Carnegie and Greenaway
This year’s award of the Library Association’s prestigious medals for excellence in books for children was made on 14 June. The names of the two winners had been kept strictly secret, so that the atmosphere in the British Library Boardroom at the presentation was a bit like the Oscar ceremony – authors, artists, publishers all waiting to see whose name was in the envelope.
In the event The Carnegie Medal for an outstanding book written for children went to Margaret Mahy for The Changeover.
The thirteen-strong selection panel which consisted of children’s librarians representing all regions of the UK commented:
‘The combination of supernatural thriller and teenage romance produced a novel of superb characterisation, original plot and powerful imaginative fantasy.’
Margaret Mahy now becomes one of a small group of authors to win the Carnegie Medal twice. She was awarded it first in 1982 for The Haunting.
Highly commended was Robert Swindells’ Brother in the Land (OUP, 0 19 271491 0, £5.95 and Puffin Plus, 014 03.1798 8, £1.50) for the way it ‘graphically illustrates in a brave and imaginative manner life in the devastation following a nuclear war.’
On the Edge by Gillian Cross OUP, 019 271486 4, £6.95
Badger on the Barge and Other Stories by Janni Howker, Julia MacRae, 0 86203 163 X, £5.95
Christabel by Alison Morgan, Julia MacRae, 0 86203 136 2, £2.95
The Changeover, is published by Dent, 0 460 06153 4, at £6.95.
The Kate Greenaway Medal for the most distinguished work in the illustration of children’s books went to Errol le Cain for his illustration of Hiawatha’s Childhood with a text taken from Longfellow’s poem, Hiawatha.
The selection panel commended ‘a set of outstandingly beautiful designs, capturing the atmosphere, interpreting and enriching the verse, bringing the poem to life.’
Errol le Cain has been shortlisted for the Greenaway on three previous occasions. This is the first time he has won it.
Shortlisted this year were:
Cat and Canary by Michael Foreman Andersen Press, 0 86264 075 X, £4.95
Lucy and Tom’s ABC by Shirley Hughes Gollancz, 0 575 03398 3, £3.95
Sammy Streetsinger by Charles Keeping OUP, 0 19 279782 4, £4.95
Christmas by Jan Pienkowski Heinemann, 0 434 95649 X, £5.95
There’s a Sea in My Bedroom illustrated by Jane Turner, text by Margaret Wild, Hamish Hamilton, 0 241 11345 8, £4.95
Hiawatha’s Childhood, is published by Faber, 0 571 13286 3, at £5.95.
Nominations for these awards can be submitted by any member of the Library Association and literally hundreds of librarians are involved in the initial selection process. The awards are organised by the Youth Libraries Group of the LA and the selection panel is chaired by the current YLG chairperson, who this year is Grace Shaw.
The Kathleen Fidler Award
The 1984 Kathleen Fidler Award has been awarded to Janet Collins for her novel, Barty. The Award, now in its third year, was suggested by the Edinburgh Children’s Book Group to honour prolific children’s author, Kathleen Fidler. It is sponsored by Blackie & Son and administered by the National Book League in Scotland.
The judges report: ‘Barty is a convincing and sympathetic story about a boy of restricted growth who longs to take part in all the activities that his schools friends enjoy but because of his small size he is unable to. Worst of all he is looked upon by friends as something of a freak.
During the summer holiday, Barty meets Dan, a boy from the local Canoe Club. Through canoeing and his friendship with Dan, Barty’s confidence grows and by the end of the summer he achieves a longstanding ambition of going to camp with his friends and being accepted as a “normal” boy.’
Janet Collins was born in Leicestershire and at present is living with her husband and two sons in Ironbridge, Telford. She has taught drama in secondary schools since 1955. Barty is her first book for children and will be published by Blackie Children’s Books in March 1986.