More on the Carnegies

Mom,

First of all, how did I not notice that my post on Monica Never Shuts Up fit in with your post on black cover art?

Second–the Carnegie Medal.  The crossovers with our ALA awards are indeed fascinating, and I do love that paragraph from the awards criteria, but what struck me when I was looking at the Wikipedia page, which lists the shortlists, was how frequently the same authors come up over and over.  Obviously Patrick Ness won the Medal twice in a row, but look at the shortlisted authors over the last decade or so:

Marcus Sedgwick, David Almond, Meg Rosoff, Philip Reeve, Terry Pratchett, Siobhan Dowd (whose name, of course, also appears on the title page of Patrick Ness’s A Monster Calls), Frank Contrell Bryce, Geraldine McCaughrean, Aidan Chambers–it seems like these authors get shortlisted for practically every book they write. 

This is just really not something you see in the ALA awards–there are precious few double Printz awardees, and even in the long history of the Newbery, there aren’t that many authors who get named multiple times. I don’t know if this is because there are relatively fewer books that are “first published in the UK” as Carnegie winners must be, or if they have a different attitude towards repeat winners, but I find it really fascinating.  It certainly makes it really easy to see what (mostly) British authors we should be paying attention to in America.

Also, on that Wikipedia page, they mention that in 2007, in honor of the 70th anniversary of the Carnegie, there was a poll to determine the favorite Carnegie winner–“six children’s book experts” picked ten of the 67 winners, and then the nation voted.  Predictably, Philip Pullman’s Northern Lights (AKA The Golden Compass) won, but the reason I bring it up is that one of the ten book the “children’s book experts” put on the list was Jennifer Donnelly’s A Gathering Light (AKA A Northern Light–presumably retitled in the UK to avoid confusion with Pullman’s book, which is funny since that book was retitled for the American market).  In any case, I thought you would be interested that Donnelly’s book was one of the choices for the “Carnegie of Carnegies,” since it was one of the books your Printz committee chose as an honor book.

– Mark

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Filed under Awards, Books, Children, Teens

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