Newhaven Book Beats – Spring/Summer 2023

The books shortlisted for 2023 Yoto Carnegie Medal for Writing

Newhaven School Library Blog/News, Reviews and Giveaways
Carole Oldfield

This is the last blog of this academic year so look out for ideas to inspire you to read over the summer.

If you have any bookish news, reviews or information for the next blog, find me at Gardens on Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays and at Kings Park on Wednesdays and Thursdays. I’ll be preparing the next blog in September 2023 but it is never too early to bring your ideas to discuss.

Book Tasting with Yoto Carnegies 2023

  • The Carnegie Medal was established in 1936 by Andrew Carnegie, and it was first awarded to Arthur Ransome for Pigeon Post.
  • The Carnegie Medal for Illustration was originally named the Kate Greenaway Medal when it was established in 1955.

These awards are selected by librarians, and there are two “Shadowers’ Choice Medals voted for by students. Newhaven students in KS3, AC and NEST have been exploring the books, using them to inspire work and find favourites. Exploring new books is a good way of discovering more about your reading tastes which are likely to change as you get older.

The books shortlisted for the 2023 Yoto Carnegie Medal for Illustration

Winners were announced on 21st June. Click this link to find out more about each book. Click here to find out which books won.

Stories of Tragedy and Treacherous Waters

The dangers of our oceans have been in the news this summer. These books contain stories of courage and tragedy, anger, hope and kindness. ‘The Crossing’ is told in verse. ‘Arctic Star’ is quick and easy to read. ‘Rescuing Titanic’ is illustrated throughout. Try them especially if you have dyslexia or you find reading tiring or difficult. They are all available in Newhaven Libraries.


Click on each image to find out more about the books and the authors.

‘The Crossing’ by Manjeet Mann is a fiction novel. The story is told by two characters. Sammy has fled his home and family in Eritrea for the chance of a new life in Europe. Natalie has just lost her mum and her brother marches the streets of Dover full of hate and anger. A twist of fate brings them together and gives them both hope.

‘Arctic Star’ by Tom Palmer is a fiction book about three young recruits on a treacherous Second World War mission aboard a boat based on the real ship, HMS Belfast. The ship was part of an Artic convoy delivering supplies to Russia. An author’s note on page 185 explains the true history behind the story.

‘Rescuing Titanic’ by Flora Delargy is an illustrated story about how people on the ship Carpathia saved 705 passengers from the sinking Titanic in the North Atlantic Ocean. It is a true story showing that heroes are not always big and mighty. They can also be small and unassuming.

Documenting History and Keeping Records

Stories are records of history and culture. Our news and our lives today become history tomorrow. Photographs are one way to record the past. In the book ‘Rescuing Titanic’ above, one of the characters mentioned is a young woman called Bernice Palmer.

Bernice with her camera (left), the photo she took of an iceberg at the scene (right)

Bernice was travelling on the ship Carpathia when she was eighteen years old. Carpathia’s captain decided to turn back from his route when he received a distress call from the Titanic. Bernice had recently been given a Brownie box camera so was able to take photographs of the scene and of survivors. Read about her and see her photographs here.

Records of events like this provide materials for others to tell stories years later.

Another way to record history is to document people talking so that their memories are not lost. In the video below, the interviewees’ words highlight different experiences according to their class and position on the ship. And they set the record straight about whether or not ‘the band played on’ as the ship went down.

Three survivors recall memories of the night the Titanic sank

Over the summer holidays you could record your experiences or talk to someone else about their memories of an important event in their lives. It can be a local or personal event or an event that made national or world news.

If you bring me a story you have recorded on paper, audio or video you can claim a lucky dip.

Toy Making, Record-breaking 3.13 seconds…

… is how long it took Max Park, 21, to solve a Rubik’s cube 3x3x3 puzzle in June 2023. He is now the new speed-cubing world record holder. Max is an ambassador for Rubik Cube and appears in the 2020 Netflix documentary ‘The Speed Cubers’ with fellow champion and friend Feliks Zemdegs.

Max, who was diagnosed with autism when he was two years old, had his first cube as a child. As well as being a puzzle to challenge the brain, the cube also helped with fine motor skills for his hands. Watch his achievement on the YouTube GWR site.

A new Rubik’s cube record is set by Max Park

The cube was invented by Ernó Rubik in 1974. He is now in his seventies. When asked, in an interview with Kate Kellaway in September 2020, where his ideas came from, he referred back to his childhood.

What was your favourite toy growing up in Budapest – and what sort of a boy were you?
“I was a solitary child and loved toys. I’d find toys in books and make models of them. The more difficult, the better.”

Let me know if you would like a Rubik’s cube for the puzzles and games shelves in the library. I can also get a book on how to tackle and solve the puzzle so you can set your own challenges.

Summer Records and Games

The Guinness Book of Records website has plenty of ideas of things to do this summer. There is information on how you can attempt a new record and you can watch videos of young people trying to break records.

If you like gaming, have a look at Mario, Fortnite, Fifa, Lego… and Minecraft records. YouTuber Stampy Cat aka Joseph Garrett, holds two Guinness World record titles for gaming. He says:

“It feels fantastic to be a Guinness World Records title holder! I grew up reading all of the books and it was always something I was aware of, and I never thought I would actually be in the book with my very own title.”

Stampy Cat talks about being a world record holder and his YouTube work

And how about Book Stacking? If you haven’t got enough books, collect some giveaways from the library so you can try it out here or at home.

Historic Milestones

History books are shelved in the 900’s in the non-fiction section of the library. Here are some history books in Newhaven libraries to borrow now or next term.


Click on each image to find out more about the books and the authors.

History is Always in the Making

July 1st is Pride march in London as part of Pride Month celebrations. Look out for these new books coming to a Newhaven school library soon.


Click on each image to find out more about the books and the authors.

You can request and reserve books by talking to me, Carole, Newhaven Librarian or emailing me at

Read on for the Spring/Summer Challenges and your chance to win books, stationery and lucky dips.

Students sending in correct replies can choose their gift.

  • A book shortlisted for 2023 Yoto Carnegie Medal for Writing (see first image in this blog) OR
  • A notebook, pen and pencil combination from the stationery gift collection.

Maximum one gift per person
Deadline: Friday 20th October 2023
Open to students from all Newhaven sites, learning at home or at school

Spring/Summer Challenges

You can pick up a paper copy of this form from the library.

CHALLENGE 1 – Yoto Carnegie Medals 2023

  1. The book ‘’Pigeon Post’ by Arthur Ransome is mentioned in the blog. What is the link between this book and the Yoto Carnegie Medals?
    a) Pigeon Post did not win the award
    b) Pigeon Post won the Shadowers’ Choice award
    c) Pigeon Post won the Carnegie Medal in the founding year of the award?
  2. In which year was the Carnegie Medal established?
  3. What was the original name of the Carnegie Medal for Illustration?
    a) The Artists Picture Book Medal
    b) The Kate Greenaway Medal
    c) The Colourful Children’s Book Award
  4. In which year was the Kate Greenaway Medal established?

CHALLENGE 2 – Dewey decimal classification System

Which one of these statements is false?

The Dewey Decimal Classification System is…
a) a classification system used by libraries to arrange books by subject
b) the most used book organisation system in the world
c) a system for measuring how many numbers come after a decimal point

Match the Dewey Decimal numbers to these books. Use the key to work it out.

KEY 300’s: Social Sciences  ––– 700’s: The Arts ––– 900’s: History and Geography

You can pick up a paper form to answer the questions on or email the answers from your school email account to