Tears and Laughter

Ruth Keys is the CKG Judge for YLG Eastern

Ruth Keys

Hello there, I feel privileged to be a CKG judge and little bit of me still cannot believe it.

What an honour and privilege to be part of something so wonderful and inspirational. We were asked to read the books and at the same time check the books fitted into the criteria for the Carnegie and Kate Greenaway medals.   It was not just reading for pleasure, but reading 254 books and having to judge them.  I didn’t find it the easiest of tasks.  I however did have help; I am an advocate of reading aloud and my two dogs have had to listen to quite a few passages from the lists.  Always attentive and never judging!

What struck me was the sheer quantity, variety and scope of books I came across. The unbelievable mix of writing and illustration talent that is present in children’s books.   I have read books which have made me cry, laugh, think and be challenged.   What a cornucopia of marvelous books came into my hands. It has widened my reading horizons. I have read and learned from books that I would not have picked up previously.  So do not judge a book by its cover… I didn’t have that luxury and I am so pleased I didn’t.

I have been shadowing in schools and loved the interaction between the pupils and the Carnegie and Kate Greenaway shortlists.   Seeing students read new genres, catching snippets of conversations, hearing people talking about books, language and pictures.     It is a wonderful thing to hear a student champion a book with passion that is tangible. I have seen some students wipe away a tear and some laugh out loud.  The Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medals give us a chance to bring high quality books to the students’ attention.  It is great to see the empathy for other people in new situations that is found through reading.

   “Fiction gives us empathy: it puts us inside the minds of other people, gives us the gifts of seeing the world through their eyes. Fiction is a lie that tells us true things, over and over.” Neil Gaiman

The books shortlisted this year of 2019 are, in my opinion, an awesome group of books and I really hope having read them all you will agree.

Finding an outright winner in the Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medals is a challenge.  So, I wish you well in choosing winners for the Shadowers’ Choice Award.  To all you CKG shadowers out there…  Good luck and happy reading.


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