Tuesday, 4 February 2014

CILIP Carnegie 2014 Longlist

The CILIP Carnegie 2014 nominations list has been whittled down from 76 to just 20 books.

We've read 10 - so that's half of the longlist. From our our anticipated (books we'd read) and suspected (gut feelings from covers, blurbs and word of mouth) where are the delights, susuprises and disappointments for us in the longlist?

Here's the CILIP Carnegie 2014 longlist, annotated with M's thoughts.

From what we've read and reviewed, eight made it into our 'longlist' shelf so we're delighted for these:

1. Ghost Hawk - Susan Cooper
2. The Child's Elephant - Rachel Campbell-Johnston
3. Liar and Spy - Rebecca Stead
4. Rooftoppers - Katherine Rundell
5. Ketchup Clouds - Annabel Pitcher
6. All the Truth That's in Me - Julie Berry
7. Monkey Wars - Richard Kurti
8. Charm and Strange - Stephanie Kuehn

Two we've read and were feintly surprised to see on the list:

9. Brock - Anthony McGowan (didn't think it would get here, but pleased it did; definitely worth a read if you haven't read it for all sorts of good reasons)
10. Blood Family - Anne Fine (I wasn't a big fan of this novel, but Fine's a big name, the the subject matter is tragic and difficult and I was held (albeit uncomfortably) until the last page)

Six Books we haven't read but thought it likely to appear on the longlist:

11. The Boy Who Swam With Piranhas - David Almond (the clue's in the author's name)
12. The Wall - William Sutcliffe (intrigued by this one)
13. Hostage Three- Nick Lake (again, the author's name, but I was scared to read it - now I'm not)
14. Infinite Sky - CJ Flood (heard a lot of good things through the grapevines)
15. Heroic - Phil Earle (again, heard a lot of good things from all the right places)
16. Far Far Away - Tom McNeal (again, heard things in all the right places)

Two books we haven't read and didn't really suspect:

17. The Bunker Diary - Kevin Brooks (heard lots of good things and it looks chilling)
18. The Positively Last Performance - Geraldine mcGaughrean (it looks entertaining)

One we tried to read but couldn't

19. After Tomorrow - Gillian Cross (so many people have raved about this title, and it looks great but neither Little M nor I could get past the first few pages; we'll wait to see if this one's shortlisted before trying again)

And the biggest surprise for us:

20. Binny For Short - Hilary McKay (it didn't appeal strongly to either of us and we haven't noticed any significant chatter. We'll give it a closer look).

So's that the top 20! Gut feeling, the winner's in titles 1-8 - but there are still nine we have not read at all.

I'm a bit disappointed that Phoenix by SF Said didn't make either of the longlists because, barring one or two books from my numbers 1-8, reading a hardback of Phoenix had a very lasting and enjoyable effect on me

Fast forward to shadowing and the shortlist on 18 March!


  1. I've read Rooftoppers, Ketchup Clouds, Charm and Strange, All The Truth That's In Me, Heroic, and Infinite Sky. Not keen on C & S and there were parts of All The Truth...that didn't work for me. Having said that, it's at least uniquely written and I'm fascinated to see what Berry does next. Infinite Sky is a moving read, I like Heroic a lot, and Ketchup Clouds has an intriguing plot and a fabulous narrator - those latter two, certainly, would be worthy winners.

    For me, though, I'd pick Rooftoppers out of the 6 I've read. Rundell's debut The Girl Savage frustrated me because I thought it showed huge potential thanks to an interesting writing style but the characters were flat. Here, her writing is even better and I thought the characters were great. As for the ending - one of the very best in a year of stunning climaxes.

    I reserve the right to change my mind, of course - Liar and Spy and The Child's Elephant are two of the next books on my TBR pile - but for the moment I'm frantically crossing my fingers for Rooftoppers!

    1. My hunch is that Rooftoppers may well be the favourite to win (but we don't even know the shortlist yet!) though I've half the longlist to go through yet! It's always fascinating to see how we measure them up against each other, and sometimes, change our minds. Little M, of course, is a big Child's Elephant fan (I've only read a few early chapters and it is very good). My heart still lies with All the Truth (not sure where my head is yet though).


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