Monday, 19 May 2014

Get ready for Carnegie fever - prepare to be provoked and entertained

The Carnegie shortlist always manages to be a truly great mixture of books published each year for children, from the most magical to the most memorable. There is generally at least one which is controversial (and often get hackles rising and sometimes even complaints from parents), but it's always great for debate and shows the trends and favourites among all the hundreds of books published for children every year.

So we have been getting our teeth into this year's shortlist and finding out which ones we think are the must-reads and the classics in the making.

Being swept away by a great story and a great read is often what makes people fall in love with books. But stories also exist because they are great ways of communicating and finding out about the world and to learn about people and lives very different from our own, conveyed in the safe environment of the pages of a book.

Should you be looking for a turning point where children no longer always merely expect to be entertained when they open a book, but start to see that books can be so much more and can appreciate that books can enlighten, educate – they can provoke.

Joining in with Carnegie shadowing is often a great prompt for children to start to explore books in a different way, to read more broadly, more adventurously and more critically.

So here's the list of what we have been reading lately.

CILIP Carnegie Medal 2014 shortlist:
All the Truth That’s in Me by Julie Berry (Templar)
The Bunker Diary by Kevin Brooks (Puffin)
The Child’s Elephant by Rachel Campbell-Johnston (David Fickling Books)
Ghost Hawk by Susan Cooper (Bodley Head)
Blood Family by Anne Fine (Double Day)
Rooftoppers by Katherine Rundell (Faber & Faber)
Liar & Spy by Rebecca Stead (Andersen Press)
The Wall by William Sutcliffe (Bloomsbury)

Author Anne Fine is in the running to win the CILIP Carnegie medal for a third time, and if she wins, she will be the first author to win the Carnegie three times, following previous wins with Flour Babies and Goggle-Eyes.

Rachel Campbell Johnston is nominated for her debut novel, Susan Cooper was first published in 1964 and has written a host of novels, non-fiction, plays, picture books and short fiction.

The shortlist features books from publishers large and small - from Templar, Puffin, David Fickling Books, Bodley Head, Faber, Andersen Press and Bloomsbury, many of which deal with the themes of kidnap and captivity. They will appeal to boys and girls and there are books that are aimed at ages from eight to adult.

Helen Thompson, chair of the CILIP Carnegie Kate Greenaway judging panel, said the books place fantastic storytelling at their heart: “Books that tackle dark themes, such as kidnap, war and orphaned children, but which do so with humanity, sensitivity and, in places, lyricism.”

The winners for both medals will be announced on 23rd June 2014 at a ceremony at the Unicorn Theatre in London. The winners will each receive £500 worth of books to donate to their local library and the golden medals.

Watch out for Space on the Bookshelf’s views on all the shortlisted books – and we’ll be picking out favourites and tipping the winners.

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