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70 Years Celebration

 

2009 Awards
Carnegie shortlisted booksThe CILIP Carnegie Medal Shortlist for 2009
Judges’ comments are listed in italics

The ‘age range’ listed below is intended as a guide only, as determined by the 2009 judging panel.

BOYCE, FRANK COTTRELL COSMIC

BOYCE, FRANK COTTRELL COSMIC
Macmillan (Age range: 8+)
ISBN: 9781405054645

Liam Digby is tall for his age. Very tall. Everyone thinks he is too big to be a little boy anymore, but he isn’t old enough to be a grown-up either. In a world where everyone wants to grow up fast; and then stay young forever, things get very confusing for Liam, especially when he ends up lost – in space.

Frank Cottrell Boyce has a wonderful ear for dialogue and is a master of comic pathos. The off-the-wall humour and comic language he employs here makes this a very funny book. He manages to make a bizarre premise seem quite plausible, the characters develop well and the result is an astute and profound book about childhood and the father-son relationship.


BROOKS, KEVIN BLACK RABBIT SUMMER  

BROOKS, KEVIN BLACK RABBIT SUMMER
Puffin (Age range: 14+)
ISBN: 9780141381459

Pete Boland was busy doing nothing that long hot summer. Then Nicole called. “Listen Pete…you know that funfair up at the recreation ground…I thought we could all meet up…You know, for old times sake”. But old times mean old tensions, and as secrets, bitterness and jealousies resurface, five old friends are plunged into the worst night of their lives.

The reader can really feel the sticky heat as Brooks builds up the sense of an interminable and stifling summer. He employs the devices of a detective novel to give us a powerful and tense read, whilst brilliantly conveying the inner tensions of his characters’ relationships. A book that really gets inside the minds of teenagers.


COLFER, EOIN AIRMAN  

COLFER, EOIN AIRMAN
Puffin (Age range: 9+)
ISBN: 9780141383354

Conor Broekhart was born to fly. In an age of discovery and invention, many dreamed of flying but for Conor, flight is more than just a dream – it is his destiny. In one dark night on the island of Great Saltee, a cruel and cunning betrayal destroys his life and steals his future. Conor must win the race for flight to save his family, and to right a terrible wrong.

This is a rollicking read; a terrific tale of derring-do in which Colfer combines brilliant plotting with his customary humour and strong well-rounded characterisation. There is plenty to enjoy in the understated irony and the excellent descriptions of historical gadgets and inventions, but this book also has a convincing and engaging emotional reality.


DOWD, SIOBHAN BOG CHILD  

DOWD, SIOBHAN BOG CHILD
David Fickling Books (Age range: 12+)
ISBN: 9780385614269

Digging for peat in the mountain with his Uncle Tally, Fergus finds something that makes his heart stop. Curled up deep in the bog is the body of the child. And it looks as if she’s been murdered. As Fergus tries to make sense of the troubled world around him (it is 1980s Ireland), a little voice come to him in his dreams and the mystery of the bog child unfurls.

This is a beautifully written and controlled novel, strong on dialogue but with some beautiful descriptive phrases as well. The dual narrative is deftly done and Dowd is very good on family relationships and the atmosphere of the times. The ending is satisfying, and the whole believable and unflinching.


GRAY, KEITH OSTRICH BOYS  

GRAY, KEITH OSTRICH BOYS
Definitions (Age range: 12+)
ISBN: 9780099456575

Kenny, Sim and Blake are about to embark on a remarkable journey. Stealing the urn that contains the ashes of their best friend Ross, they set out to travel 261 miles from Cleethorpes on the English east coast, to the tiny hamlet of Ross in southern Scotland, in a bid to give their friend a proper send-off.

A beautifully realised rite of passage novel, very strong on the relationships between its central characters and accurate about the emotions of teenage boys. The dialogue is particularly powerful and the pace of the plot just right in this authentic book about the end of childhood and the beginning of adult lives.


NESS, PATRICK THE KNIFE OF NEVER LETTING GO  

NESS, PATRICK THE KNIFE OF NEVER LETTING GO
Walker (Age range: 14+)
ISBN: 9781406310252

Todd Hewitt is the last boy in Prentisstown, a town like no other where everyone can hear everyone else’s thoughts in a constant, overwhelming, never-ending Noise. There is no privacy and there are no secrets. Or are there? Just one month away from the birthday that will make him a man, Todd unexpectedly stumbles on a spot of complete silence. And now he is going to have to run…

A bleak and unflinching novel with fascinating characters and extraordinary dialogue which creates a fully-realised world that the reader really buys into. The dog Manchee is an inspired creation! Ness conveys a real sense of terror and the ending is devastating. A novel that really stands out.


THOMPSON, KATE CREATURE OF THE NIGHT  

THOMPSON, KATE CREATURE OF THE NIGHT
Bodley Head (Age range: 14+)
ISBN: 9780370329291

When Bobby’s mother moves the family into a rented house in the country, a neighbour tells him that a child was once murdered there. Bobby doesn’t care. All he wants is to get back to Dublin and resume his old life stealing cars. But getting his old life back turns out to be difficult, especially as the longer he spends in the old cottage, the more convinced he becomes that something strange is going on there.

A profoundly moving and believable novel by a natural storyteller which really gets the teenage experience. The language is strong but not gratuitous, the story gripping and powerful, and Bobby a character you care about despite his wayward tendencies.