Saturday, 9 March 2013

Carnegie 2013 longlist coverage (& our shortlist)

Since November 2012, we have been reading, reviewing and exploring the CILIP Carnegie Medal's 2013 longlist. Four readers (three are young teens) have been working their way through them. We've read and reviewed 22 longlisted titles. We've obviously chosen the titles that appeal most to us but the longlist covers all genres and is very varied. Our reviews have attempted to take some of the judging criteria into account.
In anticipation of the shortlist announcement on Tuesday 12 March, we've wrapped up our longlist reviews. From what we've read, the titles in red are the ones on M's personal shortlist.

1. A Boy and a Bear in a Boat by Dave Shelton (David Fickling Books) + author interview
2. A Greyhound of a Girl by Roddy Doyle (Marion Lloyd Books)
3. After the Snow by S.D. Crockett (Macmillan Children's Books)
4. All Fall Down by Sally Nicholls (Marion Lloyd Books)
5. Call Down Thunder by Daniel Finn (Macmillan Children's Books)
6. Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein (Electric Monkey)
7. Hitler's Angel by William Osborne (Chicken House) + Alice's review
8. In Darkness by Nick Lake (Bloomsbury)
9. Maggot Moon by Sally Gardner (Hot Key Books) + about the cover
10. Mortal Chaos by Matt Dickinson (Oxford University Press)
11. Pendragon Legacy: Sword of Light by Katherine Roberts (Templar Publishing) + interview
12. Soldier Dog by Sam Angus (Macmillan Children's Books)
13. The Double Shadow by Sally Gardner (Indigo)
14. The Seeing by Diana Hendry (Bodley Head) + author interview
15. The Terrible Thing That Happened to Barnaby Brocket by John Boyne (Doubleday) + Alice's review
16. The Treasure House by Linda Newbery (Orion Children's Books)
17. The Weight of Water by Sarah Crossan (Bloomsbury) - a beautiful work; a very surprising read
18. This is Not Forgiveness by Celia Rees (Bloomsbury) + author guest post
19. To Be A Cat by Matt Haig (Bodley Head)
20. Trouble in Toadpool by Anne Fine (Doubleday Children's Books)
21. VIII by H.M. Castor (Templar Publishing) (Little M's review & Kate's review)
22. Wonder by R.J. Palacio (Bodley Head)

Little M thinks Wonder and VIII should be on the shortlist.
We've also heard some strong support for Marcus Sedgwick's Midwinterblood (review here: added 20 March 2013).

(23rd title reviewed by Kate (Year 9, april 2013) - The Girl In the Mask - Marie-Louise Jensen)

Still with a bookmark in them....!

A Face Like Glass - Frances Hardinge (Macmillan)
- M is still reading this. It's 500 pages and she is going slow. It's also a fantasy and Hardinge's writing is engagingly descriptive. Really, really enjoying it. Because I haven't finished it yet, I can't judge it. At this point, a possible contender for my shortlist.

Dying To Know You by Aidan Chambers (Bodley Head)
- M started it before it was nominated. It seems excellent but thought Little M might like to read it first. She's currently reading it.

Spy For The Queen of Scots by Theresa Breslin (Doubleday Children's Books)
- Little M is enjoying this but is dipping in and out. She says it is a challenging read for her. She's passed it on to Kate who loves historical fiction and might finish it sooner!

The Flask by Nicky Singer (HarperCollins Children's Books)
- Little M was reading and enjoying but got distracted by some other books.

The Broken Road by B.R. Collins (Bloomsbury)
- M started it before it was nominated but has been distracted; might return to it sometime becuase it was very promising (I need to find an alternative phrase!!).

Far Rockaway by Charlie Fletcher (Hodder)
- Little M has started this; says it's good but has moved onto another book for now.

Not finished
The Brides of Rollrock Island by Margo Lanagan (David Fickling Books)
- M struggled to get into it and found some of the imagery offputting; however, this is one that we might go back to at some point because there is something strangely compelling about it.

15 Days Without a Head by Dave Cousins (Oxford University Press)
- M started but didn't like the scenario that was presented.

Saving Daisy by Phil Earle (Puffin Books)
- M struggled to get into it before it was nominated; thought it might be too depressing.


We'll still be blogging bookish thoughts on other longlisted titles all the way up until June - but we might not be reviewing them. Right now, we're looking forward to Shadowing the shortlist. We'll be doing this on our blog, on the Shadowing website and on Twitter using the hashtag #tweetckg (hosted by school librarian Anna James @caseforbooks).

The Carnegie winner will be announced on 19 June 2013.

Thank you very much to the publishers who have supported our CILIP Carnegie 2013 longlist bookish adventuring!

CILIP Carnegie Children's Book Awards



  1. I've read Code Name Verity, This Is Not Forgiveness, Wonder, VIII, 15 Days Without A Head and Saving Daisy. Code Name Verity, for me, is hands-down the best book of the last few years, with only The Sky Is Everywhere coming close to it since I started reviewing. VIII would definitely be on my shortlist. I enjoyed all 4 of the others, but didn't like Wonder as much as most people seem to have done. Saving Daisy was a difficult read but would probably be my next choice for the shortlist out of those four.

    There's a couple of others on the shortlist I've read; I think I might do my own post, actually - thanks for sharing your thoughts, really interesting to read as always!

    1. Thanks Jim. I knew you'd go for Code Name Verity. It is fantastic all round. I don't know The Sky Is Everywhere, will have to look that up. I think this Carnegie shadowing from the longlist has been one of my favourite activities last year and it's getting so interesting now hearing what people think of the longlist. Can't wait to see your post.
      For me, Wonder does have a flaw - the show and bits of the ending. It's too neatly wrapped up but but I think that also makes it accessible and enjoyable for a very broad readership & I think that's a marvellous achievement for a novel.

  2. Well done, you were almost spot on with the shortlist

    1. Hey Anonymous; I know! How cool is that? At least I can fully claim that it's a stupendous shortlist!!! Bit peeved that I didn't go fo A Boy and a Bear in a Boat as well - I gave it a good review and it sits on my grown up bookshelf too! I'm glad I'm not a judge - it'll be a tough one (although I'd love to be a fly on the wall and hear what they really think about each of them).

  3. I love the shortlist this year! I've read Wonder, Midwinterblood, and Maggot moon and hoping to read all of them- as you are :) I hope both of you are enjoying these titles, M and Little M!! :)

    -- Georgia x

    1. We love it too. I've read them all now (and have some sure favourites - probably 3). Little M's read Wonder, A Boy and a Bear in a Boat, The Weight of Water, and Code Name Verity so far. Really enjoying the discussions that we're all having about them too. Enjoy the rest of the list, Georgia, they're wonderful (mostly)!


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