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The UK Carnegie Medal is awarded annually to the writer of an outstanding book for children chosen by the UK's Children Librarians

It was established by in 1936, in memory of the great Scottish-born philanthropist, Andrew Carnegie (1835-1919). Carnegie was a self-made industrialist who made his fortune in steel in the USA. His experience of using a library as a child led him to resolve that "if ever wealth came to me that it should be used to establish free libraries." Carnegie set up more than 2800 libraries across the English speaking world and, by the time of his death, over half the library authorities in Great Britain had Carnegie libraries.

First awarded to Arthur Ransome for Pigeon Post the winner receives a golden medal and £500 worth of books to donate to a library of their choice. The medal is awarded by CILIP: the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals

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2010 sees a number of heavyweight writers in the play-off for the number one spot. -April 24

Neil Gaiman's,  THE GRAVEYARD BOOK, has already won the UK Booktrust Teenage Prize and America's prestigious Newbury Medal, a 2009 Hugo and a Locus Award for best YA novel.

Patrick Ness, THE ASK AND THE ANSWER is a regular on the British award scene with this particular book winning a Costa Book Award winner a few months ago. A previous book, The Knife of Letting Go, was shortlisted for last years Carnegie and won the 2008  Guardian Children's Fiction Prize.

Terry Pratchett, NATION, is the popular authors first non-Discworld novel since Johnny and the Bomb (1996). it was named an Honor books in  2009 Michael L. Printz Awards.

Philip Reeve,  FEVER CRUMB is also no strange to literary award world with his fine re-interpretation of the Arthurian legend , Here lies Arthur, winning the Carnegie Medal in 2007.

That the librarians are running with perennial favourites is sealed with the inclusion of  Marcus Sedgwick with REVOLVER.Sedgwicks previous bestseller, My Swordhand is Singing, won the Booktrust Teenage Prize and was shortlisted for the 2007 Carnegie.

All goes to show once you have made it into a librarians consciousness there you will stay.

Fabulous line-up.

The 2010 winners will be announced at a ceremony at BAFTA in central London on Thursday 24th June.

The CILIP Carnegie Medal Shortlist 2010

Bloomsbury (Age range 11+)
ISBN: 9780747598077
Bloomsbury (Age range 9+)
ISBN: 9780747569015
Penguin (Age range 14+)
ISBN: 9780141325736
Oxford University Press (Age range 12+)
ISBN: 9780192792150
Walker (Age range 14+)
ISBN: 9781406310269
Doubleday (Age range 11+)
ISBN: 9780385613705
Scholastic (Age range 9+)
ISBN: 9781407102429
Orion (Age range 12+)
ISBN: 9781842551868

2009 Carnegie Medal Winner & Shortlists

Bog Child

Winner: DOWD, SIOBHAN Bog Child
David Fickling Books (Age range: 12+)buy_from_fishpond
ISBN: 9780385614269

Digging for peat in the mountain with his Uncle Tally, Fergus finds something that makes his heart stop. Curled up deep in the bog is the body of the child. And it looks as if she’s been murdered. As Fergus tries to make sense of the troubled world around him (it is 1980s Ireland), a little voice come to him in his dreams and the mystery of the bog child unfurls.

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. More

Other Shortlisted


BOYCE, FRANK COTTRELL Cosmicbuy_from_fishpond
Macmillan (Age range: 8+)
ISBN: 9781405054645

Liam Digby is tall for his age. Very tall. Everyone thinks he is too big to be a little boy anymore, but he isn’t old enough to be a grown-up either. In a world where everyone wants to grow up fast; and then stay young forever, things get very confusing for Liam, especially when he ends up lost – in space.

Frank Cottrell Boyce has a wonderful ear for dialogue and is a master of comic pathos. The off-the-wall humour and comic language he employs here makes this a very funny book. He manages to make a bizarre premise seem quite plausible, the characters develop well and the result is an astute and profound book about childhood and the father-son relationship. More

Black Rabbit Summer

BROOKS, KEVIN Black Rabbit Summerbuy_from_fishpond
Puffin (Age range: 14+)
ISBN: 9780141381459

Pete Boland was busy doing nothing that long hot summer. Then Nicole called. “Listen Pete…you know that funfair up at the recreation ground…I thought we could all meet up…You know, for old times sake”. But old times mean old tensions, and as secrets, bitterness and jealousies resurface, five old friends are plunged into the worst night of their lives.

