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Book Awards - Why are teenage books so angsty?

Updated: Jun 9, 2022



Ruth Maloney and I ran another #LSLLTS Twitter Spaces chat last night. This one was about book awards where we were joined by Jake Hope, Chair of the Carnegie and Greenaway book awards working party and Amy McKay, school librarian and national co-ordinator for the Carnegie and Greenaway awards. The highlights from this session for me were:-


  • Book awards provide the opportunity for students to read out of their comfort zone. Introducing them to different genres and ideas.

  • Book awards create the opportunity for discussion around books. The best discussion are not about the books they love... 😂

  • National Book awards provide so many resources that you can just pick up and use. Saves time organising things yourself.

  • Local book awards allow children more participation but take a lot of work to run.

  • Teenage books are angsty for a reason... life now has changed and books are in competition with the online gaming world, TV and many other outside influences.

  • There is so much choice in fiction these days there is something for everyone. Life is too short to read a book you are not enjoying! Move on and read something else instead.

  • Picture books/illustrations are for everyone... Great discussions with teenagers can be had around the illustrations in books.

  • Books and school librarians are a brilliant combination and when they come together within an award setting they are at their best.

Some of the conversation focused on The Bunker Diaries by Kevin Brooks... you will have to listen to the conversation to find out about the brilliant idea that Amy shared. Connecting is certainly one skill many school librarians have.


Listen to the whole conversation here.


Or if you would like to listen to it as a podcast check it out here https://www.podbean.com/ew/pb-tdi3h-1246e6f


We would love to hear which book awards you follow and how you use them. Please comment below and share your ideas.


Our next Twitter Spaces chat is on the 20th June when we will be joined by Emma Wallace who will share her journey integrating FOSIL into a year 8 inquiry project. Keep an eye on my Twitter feed for the link @elizabethutch

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We've shadowed the Carnegie for the last couple of years. It's been a useful way of engaging some of the slightly older students - last year I did it with year 10 and this year with year 9 - who may not have other reading challenges open to them (some of the other reading challenges we do in school are aimed at years 7 and 8). It's nice to give the older students something to get their teeth into.


That said, the Carnegie's broad age range means it can be a mixed bag. Over the last few years, there has been mostly YA novels in it, but there's always at least one or two aimed at younger readers and this…

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Elizabeth
Elizabeth
07 de jun. de 2022
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It was really interesting to talk to Jake and Amy during the chat last night as it made me think about Carnegie differently. Like you I always found it difficult to manage which age group to pitch it at. However last night I realised that I had probably been doing it all wrong. Carnegie has a very clear criteria to be on the shortlist and if students are asked to read the books that is suitable for their age range and discuss these books against the criteria it brings something new and interesting to the discussions.


I feel we should maybe stop worrying about getting students to read them all and then vote on a winner and focus on engaging…


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