Patrick Ness wins CILIP Carnegie medal
The 75th anniversary for the CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Awards took place yesterday 14th June 2012 at the Barbican Centre, London.
The Carnegie medal was awarded to author Patrick Ness for his novel A Monster Calls. This is Ness’ second consecutive Carnegie award. Alongside the authors’ award, for the first time in history, the same book has grabbed both the Carnegie and Greenaway awards. Jim Kay was awarded the Greenaway prize this year for his illustrations in Ness’ A Monster Calls.
“A Monster Calls is an exquisite piece of writing. It is a beautifully economical, structurally brilliant and lyrically descriptive account of a challenging episode in one child’s life,” said Rachel Levy, Children’s Library Services manager for Sutton Libraries and chair of the judging panel, commenting on yesterday’s announcement. “One of our judges – bereaved at a young age – said she wished that she’d had A Monster Calls to read then, because while it describes the nature of grief with an extraordinary clarity it also fills the reader with a spirit of hopefulness and a love for life that is profound and lasting. We’d go so far as to say that this is one of the defining books of its generation.”
A Monster Calls is based on the lives of the late Siobhan Dowd’s children. Dowd died in 2007 and the novel focuses on a 13-year-old boy named Conor, who tries to run away from the fact that his mother is dying from cancer. It is a touching story which can be appreciated by both adults and children.
Asked what winning his second consecutive CILIP Carnegie medal was like, Patrick Ness said, “It’s extremely humbling, and a little unnerving, to win the Carnegie Medal two years in a row. I can’t tell you how happy I am that not only has the work of Jim Kay been recognised with the Kate Greenaway medal, but that this will help keep people reading and talking about the wonderful Siobhan Dowd, which was the best outcome I wanted when I set out to write the book.”
The CILIP Carnegie medal is regarded as the most prominent prize for children’s writing in Britain. Past winners include Philip Pullman, Terry Pratchett and CS Lewis. Previous winners of the CILIP Kate Greenaway medal include Raymond Briggs, Shirley Hughes and Quentin Blake. The winner receives a gold medal and five hundred pounds worth of books to donate to a library of their choice.
The nominations for the Carnegie awards this year were:
David Almond – My Name is Mina
Lissa Evans – Small Change for Stuart
Sonya Hartnett – The Midnight Zoo
Ali Lewis – Everybody Jam
Andy Mulligan – Trash
Patrick Ness – A Monster Calls
Annabel Pitcher – My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece
Ruta Sepetys – Between Shades of Gray
The nominations for the Greenaway awards this year were:
Emily Gravett – Wolf Won’t Bite
Petr Horáček – Puffin Peter
Jim Kay – A Monster Calls
Dave McKean – Slog’s Dad
Catherine Rayner – Soloman Crocodile
Rob Ryan – The Gift
Viviane Schwarz – There are no Cats in this Book
Vicky White – Can we Save the Tiger?
Watch a presentation from the judges on the illustration of A Monster Calls here