Carnegie Medal
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70 Years Celebration

 

The Carnegie Medal
Recent Winners

  2013
Maggot Moon by Sally Gardner published by Hot Key Books

A stunning book with an underdog hero, Maggot Moon offers a powerful depiction of an utterly convincing and frightening dystopia. With clever plotting, conspiracy theory and a truly original concept at the heart of it, this is a real tour de force without a hint of sentimentality.

     
  2012
A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness published by Walker Books

An exquisite piece of writing of great depth which has huge impact upon the reader, guiding them through some difficult emotional lessons. Well plotted and lyrically written with not an unconsidered word, it also handles the relationships between the central characters brilliantly.

     
  2011
Monsters of Men by Patrick Ness published by Walker Books

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.

     
  2010
The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman published by Bloomsbury

A fantastic story full of humour, humanity and wonderfully drawn characters. The beginning manages to be horrifying without a single mention of blood, and though episodic in its structure, the story comes together beautifully at the end.

     
  2009
Bog Child by Siobhan Dowd published by David Fickling

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.

     
  2008
Here Lies Arthur by Philip Reeve published by Scholastic

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.

     
  2007
Just in Case by Meg Rosoff published by Penguin

A story that deals with anxiety, depression and coming of age that has real emotional resonance. This is a distinctive and outstanding book written in an intelligent, yet spare style. There is an ‘edginess’ to the way the author writes; the result is clever and bold. The character of the teenage boy is conveyed in an interesting way and is not at all stereotypical. This is a story of survival in the modern world that is utterly compelling.

     
  2005 (awarded in 2006)
Tamar
by Mal Peet published by Walker Books

This is an enthralling and multi-layered novel that traces the story of two men caught up in secret operations in World War Two. It looks at the negative impact that war has on those involved and on succeeding generations. Guilt and its ramifications lie at the heart of this well-written and serious novel that skilfully interweaves past and present.

     
  2004 (awarded in 2005)
Millions
by Frank Cottrell Boyce published by Macmillan

Comedy is blended with real life drama in perfect balance, in the story of brothers Damian and Anthony who suddenly have to spend ‘millions’ in seven days before the euro takes over from the pound. A gripping read with an exuberant plot that young imaginations will find irresistible. The novel works on several levels entwining slapstick and altruism in the same hilarious, poignant story.

     
  2003 (awarded in 2004)
A Gathering Light
by Jennifer Donnelly published by Bloomsbury Children's Books

A moving and unforgettable story of life in the Adirondack Mountains, in upstate New York at the turn of the 20th Century. The central character, Mattie struggles to choose between family duty and her burning desire for education and a better life. Her story is cleverly interwoven with a murder mystery which unfolds after the mysterious death of a woman guest at the hotel where Mattie works. This captivating novel is beautifully structured and perfectly captures the mood of time and place with many varied and vivid characters.

     
  2002 (awarded in 2003)
Ruby Holler
by Sharon Creech published by Bloomsbury Children's Books

The "trouble" twins, Dallas and Florida look likely to stay in the orphanage for good until they are invited to live with an elderly couple in Ruby Holler. This is a beautifully written "over the rainbow" tale of discovery with a strong sense of place. Authentic dialogue gives the story an edge coupling the fairy tale quality with an air of reality. A story about love and trust and how the strength and goodness of human beings can overcome all the odds.

     

2001 (awarded in 2002)
The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents by Terry Pratchett published by Doubleday

A brilliant and witty twist on the tale of the Pied Piper. Funny and irreverent, but also dark and subversive, in the way it parodies the classic folk tale genre. This is a story that holds a mirror up to our world and questions attitudes and behaviour prevalent in our society. A clever and most entertaining read.

     

2000 (awarded in 2001)
The Other Side of Truth by Beverley Naidoo published by Puffin

The moving, topical story of a Nigerian brother and sister fleeing oppression and seeking asylum in the UK. It skilfully blends fact and fiction to leave a lasting impression of real issues at work (political injustice, racism, fear) but with tangible emotional involvement through the eyes of its child characters, particularly Sade. The writing is gripping, powerful and evocative, the characters realistic and sympathetic. An important book which challenges the notion of 'truth' itself.

     
   

1999 (awarded in 2000)
Postcards from No Man's Land by Aidan Chambers published by Bodley Head

Rich and complex, this novel weaves together two stories separated by 50 years. Chambers links the story of a Second World War soldier with that of his grandson and namesake, Jacob, who is visiting Amsterdam for the commemoration of the Battle of Arnhem. Every word is well chosen, and timing and pace are perfectly handled in this sophisticated book for older teenagers. Emotionally and intellectually challenging, this is a book that lingers in the mind.

     

1998 (awarded in 1999)
Skellig by David Almond published by Hodder Children's Books

A bizarre creature - man, bird, angel? - lurks in Michael's garage. Skellig appears just after Michael's family has moved house and had a new baby - a baby whose life hangs in the balance. A book with an extraordinary, intense and magical atmosphere. Poetic yet gritty, precise but surreal. The kind of book you can't stop thinking about.

     

1997 (awarded in 1998)
River Boy by Tim Bowler published by Oxford University Press

River Boy is elegiac, emotional and surreal. It tells the story of Jess's relationship with her dying grandfather - a deeply loved, but difficult man who returns with his family to his childhood home, driven to finish his last painting. River Boy has all the hallmarks of a classic - it deepens with re-reading, and takes the reader on a journey - you are not the same person at the end of this book

     
    1996 (awarded in 1997)
Junk by Melvin Burgess published by Andersen Press

Junk is an outstanding, ground breaking book, an extraordinary mixture of social commentary and gripping drama. It is superbly written, with a subtle character development achieved through a succession of first person accounts of an adventure that leads to addiction.