Our Carnegie Book Club took part in a live online “‘meet the author” event in the library just before the half term break. They were lucky enough to chat to a range of brilliant writers, including Manjeet Mann, Phil Earle, Julian Sedgwick and Yusef Salaam, who were all nominated for the prestigious Yoto Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medals.
Club members were very surprised to hear about how gruelling researching a book or character can be. The authors talked about the emotional process of exploring and writing about their character’s involvement in harrowing events. They described how they had to make sure they looked after themselves during their research, taking regular breaks and finding ways to stay grounded after writing about the often sensitive and disturbing issues which their books address. Manjeet Mann told the group how she investigated the backgrounds of some very different types of people to try and understand the lives of all her characters in ‘The Crossing’. She did not want to create any ‘baddies’ in the book as she wanted to show readers the reasons behind the motivations of her character’s (and real people’s) actions and beliefs.
After listening to the authors talk so passionately about the writing process, the students left the session feeling inspired and wanted to borrow more of their books. The Yoto Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medals are the UK’s longest running children’s book awards. They recognise exceptional writing and illustration in books for children and young people. Our Book Club have now voted for their favourites and the winners will be announced this week.