Carnegie Shadowing Programme

Published 27 June 2024

The Carnegie Medal for Writing is an annual prize for a young person’s book that creates an outstanding reading experience through writing.  There are eight books shortlisted for the prize each year and since April, six St Bart’s Carnegie groups have been reading the shortlisted books and meeting each week to discuss them as part of the national Shadowing programme.

  • Away With Words by Sophie Cameron
  • Choose Love by Nicola Davies
  • Safiyyah’s War by Hiba Noor Khan
  • Steady for This by Nathanael Lessore
  • The Boy Lost in the Maze by Joseph Coelho
  • Crossing the Line by Tia Fisher
  • The Door of No Return by Kwame Alexander
  • The Song Walker by Zillah Bethell

On Wednesday 12 June, 12 KS3 students, chosen from the Carnegie groups, attended a Carnegie Shadowing conference at Kennet School, where they joined students from five local schools who had also been reading the books. Students were organised into groups based on their favourite book from the shortlist and were given the challenge of creating a presentation in a form of their choice to showcase their chosen book.

My group had chosen The Door of No Return by Kwame Alexander, which is an amazing book about African slavery.  We made a model of the boat that the main character was locked up in, when he was taken to be a slave, towards the end of the book.  I really liked meeting other people and talking about the books that we had enjoyed reading.”  Joshua Cloke (7E2)

 “It was an incredibly fun day and I really enjoyed it. Many of us were the only St Bart’s students in our groups and it gave us the opportunity to talk to people who enjoyed the same books from other schools. We all came up with ideas on how to show that our book was superior to the other choices in a presentation in front of the conference and all groups came up with different ideas. Some groups’ presentations included rap battles, creating origami designs, paper models of scenes from our books and even a beautiful theatrical piece that brought some teachers to tears.” Katie Gibbons (9E1)

On Friday 21 June, all the students from the Carnegie groups were then invited to a Carnegie Party in the school library. Mr Evans announced to the gathered crowd that the official winner of the 2024 Yoto Carnegie Medal was the Black British author, and the current Children’s Laureate, Joseph Coelho for his “beautifully descriptive” novel in verse ‘The Boy Lost in the Maze.’ The school’s winner, ‘Crossing The Line’, as voted by the students, was also announced and 14 group members, both students and staff, were awarded substantial chocolate prizes for reading all eight books.

Students enjoyed party food and chocolate lolly awards were given to the students for the best Carnegie Book Reviews.  Thank you to Mr Matthias, Miss Medlock, Mr Evans, Mrs Hewetson and all the other staff who have been involved in the shadowing groups.