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70 Years Celebration

 

2011 Awards
Carnegie shortlisted books

The CILIP Carnegie Medal Shortlist for 2011
Judges’ comments are listed in italics

Please note: the ‘age range’ listed below is intended as a guide only, as determined by the 2011 judging panel

BRESLIN, THERESA PRISONER OF THE INQUISITION

BRESLIN, THERESA PRISONER OF THE INQUISITION
Doubleday (Ages 12+)
ISBN: 9781406310276

Zarita, only daughter of the town magistrate lives a life of ease. Saulo, son of a family reduced by circumstances to begging, swears vengeance, after witnessing his father wrongfully arrested and brutally killed. As the Spanish Inquisition arrives, bringing a climate of suspicion and acts of torture to the town, the fates of Zarita and Saulo intertwine, with tragic consequences.

An intriguing and well-achieved novel of impressive scope which brilliantly captures the atmosphere of 15th century Spain. Breslin combines great attention to detail and characterisation with some skilled plotting, and the twin stories of her main characters are well matched and insightful.


McCAUGHREAN GERALDINE THE DEATH DEFYING PEPPER ROUX  

McCAUGHREAN GERALDINE THE DEATH DEFYING PEPPER ROUX
Oxford Children's Books (Ages 10+)
ISBN: 9780192756022

Pepper Roux awakes on his fourteenth birthday; the day he has been told he must die. He doesn't want to disappoint, but he doesn't want to die either. So he goes on the run, setting sail on a sea of adventures, courting mayhem and disaster at every turn. Can he escape his fate – for a while at least?

A cleverly-constructed, tightly-plotted, picaresque novel that has something for everyone. Beautifully realised settings, refreshing and original characters, it is wise, thoughtful, funny and very different.


NESS, PATRICK MONSTERS OF MEN  

NESS, PATRICK MONSTERS OF MEN
Walker (Ages 14+)
ISBN: 9780385617031

The third and final volume in the "Chaos Walking Trilogy" finds three armies marching on New Prentisstown, each intent on destroying the others. Todd and Viola are caught in the middle with no chance of escape or, it seems, of stopping the fighting. But then a third voice enters the fray, one bent on revenge.

An outstanding novel, involving huge ideas about life, death and love that really challenges the reader to think about big questions. The split narrative works extremely well, the style is highly distinctive, and the main characters are beautifully drawn.


ROSOFF, MEG THE
BRIDE'S FAREWELL  

ROSOFF, MEG THE BRIDE'S FAREWELL
Puffin (Ages 12+)
ISBN: 9780141383934

On the morning of her wedding, Pell Ridley creeps out of bed in the dark, kisses her sisters goodbye and flees on horseback, determined to escape a future that offers nothing but hard work, and sorrow. The road ahead is rich with encounters that lead her closer to the untold story of her past. And she meets a hunter, whose fate also seems strangely entwined with her own.

A beautifully crafted novel with an exceptional heroine, whose strengths and weaknesses are very well captured. There is a strong sense of historical period, and of women's place in society at that time, and wonderful descriptions of the countryside.


SEDGWICK, MARCUS WHITE CROW  

SEDGWICK, MARCUS WHITE CROW
Orion (Ages 12+)
ISBN: 9781842551875

Two lives, two centuries apart, but obsessed by the same question: is there life after death? When city girl Rebecca arrives in the quiet village of Winterfold one relentlessly hot summer, her uneasy friendship with strange, elfin Ferelith sets in motion a shocking chain of events.

A dark and gruesome modern Gothic novel, with a compelling, and carefully crafted dual storyline that really builds the tension. The way in which the past and present interweave is brilliantly achieved, and there is a tremendous sense of place that is both creepy and oppressive.


WALLACE, JASON OUT OF SHADOWS  

WALLACE, JASON OUT OF SHADOWS
Andersen Press (Ages 14+)
ISBN: 9781849390484

It is Zimbabwe in the 1980s. The civil war is over, independence has been won, and Robert Mugabe has come to power, offering hope, land and freedom to black Africans. For Robert Jacklin, it's all new too as he gets used to a new continent, a new country, a new school. But he is quickly forced to realise that for many of his fellow pupils, the battle for their old country rages on.

An extremely powerful novel with a totally believable main character whose moral development and emotional state are compellingly portrayed. The institutionalised brutality of school life is grippingly conveyed too, and the dialogue is always convincing. It makes the reader feel complicit, leading us to question how we would behave in similar circumstances.