Each year the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP) awards the CILIP Carnegie Medal for an outstanding book written in English for children and young people and the Kate Greenaway Medal for an outstanding book in terms of illustration. In 2017 the Carnegie Medal is 80 years old and the Kate Greenaway Medal is 60, making them the UK's oldest and, arguably, most prestigious awards for children and young people's books. Since the revision of eligibility criteria in 2014, which allowed books in translation to be nominated,1 it can also be argued that these medals have a truly international audience and significance.
CILIP also manages the accompanying CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Awards (CKG) Shadowing scheme and its associated website (www.ckg.org.uk). ‘Shadowing is the best thing in the book world, join in!’ author Patrick Ness tweeted on 18 April 2015. Is it any wonder that he would be so enthusiastic when ‘From its origins in the early 1990's this unique, but now often emulated, scheme has grown in size, scope, prestige and sheer effectiveness in engaging thousands of children and young people in the UK and around the world in reading for pleasure.’ (Court, 2016)
But a two-year Open University (OU) study of CKG Shadowing, com - missioned in association with the Carnegie UK Trust and published in 2012, ‘support(s) a general perception that more “high-ability” readers tend to be selected, or are attracted to shadowing, particularly in the case of Carnegie’ (Cremin, Swan and Mukherjee, 2012). Yet this same piece of research also demonstrates conclusively that ‘CKG shadowing is highly flexible and adaptable, with the potential to work effectively across a range of settings and to be tailored to the preferred ways of working of group leaders and the interests, ages and abilities of diverse sets of young readers.’
This chapter will demonstrate, with highly practical suggestions and examples from live shadowing groups, that the opportunities offered by shadowing are just as relevant, if not more, to hard-to-reach readers – those that are either reluctant or struggling, or both – as they are to traditional ‘shadowers’. CKG Shadowing can be a highly effective way to create a genuinely inclusive community of readers, and the lessons learnt from shadowing can have a more universal application.