Kevin Brooks and Jon Klassen win at CILIP CKG Awards

By Ruth Atkinson

Kevin Brooks and Jon Klassen have been awarded the 2014 CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medals. Awarded for books of outstanding literary and artistic merit, the Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medals are the longest-established and most prestigious children’s book awards and the only ones judged by librarians.

The Carnegie Medal was established in 1936 in memory of philanthropist Andrew Carnegie, who funded libraries and promoted literature. Kevin Brooks has been awarded a medal and given £500 to provide books to a library of his choice. The Kate Greenaway Medal is awarded for distinguished illustration in a book for children, and is awarded to Jon Klassen along with a cash prize and a donation for books for a library. The medals were presented at an awards ceremony at the Mermaid Theatre in central London. Congratulations to both of these worthy winners!

Chart showing the Accelerated Reader quiz usage for the 2014 Carnegie Medal shortlist

Kevin Brooks’s Carnegie-winning The Bunker Diary is a claustrophobic tale of captivity. The story focuses on Linus, a teenage boy who wakes up in a bunker with six rooms. Soon every room has an occupant, delivered to the bunker via the lift that acts as the only link to the outside world. Brooks has been criticised for penning a relentlessly dismal and bleak book. In his acceptance speech Brooks explained how it had taken a decade for him get the book in print because publishers had consistently shied away from a story they perceived to end without any hope. Brooks insisted that young people are big enough to read stories that don’t necessarily answer every question or have happy endings. Controversial in substance, The Bunker Diary is brilliantly written and has captivated students using Accelerated Reader. Of the books shortlisted for the CILIP Carnegie Medal, The Bunker Diary has had the greatest number of quizzes taken on it since the list was announced, showing that students have been as gripped by the story as the judges have.

Jon Klassen won the Kate Greenaway Medal for his illustrations for This Is Not My Hat. The book is about a tiny fish who steals a hat from a bigger fish. In his speech accepting the award, Klassen explained how the book had evolved from a different, altogether more moralistic story. He reworked it into its current form to make it more jovial, but also to leave space for the moral implications of the story to be worked out by the reader. The result is a sparse narrative that is told as much through the use of illustration on the page as the words themselves.

As part of our sponsorship of the awards, Renaissance Learning has made available short Accelerated Reader-style quizzes on the shortlisted books. Find out more details and take the quiz at takethequiz.co.uk.


Posted on 23 June 2014 at 5:13 pm
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