The CILIP Carnegie Medal 2013

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In what must have been a very difficult decision to make the winner was chosen from some excellent books:


Maggot Moon by Sally Gardner


There are certain books that you know, right from the first pages, are destined to be classics. There is something about the phrasing, about the concept and about the main character which chime so perfectly together that they cannot fail to move you, to open a window in your world and show you another, deeper truth. Such a book is Maggot Moon. Full review...


The Weight of Water by Sarah Crossan


Kasienka's Dad is gone, leaving only a brief note to say he'd gone to England. Its two years after his departure, and Kasienka and her mother are moving to England to find him. With nothing but a suitcase and an old laundry bag, they leave Poland and their lives behind. But England isn't what Kasienka imagined, living in a single room, and sharing a bed with her mum, she longs to return to Poland. At home her mother throws herself into finding Kasienka's Dad, heartbroken that he left them; at school Kasienka finds herself a target of bullying. Full review...

A Greyhound of a Girl by Roddy Doyle


Mary's life seems full of grief at the moment. Her grandmother, whom she loves dearly, is dying in hospital, and at the very moment when she needs the comfort of a good friend, her bestie Ava has had to move away. But unlike many young fictional heroines, Mary has a strong and loving family to support her, and it is with them that she shares this glorious adventure. Full review...

In Darkness by Nick Lake


Shorty is lying in the rubble of the great Haitian earthquake of 2010. If he's not rescued soon, he will die. Shorty is from Site Soley, the sprawling slum of Port-au-Prince. After the murder of his father and abduction of his twin sister, Shorty has allowed himself to fall further and further into the slum's gang culture. But Route 9 isn't all about drug-dealing and gun-running - it's also about feeding the poor and educating the children. And Shorty has a great deal to teach his readers, as he recounts his life while waiting to die. Full review...

Wonder by R J Palacio


August Pullman was born with a rare genetic defect that has caused extreme facial disfiguration. He has undergone 27 surgeries since he was born and has always been vulnerable to illness. In order to deal with his medical needs and to shield him from the staring and cruelty of the world, Auggie has been home-schooled by his parents for his entire life. But Auggie is stronger now and all of that is about to change. Auggie is about to enter school for the first time – and he’s petrified. ‘Wonder’ is the story of Auggie’s first year at Beecher Prep and his first journey alone into the outside world. But can he confront the challenges that wait for him there and convince his classmates, new friends, family and himself that, underneath his unusual appearance, he is just the same as everybody else? Full review...

Midwinterblood by Marcus Sedgwick


Half a century into our future, a journalist called Eric Seven scents a story on a small, isolated island and goes to investigate. Rumours have spread, saying that people there never age, and that there are no children. He has barely set foot on the quay when he sees, and to his surprise falls in love with, a girl called Merle. But almost immediately we, the readers, realise that there is more than one mystery in this strange place. Why are the inhabitants so overwhelming in their welcome to him? What is happening on the other half of the island? And, most worryingly, why is Eric sleeping so much, and forgetting his reason for coming to the island for hours on end? From the very first page there are signs of menace and disorientation, and at last Eric overcomes his torpor and comes to understand that something is badly wrong. He endures terrible nightmares, full of blood and violence, and at the last, just as the islanders drag him to a stone table to kill him, things become clear in his mind. He has been here before. In fact, he has been here many, many times. Full review...

A Boy and a Bear in a Boat by Dave Shelton


'A boy and a bear go to sea, equipped with a suitcase, a comic book and ukulele. They are only travelling a short distance and it really shouldn't take too long. But then their boat encounters "unforeseeable anomalies"... Faced with turbulent stormy seas, a terrifying sea monster and the rank remains of The Very Last Sandwich, the odds soon become pitted against our unlikely heroes.' Full review...

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein


It is probably impossible to read this book without crying. It is one of the most heart-breaking and yet uplifting books around, and reading it feels like a privilege. Begin it early in the day, because you will not want to put it down until you have reached the very last page, and when you do you will care for many of the main characters like friends. You will weep for those who die (or most of them, at any rate: even the gentlest of readers will be glad that the world is rid of one or two). You will be proud to be human, if people like these are in our world, and you will burn for shame that others can be so cruel, so cold and so vicious. And the worst of it is, our study of history tells us that even if these precise events did not happen, then there are many other events in war, both in the past and doubtless now as well, which resemble them. The whole book is a testament to human courage and human frailty. Full review...

After the Snow by SD Crockett was longlisted.


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