The Sakura Medal is an annual reading programme in international schools across Japan that encourages students to read and enjoy recently published books from an international list selected by librarians. At Saint Maur we are participating in the English Picture Book category for grade 2 students, the English Chapter Book category for students in grades 3 to 5, as well as English Middle and English High School categories for secondary students. This year we will also be trialling the Graphic Novel category for students in grades 3-5.
Check the notice board outside the library and the Sakura Medal website for more information about the Sakura Medal programme.
January 11, 2021
Our grade 2 students were introduced to the Picture Books last week and they are enjoying reading these books at home and in the classroom. This year, we’ve had to quarantine our Sakura Medal Tree, but we hope it will be able to be decorated by our Sakura Medal readers next year.
Here’s the full list of the 2021 Sakura Medal Picture Books.
November 17, 2020
This year we are offering Sakura Medal Graphic Novels for our keen readers in grades 3-5. The books will be on the shelves, ready to borrow from Monday. Here’s the full list of 16 books in the 2021 Sakura Medal Graphic Novels category.
November 4, 2020
The 2021 Chapter Books will be on the shelves next week, ready for borrowing! Here’s the full list of twenty books.
October 15, 2020
As well as print copies we also have online copies in Kindle, eBook and audiobook formats for some of the books on the Middle School shortlist. If you’d like to borrow a library Kindle please download this permission form, get it signed and come and see Ms Schumacher in the library. The eBooks and audiobooks are available through our eLibrary.
May 6, 2020
2020 Sakura Medal Winners Announced!
The votes of all the participating schools have been voted and we can now announce the winners of the 2020 Sakura Medal!
The Picture Book Winner is Magic Ramen : the Story of Momofuku Ando by Andrea Wang which as the title suggests is a biography.
The Chapter Book Winner The Boy at the Back of the Class by Rauf Onjali is her debut novel, inspired by her work with refugees in Calais.
The Middle School Winner Skyward by Brandon Sanderson is a science fiction novel about a girl who wants to become a pilot.
The High School Winner Warcross by Mari Lu is also science fiction. The author previously won the 2013 Sakura Medal for her Middle School novel Legend.
April 30, 2020
Voting week at Saint Maur has been unlike any other which is no surprise in a State of Emergency. Students were understandably disappointed to miss out on the Sakura Medal voting parties that are usually held at this time of year in the library and on The Bluff, but nevertheless they cast their votes, and their voices have been heard.
What books did Saint Maur readers like? Our grade 2 Picture Book readers enjoyed When a Wolf is Hungry and Sakura’s Cherry Blossoms. In the Chapter Book category The Boy at the Back of the Class and Sweep were popular with our readers in grades 3-5. The Middle School votes were quite evenly spread, showing a range of reading tastes, with The Plot to Kill Hitler and To Night Owl from Dogfish receiving the most votes. The Tatooist of Auschwitz was well-received by our High School participants.
The overall winners of the 2020 Sakura Medal will be announced in the next week after the votes of all the participating schools have been counted. Watch this space!
January 8, 2020
The shortlisted Picture Books can be borrowed during library time. For every book you read you’ll get a chance to decorate a star for the Sakura Tree outside the library.
November 6, 2019
We have three copies of each of the shortlisted Chapter Books. Remember to complete a Sakura slip once you’ve finished reading a book and return it to the library. Happy reading.
October 16, 2019
High School Books
We have one copy of each of the shortlisted High School books. Many are also available on Kindle. If you’d like to borrow a library Kindle to read a Sakura book please get this permission slip signed and come and see Ms Schumacher.
Middle School Books
We have two copies of each of the shortlisted Middle School books. There are also copies of most of these books available on Kindle. If you’d like to borrow a library Kindle please download this permission form, get it signed and come and see Ms Schumacher in the library.
October 15 , 2019
Launch Dates Set
We’re nearly finished with our Sakura orientations in the library for students in grade 3 and up, giving all the students a chance to preview the shortlisted books.
We’ll be launching both the Middle School and High School Sakura books this week, just in time for the holidays! Middle School books will be on the shelves morning recess on Friday, High School books will up after school on Thursday. We’ll start Chapter Books after school on November 6th, and Picture Books in the new year.
