would be this year and to say which book was their favourite from the shortlist.
The results were as follows:
Favourite Book this year:
More Than This 3 votes
Apple & Rain 3 votes
When Mr Dog Bites 1 vote
Buffalo Soldier 2 votes
Middle of nowhere 1 vote
Tinder 1 vote
Winner Prediction this year:
Apple & Rain 6 votes
More Than This 2 votes
Middle of nowhere 1 vote
Buffalo Soldier 2 votes
The books the group liked the best this year were More Than This by Patrick Ness and Apple & Rain by Sarah Crossan. Apple and Rain was also the book that students though would win this year.
Were they correct?
Posted on: 24 Jun 2015
Fourth Group Meeting
At our fourth group meeting some members were missing as they were out at an athletics event. Proof that you can be sporty AND love reading. Good luck to all those who took part. We were joined by Mrs Dench who had finished reading Apple and Rain this week after the students gave it such glowing praise in the last meeting! Feedback about Apple & Rain is still incredibly positive. Mrs Dench thought it had a Jacqueline Wilson tone to it and our Jacqueline Wilson fans in the group enthusiastically agreed. They liked that the book tackled very real and difficult issues and thought that it would be a brilliant book for students going through similar issues with family and friends to read. More Than This was also discussed in detail as it is dividing opinion in the group. Some have loved the book and read it in record time because they could not put it down. The students who loved it said it was unpredictable and that was one of the reasons they were kept gripped by it. Many believe that this year will see another victory for Patrick Ness. However, one of our student had the complete opposite reaction to this book. She said that she quite enjoyed it but found it predictable and that she knew how the story would unfold from the beginning of the book. We also discusses Buffalo Soldier. Along with More Than This, Buffalo Soldier is Heritage's tip to win the prize this year. Like 'When Mr Dog Bites' the book used shocking language. In the case of Buffalo Soldier it is the racist insults that are so shocking to read. The book also deals with extreme violence and abuse and some students have found it shocking to the point where they could not continue reading it. The book is extremely powerful and covers some extremely difficult themes but it is well written and powerful and those who have finished it think it would be a worthy winner. We were a bit surprised that the cover of Buffalo Soldier did not contain a 'not for younger readers' warning like 'Mr Dog' does. While 'Mr Dog' contains a lot of swearing our readers were more shocked by the racially abusive language and graphic scenes in Buffalo Soldier and were surprised that there were no warnings on the cover to let the reader know what they were in for. We are all incredibly excited for the announcement of the winning book and will put in a good weekend of reading before the announcement is made on Monday.
Posted on: 22 Jun 2015
Third full group meeting
We are very excited that a link to our Carnegie page has been added to the school website. This week we have also Tweeted pictures of some of the books with comments made by students in the group and students in year 7.
The Middle of Nowhere has had some good feedback this week and Cuckoo Song's twisty story and creepy atmosphere has made it very popular (even amongst students who have a fear of creepy dolls!)
Apple and Rain has been another popular choice this week and has given students a good example of not judging people on first impressions. One of the characters in the book does not make a good first impression on Apple or the reader but he becomes one of the most popular characters amongst readers because he has a good heart, a good sense of humour and a strong sense of who he is. Some students have found the book Buffalo Soldier very shocking in parts and there was a debate about the author's use of poor language and grammar to highlight the main character's lack of schooling. One student found it really helpful and thought it added to the story but another disagreed saying that the bad grammar was distracting.
One book that has not been very popular this week is Tinder. Students found its pace and story strange and hard to get involved in. Hopefully they will make it to the end as it has a satisfying conclusion but it is quite an unnerving read!
Only one more meeting until the winner is announced will your favourite win?
Posted on: 11 Jun 2015
Second full group meeting
Our reading group are devouring the Carnegie books at an incredible speed and some favourites are already emerging. more than This has had rave reviews this week and When Mr Dog Bites is also incredibly popular. We had a discussion about the language used in the book and the students said it was not shocking because it was used well in the story to create believable characters and to give an insight into Tourette's. Apple and Rain is still very popular. The student recommendations abut his book have led to our deputy head teacher borrowing a copy to read. We shop she enjoys it as much as the students have! We also had a discussion about some of the stand out characters from the books overall. Characters who are so well drawn and interesting that we wish they were real people. A lot of the students said that they wished Apple and Rain were real and that Dylan from When Mr Dog Bites was real too. Solomon from The Fastest boy in the World and Comity from The Middle of Nowhere were also popular characters. This week we had a vote about which book has the best opening line. The winning book was When Mr Dog Bites and second place was split between Middle of Nowhere and Apple and Rain. The race is now on to read as many of the Carnegie nominated titles as possible before the winner is announced...
Posted on: 09 Jun 2015
Heritage Hive Heroes First Meeting
The group met for the first time today and we had a lot to discuss! We had a general discussion about the books that are nominated this year before we talked about what we have read so far.
Based on our first impressions we think that:
Tinder and More than This have the best cover
The best title this year is: The Middle of Nowhere
Apple & Rain and Cuckoo Song have the best blurbs
So far we think that the winning book this year will either be Apple & Rain or Tinder
The most popular books in the library have been: Apple & Rain and When Mr Dog Bites
We also discussed our feelings about the endings of books (whether we prefer them to be happy or sad). The group were evenly split between the two choices but they said that they did not mind what kind of ending a book had as long as it fitted the story.
Mrs Mewton tried to take the team picture but the camera was too fancy for her and she could not work out how to use it! Hopefully pictures will be coming soon :)
Posted on: 21 May 2015
BACK TO OUR GROUP PAGE