jake-hope-square

Welcome to our Anniversary Blog by resident blogger Jake Hope. Jake will be reading and reviewing all of the past CILIP Carnegie Medal winning books during the anniversary year. We are also asking shadowers to "Adopt a Book" and join in reading and discussing the anniversary titles in their shadowing groups.

Get Involved

26
Jun
2017

The Twelve and the Genii

Carnegie winner: 1962
Author: Pauline Clarke

Why it's a great book

Read Jake's Full Review

23
Jun
2017

His Dark Materials: Book 1 Northern Lights

Carnegie winner: 1995
Author: Philip Pullman

Why it's a great book

The first book in the His Dark Materials trilogy features an impressively expansive sense of the world and the varied and diverse creatures and characters that populate it. One of the exceptional qualities in the novel is the exploration of knowledge, learning and belief which captures the vigour and verve of innovators like Galileo and Darwin. An unforgettable read at the start of an important trilogy that touches upon childhood, belief, goodness and fundamentally, what it is that makes us human.

Read Jake's Full Review

group-image

Why we chose this book ...

"This was an amazing book, and I hadn't read anything like this before. It was traumatic in places - but it was also full of action and fantasy. Perfect!"

20
Jun
2017

The Other Side of Truth

Carnegie winner: 2000
Author: Beverly Naidoo

Why it's a great book

Exploring the twisting turning paths of freedom and constraint, this is a clever and insightful novel that deftly engages with issues around freedom of speech, social justice, manipulation and coercion. It feels a sad indictment that in many ways, this topical novel of the 1990s is every bit as apposite now, if not more so, as when it was first published.

Read Jake's Full Review

group-image

This book is adopted by

Woodrush High School
Shawhurst Lane,

Why we chose this book ...

"The Other Side of Truth came first place in our top ten Carnegie Winners of all time. This book comes so highly recommended by everyone who has read, we are challenging every member of the shadowing group to read it by the end of the year. "

20
Jun
2017

Salt to the Sea

Carnegie winner: 2017
Author: Ruta Sepetys

Why it's a great book

Harsh and uncompromising in its visceral depiction of war and the ravages it leaves , the novel shines a light onto a little known aspect of the Second World War and a devastating maritime disaster. It brings history to life, offering astute human observation and serving up a hugely affecting conclusion that is sure to last with the reader long after the final pages have been turned.

Read Jake's Full Review

12
Jun
2017

The Little Grey Men

Carnegie winner: 1942
Author: 'BB' (D J Watkins-Pitchford)

Why it's a great book

Lively description and informed knowledge of the natural world radiate from this adventure quest through the English countryside.

Read Jake's Full Review

5
Jun
2017

Watership Down

Carnegie winner: 1972
Author: Richard Adams

Why it's a great book

The warren is a microcosm for society, with power struggles and an eager determination among its denizens to thrive and survive. An intricate portrayal of the cycle of life with all of its facets on show, it inevitably encompasses death and loss, but offers readers an intense awareness of the values of existence along the way.

Read Jake's Full Review

1
Jun
2017

The Wind on the Moon

Carnegie winner: 1944
Author: Eric Linklater

Why it's a great book

This riotous romp of mischief with its sprinkling of magic has roots in the importance and value of freedom and liberty to all of our lives and to childhood play, safety and imagination.

Read Jake's Full Review

29
May
2017

Millions

Carnegie winner: 2004
Author: Frank Cottrell Boyce

Why it's a great book

A funny and frenzied thriller that deftly probes ethical and theological concerns without ever feeling dense or unwieldy. Perfectly measured timing and deliciously crafted dialogue combine to make this a delight to share aloud.

Read Jake's Full Review

24
May
2017

The Edge of the Cloud

Carnegie winner: 1969
Author: Kathleen Peyton

Why it's a great book

The union between two people, two sets of ambitions, two ways of life and groups of emotions makes for a captivating story of first love with all of its trials, tempests and triumphs.

Read Jake's Full Review

group-image

Why we chose this book ...

"I am looking forward to introducing this book, which I loved as a teenager, to the girls in our reading group. It is a book full of romance , adventure and history with more titles in the series to enjoy. "

15
May
2017

Granny was a Buffer Girl

Carnegie winner: 1986
Author: Berlie Doherty

Why it's a great book

An unusual set of interlocking stories about stories and the impressions they cast and impact they cause in families. A novel of faith and family, stories and secrets, industry and identity.

