Winners of the 2015 Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medals

The winners of the 2015 Carnegie and Greenaway Medals were announced on Monday in the UK.  Tanya Landman was awarded the CILIP Carnegie Medal for Buffalo soldier and William Grill was awarded the CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal for his debut picture book, Shackleton’s Journey They each received a medal and £500 of books to donate to their local library and William Grill also received the Colin Mears Award of £5,000.

Cover of Buffalo soldierCharley, a young African-American slave from the Deep South, is freed at the end of the American Civil War. However her freedom is met with tragedy after her adopted mother is raped and lynched at the hands of a mob, and Charley finds herself alone with no protection. In a terrifyingly lawless land, where the colour of a person’s skin can bring violent death, Charley disguises herself as a man and joins the army. Trapped in a world of injustice and inequality, it’s only when Charley is posted to Apache territory to fight “savage Indians” that she begins to learn about who she is and what it is to be truly free.

The judges said: Engrossing from the very beginning, the strong narrative voice engages the reader in the world described; perfectly conveying raw emotions without the overuse of sentimentality. This is a beautiful, powerful piece of writing that will remain with readers long after the last page.

Cover of Shackleton's journeyIn the last days of the Heroic Age of Exploration, Ernest Shackleton dreamed of crossing the frozen heart of Antarctica, a place of ferocious seas, uncharted mountains and bone-chilling cold. But when his ship, the Endurance, became trapped in the deadly grip of the ice, Shackleton’s dreams of crossing Antarctica were shattered. Stranded in a cold, white world, and thousands of miles from home, the men of the expedition set out on a desperate trek across the ice in search of rescue.

The judges said: This beautiful non-fiction book seems to effortlessly bring a modern and fresh feel to the story of Ernest Shackleton, whilst remaining traditional and classic. This is an exciting, quality book which provides a true experience and reminds us that it is the people, not the journey, that truly matter.

I haven’t read either of these books but they both sound really interesting.  My picks were More than this by Patrick Ness for the Carnegie and Goth Girl and the Ghost of a Mouse, written and illustrated by Chris Riddell for the Greenaway.  There were certainly some great books on the shortlist and I’m sure it would have been a tough decision.

The Carnegie Medal is awarded annually to the writer of an outstanding book for children. The shortlisted books this year were:

The Greenaway Medal is awarded annually for an outstanding book in terms of illustration for children and young people. The shortlisted books this year were:

Neil Gaiman takes out 2010 Carnegie Medal

Neil Gaiman has been awarded the most sought after prize for children’s fiction in the UK, the CILIP Carnegie Medal, for his book, The Graveyard Book.  This is the second major prize that Gaiman has won for The Graveyard Book as he won the US equivalent of the prize, the Newberry medal, making him the first author to win both the prizes for the same book.  Although it wasn’t my favourite book in the shortlist (I would have voted for Patrick Ness’ Ask and the Answer) Neil Gaiman is a fantastic writer and definitely deserves the praise.

Australian illustrator, Freya Blackwood is the winner of the 2010 CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal, the UK’s most prestigious award for children’s illustration.  Her book, Harry and Hopper is a moving book about a young boy Harry, who has to come to terms with the sudden death of his best friend, his dog Hopper.  The judges commented that “Freya Blackwood excels in her use of muted colour, perspective, and exterior and interior space to give a powerful take on the father-son relationship, and a much-loved pet’s death. A sensitive issue for young children is beautifully handled, with Harry’s emotions and memories of Hopper expressed visually to great effect.”  It is a beautifully produced book and a well-deserved winner.

Check out the shortlist from this year’s Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medal , as well as videos from the awards presentation on the awards website.

Bigwigs slog it out for Carnegie Medal

I’ve always thought that I’d like to be a judge for one of the big children’s literature awards.  Spending months reading every single book on the long-list and whittling it down to a shortlist of 4-6 books sounds like my idea of heaven.  However,  I’m glad I’m not one of the judges for this year’s Carnegie Medal, the award given annually by librarians to the writer of an outstanding book for children.  The shortlist this year includes some of the biggest names in children’s and young adult’s literature:

Patrick Ness is definitely at the top of my list, but I’m also a huge fan of Marcus Sedgwick’s writing and Revolver was a tense and enthralling read.  Terry Pratchet and Neil Gaiman are also both great writers but both of their nominated books failed to grab me.  It’s interesting to note that my favourites tend to be male writers and I haven’t read any of the female writers on the list (I must remedy this immediately!). 

Have you read any of the shortlisted titles or do you have a favourite title that you would like to win?