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


"The great door was like a thick wall. They could hear the mob moving about in the shop, overturning the tables, wrenching down the books, tearing open the drawers, but the noise came to them indistinctly, as though from a long way off. In the sudden deadening of the pandemonium, Margaret felt momentarily drained of fortitude."

Time of Trial

Carnegie winner: 1963
Author: Hester Burton

Holly Lane bookshop is the centre of social upheaval and change in 1801.  Owned by the Pargeter family, the shop is the centre for their lives with Mr Pargeter stocking and being interested in radical works, John harbouring resentment about the shop and Margaret viewing it as home and bookselling as her livelihood.  They house a lodger, Robert Kerridge, a student of medicine.

Mr Pargeter sees it as his role to write and publish a pamphlet suggesting social reform after the collapse of a nearby tenement and the deaths of its residents.  Accused of libel and sedition, Mr Pargeter is arrested, tried and later imprisoned.  Their lodger’s father, Dr Kerridge provides lodgings for Margaret in order that she can be close to and visit her father, although his motivation is not entirely philanthropic – he seeks to prevent a growing attachment between her and his son, although in spite of this the pair’s bond continues.

Life has changed significantly for the family upon their father’s release, but he is more convinced than ever that reading and learning can influence great change and so intends to open not only another bookshop but also a school.

A vigorous, insightful and persuasive treatise on the importance of free speech and the role literacy and education can play as catalysts for social reform and for individual and community change.