Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Long Shot Wins the Carnegie Medal

This article is from School Library Journal (The Carnegie medal is Britain's equivalent of the Newbery Award)

First-time novelist Frank Cottrell Boyce has won Britain's prestigious Carnegie Medal for Millions, a powerful tale about two young brothers who are faced with an ethical dilemma after finding a sack of money.

Boyce's debut novel beat off strong competition from books by former winners Philip Pullman (The Scarecrow and His Servant) and Sharon Creech (Heartbeat), and well-established writers Eva Ibbotson (The Star of Kazan) and Anne Cassidy (Looking for JJ). Gennifer Choldenko, the author of the 2005 Newbery Honor Book Al Capone Does My Shirts, was also in the running. The Carnegie Medal is awarded annually by CILIP, the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals, for an outstanding book for children and young people. CLIP is the largest, most comprehensive membership body for library and information professionals in the UK.

"The quality of children's writing currently available, as demonstrated by this year's shortlist, made choosing a winner a seemingly impossible task, says Sharon Sperling, chair of the judges. However, the panel was unanimous in their choice of Millions as the 2004 CILIP Carnegie Medal winner.

Frank Cottrell Boyce is an established film and television scriptwriter with numerous British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) nominated films to his credit, including the film Millions. He has always wanted to write a children's novel. Having initially conceived the story as a film script, it was while working with the film's director, Danny Boyle that Boyce realized he already had the story he had been searching for.

Millions tells the story of two young brothers who discover a sack full of cash. There's only one problem, sterling is about to go out of circulation to be replaced by the Euro. How can they spend the money before the deadline?

Boyce is donating a percentage of the royalties from the book to the charity Wateraid, which is dedicated to providing safe drinking water to poor people worldwide.

The Carnegie Medal is now almost 70 years old. Its first winner was Arthur Ransome in 1936, and since then it has been awarded to many of the great names of children's literature, including C. S. Lewis, Eleanor Farjeon, Anne Fine, and Philip Pullman.

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