Patrick Ness wins Carnegie Medal
15th June 2012 - 1:15pm
Patrick Ness has become the first author to win the Carnegie Medal two years in a row, after A Monster Calls, a novel based on an idea by the late writer Siobhan Dowd, scooped the 2012 award.
Established in 1936, the prize is one of the oldest and most prestigious children's book awards in the world and presented each year by the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP) to an outstanding new work written for children or young adults.
Ness had already made history by becoming the first author to have all three books in a trilogy shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal, with The Knife of Never Letting Know (2009), The Ask and the Answer (2010) and Monsters of Men (2011) from the Chaos Walking series all in contention to scoop the award in previous years.
Monsters of Men was the only one of these books to win the award, triumphing last year, but Ness has followed it up with victory in 2012 after A Monster Calls was chosen by the judges for its harrowing exploration of life, death and dreamscapes.
Rachel Levy, children's library services manager for Sutton Libraries and chair of the 2012 CILIP Carnegie judging panel, described the book as 'an exquisite piece of writing'.
'It is a beautifully economical, structurally brilliant and lyrically descriptive account of a challenging episode in one child's life. We'd go so far as to say that this is one of the defining books of its generation,' she added.
Ness said it is 'extremely humbling and a little unnerving' to win the CILIP Carnegie Medal two years in a row and paid tribute to Dowd, who died before she was able to transfer her thoughts to the page.
'I can't tell you how happy I am that this will all help keep people reading and talking about the wonderful, wonderful Siobhan Dowd, which was the best outcome I wanted when I set out to write the book,' he commented.
It was double success for A Monster Calls at the award ceremony, as the novel's illustrator Jim Kay was presented with the Carnegie Medal's sister prize, the Kate Greenaway Medal, which rewards illustrated children's books.