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Elthorne Park High School, West London
London,

The end is nigh!
With one week to go before the winner of the Carnegie Medal is announced, our shadowing group readers have been busily loaning the books they haven't yet read, voting for their top three, writing their three word reviews and eating Cadbury Twirl bites and custard creams! It all seems to have gone very quickly and it's now time to fill out our ballot slips and vote for our winner. It's our final meeting after school today where we'll discuss who we think might just snatch the prize from the other shortlisted books. Consensus seem to be that it's a strong list this year with something to appeal to everyone so it could be a very split decision! Collect your voting slips today and return them to the library by Friday 17th.
Posted on: 13 Jun 2016



What's the obsession with lies?
We're off and running and reading the shortlist with gusto but at this week's meeting, a few of us raised the valid question - why do so many of this this year's shortlist have lies in the title? There will be the lies we tell ourselves!! What IS the obsession with lies this year? Apart from mulling that over, it was a full and frank discussion about the books we're read so far with some strong opinions already about Patrick Ness's The Rest of Us Just Live Here (including a faceoff between Adam and Owen about the chosen one storyline) and The Lies We Tell Ourselves, beautifully summed up by Vishakha. Members also gleefully received their shiny CKG16 membership cards! Love the enthusuiasm folks! Until next time...
Posted on: 03 May 2016



And the winner is...
...Buffalo Soldier by Tanya Landman! Fergal was happy. Jemma was not! It was generally thought to be a worthy winner but in our own poll, the winner by some way was Patrick Ness's More Than This. Buffalo Soldier and When Mr Dog Bites came in joint second with Apple and Rain taking third. All in all, exciting to watch the announcement live and listen to Tanya speak up for reading for pleasure and libraries! Love her!
Posted on: 22 Jun 2015



D-day has arrived!
After weeks of reading, discussing and eating contraband in the library, we'll finally find out today who has won this year's coveted Carnegie Medal. We'll be live streaming the award ceremony in the library just before lunch and counting our own votes to see if the judges agreed with us or whether we picked a totally different winner! Watch this space....
Posted on: 22 Jun 2015



Final meeting update!
There was cake! There was a guest author and though we were missing a few of our number who were on their French exchange, our last meeting went off with a bang! We were all very excited to welcome along Faye Bird, YA author of My Second Life, to discuss the shortlisted books and see what we thought. Lively debate ensued with Faye taking part in small group table discussions with our shadowers. The conclusion - we are still very much conflicted!! We were handed our slips to vote for the book we think will win... all will be revealed on Monday!
Posted on: 16 Jun 2015



Meeting Update!
Yesterday's meeting of our shadowers was the first time we have had an opportunity to really imagine how the judges must be feeling at this point in the process. As the announcement of the winner approaches, we thought about how they narrow their favourites down, do they all agree and what happens if they don't and how they arrive at their ultimate winner. We discussed a points system for each of the criteria the books have to meet as a good solution to score each book. We found it tough to narrow down our own choices but there was some consensus around the books we DIDN'T think should win... they were Middle of Nowhere and The Fastest Boy in the World. So our work here is NOT done!!
Posted on: 10 Jun 2015



And they're gone! by Curtis
We have our first finish! Fergal has finished reading all of the Carnegie books, already! Way ahead of everyone else, well done him! As for the books, More Than This and Tinder, despite its ending, are rating highly, as is The Middle of Nowhere. We'll have to see what happens next!
Posted on: 04 Jun 2015



We're still reading! by Curtis
Getting off to a steady start, with general conclusions being that Apple and Rain is a bad book (although I beg to differ!) and that Tinder has a somewhat underwhelming ending, although the rest of the book seems to be good. Excited to keep reading through the series! Next meeting is today after school - more feedback and discussion to follow!
Posted on: 02 Jun 2015



So what did we read over half-term?
Students have been coming in on their first day back to say which books they've finished over the break - Apple and Rain, When Mr Dog Bites, Cuckoo Song, Buffalo Soldier... our next meeting will take place tomorrow after school when we'll update our reading barometer and see if we're starting to see any frontrunners for the top prize!
Posted on: 01 Jun 2015



Why DOES Apple and Rain have to have a happy ending??
Lots of students have been coming to me saying that after finishing Apple and Rain, they feel let down by it. So is it too neat and tidy? And is there anything wrong with that?? Those who've read it so far seem to be craving a twist at the end or, if not a twist, then something MORE! It is the kind of book which ties up all its ends with a pretty little bow and perhaps could have benefitted from some tragedy! Interesting!
Posted on: 12 May 2015



Tinder creates controversy!
Wow. It seems Sarah Gardner's Tinder is the book which is fuelling the most discussion and leading to the most frustration among our Carnegie readers this year! Members of our shadowing group have described the ending as "baffling", "frustrating", "annoying" and "rubbish"! Mmmm, this will make for an interesting discussion at our next meeting!
Posted on: 08 May 2015



Off and running...
Students have been busy borrowing our copies of the Carnegie shortlist in their droves and coming in to the library to give their verdicts! Most popular loan so far is Apple and Rain, closely followed by Tinder, There's a lot of interest in Tinder. The appeal seems to be the illustrations as well as the story. Lots of keen readers signed up to both read and mentor first time shadowers from Yr 7 and 8. The membership cards are a big hit too! So let's get back to reading and talking about reading. Two of my favourite pastimes!
Posted on: 06 May 2015



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