May 9, 2019
The votes have been counted (all 4751 of them) … and … the winning books in the 2019 Sakura Medal are:
The Bad Seed, written by Jory john ; illustrated by Pete Oswald (Picture Books)
Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus, written by Dusti Bowling (Chapter Books)
Refugee, written by Alan Gratz (Middle School)
Nyxia, written by Scott Reintgen (High School)
Saint Maur students cast a total of 251 votes. That’s a LOT of reading!
April 26, 2019
Today we finished our Sakura week by taking out the third and final group of High School students for coffee and cake on The Bluff to celebrate their participation in the Sakura Medal programme. The voting in the High School was quite evenly spread, with We Are Okay receiving one more vote than Artemis, Instructions for a Second-Hand Heart or Nyxia.
All the Saint Maur votes have been submitted, and now we wait for the announcement of the winners which will happen after Golden Week.
April 25, 2019
We held the Chapter Book voting party for students in grades 3-5 this morning. Two students, Gracie and Lizbeth were recognised for their achievement of reading ALL the books on the shortlist. What was the most popular book in our school? It was Wedgie & Gizmo with The Magic Misfits very close behind. We’ll have to wait until after Golden Week though, when votes from all the participating schools have been counted to find out which book has won the Sakura Medal.
April 24, 2019
Our grade 2 students were excited to attend their first Sakura Medal voting party today. We started with a photo by the tree, followed by voting, and finally a chance to enjoy snacks and a story in the library. The most popular book with our students was Arthur and the Golden Dragon, but students in other schools may vote differently. We’ll have to wait until all the votes are counted before we find out the winner of the Picture Book category in early May.
April 23, 2019
Voting parties have begun and today we welcomed our enthusiastic Middle School readers into the library. There was great participation this year with the highest ever number of voters in the Middle School. In addition two students managed to read ALL the books on the shortlist. Congratulations to Sofia and Maria! The most popular book with the voters was Good Dog, but we’ll have to wait until after Golden Week to see the final vote tallies across all the participating schools in Japan.
April 17, 2019
Mr Matsumoto helped to put the final stars on our Sakura Tree and he had to really s-t-r-e-t-c-h to reach the upper branches.
March 21, 2019
Important Dates for Picture Book programme
Wednesday, April 10th – final day for borrowing books.
Wednesday, April 17th – all books returned to the library and reading tallies finalised by homeroom teachers.
Wednesday, April 24th – voting party held in library, period 3.
Important Dates for Chapter Book programme
Thursday, April 11th – last opportunity to borrow books.
Thursday, April 18th – all books and signed slips returned to library.
Monday, April 22nd – party invitations issued.
Thursday, April 25th – voting party held in library, period 3.
Important Dates for Middle School programme
Tuesday, April 9th – last opportunity to borrow books.
Tuesday, April 16th – all books returned to library and reading tallies finalised by English teachers.
Thursday, April 18th – party invitations issued.
Tuesday, April 23rd – pizza voting party held in library, period 4.
Important Dates for High School programme
Wednesday, April 17th – reading tallies finalised by English teachers.
TBA – participants invited to a local cafe for coffee and cake.
January 24, 2019
This week the second grade students finished their first Sakura Medal book and Mrs Levy joined the students in adding the first of many stars to our Sakura tree.
January 17, 2019
Yesterday we launched the Picture Book programme with our grade 2 classes.
The students had fun posing with sad faces in front of the (as yet undecorated) Sakura tree. Their sadness turned to joy at the prospect of reading the books on the shortlist and adding stars to the tree.
November 23, 2018
It’s only been a couple of days since we launched the Chapter Book programme and already we have three students who’ve read their first book. There is some seriously good reading going on in our Elementary School!
November 21, 2018
This afternoon, after school we launched the Chapter Book shortlist for our students in grades 3-5.
Although it was the smallest number of students we’ve seen at a Chapter Book launch, they were very enthusiastic about the books they had chosen to read.
November 2, 2018
Today the books in the High School shortlist are going out on the Sakura shelves ready for borrowing from Monday onwards.
