CBI Book of the Year Shadowing Scheme FAQS

CBI Book of the Year Shadowing Scheme FAQS

We’ve put together a list of frequently asked questions, to help those considering registering for shadowing. More information on the shadowing Scheme can be found here.

You can download the registration form here, and a FAQ document here.

  1. Does Children’s Books Ireland (CBI) provide the books for shadowing groups to read?

No, CBI does not provide shadowing groups with the shortlisted books. We suggest getting in touch with your local library to see which of the books you can borrow, or sharing reading copies within the shadowing group. If you are in Northern Ireland, please get in touch with Daiden O’Regan (contact details below), as we do have funding from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland to purchase books for a limited number of schools who demonstrate a need.

  1. Do you have to read all the books?

No, you do not have to read all the books on the shortlist. Not every book will be suitable for all age groups, and we recognise that there is limited time between the announcement of the shortlist on 11 March and the deadline for shadowers’ votes which is 10 May 2019. We will give guidelines in the free shadowing activity pack in relation to any issues that may be raised in books for older children and teenagers, but we do recommend reading the book yourself if you have any concern about sharing it. We do encourage all groups to read the picturebooks that may feature on the shortlist: these are not just for toddlers; older readers can get a lot out of them, too! One of the goals of the Shadowing Scheme is for children and young people to develop their critical thinking and debating skills, so even if a book seems ‘too young’, it can be read by an older child or teenager.

How do you pick which books to read?

There are lots of different methods to choose from. The method you choose should reflect what will work best for your group:

  • Prescriptive – Facilitator chooses all the books
  • Child-led – Each participant has a turn to choose a book for the group to read
  • Popular vote – The facilitator chooses a number of suitable titles and the group makes the final selection from these
  1. What does it cost?

It is completely free to register for the Shadowing Scheme. It may be possible to obtain some or all of the shortlisted books through your local library at no cost to a school shadowing group. Otherwise, there will be a cost to purchase the books. CBI Shadowing Scheme groups can avail of a 25% discount when ordering through International Education Services: http://iesltd.ie/

  1. What ages is the Shadowing Scheme suitable for?

The Shadowing Scheme is suitable for all ages from 0-18. We have had baby and toddler book clubs take part, and on the upper end, shadowing groups of older teenage shadowers.

  1. When will the book list be available?

The shortlist will be announced on 11 March. We will email all shadowing groups the list of shortlisted titles, and shadowing activity packs will be delivered that week also.

  1. How do we score the books and vote for the Children’s Choice Award?

 A scoring or ballot sheet is included in your shadowing pack. It is helpful to make a copy of this for every shadower in the group so they can score the books they read as they go along. We ask for each shadower to score each book they’ve read out of 100, just like the adult judging panel do. The shadowing leader then collates the scores, finds the average score for each book read and sends these back to CBI by 10 May 2019.

  1. As well as reading the books, how else can our group get involved?

Children’s Books Ireland records some video footage with our shadowing groups all over Ireland, which will be compiled into a short film and screened at the awards. Last year’s film is available to view here. If you would like to take part in filming (especially if you are based in Galway, Cork, Belfast or Dublin), please get in touch with us using the contact details below. If your group is based in Northern Ireland and would like to have a visit from one of the shortlisted authors or illustrators, please get in touch with us. These visits are funded by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland. We also have some tickets for shadowing groups to attend the ceremony at Smock Alley Theatre, Dublin, as part of the International Literature Festival Dublin on 22 May. Please contact us to express your interest.

If you are active on social media, you can use the hashtag #CBIBOYA19 to share your shadowing journey.

Facebook: @ChildrensBooksIreland

Twitter: @KidsBooksIrel

Instagram: @KidsBooksIrel

  1. Do groups have to be based in a school? Does a whole class have to take part?

No, any group can take part. Many shadowing groups are school-based, and these can be whole classes, smaller book clubs or reading groups, or paired reading groups i.e. older children facilitating younger children. Other groups include book clubs based in bookshops or libraries, or hosted by parents in their own homes. There is no minimum or maximum number of readers for a shadowing group.


For any further queries, please contact Daiden O’Regan, Programme and Events Officer:

daiden@childrensbooksireland.ie / +353 1 872 7475