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Booker Prize Debate

St Peter's 13-18

Booker Prize Debate

St Peter's Booker Prize 2020

Pupils and staff at St Peter’s School, York, hosted their own Booker Prize Debate on 17 November.  

Upper Sixth pupils and staff members gathered in the Library to hear shortlisted books being heartily defended by Upper Sixth pupils and teaching staff. Each book was represented by two Upper Sixth pupils and a member of the English Department 

Audience members were then asked to cast their vote to determine the winning book. 

This year’s winning book was Who They Was by Gabriel Krauze, defended by Issy and Miss Todd. Issy was supported by Khushi, who courageously stepped in at the last minute to help Issy defend the book. 

Issy and Khushi each received copies of the officially shortlisted titles to add to their own personal book collections, including Shuggie Bain by Douglas Stuart, The New Wilderness by Diane Cook, The Mournable Body by Tsitsi Dangarembga, Burnt Sugar by Avni Doshi, The Shadow King by Maaza Mengiste and Real Life by Brandon Taylor. 

We asked Sixth Form pupil Kate Pearey to write her own account of the Booker Debate evening:

“The Booker Debate marked a night where Upper Sixth gathered to discuss the best literature produced over the last year. In teams of two, we each defended a book nominated by the English staff in order to prove that our book deserved to win the St Peter’s Booker award. Not only was this a chance to speak about some of the best literature of 2020 but we were also able to discuss key issues such as racism, climate change, gangs and xenophobia. Everyone who attended had a vote and across several heated rounds of debate the St Peter’s community were able to decide on a winner; Gabriel Krauze’s Who They Was. Perhaps one of the best aspects of the night was the ability for the English cohort to gather in one place for the first time in over 8 months and there was an almost overwhelming sense of unity and support. As the unusual has become part of the everyday this year, it was wonderful to take a step away from the craziness and focus on six novels which transported us all into a different world and allowed us to escape for the worries that have dominated this year.”