PUPILS from a Corby school were invited to the country’s top award ceremony for children’s literature.
Twelve students from Corby Business Academy in the town attended the Carnegie Medal and Greenaway Medal awards at the Barbican Centre, London, on Thursday.
As well as front row seats to the event, where they mixed with the biggest names in children’s literature, their opinions of the nominees were shown on the film screen and they also had a private audience with the authors after the winners had been announced.
This year’s winner of the Carnegie Award was Patrick Ness’ A Monster Calls and the book’s illustrator Jim Kaye also won the Greenaway award for illustration.
This is the first time a book has ever been awarded both prizes.
The school’s librarian Amy McKay, who was one of the Carnegie judges this year, said: “I was so proud of our students. They were so insightful in their comments and to see them projected on the big screen in front of these massive names in children’s literature brought a tear to my eye. They also handled themselves well in mixing with these massive names in books.
“It has been an amazing experience to be involved in the judging but this was my highlight. To be able to share the experience with our students has been so incredible.”
Students who went along were Ashley Zorilla, Bradley Thompson, Emily Crawford, Emily Carroll, Carolann Phillips, Chloe Burton, Emma Thomson, Georgia Bainbridge, Lauren Pulley, Stacey Stratford, Steph-Gore Devlin and William Walker.
They were selected from the Carnegie shadowing groups, which have been meeting every week to discuss the, and they joined members of the Year 10 reading group.
Year 7 student Emily Crawford said: “I thought the right book won. It is one of the best I have read and I loved it because it is a mixture of horror and fairytale.
“It felt really weird to be in a room with that many famous authors. It was fantastic.”
Year 10 student Bradley Thompson, said: “It was something that I will never have the chance to do again.
“It was fantastic to meet the authors and some have said they will come and visit Corby Business Academy, so that will be great.”
As a judge Miss McKay had to read 107 books on the Carnegie and Greenaway 2012 list of nominations and beat off competition from librarians across the country to be selected for the role.
Miss McKay will also be one of the judges for next year’s award.