So what’s the Carnegie Medal then? Kind of like the BAFTAs for young adults’ writing. This year there is an interesting collection of shortlisted novels, and you can see the book covers in a gallery here. This is them, with catalogue links:

  • Chains, Laurie Halse Anderson – “After being sold to a cruel couple in New York City, a slave named Isabel spies for the rebels during the Revolutionary War.” (catalogue)
  • The Graveyard Book, Neil Gaiman – Bod’s raised by ghosts in one of those cool church cemeteries after his family is murdered. Is the murderer going to attempt to finish the job?
  • The Vanishing of Katharina Linden, Helen Grant – Pia is the last person to see Katharina Linden alive, and she wants to know what happened, but then another girl goes missing…
  • Rowan the Strange, Julie Hearn – the story of a boy living during World War II who has a mental illness (in the time of asylums and experimental surgeries – scary).
  • The Ask and the Answer, Patrick Ness – the second, award-winning book in the Chaos Walking trilogy, told alternately between Todd and Viola’s perspectives.
  • Nation, Terry Pratchett – an island boy and an English aristrocrat set about building a community after a devastating tsunami.
  • Fever Crumb, Philip Reeve – set in the Mortal Engines world, but before Tom and Hester (and in that sense, a prequel).
  • Revolver, Marcus Sedgwick – in the Arctic Circle, Sig is alone with his father who has just been shot dead, then a stranger arrives on his doorstep saying he’s his father’s former business partner…

If you have to read an award-winning novel for school, then the Carnegie Medalists are an excellent place to start.