OK, so this news isn’t exactly hot off the press – more lukewarm out of last week’s chip papers but hey…
Simon Bartram’s Clone Chaos won the Nottingham Mega Reads Award. Chosen by Y3s in six primaries in the Ellis Guilford Partnership.
Clone Chaos written and illustrated by Simon Bartram
However, the Y3s at my Patron of Reading school, Ysgol Esgob Morgan, who were shadowing the award, selected another title altogether:
A Boy, A Bear and A Boat by Dave Shelton
A Boy, A Bear and A Boat was their overall winner by a whopping 98%. Mrs Ritchie, their teacher, felt it was such a wonderful story but also, because of the pressure to finish it by the 18th, the children were being read to every day. It was that intense engagement with the text that kept them enthralled.
A Boy, A Bear and A Boat was also on the Carnegie Shortlist. However, the 2013 Carnegie Medal went to the hotly-tipped Sally Gardner for Maggot Moon.
Sally Gardner accepting her award.
Sally made an impassioned speech, railing against the government’s education policies in general and Michael Gove, the education minister, in particular. She felt the current over-emphasis on exams in schools was abhorrent. ‘Give them exams until they become like sheep,’ she declared. She called for schools to get a divorce from government interference. Sally’s stance, much of which I share, is understandable. She is dyslexic and was told by her teachers that she’d be lucky to get any qualifications, let alone a job. Her teacher even warned her not to ‘make any noise with her pen’ on her way into the exam room. Well, Sally’s making plenty of noise now!
The Kate Greenaway Award for best picture book was awarded to Levi Pinfold for Black Dog.
Levi’s speech was equally as impassioned and heartfelt. He talked about libraries and how much they meant to him as a child. ‘And all through this there were libraries; libraries – always waiting. Books were old friends wanting to introduce me to new ones.’
One thing I particularly enjoyed at the Carnegie- Greenaway awards ceremony was the short clip of each of the shortlisted books preceding the announcement of the winner. A school librarian championed a particular title and said why she (they were all women) liked it. The librarians’ insights and descriptions are a wonderful guide about what to look for in a book. I highly recommend you watch the authors talking about their books here but every teacher encouraging book reviewing skills should watch the Carnegie descriptions here and the Kate Greenaway here.
So there you have it.