Friday, 3 July 2009

Carnegie Medal

Cosmic by Frank Cottrell BoyceThe Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP) Carnegie Medal has been awarded for children’s writing in the UK for the past 72 years. There is no cash reward for the author, but it is however the most prestigious reward in the world of children’s publishing. Librarians throughout Britain nominate titles for the long list. Subsequently twelve librarians from CILIP’s Youth Libraries Group meet to discuss the long list and agree the titles for the shortlist. There was a strong Irish presence in this year’s excellent shortlist, with two of this country’s top selling, award-winning writers, Eoin Colfer and Kate Thompson nominated. Thompson’s Creature of the Night won this year’s CBI/Bisto Book of the Year Judge’s Special Recognition Award. The winning book was Bog Child by Siobhan Dowd. Siobhan was born to Irish parents grew up in London and had strong links with Ireland, visiting Waterford and Wicklow many times in her youth. She drew on these experiences for the setting of her award-winning novels before her untimely death in 2007. This year’s CBI/ Bisto Book of the Year Prize was awarded posthumously to her for Bog Child. The London Eye Mystery also by Siobhan Dowd was the 2008 Bisto Book Award Winner.
The complete shortlist was;
Cosmic by Frank Cottrell Boyce
Black Rabbit Summer by Kevin Brooks
Airman by Eoin Colfer
Bog Child by Siobhan Dowd
Ostrich Boys by Keith Gray
The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness
Creature of the Night by Kate Thompson
All seven books explore the theme of teenage boys growing up, set against a variety of backgrounds in a variety of genres encompassing historical, fantasy and adventure writing.
“What really stands out in all the novels on our shortlist is the capacity of each author, in their very different ways to empathise with young people, and really get inside their heads”, comments Joy Court, Chair of the 2009 Judging Panel. “Each book lays bare the thorny process of turning from child to adult and the moral dilemmas, ambivalent relationships and confusing feelings that characterise the business of growing up. These are characters young readers will identify with and books that really do have the power to influence young lives.

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