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.

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"It had been one of Sade’s dreams to travel on an aeroplane. Papa and Mama had promised they would take them one day. But it was not meant to be like this. Tonight she was spinning into the darkness of space, let loose from almost everything and everyone she knew, except Femi. And he too was slipping from her fingers."

The Other Side of Truth

Carnegie winner: 2000
Author: Beverly Naidoo

Childhood can be lived out against all manner of different backdrops.  In the case of Sade and her brother Femi, it is against the politically despotic rule in Nigeria.  The country’s regime is one of fervent belief, of lies and terror.  The fingers of politics have become personal for the siblings as their mother was the victim of a fatal  police shooting.  Whether waking or sleeping, the memory of this event lives on in Sade’s mind. 

The pair’s Father is a journalist and is under intense scrutiny following criticism of the regime.  Determined to provide a place of safety and sanctuary for his children, their father sends the children to London.  Where the children are fostered and separated for their schooling.    Increasingly concerned about the fate of his children, their father risks illegally travelling to England but is captured by the authorities and faces deportation and false charges that he is responsible for his wife’s murder.  Sade sets out to try to ensure her father’s freedom, but there are no easy or entirely happy endings in this powerful story.

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.



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. "