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Our Carnegie Winner
Throughout the past few months we have relished the opportunity to participate in the Carnegie Award shadowing scheme, which has not only enhanced our respective reading abilities but provided pleasure and fun to all who took part. Since the scheme began, we have met in the LRC every Monday break time to discuss the merits and shortcomings of each book in turn. Between us all we read every book and it is clear that there was a plethora of genres on offer: from fantasy to horror. I personally enjoyed reading The Ghosts of Heaven as it was well written and gripping from start to finish and the plot flowed like a river. My only criticism of this book is that certain parts left me feeling confused and some parts of the text were ambiguous and unclear in meaning. This was viewed by some in the group as a merit of the book, not a shortcoming, as it left elements of the story open to interpretation and for the reader to make their mind up. Another popular choice was ‘Lies we tell ourselves’ by Robin Talley. This book explored the relationship between two girls living in a town in the Deep South of America, and the racist and homophobic abuse they are subjected to by their staunchly conservative peers and family. This book was a poignant reminder of the struggles many minorities faced, and still face, and this novel was very edifying for us all. However, some found the plot unrealistic as they thought it highly unlikely that a girl would fall in love with another girl who treats her in an abhorrent way because of the colour of her skin. Last Friday we had a protracted discussion about each book and we struggled to find a clear winner, however, eventually we chose ‘The Lie Tree’ by Francis Hardringe as our winner. There were many reasons for this choice, and as Alex said, “This book painted an artistic picture of what lies can do to us, and to our friendships and relationships.” In spite of being set in the era of Queen Victoria, the message of the book resonated through to the 21st century climate and attitudes of our group, which shows the author’s superb creative writing ability. In addition to this, this story puts forward philosophical ideas which we should use to reevaluate the way we live and act in certain aspects of our lives. Each one of the characters had their own backstory and individual idiosyncrasies’; which enriched the story and made it very addictive to read. Lydia said the following: “Ben Crock had a completely split personality; a Jekyll and Hyde of sorts. This was effective as when I read what Ben had been responsible for I was completely shocked and it left me wanting to read on for more detail.” Each book had its own merits and shortcomings, and it was very hard to pick a winner. However, it was the majority view of St Edward’s College Carnegie Shadowing Scheme that “Lies we tell ourselves” was the clear and deserved winner. I have thoroughly enjoyed participating in this scheme, as have my peers. This scheme has provided a springboard through which we have expanded our range of interests and genres which we choose to read. Finally, on behalf of the entire group I would like to thank Miss Digney for her help in organising and overseeing our participation in the Carnegie Shadowing Scheme. We can’t wait to hear the national winner announced!
Posted on: 20 Jun 2016

The Carnegie reading scheme has delighted those of us fortunate enough to be chosen as part of the St Edward’s College team. Throughout the Easter holidays, many of us were busy reading (and scoffing chocolate, of course!) During our discussions so far, the atmosphere has been truly electric and everybody has enjoyed the scheme so far, and we look forward to the exciting times ahead, and I myself have enjoyed reading ‘The Ghosts of Heaven’ by Marcus Sedgwick, which centres around one main theme: a spiral, which appears in various sections of the book, and has existed since the dawn of time, I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book as it was unpredictable and riveting. Fellow reader Faith has been reading, ‘There will be lies’ which she says was “highly unpredictable and the meaning of the story was metaphorical”. Claudia said, “I’ve been reading ‘One’ and although at first it started off a little bit dull, it gradually progressed to become more dramatic and emotive towards the end. Lastly, it was very easy to read as it was structured in poetry form.” Rachel said, “I’m reading the lie tree. It’s quite a confusing read but as I’ve read more of it, I’ve felt like I was growing with, and getting closer to the character.” Finally, Lydia said, “Personally, I think this shadowing scheme was a wonderful idea. However, I think that the book choices (from what I’ve seen so far) could be more challenging considering the target audience.” Over the course of the next 3 months we shall be meeting on a weekly basis to discuss the merits and shortcomings of the shortlisted books, swapping books with one another and formulating which, out of the plethora we will be reading, book is worthy of the Carnegie Award. We hope to review each book as a team and decide which book we think is the best at the end of this shadowing scheme, we hope to do this talented array of authors justice in our reading and analysis of their written work. We are all thoroughly enjoying the Carnegie Shadowing Scheme and cannot wait for the result of the Carnegie Award to be announced this summer. Happy Reading!
Posted on: 26 Apr 2016