Hackney students join literary debate

Hackney students stepped into the literary limelight when they chose their favourite book from a national competition shortlist last Tuesday.

They picked Ruta Sepetys’ Between Shades of Grey as their favourite from the eight books shortlisted for the prestigious CIPIL Carnegie & Kate Greenaway Children’s Book Awards during a workshop at Hackney Council Chambers.

The 75 students, from eight Hackney secondary schools, discussed the books and quizzed first-time author Ali Lewis, writer of shortlisted book Everybody Jam.

Ms Lewis said: “It was such a positive event.

“It was unlike any other I’ve had the pleasure to take part in. I will be singing Hackney’s praises after today – it is a great place with incredibly talented and creative young people who have inspired me.”

She presented a prize to students from Bridge Academy, Audrey Street, who gave the winning presentation on one shortlisted book.

Learning Trust Senior English Teaching and Learning Consultant Sophie Holdforth said: “This event is a wonderful way for children to shadow the process for awarding a renowned book prize and also to learn how to critique books and discuss their opinions with others.

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“We hope that some of the students invited to come along consider a career as a writer but also that it encourages them to read widely and often.”