A group of Year 9 students got a taste of what it’s like to be a judge for a major book prize when they attended the Carnegie Conference at Kennet School Library, Thatcham on 12 June.

The Carnegie Medal is a nationally recognised annual book award. The winner is selected from a shortlist of eight books specifically aimed at children and young adults.

The students selected to attend the conference were from the Carnegie Medal Book Group, run within the Learning Resource Centre at Theale Green School.

In preparation for the conference, students read and reviewed all eight shortlisted titles. They then met with students from other local schools to discuss the entries. The students worked together in teams to prepare a presentation about their favourite title and explain why it should win the Carnegie award.

Lisa Trood, School Librarian at Theale Green School, said: “Presentations this year were innovative, powerful and informative. All the teams worked extremely hard with limited time to create posters, props, artwork and short drama pieces to convince the judging panel. It was a very tough decision to award an overall winner as the standard was so high”.

Charlie Cain was on the winning team, and they coincidentally chose to present on the eventual Carnegie Medal winner, The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo.

Charlie said: “I made new friends from other schools and had an amazing day”.

Theale Green students who also attended said:

“The Carnegie Conference showed me a variety of different techniques on how to present and be creative. This gave me confidence to speak out about the connotations behind my book. I was able to meet new people and make new friends.” Sarah

“The Book Group and Carnegie Conference pushed me to read books I wouldn’t normally have chosen.” Amy

“I learnt that there are genres of books I didn’t realise I enjoyed reading.” Charlie

“The Carnegie Conference gave me the opportunity to meet new people and let out my creative side during the activities.” Faye