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Carnegie shortlisted books
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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
Doubleday (Ages 12+)
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
Oxford Children's Books (Ages 10+)
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?
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
Walker (Ages 14+)
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
Puffin (Ages 12+)
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
Orion (Ages 12+)
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
Andersen Press (Ages 14+)
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.