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Carnegie Book Club members cast their votes

Book-loving students from our academy joined their peers at a Northamptonshire school to take part in judging titles on this year’s Carnegie Book Awards shortlist.

Members of our Carnegie Book Club took part in a ‘shadow voting’ event to see if their results matched those of the official judges in the prestigious Yoto Carnegies this year.

Four Wisbech students from Year 9 travelled to the Brooke Weston Academy in Corby, and they were able to discuss the eight shortlisted titles they had read with students from other schools within the Brooke Weston Trust.

The medal awards are made by a professional judging panel which made its official announcement this week, but the Brooke Weston Trust schools met on Tuesday to decide their favourites.

“I thoroughly enjoyed being part of the Carnegie Book Club as it provides a positive environment to read and talk about books with other book lovers,” said Leah, who also presented a book pitch to all the students taking part.

Our group met again on Thursday in school to watch the livestream of the actual awards ceremony from The Cambridge Theatre, London.

“Our students were exemplary on the day, threw themselves into activities and made the most of a great opportunity to engage in book talk with other students across the Trust. I’m very proud of all of them,” said librarian Miss Robinson.

And the book that the young readers of the Trust voted for turned out to be different from the choice of the judging panel.

Students chose Crossing the Line by Tia Fisher as their favourite, and awarded the illustration prize to The Bowerbird. But the official judging panel awarded the Yoto Carnegie Medal for Writing to Children’s Laureate Joseph Coehlo for his novel in verse, The Boy Lost in the Maze.

The Yoto Carnegie Medal for Illustration was awarded to Aaron Becker for his work in The Tree and The River.

“It’s really nice being in the book club because I met really nice people,” said Ellie, who added that her favourite from the shortlist was the Song Walker, by Zillah Bethell. Her choice was echoed by fellow club member Louise.

But Mya went for Away with Words, by Sophie Cameron and said she had been unable to put the book down.

“I originally prioritised reading this book because the main character made friends with someone who has selective mutism and I wanted to know more,” she said.

Tilly also voted for The Song Walker and said the book was ‘funny, adventurous and exciting.’

Issy said being part of the book club had helped her read new types of books, and her favourite had been Crossing the Line.

For more information about the awards, visit the website: