Angela Yates and Emma Hopkins, librarians at Swanshurst School Library, sent me this fantastic story about the achievement of two of their Year 8 pupils.
“We have been running four C&G shadowing groups in our school library during lunchtimes each week throughout the duration of the shadowing scheme, with almost 80 students involved. We celebrated the official awards last Monday with our own lunchtime award ceremony for group members, rewarding achievements such as best review, video review and picture.
This year as part of the shadowing scheme students entered a national creative writing competition organised by Authors’ Licensing & Collecting Society Ltd (ALCS) on the theme ‘what reading means to me’. One of our students, Aleena Ali in Year 8, was one of three national prize winners.
Aleena’s reward of a box of books was presented to her at our award ceremony by our head teacher. Aleena’s work is now on the ALCS website and will be published by ALCS News next month.
At the national C&G awards ceremony, in her acceptance speech for ‘Buffalo Soldier’ Tanya Landman quoted at length from a review posted on the shadowing website by Firoza Ahmed, also in Year 8 at our school.
With well over 11000 reviews on the website, it was an outstanding achievement for Firoza to be noticed in this way! Tanya Landman wrote a lovely letter to thank Firoza and is sending her a signed book.”
Both Firoza and Aleena are in the same shadowing group and English class at Swanshurst School in Birmingham. Aleena’s prizewinning article can be read here. Swanshurst’s Carnegie Shadowing page is here, and their Greenaway page is here. What an inspiration, and how proud the school must be of these two girls!
Congratulations to Jon Klassen for winning the Greenaway Medal with ‘This is not my hat’ and Kevin Brooks for winning the Carnegie with ‘Bunker Diaries’. You can read more about the winning books on the official page. However, you can’t have missed the controversy surrounding the Bunker Diaries, with some newspapers deeming it unfit to be read by children, too disturbing and damaging, whilst others took the completely opposing view. Here are the links, judge for yourselves.
Telegraph: ‘Why wish this book on a child?’
Guardian: ‘Why teenagers need bleak books’ and ‘Why we’re glad the Bunker Diaries won the Carnegie’
Also Shoo Rayner, children’s novelist, believes that the Carnegie has taken the wrong turn, and that the Carnegie Medal should be for children’s, and not young adult, books. It has caused a Twitter storm from angry YA authors and librarians – read his post here.
And finally, Barbara Band, CILIP President and school librarian made an excellent speech about school libraries on announcement day, advocating for school libraries. Read her blog post which includes the speech in full here, or watch it on Vimeo here.
Let us know what you think – at least it has got people reading the book, and commenting, if nothing else!
Have you heard of the Libraries Change Lives Award? This is for UK libraries, and the criteria specifically mention that school libraries are welcome to enter. The website states that ‘The CILIP Libraries Change Lives Award highlights and rewards partnership work that changes lives, brings people together and demonstrates innovation and creativity. Our judges, from the CILIP Community, Diversity and Equality Group, are keen to promote social justice through the use of library, information and knowledge services to empower people and improve their quality of life.’
This is the very thing that school libraries are good at, and I think that it is time that we considered putting school libraries forward for this award. I know that many of you run reading schemes to help pupils who have difficulty reading, we use differentiation, we include and encourage Looked After Children and EAL pupils; and some of you even run Adult Literacy classes, or Computer Literacy classes. Our main work usually consists of promoting social justice through our libraries. So have a think – entries have to be in by the end of April. If you would like to discuss this further, CILIP President and School Librarian Barbara Band is very keen to include a school library in this year’s submissions, and is happy for you to contact her to discuss your eligibility further. Contact Barbara on: firstname.lastname@example.org. Or use the contact button on Heart to contact me. Please do think seriously about this – what better way to promote school libraries and the reason we desperately need them in schools, than to win a national award like this!
It’s that time of year again! Time to find out which books are on the long lists, and try to read them all before the short lists are announced on March 18th. Click here to go to the official page with the long lists on, or click here to visit Matt’s page in a more user-friendly format. Happy reading!
Regular readers of Heart will know all about this amazing Reading Award, now in its fourth year. It is currently the only award for graphic novels in the UK, and is immensely popular. Run by Sheffield Librarian Paul Register, the numbers grow from year to year. If you wish to register, or just see which books made the shortlist this year so that you can buy them for your own library, then follow go to the website.
On Heart we are really pleased to announce that Lyn Hopson from a school in Doncaster is one of the top 10 Literacy Heroes named by the National Literacy Trust. Also Teaching Assistant Velda Jackson from Leeds was nominated by her school librarian, and made the list. They share the honour of being in the top ten with luminaries such as JK Rowling and Henry Winkler. Read the report on the BBC website here or on the National Literacy Trust website here. Congratulations to Lyn and Velda – and everyone else on the list who is working to show that reading – and libraries – DO make a difference!
The Catalyst Book Awards 2014 was launched on Thursday 7th November at the Chryston Cultural Centre in North Lanarkshire. In the audience were pupils from Chryston and Caldervale high schools along with visiting librarians, all excited to find out which books had made it onto the longlist. The pupils were treated to an entertaining talk from Catalyst 2013 Award winner, Elizabeth Wein. She kept the pupils enthralled talking about her book ‘Code Name Verity’ and tales of women pilots throughout history. Elizabeth then had the honour of announcing the 16 books that had made it through the committee’s criteria to be in with a chance of being voted the best read for teenagers in 2014.
Catalyst is all about discovering and promoting the most exciting and thought provoking reading for teenagers in North Lanarkshire. This year we have a larger number of books in the longlist which hopefully means we are able to cater for all tastes.
Young people from all 24 North Lanarkshire High schools are encouraged to get involved in the Catalyst experience in a number of ways; from book groups within school or public libraries, to author visits and book reviews on the blog. Young people will then vote on which books in the longlist should make it onto the Catalyst shortlist and go forward to win the Catalyst Book Award 2014. For more information visit the blog at: http://catalystnic.wordpress.com
Helen Farrar, school librarian at Cockermouth school, reports: On 6th December 2012 the team from Cockermouth School, Cumbria, won the UK final of the Kids’ Lit Quiz in Coventry. Comprising two Y7 pupils and two Y8 pupils the team won by a narrow margin of two points (one question!). The Cherwell School, Oxon, come second having gone to a sudden death play-off with St Thomas More School, Yorks, who were placed third and Junior King’s School, Kent, came fourth. It was a closely fought competition with lots of authors turning out to support the teams, Malorie Blackman as Guest of Honour and Alec Williams as MC. This is the second time Cockermouth School has won the UK final and in July 2013 they will hopefully be off to Durban, SA, to the world final. Pictured are: Eve, Alex, Madeleine and Adam with Malorie Blackman and Quizmaster Wayne Mills
If you would like to read more about the experience of taking part in the Kids’ Lit Quiz, with the link to the site, then read Helen Farrar’s experiences on the Kids’ Lit Quiz page.
It’s time to register for the most original book award, the Stan Lee Excelsior Comic Book Award. Registration is now open, and the shortlist for the 2013 award is announced in mid-December. Registration is free, all it will cost you is £75 for each set of the shortlisted books you want for your school. You can read up about the award on the website here: http://www.excelsioraward.co.uk Express your interest in registering by emailing Paul Register, founder of the award on this email address: email@example.com
The School Library Association has announced their winner of School Librarian of the Year 2012. Really pleased to see that this is Adam Lancaster, who has been featured on these pages for his innovative App club. Also Adam is Associate Headteacher at his school, which is a fantastic encouragement for the rest of us. Congratulations Adam!