Here are some pics of a super Carnegie shadowing scheme event at The Gate theatre in Cardiff, on Wednesday 16th June (yes, I'm back to some semblance of order). About a dozen schools from the area participated. Pupils from the schools' shadowing groups were put into eight teams, each of which were allocated one shortlisted book, which they had to present dramatically to a team of judges, including the Carnegie nominated writer Paul Dowswell, author of Auslander. Here you can see the presentation of The Vanishing of Katharina Linden. I was very impressed by all the presentations, which demonstrated energy, intelligent interpretation of the key points of each book, and in some cases humour! I was even more amazed though when I discovered that the teams had had less than two days to prepare, and that the pupils from the various schools had been mixed up, so that everyone was working with people they had never met before. The group who presented The Vanishing chose to dramatise the death of Oma Kristel and the subsequent ostracisation of Pia. The tensions within the Kolvenbach family were also well represented. I'm always amazed at readers' reactions to that; I've heard the disintegration of Kate's and Wolfgang's marriage described as one of the scariest things in the book, but when I was writing it, it just seemed like the natural background to the story.
The eagle-eyed in the audience may have spotted that the "model" who posed as Unshockable Hans for a mocked-up photo of the legendary miller was William Bond, who accompanied me as photographer. William also drove me everywhere this week, as I have not driven on the British side of the road since 2001. At last count he had driven me over 600 miles - so a big vote of thanks to William. Thanks also to Karyn Chapman for inviting me to The Gate!