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70 Years Celebration




"'Stories are wild creatures', the monster said. 'When you let them loose, who knows what havoc they might wreak?'"

In an historic announcement which marked a unique moment in the 75 year history of the UK's oldest and most prestigious children's book award, the 2012 CILIP Carnegie Medal was today awarded to Patrick Ness for his novel, "A Monster Calls" (Walker Books).

Not only is this the second consecutive Carnegie Medal for Patrick Ness (a feat only achieved once before, in 1979 & 1980 by Peter Dickinson); but for the first time ever, the same book has also won the CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal - sister award to the Carnegie Medal - with Jim Kay taking the prize for his haunting illustrations for "A Monster Calls".

Commenting on today's historic announcement, Rachel Levy, Children's Library Services Manager for Sutton Libraries and chair of the 2012 CILIP Carnegie judging panel said:

"A Monster Calls" is an exquisite piece of writing. It is a beautifully economical, structurally brilliant and lyrically descriptive account of a challenging episode in one child's life. One of our judges - bereaved at a young age - said she wished that she'd had "A Monster Calls" to read then, because while it describes the nature of grief with an extraordinary clarity it also fills the reader with a spirit of hopefulness and a love for life that is profound and lasting . We'd go so far as to say that this is one of the defining books of its generation".

Asked what winning his second consecutive CILIP Carnegie Medal meant to him, Patrick Ness said:

"It's extremely humbling - and a little unnerving - to win the CILIP Carnegie Medal two years in a row. I also can't tell you how happy I am that not only has the extraordinary work of Jim Kay been recognised with the CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal (truly couldn't happen to a nicer guy), but that this will all help keep people reading and talking about the wonderful, wonderful Siobhan Dowd, which was the best outcome I wanted when I set out to write the book".

In "A Monster Calls", Patrick Ness creates a tale from the final idea of the late children's writer, Siobhan Dowd who died in 2007. Dowd was herself a CILIP Carnegie Medal winner; posthumously in 2009 for "Bog Child". "A Monster Calls" is the story of 13 year old Conor who is running from the knowledge that his mother is dying from cancer; and of his encounter with the monster of his nightmares. A share of the royalties from every copy of "A Monster Calls" sold goes to the Siobhan Dowd Trust which aims to bring books and reading to disadvantaged children in the UK.

Patrick Ness is an American who has lived in the UK since 1999. The son of a drill sergeant in the US Army, he spent his early years in Hawaii, before moving with his family to Washington state when he was six. He always knew he wanted to be a writer and had his first short story published in a magazine in 1997. This was followed by a novel for adults ("The Crash of Hennington") and a short story collection ("Topics About Which I Know Nothing").

"The Knife of Never Letting Go" - the first book in Ness' Chaos Walking trilogy was his first novel for young people and was written while he was teaching creative writing at Kellogg College, Oxford. It won both the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize and the Booktrust Teenage Prize. The second book, "The Ask and the Answer" won the Costa Book Award, and the third, "Monsters of Men" the 2011 CILIP Carnegie Medal. "A Monster Calls" has already won the National Book Tokens Children's Book of the Year Award at the Galaxy National Book Awards and the Red House Children's Book Award 2012. It also brought Patrick Ness his fourth consecutive shortlisting for the CILIP Carnegie Medal.

Founded in 1937, the CILIP Carnegie Medal is the UK's oldest and most prestigious prize for children's and young people's writing. Over the last seven decades it has come to be regarded as the arbiter of quality in writing for children and young people. Its list of distinguished past winners includes Neil Gaiman, Philip Pullman, Anne Fine, Terry Pratchett, Noel Streatfeild and CS Lewis.

Writers often describe the Carnegie as 'the one they want to win'. Although there is no cash prize, its prestige lies in its unique judging process. Most of today's literary and book awards seek submissions from publishers and votes from the public. Not the CILIP Carnegie: the Medal's selection process is rooted in the professional expertise of librarians across the country who nominate titles to be considered for a shortlist of up to eight titles, from which the winner is then chosen.

The CILIP Carnegie Medal and its sister award, the CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal, are awarded annually by CILIP: the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals.

The 2012 winners were announced at a ceremony at The Barbican London at 12 noon on Thursday 14 June.


14 June 2012

For further information please contact:

Caroline Sanderson CILIP Carnegie Media Officer

01453 759 889 or 07958 558196 email:

Andrea Reece CILIP Carnegie Media Officer

020 8889 1292 or 07807 893369 email:

Aaron Hussey CILIP Communications and Campaigns Manager

020 7255 0653 or 07867 455 070    



CILIP Shadowing Scheme

Over 4,200 reading groups in schools and public libraries have registered to take part in the shadowing scheme for the 2012 awards, involving 90,000 children and young people. Visit:

CILIP: The Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals

CILIP is the leading professional body for librarians, information specialists and knowledge managers. CILIP's vision is a fair and economically prosperous society underpinned by literacy, access to information and the transfer of knowledge. CILIP is a registered charity, no. 313014. The youth libraries group (YLG) of CILIP works in a "pressure group" role to preserve and influence the provision of quality literature and library services for children and young people, both in public libraries and school library services. Visit

Our Supporters

CILIP is grateful to have received support from a number of organisations over the years. Since 2007, ALCS, the Authors' Licensing and Collecting Society, and the Carnegie UK Trust have supported the shadowing scheme. In addition to their on-going support, in 2011 we welcomed Renaissance Learning as a sponsor and Scholastic Book Clubs as our sole official book supplier.

The Authors' Licensing & Collecting Society (ALCS)

Carnegie UK Trust

Renaissance Learning

Scholastic Book Clubs

Shadowing Research Project

Throughout 2012 CILIP and the Open University will be working together on a research project about the CILIP Carnegie/Kate Greenaway Shadowing Scheme. They will work closely with a small number of shadowing groups, with the aim of producing in-depth information about the Scheme and the reading activity it promotes. A written report and a short video documentary highlighting examples of good practice will follow. This evidence of a particular kind of reading activity, in a range of library and school contexts, will contribute to current educational debates about wider reading, and will be used to inform a toolkit for those supporting shadowing groups. This research is funded by the Carnegie UK Trust.

The CILIP Carnegie Medal Shortlist 2012

David Almond MY NAME IS MINA Hodder (9+)

Lissa Evans SMALL CHANGE FOR STUART Doubleday (8+)

Sonya Hartnett THE MIDNIGHT ZOO Walker (9+)

Ali Lewis EVERYBODY JAM Andersen (12+)

Andy Mulligan TRASH D. Fickling (12+)

Patrick Ness A MONSTER CALLS Walker (9+)


Ruta Sepetys BETWEEN SHADES OF GREY Puffin (12+)