The CILIP Carnegie Medal
Jennifer Donnelly’s A Gathering Light (Bloomsbury) has won the Carnegie Medal. Chair of judges Colin Brabazon said: ‘A Gathering Light impressed the judges immensely – the striking luminosity of its prose, its tangible sense of place and the integrity of its vision combine to produce an extremely impressive first novel for this age range. It is a book about hard choices and the power of language to free us from the constraints of everyday – outstanding in every way.’
The CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal
Shirley Hughes’s Ella’s Big Chance (The Bodley Head) has won the Kate Greenaway Medal. Chair of judges Colin Brabazon said: ‘Ella’s Big Chance impressed in so many ways – a wonderful flowing line, an exceptional sense of composition and a gorgeous use of colour. Up against stiff competition, the combination of outstanding craftsmanship and artistic imagination made this book shine through. It exudes quality.’
CLPE Poetry Award 2004
The winner of the CLPE Poetry Award is All the Best: Selected Poems by Roger McGough (Puffin). The runner-up is Overheard on a Saltmarsh edited by Carol Ann Duffy (Macmillan Young Picador). The 2003 winner of the CLPE Poetry Award was given in BfK 145 instead of the 2004 winner. Apologies to CLPE and Roger McGough.
Lancashire Children’s Book of the Year 2004
Lancashire school children have voted Chris Wooding’s book Poison (Scholastic) winner of the 18th Lancashire Children’s Book of the Year Award.
Wanted: Schools to help find the next Harry Potter
Schools are being asked to help find the next Harry Potter in the 20th annual Nestlé Smarties Book Prize, Britain’s longest-running book prize judged by young readers. Booktrust, the charity running the prize, is inviting schools to take part in specially-created classroom activities this autumn, and to enter a competition to win the chance to attend the awards ceremony and 20th anniversary celebrations in London in December. Classes in the following age categories can enter: five years and under, six to eight years, and nine to eleven years. Schools applying will receive full details in the first week of September 2004. The adult judges will be author Sally Gardner, a gold-medal winner in the 2003 Nestlé Smarties Book Prize, broadcasters Libby Purves and Mark Lawson, and journalists Julia Eccleshare and Geraldine Brennan who will choose a shortlist of nine titles over the summer from the hundreds of books already entered. The final selection of the winners rests with the schoolchildren who decide which authors will get the gold, silver and bronze medals. The winners will be announced on Wednesday 8 December at the British Library in London. For further information contact: Hannah Rutland, Booktrust, tel: 020 8516 2986, e-mail: email@example.com
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Carnegie and Greenaway shortlists
We are a group of 13-year-olds from Bartley Green Technology College. We were very surprised by your comments on the Carnegie shortlist title The Fire Eaters by David Almond (BfK No. 147). We are an experienced shadowing group and feel that this book lacks a decent storyline and fails to reach a climax. The reviews on the CILIP website clearly show that this is not an enjoyable book for many children: ‘Didn’t grab you’; ‘Insult to literature’; ‘Good book to read before bedtime as it sends you right off to sleep.’ We also think that some of the judges should be children as we are the ones that have to read these books.
Year 8 Shadowing Group
Bartley Green Technology College, Birmingham
I am writing to say how disappointed I was to read your comment about Debi Gliori’s drawings being ‘painfully bad’ (BfK No. 147). You can say you don’t like her style but you can’t say it’s bad. I personally dislike Bee Willey’s illustrations but I don’t for a moment think they are bad. Such a comment does you no credit.
7 Abbot’s View, Haddington, EH41 3QG
The market for children’s books is a broad one and a lack of technical competence in drawing can be unproblematic when the resulting artwork has an appeal to a section of that market. Judith Kerr’s Mog titles are another case in point – they are much loved but, like Always and Forever, not candidates for a serious illustration award. Ed.
1. Saw Alex Hamilton’s piece in BfK 147 and noted something was missing from the ‘All Times Greats’ chart – me!
2. A few figures (as of November ‘03):
Puffin total UK sales 11,125,169
Including Each Peach Pear Plum 1,316,210
The Happy Families series 3,392,374
Please Mrs Butler 868,942)
+ Heard it in the Playground 406,829) 1,275,771*
* = poetry! – well, verse anyway.
3. Also, with Heinemann/Egmont:
The Jolly Postman (3 titles) 5,000,000+
Plus 25 years of Burglar Bill, etc = quite a few.
4. Of course, when I say ‘me’, I mean ‘us’: Janet and Allan Ahlberg. Janet died in ‘94.
15 Sion Hill, Lansdown, Bath BA1 2UH
Alex Hamilton writes:
I’m sorry Allan feels left out. That can’t have happened to him often in his splendidly productive career. The odd inexplicable omission is inevitable, and this is neither the first, nor probably the last of mine. This was the first bestseller list dedicated to children’s books and was much harder to collate than the adult lists, whose parameters are long familiar to publishers. But the main point is that it was never intended – indeed couldn’t be in the time and space available – as a comprehensive list of the works of all the most successful children’s writers. Nor is it a competitive line-up. I hoped to emphasise that by listing the authors in alphabetical order, and not by cash or sales figures. It is poignant to think that Allan would have headed the list. Originally I named this list Jack Horner’s Corner, so people could see it was only a sampler, but editors see headlines differently and they all changed it. If every bestselling author would list the performance of their titles in the detail that Allan has done, it would be a great help to me!
Congratulations to Roger McGough who has been awarded the CBE for services to poetry and to Quentin Blake who has been awarded an honorary D.Litt from the University of Cambridge.
Kate Wilson has been appointed group Managing Director of Scholastic UK with responsibility for Scholastic’s book publishing, clubs, fairs and magazine operations. She was previously Managing Director of Macmillan Children’s Books where she oversaw a six-fold increase in sales.