Archive for the ‘Carnegie and Greenaway awards’ Category

Carnegie and Greenaway Awards: Trash

Andy Mulligan
Raphael is a dumpsite boy. He spends his days wading through mountains of steaming trash, sifting it, sorting it, breathing it, sleeping next to it.
Then one unlucky-lucky day, Raphael’s world turns upside down. A small leather bag falls into his hands. It’s a bag of clues. It’s a bag of hope. It’s a bag that will change everything.
Soon Raphael and his friends Gardo and Rat are running for their lives. Wanted by the police, it takes all their quick-thinking and fast-talking to stay ahead. As the net tightens, they uncover a dead man’s mission to put right a terrible wrong.
And now it’s three street boys against the world…

One day, whilst he is out sorting through the dumpsite just like he does on any other day, Raphael discovers a bag. The bag contains a wallet with 1100 pesos and some pictures in and a key. It is a discovery that will change the life of Raphael, and that of his friends Gardo and Rat forever.

This book was removed from the Blue Peter Book Award shortlist last year for being too violent and containing a swear word. This hasn’t put the judges on the Carnegie panel off as it finds itself on the shortlist for that award this year. I wasn’t really expecting to enjoy this book. I had heard very good things about it but it just didn’t seem like the kind of book that I normally would want to pick up, but then that’s part of the beauty of the Carnegie Award, the chance to discover books you normally wouldn’t read. But I did enjoy this book. It tells of a world so totally different to the one we inhabit that I couldn’t resist finding out more. I was drawn into the world of these three dumpsite boys who had so little in a material sense, but were happy none the less. Although the general premise of the story is betrayal and corruption I actually found the story quite heart warming. The ending however is quite simplistic and not all that believable, but this is a story designed for children not adults so that shouldn’t matter as much.

The story is told from a multitude of first person point of views, people recounting their part of the story afterwards in order to form a book. This is actually very effective as you don’t just get the story of the three dumpsite boys, but that of the people who helped them. It also contributes to the fast paced feeling of the book. It’s one of those books where you suddenly find that you are halfway through but don’t really feel as though you have read that much yet. There is almost continuous action with very little downtime, but this is handled well and you, as a reader don’t feel over faced. I don’t think this will be my winner, though as this is the first that I’ve read that may change, whilst it is very enjoyable it didn’t have the wow feeling for me.

Verdict: Fast paced and filled with tension yet at the same time has that feel good factor. A very enjoyable way to while away a couple of hours.

Reviewed by Alison

Publisher: David Fickling Books
Publication Date: March 2011
Format: Paperback
Pages: 224
Genre: Mystery
Age: YA
Reviewer: Alison
Source: Borrowed
Challenge: British Book
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Carnegie and Greenaway Awards: A Monster Calls



Patrick Ness and Jim Kay (Illustrator) based on an idea by Siobhan Dowd


At seven minutes past midnight, thirteen-year-old Conor wakes to find a monster outside his bedroom window. But it isn’t the monster Conor’s been expecting — he’s been expecting the one from his nightmare, the nightmare he’s had nearly every night since his mother started her treatments.
The monster in his backyard is different. It’s ancient. And wild. And it wants something from Conor. Something terrible and dangerous. It wants the truth.
From the final idea of award-winning author Siobhan Dowd — whose premature death from cancer prevented her from writing it herself — Patrick Ness has spun a haunting and darkly funny novel of mischief, loss, and monsters both real and imagined

As some of you may have seen in a previous post, Caroline and I went to a Patrick Ness/Jim Kay talk. Prior to this event, I didn’t really know who Patrick Ness was (I know! I promise to flagellate myself later for such ignorance) and what with it being only February, I was still feeling skint so promised myself that I was not going to buy, ‘A Monster Calls’ at the signing. Well, that lasted almost as long as my decision to give up chocolate during lent! I just couldn’t help it. The moment I clapped eyes on the black and white foreboding cover and then to caress the pages to be rewarded with such beautiful artwork, I just had to have it!

Thankfully, the story does the artwork justice. The premise is simple, a young boy struggles to cope as his mother battles terminal cancer. As he is becoming increasingly isolated and frustrated, he suddenly gets a visit from a monster who insists on telling Conor three stories, each with an unexpected thought provoking twist and in return, Conor must tell him one that’s the truth.

Whilst Conor is dealing with all this and his father’s pathetic attempts of being supportive, putting up with his not so stereotypical grandmother and being bullied by what can only be described as a sociopath in the making at school, you can’t help but hope that everything will turn out okay for him. Conor isn’t a saint though, there are a few times you’ll be shaking your head over his actions but this only makes him and the story more real – which is surprising really, when the most interesting and influential character in the story is a talking tree…

Verdict: This is a book, even in it’s Paperback form that will be treasured for it’s outer beauty and for the heart wrenching story within

Reviewed by Karen

Publisher: Walker
Publication Date: February 2012
Format: Paperback
Pages: 216
Genre: Fantasy
Age: Middle grade
Reviewer: Karen
Source: Own Copy
Challenge: British Book
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Carnegie and Greenaway Awards

Across the country children and school librarians are waited with bated breath.  Tuesday the 27th of March marks the day of the release of the shortlists for the annual Carnegie and Greenaway Awards.  These awards are among the top awards for children’s literature in the country and thousands of students will begin to ‘shadow’ the awards when the shortlists are announced.

As a school librarian this is always an exciting time for me.  The awards help to start a real reading buzz around the school and help to get the students reading books they otherwise would not have picked up.  The sense of achievement they feel at reading a number of books within a time frame is massive.  And then there are always the discussions in which they disagree with the judge’s chosen winner….

Over the next 8 weeks we’ll be looking at the shortlists of both awards.  The winners will be announced on 14th June.

The Carnegie Award recognises authors who write books for children.  The intended age range can be anything from 7 to 14.  The winners are chosen by a panel of children’s librarians.  Winners in the recent past include Patrick Ness and Neil Gaiman.  This year’s shortlist includes
My Name is Mina- David Almond
Small Change for Stuart- Lissa Evans
The Midnight Zoo-Sonya Hartnett
Everybody Jam- Ali Lewis
Trash- Andy Mulligan
A Monster Calls- Patrick Ness
My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece- Annabel Pitcher
Between Shades of Grey- Rita Sepetys

The Greenaway Award recognises the illustrator of picture books.  It looks at how pictures tell stories and what they can add to the words.  As such it’s the illustrator that receives the award rather than the author.  This year’s shortlist includes

Wolf Won’t Bite- Emily Gravett
Puffin Peter- Petr Horacek
A Monster Calls- Jim Kay (illustrator), Patrick Ness
Slog’s Dad- Dave Mckean (illustrator), David Almond
Solomon Crocodile- Catherine Rayner
The Gift- Rob Ryan (illustrator), Carol Ann Duffy
There Are No Cats in this Book- Viviane Schwarz
Can We Save the Tiger- Vicky White (illustrator), Martin Jenkins

Check back to see what we think of the books and see who we think should win!

Post by Alison

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