Read Jake's Full Review

12
May
2017

We Couldn't Leave Dinah

Carnegie winner: 1941
Author: Mary Treadgold

Why it's a great book

Family life, school life and the effects of war come together to form an engaging and spirited adventure. Characterisation is strong and ideas of national identity often serve to subvert reader expectations.

Read Jake's Full Review

9
May
2017

Tamar

Carnegie winner: 2005
Author: Mal Peet

Why it's a great book

Written with panache, this is a complex and profound novel whose lithe shifts in time, characters and structure creates a deeply affecting and humane story about war, conflict and families.

Read Jake's Full Review

group-image

Why we chose this book ...

"Secrets- Lies- Jealousy- Betrayal. Can you handle the truth? A gripping tale set during the Hunger Winter of 1944 with a cracking plot twist. 'The past is a dark house and we only have torches with dying batteries.'"

1
May
2017

Collected Stories for Children

Carnegie winner: 1947
Author: Walter De La Mare

Why it's a great book

A rich prose style and other-wordly, often beguiling characters, settings and themes lend make parts of this a mesmerising read. The fable like quality of some stories and a lack of clarity around morals does mean that some stories show their age and shifts in attitudes in ways that are unflattering.

Read Jake's Full Review

28
Apr
2017

The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents

Carnegie winner: 2001
Author: Terry Pratchett

Why it's a great book

Brimming with humour and hope, The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents takes a fresh and distinct approach to comedy and fantasy, two forms too often maligned and melds them to create an uplifting, life-affirming and inquisitive tales that offer rich pickings for readers.

Read Jake's Full Review

23
Apr
2017

The Little Bookroom

Carnegie winner: 1955
Author: Eleanor Farjeon

Why it's a great book

A measured collection of fairy-tales with lyrical language and whose subjects and themes simultaneously embodies and comments upon the ways in which stories enrich and enlarge our lives.

Read Jake's Full Review

20
Apr
2017

Radium Woman

Carnegie winner: 1939
Author: Eleanor Doorly

Why it's a great book

Balancing cultural history, personal development and growth and scientific achievement, this charts the life of an extraordinary innovator and makes a profound impression on readers.

Read Jake's Full Review

10
Apr
2017

Tom's Midnight Garden

Carnegie winner: 1958
Author: Philippa Pearce

Why it's a great book

A perfectly executed exploration of the ways time acts as a measure for the moments and memories that make up our lives. A sensitive portrayal of the transient nature of time with profound comments upon the formative and imaginative elements of childhood.

Read Jake's Full Review

group-image

Why we chose this book ...

"A childhood classic and school staple over the years, we want to revisit this treasured tale to see if it would be as loved by our current students as it has been in generations past. "

3
Apr
2017

A Valley Grows Up

Carnegie winner: 1953
Author: Edward Osmond

Why it's a great book

It can be easy to feel complacent about the rich history that surrounds us in our everyday, one of the great achievements of A Valley Grows Up is in forming a narrative that brings these elements and influences together making them easy to understand and engaging.

Read Jake's Full Review

31
Mar
2017

Bog Child

Carnegie winner: 2009
Author: Siobhan Dowd

Why it's a great book

Achingly beautiful lyrical writing brings the past and present into union and shows how history is and can be so much more than abject dates and events, but rather stories whose span stretches over lives and many lifetimes.

Read Jake's Full Review

group-image

Why we chose this book ...

"It's a powerful, beautifully written read set in Northern Ireland. A study of history and conflict and growing up in the 1980s wrapped within an archaeological mystery, it's an important, memorable book."

28
Mar
2017

Tulku

Carnegie winner: 1979
Author: Peter Dickinson

Why it's a great book

An intricately plotted rites of passage novel that examines the relationship and ongoing tensions between China and Tibet. The book offers astute observation as to the collateral damage exerted upon communities and lives when cultures clash and collide.

Read Jake's Full Review

24
Mar
2017

City of Gold

Carnegie winner: 1980
Author: Peter Dickinson

Why it's a great book

Far more than just an anthology of stories, City of Gold is an astonishing achievement, a web of words whose gossamer strands pull together many profound aspects of humanity – belief, civilisation and social fabric and the ways stories embrace experience, preoccupations and emotion.

