This year the Carnegie Medal Shadowing Scheme involved the entire Third Form, and culminated in a whole year assembly featuring presentations about each of the eight shortlisted books.
Every English set read one of the shortlisted books and created a presentation that evaluated the literary qualities of the book, conveyed the impact on the reader, and aimed to make the case for their book to win the Carnegie Medal.
Now in its 81st year, the Carnegie Medal is awarded to books of exceptional literary quality for young people. There is often great variety in the selected shortlist, spanning different continents, historical periods, genres, age ranges. As many of the pupils discovered, the books can be hard-hitting, mature, and controversial; the shortlist exposes pupils to cutting-edge contemporary fiction that provokes and inspires, and that may become the classics of the future.
The award-winning author Kevin Crossley-Holland adjudicated each set’s presentation to determine who had made the most convincing case for their book to win the Medal. He made a careful assessment of the pupils’ literary analysis, conviction and presentation style, and judged 3Wy as winners for their presentation on After the Fire by Will Hill.
Mr Crossley-Holland also talked about the inspiration for his popular Arthur series, and about his deep interest in Norse mythology. His most recent book is a lavishly illustrated and impressive volume of enduring tales.
Mr Crossley-Holland is a distinguished lecturer, author, poet, and translator of Anglo-Saxon literature. As an author for young people, he has won the Carnegie Medal in 1985 for his book for young readers, Storm, the Guardian Children’s Prize and Whitbread Prize for The Seeing Stone, and was shortlisted for the 2008 Carnegie Medal for Gatty’s Tale, among other notable awards.
To cap the event, he even brought his own Carnegie Medal to show the pupils and English teachers, who were equally enthused about Mr Crossley-Holland’s books.