I attended this free event in the Mitchell Library last week along with about 14 other participants. It was organised by CILIP (Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals) in order to decide on the Scottish nominees for CILIP's Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Children’s Book Awards for 2013. The event had a party theme, so the first part of it was set up as a game – there were 20 props for guessing book titles, all previous award winners. Some of them were really hard to guess, but some, like I will not ever never eat a tomato or Each peach, pear, plum were easy, and all of them provided a great sense of achievement once completed.
The second part of judging was for the Carnegie award – the best storyline and how well it was told. I wish I had known the shortlisted books longer in advance but, all the same, enjoyed hearing about them and was certainly inspired to go and look for them. The decision was made much more unanimously with two books emerging way ahead of all other nominations: Far rockaway by Charlie Fletcher and The weight of water by Sarah Crossan. Charlie Fletcher’s book was reported by all who read it (and most people did) to be a gripping story impossible to put down. The story features a very strong female character and would appeal to all, but especially to girls. Crossan's book is written in verse and was liked by people who would not normally like that style. It is a story, again, with strong female characters which explores relationships on many different levels. Morris Gleitzman's After was also highly commended. It is the fourth in a series but is a great story on its own as well. Several people mentioned the storyline in Crimson Shard by Theresa Flavin about unexpected turn of events during an ordinary visit to a London museum, which reminded me of Hollow Earth, a book that I recently reviewed here.
Shadowing scheme to get their students involved in the awards. I also feel this could also be a good team building exercise as such a lot happens in a very short time. I left the Mitchell Library beaming and inspired, having had a great time. I enjoyed looking at the new books and felt that I had also learnt a lot. I was pleased to know that Strathclyde University Library, where I work, already held several of the shortlisted books, and since the event, its catalogue shows many more as 'on order'.