Read Jake's Full Review

20
Mar
2017

The Owl Service

Carnegie winner: 1967
Author: Alan Garner

Why it's a great book

Drawing on the power of ancient mythology and highlighting the ways their issues and preoccupations exert remarkable power and relevance over our everyday lives, this is both a captivating rites of passage and a novel that showcases the power of storytelling and stories in helping to shape and determine our lives.

Read Jake's Full Review

group-image

Why we chose this book ...

"This book left a long lasting impression on me many many years ago! It has a fantastically creepy air of menace from the start that I know my current book club members will appreciate. They all seem to like the dark side!"

17
Mar
2017

The Graveyard Book

Carnegie winner: 2010
Author: Neil Gaiman

Why it's a great book

Irresistibly stylish with not a word out of place. A brooding sense of the Gothic combines with the tense qualities of a thriller as the Man Jack seeks to address a mistake from his past, placing the life of Bod in perilous danger.

Read Jake's Full Review

group-image

This book is adopted by

Swanshurst School
Brook Lane,

Why we chose this book ...

"'The Graveyard Book' won the Carnegie medal before any of our current students started participating in the scheme. We'd love our current generation of shadowers to have a chance to read it!"

13
Mar
2017

The Grange at High Force

Carnegie winner: 1965
Author: Philip Turner

Why it's a great book

A lost statue, the building of a mill wheel and a fervent desire to see cannons in action collide to create a fast, furious and enormously funny story that fizzes and effervesces with a lively energy and exuberance.

Read Jake's Full Review

8
Mar
2017

The Turbulent Term of Tyke Tiler

Carnegie winner: 1977
Author: Gene Kemp

Why it's a great book

It burns and blazes with the life and laughter of childhood and friendship in school and at home.

Read Jake's Full Review

group-image

Why we chose this book ...

"This book has a great title! I remember this as being quirky and funny with a twist in the tale. I am looking forward to seeing what our group thinks of a winning book from 40 years ago!"

2
Mar
2017

A Pack of Lies

Carnegie winner: 1988
Author: Geraldine McCaughrean

Why it's a great book

This astonishing treasure trove of tales woven around a central idea challenges readers to think about the relationship between characters, creativity and construction.

Read Jake's Full Review

27
Feb
2017

Visitors from London

Carnegie winner: 1940
Author: Kitty Barne

Why it's a great book

An insightful story of characters coming together for a common good. It offers insight into the changes and challenges that evacuation posed for children and the communities they were sent to.

Read Jake's Full Review

24
Feb
2017

Goggle-eyes

Carnegie winner: 1989
Author: Anne Fine

Why it's a great book

Perfect for readers that love real life, family stories with razor sharp humour.

Read Jake's Full Review

20
Feb
2017

Ruby Holler

Carnegie winner: 2002
Author: Sharon Creech

Why it's a great book

The vitality of youth and the experience of the more elderly are brought into union in a fable like sense in a story that maps the way change can exert itself in our lives if we dare to connect with others, allowing them into our lives and, through so doing, arriving at a place of safety and security.

Read Jake's Full Review

group-image

This book is adopted by

Cardinal Heenan Leeds
Tongue Lane,

Why we chose this book ...

"This book was highly recommended by our English teachers, who have enjoyed sharing it with classes in the past. We are looking forward to reading and discussing it as a group. "

17
Feb
2017

The Borrowers

Carnegie winner: 1952
Author: Mary Norton

Why it's a great book

A tale of tiny people that makes a big impression! This richly imaginative fantasy set in the familiar environment of an everyday household provides a sharply focused, warmly humorous lens on the gradual maturation from childhood to adulthood.

Read Jake's Full Review

14
Feb
2017

Dear Nobody

Carnegie winner: 1991
Author: Berlie Doherty

Why it's a great book

Sensitive, lyrical and avoiding any sensation, this is a gripping story that stimulates thinking around the types of choices and the nature of the decision making we face in our lives.

Read Jake's Full Review

group-image

Why we chose this book ...

"We have chosen this book because we think it will be interesting and moving to look into the lives and feelings of people in different situations to us as we feel that it is inciteful and thought provoking."

