Saturday, 8 June 2013

The One About Something Else: Carnegie

So my last few blogs have literally been consumed with my Juneathon progress and I as my blog is not just a running blog I wanted to make sure there were a few posts about the other things I am interested in.

Today's blog focuses on the CILIP Carnegie Medal Award.
The Carnegie Award is awarded by school librarians to an outstanding book for children. In the school I am in now we shadowed the award with a group of eager students. To encourage the students to read and to get some different books read myself I decided to work with the students making it through the 8 reads on the shortlist.

The 8 books on the list

 I started with Midwinterblood which I have already reviewed on this blog. This was one of my favourites and now I have finished the shortlist I personally think it is a strong contender to win. Its a very cleverly written story. Written in backwards chronologically order it tells a story of love and sacrifice with strong themes of reincarnation and immortality. It was wonderful gripping read and I found myself racing to the end! The ending is thoroughly satisfying.

Wonder was one I had been very keen to read. Sadly it was not as gritty as I had anticipated. Many of those in my reading group will be shocked to hear my less then enthusiastic review as they were all very big fans. For me I found the story very predictable and I to be honest a little bit cheesy in places. It most definitely deserves its nomination as it has strong emotive themes throughout (which made me cry). However, I had expected more depth and I found it a bit fluffy.

For me In Darkness was the hardest book to read in the shortlist. I found it akin to wading through treacle getting through the first half of this book. It held me up considerably and I was utterly confused. Again many kids have been surprised at this as they have really enjoyed the read although have found it quite heavy. I am glad I made it through the story as the second half really picked up pace and was much more interesting as the story developed. A very intense storyline that for me was perhaps a little to intense.

After surviving In Darkness, Weight of Water was a real treat. This book is written entirely in verse. Each page is a poem and its astonishing how much depth to the story and characters is achieved in so few words. In no time at all I had finished this book as it is an incredibly quick read.
 Another quick read was found in A Greyhound of a girl. However, I was not as gripped by this as the other books. I felt it was a nice story but I didn't really find anything unique within the storyline. I think this was due to it be a type of book I would never normally read and it just wasn't for me.
 I had heard about Maggot Moon before Carnegie began and I was intrigued by its premise. I did enjoy it but found it quite a convoluted tale and after discussing with the rest of the reading team I discovered, along with a few others, that I hadn't actually understood what happened at the end. I had to go back and read the last few pages again to get it to click. All a very clever story and one I think might win it was just a bit confusing for my tastes.

A boy and a bear in a boat is the youngest read from the shortlist and as a result is very difficult to compare to the rest of the books. Its a funny story with amazing illustrations but I am not sure it is fair on it to put it up against the rest of the shortlist. I personally think it would have a fairer a chance of winning if there award was separated into age categories.

My final read was Code Name Verity. I was very dubious about this read as although I enjoy History I do no always enjoy historical fiction. However, this was truly phenomenal. This story had to very strong, well developed and fierce female leads which lead the story from their two different perspectives. I was hooked from the beginning unsure of where the story was heading or if what I was reading was truly happening. The story is both a tear jerker and heart warmer. It was so beautifully written and was a pleasure to read. This is my other favourite for the winner.

Not sure which will win and I doubt it will be one of my top two. I think I prefer Midwinterblood to Code Name Verity but I am umming and ahhing alot. Very much looking forward to finding out who wins!

Currently Reading: The Last of the Wilds by Trudi Canavan

Juneathon Progress: I helped a friend move house yesterday and unfortunately it took literally all evening and I did not get home until 10! As much as I wanted to run I decided as I was shattered from 'running' up several flights of steep stairs several times and heaving and lifting all sorts of furniture and boxes that I would let me helping my friend move count for my Juneathon movement. However, I hope this is the last day in June I have to miss a run as I really was quite upset not to get to go out.

Juneathon Stats: 16 miles :)

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