The reader can really feel the sticky heat as Brooks builds up the sense of an interminable and stifling summer. He employs the devices of a detective novel to give us a powerful and tense read, whilst brilliantly conveying the inner tensions of his characters’ relationships. A book that really gets inside the minds of teenagers. More


COLFER, EOIN Airmanbuy_from_fishpond
Puffin (Age range: 9+)
ISBN: 9780141383354

Conor Broekhart was born to fly. In an age of discovery and invention, many dreamed of flying but for Conor, flight is more than just a dream – it is his destiny. In one dark night on the island of Great Saltee, a cruel and cunning betrayal destroys his life and steals his future. Conor must win the race for flight to save his family, and to right a terrible wrong.

This is a rollicking read; a terrific tale of derring-do in which Colfer combines brilliant plotting with his customary humour and strong well-rounded characterisation. There is plenty to enjoy in the understated irony and the excellent descriptions of historical gadgets and inventions, but this book also has a convincing and engaging emotional realit. Ostrich Boys More

GRAY, KEITH Ostrich Boysbuy_from_fishpond

Definitions (Age range: 12+)
ISBN: 9780099456575

Kenny, Sim and Blake are about to embark on a remarkable journey. Stealing the urn that contains the ashes of their best friend Ross, they set out to travel 261 miles from Cleethorpes on the English east coast, to the tiny hamlet of Ross in southern Scotland, in a bid to give their friend a proper send-off.

A beautifully realised rite of passage novel, very strong on the relationships between its central characters and accurate about the emotions of teenage boys. The dialogue is particularly powerful and the pace of the plot just right in this authentic book about the end of childhood and the beginning of adult lives. More

The Knife of Never Letting Go: bk. 1

NESS, PATRICK The Knife of Never Letting Go: bk. 1
Walker (Age range: 14+)buy_from_fishpond
ISBN: 9781406310252

Todd Hewitt is the last boy in Prentisstown, a town like no other where everyone can hear everyone else’s thoughts in a constant, overwhelming, never-ending Noise. There is no privacy and there are no secrets. Or are there? Just one month away from the birthday that will make him a man, Todd unexpectedly stumbles on a spot of complete silence. And now he is going to have to run…

A bleak and unflinching novel with fascinating characters and extraordinary dialogue which creates a fully-realised world that the reader really buys into. The dog Manchee is an inspired creation! Ness conveys a real sense of terror and the ending is devastating. A novel that really stands out. More

Creature of the Night

THOMPSON, KATE Creature of the Nightbuy_from_fishpond
Bodley Head (Age range: 14+)
ISBN: 9780370329291

When Bobby’s mother moves the family into a rented house in the country, a neighbour tells him that a child was once murdered there. Bobby doesn’t care. All he wants is to get back to Dublin and resume his old life stealing cars. But getting his old life back turns out to be difficult, especially as the longer he spends in the old cottage, the more convinced he becomes that something strange is going on there.

A profoundly moving and believable novel by a natural storyteller which really gets the teenage experience. The language is strong but not gratuitous, the story gripping and powerful, and Bobby a character you care about despite his wayward tendencies. More

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Past Winners

Here Lies Arthur | Just in Case | Tamar | Millions | A Gathering Light (Bloomsbury Educational Editions)

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. More

Just in Case by Meg Rosoff published by Penguin buy_from_fishpond

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. More

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2005 (awarded in 2006)buy_from_fishpond
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. More

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

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. More

2003 (awarded in 2004)buy_from_fishpond
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. More

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Ruby Holler | The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents | The Other Side of Truth | Postcards from No Man's Land | Skellig | River Boy | Junk

2002 (awarded in 2003)buy_from_fishpond
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. More

2001 (awarded in 2002)buy_from_fishpond
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.More

2000 (awarded in 2001)buy_from_fishpond
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. More

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1999 (awarded in 2000)buy_from_fishpond
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. More

1998 (awarded in 1999)buy_from_fishpond
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. More

1997 (awarded in 1998)buy_from_fishpond
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. More

1996 (awarded in 1997)buy_from_fishpond
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. More

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