Trophy Store Blog
Carnegie Medal & Kate Greenaway Medal 2012 Awards
14 June 2012
A children's novel about a boy whose mother is battling cancer has won a momentous literary double, having been awarded both the prestigious Carnegie Medal and the Kate Greenaway Medal for illustration. It's the first time that the two awards have been won by the same book.
A Monster Calls, by Patrick Ness, is the moving story of a teenage boy called Conor, who encounters a terrifying monster that appears in his garden in the shape of an ancient gnarled, yew tree. In the course of the story it is revealed that Conor's mother has been diagnosed with terminal cancer. Unable to turn to his absent father or his cold grandmother for support, Conor finds solace of sorts in the company of the monster.
The illustrations in the book were drawn by English artist Jim Kay - it was only his second commission for a children's book.
Ness, meanwhile, is no stranger to the prize - he won the Carnegie in 2011 for the novel Monsters of Men. It's only the second time an author has won two Carnegie medals in a row - the first was Peter Dickinson, who won the prize in 1979 and 1980 for the books Tulku and City of Gold.
A Monster Calls has had critical acclaim heaped upon it, also winning the Red House Children's Book Award 2012.
The idea for the novel was given to Ness by the author Siobhan Dowd, who was unable to write the book herself after she died from cancer in 2007. But Dowd's achievements as a children's author have been honoured by the Carnegie judges, who gave the prize to her book Bog Child in 2009.
Ness said he was delighted that the win means people would continue to talk about Dowd's work and that it might inspire them to pick up her books.
The Carnegie Medal in Literature is an annual award given to an outstanding book in the area of fiction for children or young adults. Founded in 1937, in memory of Scots-born philanthropist Andrew Carnegie, its first recipient was Arthur Ransome for Pigeon Post. Past winners include Philippa Pearce for Tom's Midnight Garden and Philip Pullman for His Dark Materials: Northern Lights.
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