This year’s Carnegie Medal Shadowing Scheme involved the entire Third Form, and culminated in a whole year assembly in the Great Hall 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.
The author and illustrator Chris Priestley adjudicated each set’s presentation to determine who had made the most convincing case for their book to win the Medal. He made an assessment of the pupils’ literary analysis, enthusiasm and presentation style, and with three sets tied for top marks, he judged 3Sx winners for their presentation about Rebound by Kwame Alexander.
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.
Mr Chris Priestley is an award-winning author and illustrator, who illustrated one of the shortlisted books, Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds. He talked about his career as a writer and an illustrator, and showed pupils how the illustrations for Long Way Down evolved from pencil sketches to paintings in which he aimed to highlight details from key scenes as stills from a film.