Our Carnegie shadowing group finished for the half term break with a special session when we welcomed local author and TWICE Carnegie Medal winner Berlie Doherty to join us for a chatty lunch. Very few writers have ever won the Medal twice, and nobody has yet won it more than twice. That makes Berlie very special.
Berlie just about managed to fit in a bite to eat between questions, and passed round her two beautiful medals from sticky fingers to sticky fingers. After lunch she read excerpts from two of her books and in a never-known-before Carnegie moment you could’ve heard a pin drop.
Asked for tips on writing, Berlie made the following suggestions: – 1. Write SOMETHING every day, even if it isn’t relevant. 2. Read through what you wrote the previous day before you carry on. 3. Don’t send what you’ve written to a publisher before it’s completely ready – you have to be patient!
The visit ended after lunch with Berlie heading home to put the finishing touches to her latest as-yet nameless novel. The Borrowers presented her with a bottle of wine and an armful of tulips before we had to say goodbye. Berlie isn’t on this year’s shortlist, but it would be so exciting to see her scoop a third medal one day. Perhaps next year, Berlie?
Well, our Carnegie group has got off to a rattling good start, with all 23 of us (yes, all right, it was going to be no more than 15, but counting was never my strength) having tackled lots – and in some cases, all – of the eight shortlisted books. Plenty of animated discussion, some healthy opinions and some clear choices of winners already. Today we drew up some interesting cast lists for the film versions of the books that we’re going to make when we get round to it. Emma Watson – you’d better not have a lot on in the next few months because you’re going to be busy here being May and Marinka.
Our group has written some excellent reviews now, so have a look at the Carnegie website (www.carnegiegreenaway.org.uk), search for the Hope Valley Borrowers page and read what we’ve said about the books so far. I like to think that Hope Valley always creates a better page than any other school Shadowing Group, but then I might be a tiny bit biased. See what you think.
We’re having another Book Fair, and this time EVERYTHING will be on sale at half its marked price. There’s been a quiz based on what’s fair and what’s not, and though I can’t tell anyone yet which tutor group has won, there are already three all-correct entries on my desk, and it’s not even deadline-time yet. It’s surprising that not everyone knows that Monday’s child is fair of face, or that all’s fair in love and war, but most people had a fairly good go at the quiz, which is fair enough, and I’ve tried to be fair in my marking of the sheets.
The Book Fair, which is provided by those lovely people at Scholastic, will arrive on Tuesday 2 April and will be open in the library every lunchtime until Monday 8 April. Anyone from outside the College who’d like to come and have a browse is welcome to do so, but it’s worth phoning 01433 620555 first to arrange a quiet time. Everything we sell helps the library by bringing us Scholastic Rewards – free new books to keep our shelves bang up-to-date. Good old Scholastic!