GROWING UP IS HARD TO DO…
The complicated business of growing up, particularly as experienced by teenage boys provides a unifying theme for the seven books on this year’s CILIP Carnegie Medal shortlist.
Employing a breadth of styles from the comic novel to fantasy fiction, historical adventure to contemporary gritty realism, the seven shortlisted authors have also chosen widely diverging periods and settings for their novels. The writing moves from imaginary islands off 19th century Ireland to contemporary Liverpool, and from 1980s Ulster to a future time on another planet.
“What really stands out in all the novels on our shortlist is the capacity of each author, in their very different ways to empathise with young people, and really get inside their heads”, comments Joy Court, Chair of the 2009 Judging Panel. “Each book lays bare the thorny process of turning from child to adult and the moral dilemmas, ambivalent relationships and confusing feelings that characterise the business of growing up. These are characters young readers will identify with and books that really do have the power to influence young lives.”
Now in its seventy second year, the CILIP Carnegie Medal is the UK’s oldest and most prestigious award for children’s writing: 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 outstanding 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.
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 winners will be announced at a ceremony at BAFTA in central London on Thursday 25 June.
BOYCE, FRANK COTTRELL COSMIC
BROOKS, KEVIN BLACK RABBIT SUMMER
COLFER, EOIN AIRMAN
DOWD, SIOBHAN BOG CHILD
GRAY, KEITH OSTRICH BOYS
NESS, PATRICK THE KNIFE OF NEVER LETTING GO
THOMPSON, KATE CREATURE OF THE NIGHT
24 April 2009