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

Voting Parties

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.

Chapter Book Voters

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.

Middle School Voters

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.

Picture Book Voters

Our Grade 2 students read voraciously throughout the programme and are rightly proud of their  beautifully decorated Sakura tree.

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.

2N previewing the shortlisted books.

2H previewing the shortlisted books.

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.

2H looking sad about the bare tree.

2N mostly unhappy with the bare tree.



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.

MS (and a few ES) students waiting for the library to open on the first day of borrowing.


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.

Sara submitting her completed Sakura slip.

November 16, 2017

In the past week we’ve launched the Middle School

Leslie H. KIST

High School

Leslie H. KIST

and Chapter Book programmes.

Leslie H. KIST


Koa K. Gr 11. ASIJ

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.