Full List of Winners
The CILIP Carnegie Medal Shortlist for 2015
Judges’ comments are listed in italics
Please note: the ‘age range’ listed below is intended as a guide only, as determined by the 2015 judging panel
Mr. Dog Bites
Mint has Tourette's. His life is a constant battle to keep the bad
stuff in - the swearing, the tics, the howling dog that seems to
escape whenever he gets stressed. But a routine visit to the hospital
changes everything. Overhearing a hushed conversation between the
doctor and his mother, Dylan discovers that he's going to die next
heart-warming novel, which deals with a lot of serious issues, with
humour and honesty. With strong characterisation and a compelling
narrative voice, the book provides an unflinchingly sincere account
of life in a special school, and as a Tourette's sufferer. The
candour of the narrator, the strength of his relationships and his
route to realisation and eventually reconciliation, has the reader
rooting for him, even though, thanks to subtle clues throughout the
novel, the reader is always a step ahead, adding insight and empathy.
This book is genuine, eye-opening, thought-provoking and hilarious.
Apple and Rain Bloomsbury
Apple's mother returns after eleven years of absence, Apple feels
whole again. She will have an answer to her burning question - why
did you go? And she will have someone who understands what it means
to be a teenager - unlike Nana. But just like the stormy Christmas
Eve when she left, her mother's homecoming is bitter sweet, and
Apple wonders who is really looking after whom. It's only when
Apple meets someone more lost than she is, that she begins to see
things as they really are.
cleverly plotted story - ultimately about the meaning of family and
love - draws a moving portrayal of a teenage girl's emotional
upheaval as she needs to reassess all her previous assumptions. The
writing is simple, but lyrical, dialogues are sharp and realistic,
and the subtle use of poetry, woven throughout the book, adds
emotional depth. All the characters are well-developed and the
relationships between them are particularly well drawn. This is a
powerful and poignant story with the perfect ending.
in battle, Otto Hundebiss defies Death and finds himself on a journey
to a realm of dark magic and mystery. He meets Safire, brave of heart
and pure of spirit, and learns the powers of the tinderbox and the
secret of the wolves.
Gardner's vividly descriptive and powerful writing brings to life
this re-imagining of the classic fairy tale The Tinderbox. The
plot is played to an atmospheric, fantastical, yet at times
terrifying, historical background; with the themes of death, love,
lust and power, strong throughout. Otto, wounded in battle, finds he
is facing death, but escapes only to fall for the more powerful
force: love. The characters are vivid, bursting off the page and both
convincing in their realism as well as in their traditional tale
Cuckoo Song Macmillan (11+)
Triss wakes up after an accident, she knows that something is very
wrong. She is insatiably hungry; her sister seems scared of her and
her parents whisper behind closed doors. She looks through her diary
to try to remember, but the pages have been ripped out. Soon Triss
discovers that what happened to her is more strange and terrible than
she could ever have imagined, and that she is quite literally not
herself. In a quest find the truth she must travel into the
terrifying Underbelly of the city to meet a twisted architect who has
dark designs on her family - before it's too late.
highly original story is full of twists, turns and very strange
happenings, but the strength of the beautiful writing ensures that it
is easy to follow and understand. The reader is kept on tenterhooks
and wholly engaged within the created world. All of the characters
are believable, and their actions make complete sense in the contexts
of their back-stories. This is a wonderfully atmospheric and creepy
novel with a slow, claustrophobic build up of tension and a
satisfyingly imperfect and credible ending.
Fastest Boy In The World Macmillan
9781447267164 (hardback) 9781447267171 (paperback)
Solomon loves to run! The great athletes of the Ethiopian national
team are his heroes and he dreams that one day he will be a
gold-medal-winning athlete like them, in spite of his ragged shorts
and bare feet.
tightly woven story is a delight for readers as we journey from the
simplicity of an Ethiopian village to the bustling city of Addis
Ababa. The beautiful, yet simple, writing ensures that we are fully
immersed in the culture described. The characters are all well drawn
and leap off the page; particularly Solomon, through whose eyes we
learn the importance of dreams and friendship. This is a solidly
plotted novel with engaging characters that perfectly embraces new
and old cultures.
a young African-American slave from the Deep South, is freed at the
end of the American Civil War. However her freedom is met with
tragedy after her adopted mother is raped and lynched at the hands of
a mob, and Charley finds herself alone with no protection. In a
terrifyingly lawless land, where the colour of a person's skin can
bring violent death, Charley disguises herself as a man and joins the
army. Trapped in a world of injustice and inequality, it's only when
Charley is posted to Apache territory to fight "savage Indians"
that she begins to learn about who she is and what it is to be truly
brutal and heart breaking story is engrossing from the very
beginning. The strong narrative voice engages the reader in the world
described; perfectly conveying raw emotions without the overuse of
sentimentality. The book skilfully deals with difficult issues of
race, gender and the essence of freedom, against the backdrop of a
beautiful landscape and the horrors that humans inflict upon each
other. The subtle changes in language expertly mirror Charley's
personal growth. This is a beautiful, powerful piece of writing that
will remain with readers long after the last page.
Middle of Nowhere Usborne (11+)
9781409522003 (hardback) 9781409570516 (paperback)
her mother dies from a snake bite, Comity's life in the Australian
Outback changes for ever. With her father lost in his grief, Comity
makes friends with Fred, the Aboriginal yard boy. But then the evil
Quartz Hogg arrives, who delights in playing cruel games. And when he
sets his murderous sights on Fred, it's up to Comity to stop him.
McCaughrean's powerful storytelling evokes a sense of place,
isolation and spiralling chaos in this novel. The isolation and
loneliness of the Australian Outback is reflected in the inner
thoughts and behaviour of the characters, especially Comity, who is
left on her own for much of the story. The portrayal of Aboriginal
culture, racism and segregation comes alive on the page and is
handled with sensitivity. This novel provides a real and immersive
read with plenty of drama.
Than This Walker (14+)
ISBN: 9781406331158 (hardback)
boy drowns, desperate and alone in his final moments. He dies.
Then he wakes, naked, bruised and thirsty, but alive.
How can this be? And what is this strange, deserted place? As he
struggles to understand what is happening, the boy dares to hope.
Might this not be the end? Might there be more to this life, or
perhaps this afterlife?
beautifully written novel with a meticulous control of plot and
language to ensure that, from the harrowing opening to the
deliberately ambiguous ending, this has the reader gripped and
Seth knows that he has died and, as he
searches to make sense of what is happening to him, the reader is
plunged into the same confusion and uncertainty. All the characters,
even those you do not meet directly, are incredibly well realised
with convincing back stories.
The book is heart-wrenching, thought
provoking, and has a lasting impact on the reader.