A big day for many authors and illustrators today – the shortlists for the Carnegie Medal and Kate Greenaway Award were announced. Cue lots of congratulations all round and happy authors and publishers. There are some absolutely fantastic books on the shortlists this year.

At Hot Key obviously we don’t have any books out yet to qualify (fingers crossed for next year…) but it prompted a series of conversations around the Carnegie Shortlist that all went ‘ooh I love that book‘, ‘ah that one definitely deserves to win‘ and ‘aw, I really must read that!’ (N.B. we’re not snubbing the picture books – we love picture books, we just don’t publish picture books…so, we thought we’d focus on the fiction) Anyway, each year there is an official shadowing scheme which runs alongside the awards involving children from many schools around the country reading and discussing the books from longlist, shortlist and through to the winning announcement. And so we thought, well, why don’t we do the same?

Each week (if we can keep up!) we’ll be discussing a different book on the Carnegie shortlist and we’d love you to join in. Here are the books we have to read:

So far I’ve only read the already multi-award-winning A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness (amazing book which as discussed on Twitter today, made me feel VERY SAD at the end) and my one that got away Annabel Pitcher’s My  Sister Lives on the Mantlepiece – which you all know my feelings about (and if you don’t then basically, LOVED IT). But that’s only 2 out of 8, so the challenge is on.

But what to start with? Suggestions and reviews please?