October 16th, 2018
Today we’re launching the Middle School shortlist for the 2019 Sakura Medal.
May 8th, 2018
Sakura Medal Winners!
The votes have been counted and the winners announced. In all, 4308 votes were cast by students across international schools in Japan, reading in the Picture Book, Chapter Book, Middle School and High School categories.
The winning book in the High School category is Scythe by Neal Shusterman. This is the second Sakura Medal honour for this author; his book Unwind won the Middle School prize in 2009.
The Middle School winner this year is The Novice by Taran Matharu. This is the first book in the Summoner fantasy series.
The Last Kids on Earth was a landslide winner in the Chapter Book category for author Max Brallier and illustrator Douglas Holgate.
The Picture Book winner this year is The Legend of Rock Paper Scissors by Drew Daywalt; illustrated by Adam Rex. Drew Dayalt and Oliver Jeffers won the 2015 Picture Book Prize for The Day the Crayons Quit.
All the shortlisted and winning books are back in the library collection and available for borrowing.
April 26th, 2018
It’s been a busy time in the library with voting parties for our Sakura readers in Elementary and Middle School.
Chapter Book readers did very well to meet the challenge of the programme and celebrated at their voting party yesterday. Last Kids on Earth received the most votes from our Sakura stars in Grades 3-5.
Middle School readers were treated to pizza in the library when they came to vote. Three books received the top number of votes: The Crown’s Game, Ghost, and When Friendship Followed Me Home.
Our Picture Book readers were excited to attend their first Sakura party and voted enthusiastically. Chicken Nugget came out as the most popular read with our Grade 2 voters.
Our Grade 2 students read voraciously throughout the programme and are rightly proud of their beautifully decorated Sakura tree.
Other international school students in Japan are also voting for their favourite Sakura Medal books, and the winners of the 2018 Sakura Medal will be known after our Golden Week holiday. Watch this space.
March 15, 2018
Important dates for Chapter Books programme:
Wednesday, April 11th – last opportunity to borrow books.
Wednesday, April 18th – all books and signed slips returned to library.
Monday, April 23rd – party invitations issued.
Wednesday, April 25th – voting party held in library, period 5.
Important dates for Middle School programme:
Tuesday, April 3rd – last opportunity to borrow books.
Tuesday, April 10th – All books returned to library and reading tallies finalised by English teachers.
Friday, April 13th – party invitations issued.
Tuesday, April 17th – pizza voting party held in library, 12.30 p.m.
Important dates for High School programme:
Friday, April 20th – reading tallies finalised by English teachers.
TBA – Participants invited to Under Bluff Cafe for coffee and pastries.
Important dates for Picture Book programme:
Wednesday, April 11th – final day for borrowing books.
Wednesday, April 18th – all books returned to library and reading tallies finalised by homeroom teachers.
Wednesday, April 25th – voting party held in library, period 2
March 14th, 2018
Our Sakura tree has blossomed! There’s a lot of Sakura Medal reading going on in Grade 2.
January 11, 2018
This week we launched the Picture Book programme with our Grade 2 students.
They came to the library to preview the shortlist and choose a book to take home.
Our Sakura tree is looking very bare, but that will change once the students start reading, as they will decorate a star to put on the tree each time they finish a book.
November 17, 2017
Middle School students were queuing outside the library on the first day of borrowing. There’s a lot of reading going on – the Middle School shelves are empty, and students are also reading on library Kindles.
Elementary School students are also enjoying the Chapter Books. It was very busy after school at the Sakura Medal launch.
Sara in Grade 5 was the first student to finish a Sakura Medal book, giving The Unforgettable What’s His Name five stars.
November 16, 2017
In the past week we’ve launched the Middle School
and Chapter Book programmes.
SAKURA MEDAL AT SAINT MAUR
The Sakura Medal is an annual reading programme in international schools across Japan that encourages students to read and enjoy recently published books from an international list selected by librarians.
At Saint Maur we are participating in the English Picture Book category for grade 2 students, the English Chapter Book category for students in grades 3 to 5, as well as English Middle and English High School categories for secondary students.