Summer time…..and the reading is easy!

Sounds like a song!!

Easy, because we all have the time to wallow in books of our choice. Not necessarily easy, but something we can engage with, enjoy and maybe learn from.

At this time of year The Library Ladiez are regularly asked for Summer Read suggestions by students and staff. Rather than compile the kind of Top 10 lists you see in the press we thought we would point you in the direction of books shortlisted for awards this year. The variety of titles highlighted is plentiful and wide and each chosen by different kinds of judging panels. There should be something for everyone here.

Year 7 students have been doing some fantastic reading in their Library Lessons, and at home. We have compiled a list of their favourites, and a few that we would like to recommend.

Summer read cover

Summer Reading for Y7s 2016

Children's book award

The Children’s Book Award 2016 has some great titles on their shortlist. Scroll down for those suitable for Younger and Older Readers, all chosen by young readers themselves:


Our Carnegie Reading Group (made up of 34 keen readers from Y7-10) relished the titles on this year’s Carnegie Book Award shortlist of books vying for the award for the best written book of the year. The adult Judges chose the author Sarah Crossan for her elliptical novel written in free verse about conjoined teenage twins, One, but we (along with Churchill Academy students) proclaimed The Lies we tell ourselves by Robin Talley our winner. This story is set during 1959 in Virginia where the lives of two girls attending the same school for the first time. They are on opposite sides of the battle for civil rights but their lives will be changed forever.

Imogen,Y9 reviewed it saying:  “I loved this book it had me hooked right from the start. The plot was interesting enough to keep you reading with well-built characters who I thought were realistic. There was a fair few plot twists, a few of which took me completely by surprise! I enjoyed the ending because although it did work out well there was still things that weren’t perfect which is like real life. I would definitely recommend this book!”

To see the shortlisted titles which were all strong contenders, take a look at:

YA award

For older teenagers, the YA Book Prize with its edgy, thought provoking titles is a good place to look:

Stan lee excelsior

For Graphic novel fans, try checking out this year’s Stan Lee Excelsior Award shortlist. For the first time this year, we bought the books ahead of the award announcement and our lunchtime readers looked them over and helped out with the voting:

barrington s tints

Barrington Stokes Tints – ereader editions of stories for dyslexic readers

Barrington Stokes publish titles for the children with dyslexia who struggle with bright white or see-through paper. Their books are also suitable for readers who haven’t built up the reading stamina yet to manage complex language structures and non-linear plots. And of course this makes them appeal to those who love their gaming, their friends or football more than reading and really don’t want to sit down to seven hundred pages.

Their latest development is in the field of e-reading and their app Tints provides on-­screen, dyslexia-­friendly fiction written by best-­selling authors for students with reading ages 7 and 8. The app uses their unique dyslexia­-friendly layout plus a range of coloured page tints and a sliding ruler to provide reading support. Sample chapters and content for parents are free and full books are priced at the same level as the print editions. To find out more, follow this link:

And lastly, don’t forget the links in the right hand box of the blog, to reviewing websites for young people which will have plenty of other suggestions.

As for Mrs Gibson’s Summer To-read pile, check out her Good Reads, also to the right of this!







The People’s Carnegie

This is the school’s 15th year shadowing the Carnegie Book Award given by CILIP for the best written book published in the UK during the past year. And we were pleased to see such a varied and accessible list of titles:


After a swelling of numbers last year, our turnout to most meetings has continued to be healthy whilst we have all been reading the 8 books shortlisted this year, with an enthusiastic new contingent from Y7. Eventually 22 students made it to the end, having read 5 or more of the shortlisted titles which qualified them to join our Carnegie Lunch Day with our partner group from Churchill Academy.


Carnegie Reading Group 2016

We usually share the Medal Day on the actual day of announcement from the adult judges. However this year, due to various reasons, we had to postpone our event until a couple of weeks later. Although we all knew the winner, this did not dampen our fighting spirit and we concentrated on OUR views (which are frequently different to the adult judges anyway!)

So, for The People’s Carnegie Day, we shared a morning of activities based on Truth & Lies (3 of the books had lies in the title and themes) and of course, The Big Quiz which tested teams to the limit.

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We broke for lunch with the traditional highlight being the literary cakes baked by the visiting team, and were not disappointed! See if you can guess which books they are all based on:

This was followed by the Great Debate which this year included EVERY student’s comments. We divided them into small teams and each had to provide a short argument for or against a book winning the award. Students told us later they preferred this to a general discussion which tends to be dominated by the fearless and sweeps over less popular books. Group leaders from both schools were impressed with the imaginative and articulate presentations.

We finished with a vote and the title winning over the most students was The Lies we tell ourselves by Robin Talley which won the the Amnesty CILIP Honour, awarded to the author  that most distinctively illuminates, communicates, or celebrates our personal rights and freedoms.


In case you are wondering, and haven’t heard, the overall winner as judged by the CILIP panel was One, a novel about conjoined twins, written in free verse, by Sarah Crossan