Carnegie Medal Shadowing Group
A group of Year 9 students have started reading the highly varied shortlisted eight books for this year’s Carnegie Medal. They will be analysing the novels and debating which one should win the medal.
The shortlist is:
Wed Wabbit by Lissa Evans; After the Fire by Will Hill; Where the World Ends by Geraldine McCaughrean; Rook by Anthony McGowan; Release by Patrick Ness; Saint Death by Marcus Sedgwick; The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas and Beyond the Bright Sea by Lauren Wolk.
True stories and timely issues inspire several titles across both shortlists. On the Carnegie shortlist, historical events are reimagined in Where the World Ends by Geraldine McCaughrean, a novel set around a true survival story from 18th century St Kilda, After the Fire by Will Hill, which takes as its premise the siege of US federal agencies on Seventh-day Adventist sect, the Branch Davidians, and Beyond the Bright Sea by Lauren Wolk, a book inspired by events that unfolded on Penikese island, Massachusetts – once home to a leper colony – in the 1920s. More recent global events are reflected in Angie Thomas’ powerful debut The Hate U Give, which intersperses family with the ethical concerns fuelling the Black Lives Matter campaign, whilst Marcus Sedgwick’s timely novel Saint Death looks at migration along the border of Mexico and the United States of America.
Rites of passage appear on the shortlist starting with the Carnegie Medals’ inclusion of Release by Patrick Ness, a coming-of-age novel based on the author’s experience of growing up gay in a deeply religious family, and Rook by Anthony McGowan, the third instalment chronicling the lives and growing pains of brothers Kenny and Nicky. Rook is an unusual inclusion on the shortlist as a short accessible novel published by Barrington Stoke who aim to publish “dyslexia- friendly” novels. In Lissa Evans’ Wed Wabbit; the Father Ted-writer turned author uses playful language to explore the inner imaginative world with the story of 10-year-old Fidge, who is thrown into the bizarre world of her little sister’s favourite story.