In addition to the books mentioned in my last post, tomorrow my to-read pile gets a little larger with the announcement of the shortlists for the CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway children’s book awards; a significant part of my book-year. The awards are arguably among the most prestigious in the UK children’s book world, and are nominated and judged by a panel of librarians. In the workplace we run a book club that shadows the main awards, judging each of the books by the same criteria the actual judges use. Our choice of winners is usually entirely different to those chosen by the judges (it’s actually become a ‘thing’ in recent years), but it’s fun getting to borrow and read the books, then discuss our thoughts over juice and biscuits. My year doesn’t feel complete without it, in fact.
Last year I was lucky enough to attend the actual presentation, held in the main screening and function room at BAFTA in London. Accompanied by a heavy bag of books, I met most of the authors and illustrators in attendance, host Jennie Bond, and some lovely librarians, agents, journalists, editors and marketing folk. The ceremony itself was amazing; my favourite author Patrick Ness won the Carnegie Medal for the third book in his Chaos Walking trilogy – a set of books so intense and captivating I never know quite how to do them justice in words. His acceptance speech was 20 minutes of fiery pro-library, anti-coalition arguments which ended in a standing ovation…as far as moments go, it was one of more amazing ones I was part of last year.
If you would like to hear the speech (which I do recommend, the written version doesn’t do it justice) you can do so here. I was sat next to Sean from Walker Books while he recorded it, a small claim to fame for the day!
My shortlist predictions for this year:
- Mal Peet – Life: An Exploded Diagram
- Patrick Ness – A Monster Calls
- Annabel Pitcher – My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece
- Moira Young – Blood Red Road
- David Almond – My Name is Mina
- Malorie Blackman – Boys Don’t Cry
Kate Greenaway Medal:
- Jeannie Baker – Mirror
- Katie Cleminson – Otto the Book Bear
- Chris Haughton – A Bit Lost
- Jim Kay (Patrick Ness) – A Monster Calls
- Dave McKean (David Almond) – Slog’s Dad
- David Lucas – Lost in the Toy Museum
Lets see how many I guess correctly; disagreeing with what makes the shortlist is as much part of the process as the reading itself!