7
Feb
2017

The Family from One End Street

Carnegie winner: 1937
Author: Eve Garnett

Why it's a great book

Inventive and innovative in the way it shone lights on different aspects of society this immensely playful collection of stories set in a single family is affectionate, witty and hugely endearing, a reason why it continues to endure.

Read Jake's Full Review

group-image

Why we chose this book ...

"We read the review on the blog and we were really gripped by the wide range of characters and the social context of the time. We are looking forward to seeing how our world and Garnett's has changed and evolved."

4
Feb
2017

A Monster Calls

Carnegie winner: 2012
Author: Patrick Ness

Why it's a great book

A tale of power and poignancy that brings together an impressive selection of stories within stories, exploring their interconnections and the capacity they hold to aid our ability to cope, find catharsis and even resilience for some of the most emotionally complex and sensitive of events.

Read Jake's Full Review

group-image

This book is adopted by

NDAllstars
North Durham Academy,

Why we chose this book ...

"Amazing many- layered storyline, brilliant illustrations. A modern classic. This book has proved THE most popular with my reading intervention groups and we have almost had students coming to fisticuffs to borrow it! "

2
Feb
2017

The Little White Horse

Carnegie winner: 1946
Author: Elizabeth Goudge

Why it's a great book

This book takes us to a netherworld where aspects of our lives, the types of change and growth we experience, can be measured. Descriptions are lyrical and there is a measured sense of control and wonder on every page.

Read Jake's Full Review

group-image

This book is adopted by

Beaumont Readers
Oakwood Drive,

Why we chose this book ...

"Because it has a unicorn on the front, and one of our members received the book from her grandparents and really enjoyed it."

27
Jan
2017

Skellig

Carnegie winner: 1998
Author: David Almond

Why it's a great book

This spiritual novel explores what it is to be alive, to feel awake to the possibility, to the wonders of the world that we exist in. Written with spare lyricism, it’s one that leaves an indelible impression on the minds of readers.

Read Jake's Full Review

group-image

Why we chose this book ...

"We're excited to read Skellig as we have heard so much about it!"

24
Jan
2017

The Ghost of Thomas Kempe

Carnegie winner: 1973
Author: Penelope Lively

Why it's a great book

Uncertainty, humour and playful imagination combine to make this a fresh, engaging and entertaining read with profound comments about the nature of memory and of time.

Read Jake's Full Review

group-image

Why we chose this book ...

"We decided to adopt this book because it looks like a really good ghost story. Scary but also full of exciting adventure as well"

20
Jan
2017

The Haunting

Carnegie winner: 1982
Author: Margaret Mahy

Why it's a great book

The 1982 winner of the Carnegie Medal is ideal for readers that enjoy chilling stories with a brooding sense of uncertainty.

Read Jake's Full Review

group-image

Why we chose this book ...

"We can't wait to read and discuss this scary sounding book!"

17
Jan
2017

Whispers in the Graveyard

Carnegie winner: 1994
Author: Theresa Breslin

Why it's a great book

Perfect for readers that want to better understand what it feels like to be an outsider and to be misunderstood.

Read Jake's Full Review

group-image

This book is adopted by

Wrenn Readers
London Road, Northants

Why we chose this book ...

"Looking forward to our shadowing group reading this modern day classic which tells the plight of a young boy who has dyslexia. "

13
Jan
2017

Monsters of Men

Carnegie winner: 2011
Author: Patrick Ness

Why it's a great book

Perfect for readers who like to be actively involved in the narrative measuring characters and decisions against their own sense of right and wrong and enjoying the twists and turns of a swiftly changing and often unexpected plot.

Read Jake's Full Review

group-image

Why we chose this book ...

"The Hemel Hempstead School shadowers are big fans of Patrick Ness and the older readers who shadowed in 2011 are keen to introduce our newer members to Monsters of Men. "

9
Jan
2017

Pigeon Post

Carnegie winner: 1936
Author: Arthur Ransome

Why it's a great book

Ideal for readers who want to escape to a carefree, bygone age of adventure and imagination.

Read Jake's Full Review

group-image

Why we chose this book ...

"Corby Business Academy are looking forward to reading Pigeon Post, the winner of the first Carnegie Medal!"