This year pupils from Year 7 have been shadowing the Carnegie Book Awards. The Carnegie Award is an award that is presented to the best YA novel from the shortlist, which is compiled from the long list of 20 titles. The winner is ultimately chosen by a group of librarians who have been informed by the opinions of young readers.
The PGS Carnegie group particularly enjoyed ‘Five Children on the Western Front’ by Kate Saunders. This novel was inspired by the original ‘Five Children and It’ by Edith Nesbit. The reason we liked this novel was because it takes serious themes and issues and makes them entertaining to read. The audience it is aimed at can relate to the coming-of-age theme, and we believe that it is a novel that will inspire readers to pick-up the novels that it was based on. We liked the character of the Psammead because he is on the road to repentance, and although he has committed terrible crimes against humanity, he admits his sins and he is eventually redeemed.
The novel that we found most challenging is ‘The Lie Tree’ because it lost its momentum during the middle part and becomes overwhelmingly descriptive. ‘Five Ghosts of Heaven’ is interesting because it deals with philosophical themes, but the descriptions read like an itinerary. It was overly-complicated and rather inaccessible.
The best things about being part of the group is sharing your ideas and opinions with like-minded people, and engage with deep and detailed conversations about fiction. We also enjoyed working with the librarians, Dr Webb and Mrs Davis, who arranged for us to watch the live streaming of the award ceremony.
Elen Jones, Polina Meshkova, Dulcie Langley, Annabel Heaton and Isaac Mead (Year 7 Carnegie Shadowing Group).