The Great Carnegie Lunch at Backwell

The highlight of the Library Calendar, Carnegie Lunch Day with our neighbouring Reading group from Churchill Academy!

Here is a guest blog from Reading Group Veteran, Megan (Y10)

The morning was lovely; we all sorted the tables while having some friendly conversation about the books. Mainly the Bunker Diary. All the Backwell and Churchill students were given a piece of string and we had to find the three other people with the same length of string. I was on a table with my friend Gemma and two lovely year seven girls from Churchill. Unfortunately Gemma and I had extremely opposing views on one of the books, and so got into some rather large arguments. But those Arguments were not as big as the ones I got into with Molly, who thought that the Bunker Diary should win. But anyway, after we were sorted into our groups we did a few fun activities involving sugary goodness.

For a change this year we took a look at last year’s Kate Greenway award. I thought that this was a funny and interesting activity, especially when Emma on our table pretended to be our mum and read us the story ‘I Want My Hat Back’. We then presented what we thought of the book to the whole group. We did not have the winning book but I thought that our book was pretty good. We then did THE BIG QUIZ, in which my team did the best that I had ever done in Carnegie. I won the Hunger Games for coming second. We then had the buffet where we all stuffed our faces with food. Then there was cake. Need I say more? It was delicious with lots of fantastic creations depicting the books. I think my favourite was the one my friend Emma made. It was a blue cake and the simplicity of it made it all the better. However it was for the Bunker Diary, which was not my favourite book but it was lip-smackingly tasty.

The debate was enjoyable with lots of people contributing, though I did not agree with all their ideas, but that is the point of a debate. It was fun hearing other people’s opinions but no one managed to persuade me to agree with them on the matter of the Bunker Diary. I mean it was the worst book I had ever read. It should be burned, or used as a method of torture. But overall the day had been really fun. That was until the results. I was sat there tense listening to the table tapping that was attempting to be a drum roll. I was sweating while Mr Baldwin slowly revealed the winner. Saying one word and then waiting what seemed like forever to say the other. And then it happened: The Bunker diary won. It completely ruined the entire feeling of the day. I mean I was on my knees beating the ground almost crying. That’s a lie. I was crying. The irony of this was that the whole day people had been saying that they wanted the Bunker Diary to win just to see my reaction. It was a good day though despite the end, and I did make some lovely new friends.

Unfortunately, Megan was in the minority with over 1/2 our group agreeing with the adult judges who praised Bunker Diary for “its incredible characterisation and completely credible plot. Kevin Brooks refuses any easy solutions, and maintains the diary format throughout – creating a real world for the reader to inhabit fully. ‘Bunker Diary’ is undeniably a book that transports the reader to a place that, at the time of reading, feels very real. It is a book that can be read and reread without losing any of its power, and we feel that it should join the canon of previous winners as a new classic.

Click here to listen to Kevin's acceptance speech and find out more about this exciting, chilling and thought provoking book - and make sure you read it yourself!

Click here to listen to Kevin’s acceptance speech and find out more about this exciting, chilling and thought provoking book – and make sure you read it yourself!

Helen Thompson, Chair of the CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medal judging panel, said:

“Children and teenagers live in the real world; a world where militia can kidnap an entire school full of girls, and where bullying has reached endemic proportions on social media. Exploring difficult issues within the safe confines of a fictional world creates essential thinking space, and encourages young people to consider and discuss their own feelings and reactions. I believe that the books being published for children and young people are often better researched, better written and more thought provoking than most adult books, and this year’s CILIP Carnegie & Kate Greenaway books are no exception.

If you wish to challenge yourself and read some great thought provoking books over the summer, we thoroughly recommend you try some of the shortlisted titles, all available in the library.