17 August 2023

Read, Grow, Inspire: Book Week theme for 2023!

Whole School
Read, Grow, Inspire: Book Week theme for 2023!
Read, Grow, Inspire: Book Week theme for 2023!
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The Carey Libraries’ focus for this term has been the Children’s Book Council of Australia’s Shortlisted and Notable Books and thinking about this year’s theme, Read, Grow, Inspire.

The libraries have been decorated with plants and other displays and we have very much been reflecting on how much we grow as people as we read, how we expand our horizons, understand so much more about people and the world. We get inspired when we read the stories of others. See this link for the books shortlisted this year in each of the six categories on the CBCA website.

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Book Week at the Don Brown Library at Junior School Donvale
Book Week at the Don Brown Library at Junior School Donvale
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The Evans (JSK) and Don Brown (JSD) Libraries have been engaged in all sorts of creative activities connected to the shortlisted books. The reading of the shortlisted books, Snap by Anna Walker, Dirt by Sea by Tom Jellett and Michael Wagner and My Strange Shrinking Parents by Zeno Sworder has led to some wonderfully creative responses by the children as you can see in the images below. The displays of the children’s engagement in these two libraries show clearly how much the students love stories and Book Week.

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Book Week at Junior School Kew
Book Week at Junior School Kew
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In the Middle School, the students have been introduced to the shortlisted books in both the Younger Readers’ category and the Older Readers category in their regular English Wide Reading sessions, which occur once a fortnight.

This year there are two shortlisted books about dogs in the Younger Readers’ category, Runt by Craig Silvery and The Way of the Dog by Zana Fraillon. Thankfully there are no sad endings with these books but instead a wonderful celebration of special dogs and a cast of great characters. The Other Side of Tomorrow by Hayley Lawrence and Completely Normal by Biffy James are two very different stories about loss and grief, with characters you will love. It is wonderful to see two graphic novels shortlisted this year. The Greatest Thing by Sarah Winifred Searle looks at friendship, mental health, and school. The Neverlanders by Tom Taylor and Jon Sommariva is a magical Peter Pan retelling. The supernatural elements in What We All Saw by Mike Lucas is darker fantasy that explores the notion of witches, stories, and friendship. The sixth shortlisted book is Ask No Questions by poet and photographer Eva Collins. This book is a collection of poems telling her family’s migration story from Poland to Australia in the late 1950s through Eva’s eyes as a 12-year-old girl. What do you lose and what do you gain when you move to a new country? These poems are readily accessible and provide insight into the experience of so many Australians.

The shortlisted and notable books this year have transported us to other times and experiences way beyond our life in Melbourne. Meg Caddy’s Slipping the Noose has taken me inside the mind and life of a female pirate in Victorian England, Triple Threat by Katy Warner and Libby Lawrence is Not Pretending by Jodi McAlister to the world of the performing arts and, in A Little Spark by Barry Jonsberg, what it’s like to desperately love two parents who don’t live together anymore and all the issues that brings. Reading truly does inspire us and enable us to grow. If you haven’t read a good book lately you should check out this year’s CBCA books. Watch out for the announcement of the winners on Friday 18 August as the official Book Week begins.

Marg Moran
Head of the CLI Library

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