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70 Years Celebration


2007 Awards
Carnegie shortlisted booksThe CILIP Carnegie Medal Shortlist for 2007

The Road of The Dead

The Chicken House (Age range: 14+)
ISBN: 9781905294268

A story of murder and revenge set in a landscape as dark and forbidding as the characters portrayed. Brothers Ruben and Cole learn that their sister, Rachel, has been murdered. She has been found strangled, hundreds of miles from their East End home. Together they set out to find out what happened to her and retrace her final steps.

This is original, fast paced storytelling that offers teenagers an uncompromising, powerful novel. The hero is untraditional, yet compelling; the story dark and violent, yet the violence is never gratuitous; it warns about the dangers of violence but is never didactic. This is superb writing.

A Swift Pure Cry  

David Ficking Books (Age range: 13+)
ISBN: 9780385609692

Shell’s life has been tough since the death of her mother. Her father’s turned his back on reality, leaving her to look after her younger siblings. She’s bored of church, skips school and shares irreverent jokes and cigarettes with her friends. But when a new priest arrives in this small Irish community, things start to change. A discovery in her father’s wardrobe unleashes a scandal that rocks this small community to its core.

This is beautiful, dramatic writing that deals sensitively with a tough subject. Set in Ireland, the story follows the characters as they stumble through life’s challenges, making the best of tough circumstances. The language is simple, lyrical, and evocative; the storytelling humorous but never sentimental. The take on religion is not predictable and the outcome extraordinarily life affirming.

The Road of Bones  

Doubleday (Age range: 12+)
ISBN: 9780385610636

This chilling & dramatic adventure challenges the nature of beliefs and how they can be exploited to justify real acts of inhumanity. Yuri’s grandmother calls it a glorious lie – everyone believes what they’re told and everyone knows who to cheer for now that the Czar has gone. People vanish, never to be seen again. Yuri knows the dangers but never thinks that he too could be considered an ‘enemy of the state’ for a few careless words.

Set in a totalitarian state this is a brave and uncompromising novel. In spite of dealing with brutality in society, it is never negative and it will have political resonance for young people. Incredibly well written, the author stands back enough to allow her characters space to reflect on their actions.


Marion Lloyd Books (Age range: 12+)
ISBN: 9780439951043

Stephen is a boy with a dangerous secret. For four years he has kept a terrifying creature locked up in a remote hiding place. He has other problems too: a mother he never sees and a father he wishes dead. His foster family are scared of him as he’s not a boy who plays by the rules. His extraordinary struggle to free himself of the ‘Beast’ makes him a hero of our times, who will not easily be forgotten.

Whilst being a tough read this story offers a sensitive portrayal of what it’s like be in care and is incredibly touching. The author balances black humour, farce and emotional truth – a real achievement. The plot is well constructed and full of suspense that keeps you reading.

Just In Case  

Penguin (Age range: 14+)
ISBN: 9780141380780

15 year old David Case thinks that fate is out to get him. There are so many things you could do in life such as reinvent yourself, change your name and the way you look; leave home and find yourself caught up in a series of strange misadventures and even romance. But what’s the point if you’re not in control and if David isn’t, who is?

A story that deals with anxiety, depression and coming of age that has real emotional resonance. This is a distinctive and outstanding book written in an intelligent, yet spare style. There is an ‘edginess’ to the way the author writes; the result is clever and bold. The character of the teenage boy is conveyed in an interesting way and is not at all stereotypical. This is a story of survival in the modern world that is utterly compelling.

My Swordhand Is Singing  

Orion (Age range: 10+)
ISBN: 9781842551837

This is a story of loss and redemption set in the remote landscape of the seventeenth century, and inspired by the original vampire folklore of Eastern Europe; it offers a unique regeneration of a timeless myth. Thomas is a man with a past that is tracking him with deadly intent. His son Peter doesn’t understand why they have moved to a forest to work as woodcutters in the middle of a cold and unrelenting winter. Nor is he allowed to know the contents of an old battered box that his father carries. Father and son are set to face a soulless enemy and a terrifying destiny.

This novel has all the components of gothic horror: love, loss, regret and a touch of the supernatural, however it also gives a sense of the folk roots of the original vampire myth. The story is a pleasure to read as it has purpose and path and not a word is wasted. There is a sense of underlying menace and suspense throughout but it is never overdone. The author creates strong characters and sense of community and cleverly melds issues of religion and mysticism.