Carnegie Shadowing Event 2018

On the 15th June 14  Y8 and Y9 students accompanied by Miss Baker and Mrs Locke attended Herefordshire Libraries annual Carnegie Shadowing Event at the Shirehall in Hereford.

Students from other Herefordshire schools as well as JMHS have spent the last term reading the 8 books nominated for this prestigious award in children’s literature, discussing the books and then voting for the book we think deserves to be awarded the medal. During the event students took part in a quiz on all of the books and debated which book should be the winner in mixed groups from all the schools.

We were also asked to present a short presentation on our nominated book. John Masefield’s book “Saint Death” by Marcus Sedgewick is a potent, powerful and timely thriller about migrants, drug lords and gang warfare set on the US/Mexican border. We created a shrine to Santa Muerte, the figure to whom the characters in the book make offerings to ask for help in their daily lives and presented to her items of significance from the book. We also had beautiful artwork to display and the students read extracts from the books in English and Spanish that they found particularly resonant.

Author Mimi Thebo then gave a talk after lunch where she discussed how the Carnegie is the award authors want to win and that the books that do win have stood the test of time. She discussed the impact of the publishing industry and book awards in general in how and what we read. It was a thought provoking look at the world of children’s literature.

During the lunch break students voted for the book they wanted to win the medal with an overwhelming victory for Will Hills unique “After the Fire”  a suspenseful, harrowing story of survival about a girl brought up within a cult, who’s suddenly made to question everything she ever believed in.

The winner of the Carnegie Medal was announced by CILIP on Monday 19th June – Geraldine McCaughrean’s “Where the World Ends” This is a phenomenal book, set in the 18th century and follows a group of men and boys put ashore on a remote sea stac to harvest birds for food. No one returns to collect them and as the story unfolds we watch them fight for survival on the inhospitable rock.

If you are looking for some great summer reading, the nominations for this award are a great place to start. You can find more information on these books and the award at

Our students thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience from reading the 8 nominated books, to taking part in the event at the Shire Hall. The Library at JMHS would like to thank the Slyvia Short Educational Charity for awarding us with a grant to enable us to attend this event.

Published on 22nd June 2018