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CILIP Carnegie Medal Shortlist for 2008
CROSSLEY-HOLLAND GATTY’S TALE
Orion (Age range: 10+)
In the year 1203, nine companions set out from Wales on a great
pilgrimage across Europe to Jerusalem. Not all of them will come
home. At the heart of the drama is Gatty, a field-girl. Eager, bold
and resolute, and wide open to new experience, she has an extraordinary
journey of her own to make.
This enjoyable and beautifully written book, offers us strong,
believable characters, with different perspectives and cultures.
The rollercoaster plot gives the reader a tremendous picture of
medieval life. This is a moving and hopeful story that plays with
language and offers a wonderful, satisfying ending.
GLASS RUBY RED
Penguin (Age range: 12+)
In Ruby Winter’s world, colour opens some doors and slams
others shut. Her opulent Johannesburg neighbourhood is a far cry
from the streets of Soweto, where anger and hatred simmer beneath
the surface. Everyone around her is conscious of race, colour and
creed; but not Ruby.
A multi-faceted and poignant novel that examines the way events
profoundly affect some, whilst disengaging others. Glass builds
up considerable tension through her use of language; a thought-provoking
read about the extent to which one young person is able to make
sense of the seismic events taking place around her.
Macmillan (Age range: 10+)
Adam is a Christian who hears that dust from Jerusalem could save
his mother’s soul, and eagerly accepts a Knight’s invitation
to be a servant on a Crusade, however it’s not long before
he finds himself in the front line. Meanwhile, Salim has a peaceful
upbringing as a Moslem in the port of Acre. With invasion imminent,
his father apprentices him to a Jewish doctor. He’s just settling
to his new life when the mighty Sultan sends for the doctor. Salim
finds himself confronting the enemy and coming face to face with
a fellow teenager - the young Adam.
This is a beautifully realised story which unfolds with immaculate
pace and plotting. The passage of time is convincingly depicted,
and the novel gives us well-handled insights into the various characters,
their creeds and their concerns.
Walker (Age range: 12+)
Siki is a 14 year-old Apache Indian girl living on the Mexican
border. She is orphaned along with her 4 year-old brother Tazhi.
When the Mexicans ride against the Apache, Siki witnesses Tazhi’s
brutal murder. In seeking revenge for her brother she has no choice
but to become a warrior, overcoming all prejudice to fight as a
woman alongside the men folk of her tribe.
This well researched novel contains accomplished descriptions
of both landscape and character, and perfectly captures the unremitting
sadness and tension of the Apache girl’s world. Her grief
and sorrow are beautifully handled. A book with lasting emotional
impact which gives the reader a rich experience of an unfamiliar
REEVE HERE LIES ARTHUR
Scholastic (Age range: 12+)
“There’s nothing a man can do that can’t be turned
into a tale…”. Britain. AD 500. Gwyna’s new master
Myrddin says he’s not an enchanter, yet he works his own kind
of magic. He turns Gwyna from a slave-girl into a goddess, a boy,
and a spy – and Arthur into a legend. But is Arthur really
everything he is cracked up to be?
A page-turner of a novel, with a well-constructed plot and believable
characters that engage the reader from the off. The landscape and
setting of the time are skilfully drawn. Reeve cleverly makes the
story relevant to today by examining the versions of history that
are handed down to us, and the ways in which myths are created.
An enjoyable and thought-provoking book.
ROSOFF WHAT I WAS
Penguin (Age range: 12+)
A remote boys public school complete with nineteenth century architecture
and values to match is the setting for a novel set nearly fifty
years ago. It’s 1962 and the understandably reluctant hero,
who has already been expelled from two schools, arrives at St Oswald’s
to start again. With its code of conduct, and the importance attached
to rank, loyalty and cross country runs it provides an unlikely
setting for a story of first love; a story that challenges many
contemporary perceptions even half a century later.
A beautiful coming-of-age novel with an outstanding sense of
time and place, which vividly captures the individual voice of its
central character. Full of gorgeous, striking imagery, it is a bold
and brave examination of gender and otherness.
VALENTINE FINDING VIOLET PARK
HarperCollins (Age range: 12+)
A teenage boy spots Violet Park, or rather her ashes, in an urn
sitting on a shelf in a cab company’s office at 5 o’clock
in the morning. This sets him thinking about his Mum, his absent
father and what’s right for people when they die. With the
help of his Gran he gets hold of the urn and sets about rescuing
Violet Park: who is she and where does she really belong? Finding
Violet Park turns about to be an extraordinarily revealing coincidence,
not just for her.
A comic and enjoyable novel, cleverly plotted and full of dark
humour. The first-person style is very appealing, and gives us a
lively and believable hero who finds himself in surreal situations.
Valentine takes a serious subject and handles it in a realistic
way but with a nice light touch. The ending is bittersweet but satisfying.