FINDING COMMON GROUND
Shortlisted novels highlight relationships across the divide
The importance of finding common ground and forging friendships across seemingly unbridgeable divides forms a unifying theme for the six novels for young people on the 2011 CILIP Carnegie Medal shortlist, announced today.
Against diverse settings that range from 15th century Spain, 19th century England and 19th century France, to Zimbabwe in the 1980s, 18th century England, and an imaginary planet, light years away from Earth, the six shortlisted books consider the qualities that unify us as human beings, despite the longest of odds and the fiercest of enmities. By showing how entrenched beliefs can be overturned and moral dilemmas resolved, they demonstrate the value of integrity, and generate a sense of hope through rich story-telling of outstanding quality.
"In the context of a fascinating variety of settings, each novel shortlisted for this year's Medal offers a compelling narrative of its time" comments Ferelith Hordon, Children's Librarian for Wandsworth Library Service and Chair of this year's CILIP Carnegie Judging Panel. "These writers are brave, and some might say controversial in their choices of subject matter for young people – the Spanish Inquisition; gruesome investigations into the afterlife; and the violence at the heart of Robert Mugabe's Zimbabwe to name but three. But the quality of their writing ensures that the big questions are always treated in a way that is both thoughtful and completely absorbing."
Now in its seventy fourth year, the CILIP Carnegie Medal is the UK's oldest and most prestigious book award for outstanding writing for children. It is the prize writers describe as the one they want to win. Although there is no cash reward, its prestige is rooted in the unique judging process which pools the professional expertise of librarians from across the country, who nominate titles for the long list.
Twelve librarians from CILIP's Youth Libraries Group then meet to discuss the long list and agree on titles for the shortlist. Members of the panel combine an in-depth knowledge of books with daily experience of working and reading with young people.
Both the Carnegie Medal and its sister award, the Kate Greenaway Medal are awarded annually by CILIP: the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals. The 2011 winners will be announced at a ceremony at BAFTA in central London on Thursday 23rd June.
The CILIP Carnegie Medal Shortlist 2011
BRESLIN, THERESA PRISONER OF THE INQUISITION
McCAUGHREAN GERALDINE THE DEATH DEFYING PEPPER ROUX
NESS, PATRICK MONSTERS
ROSOFF, MEG THE
SEDGWICK, MARCUS WHITE CROW
WALLACE, JASON OUT