Shadow Girl

Jenny Hawke is the CKG judge for YLG South East and is the Library Supervisor at Petts Wood Library, Kent.

Jenny Hawke

Apart from reading and judging so many amazing books the thing I love the most about the Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medals is Shadowing. Since I started working for Bromley Libraries in 2008 I have been actively shadowing both awards with all the reading groups I run for children and young people. One person who has accompanied me on this 10 year journey of shadowing is Hannah, who joined my Books Aloud group when she was 5 and is now in Petts Wood Bookworms which is my group for teenagers aged 14+.


Hannah has always enjoyed reading and was integral to the shadowing process throughout all the groups she has joined. This is Hannah’s story:

I really enjoyed the Kate Greenaway 2014 shortlist. I remember particularly enjoying ‘I Want My Hat Back’ by John Klassen the most. The illustrations from ‘The Day the Crayons Quit’ were also memorable as they were really well drawn and some were quite funny. I liked how the crayons were personified and given facial expressions.  

Jenny 1

I read all of the books on the Carnegie 2016 shortlist and really enjoyed them. The characters I remember the most were Grace and Tippi from ‘One’ as they were unique, and the book had a very different writing style from any other book I have read. I empathised with the characters from ‘The Rest of Us Just Live Here’ as they were very close to my age, and they were still in school. ‘Lies We Tell Ourselves’ really resonated with me as it really opened my eyes to how ethnic minorities were treated during and before the civil rights movement. Most books I’ve read when shadowing the Carnegie shortlist have taken me elsewhere, but especially ‘The Bone Sparrow’ as the plot was really interesting and the descriptions were well written. I engage more with books that are plot driven as I find they are usually more suspenseful, fast paced and interesting.

Jenny 2

I remember meeting all the authors at the Awards Ceremony in 2014 and learning about how they get their inspirations for their books, and how open and friendly all the authors were.

Jenny 3

Shadowing has always been a fun way to express my opinions about the books I read and it has taught me how to effectively summarise and write my opinions on different books. I remember doing Carnegie Bingo, which I found really fun as there were book based questions, but it was also partially luck based. I would say that shadowing is a really great way to discover new books you haven’t read before, or may be out of your preferred genre, and it’s a good way to find new books you may love. I talk about Carnegie out of school to some of my friends as they also share a love for reading and are also open to new books and genres.

The library has been really important to me as it has always been more than a place to borrow books. It has been a place to have fun and make friends, which gave a sense of community. It had also been a place where I have learnt, and built my confidence.

Jenny 4

I would like to thank Hannah for sharing her experiences of shadowing and her involvement in the process over the past 10 years.

For more information on shadowing the Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Awards go to:

2 thoughts on “Shadow Girl

  1. What a heartwarming post about a life long love of books. It really does demonstrate why the Carnegie and Greenaway medals are so important- highlighting the very best, chosen by librarians, the gate keepers to that love of books.Wonderful, Also I LOVE Grace and Tippi, what a fabulous and worthy winner One was x

  2. This is a lovely and inspiring post and really does emphasise the importance of the Shadowing scheme. Hannah is a bit of a legend in the eyes of everyone on Jeju. Thank you Hannah!

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