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.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Potential Topic Ideas

Here's the list that we've come up with so far. Feel free to add new ideas by posting them in a reply. Everyone will have three votes so start thinking about your choices. If you can't be at the August meeting, but you would still like to vote, please email me with your three choices, and I will be sure to include them in the vote.

  • Cynthia Voigt author study
  • Orson Scott Card author study
  • Fantasy
  • Science fiction
  • Poetry
  • Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events
  • Picture books
  • Chris Van Allsburg illustrator study
  • Jon Scieszka author study
  • Historical fiction (we need to select a specific time period)
  • Value books
  • Books by Mormon Authors
  • Shannon Hale author study
  • Books for boys
  • Banned/controversial books
  • Printz Award winners
  • Other Newbery Award winners
  • Teen Fiction
  • Biography
  • Mysteries
  • Classics
  • Kids' choice/Buckeye Book Award
  • Margaret Peterson Haddix author study
  • Follow-up book month (sequels to books we've read or new books by authors we've read)

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

August - Humorous Books

Jessica Anderson is our host for August and she has selected some quick reads perfect for some summer fun!

The Pepins and Their Problems, by Polly Horvath
The reader is invited to help solve the Pepin family's unusual problems, which include having a cow who creates lemonade rather than milk and having to cope with a competitive neighbor. (174 pages)

A Year Down Yonder, by Richard Peck
In 1937, during the Depression, fifteen-year-old Mary Alice, initially apprehensive about leaving Chicago to spend a year with her fearsome, larger-than-life grandmother in rural Illinois, gradually begins to better understand and admire her grandmother's unusual qualities. (129 pages)

Summer Reading is Killing Me, by Jon Scieszka
At the beginning of summer vacation Joe, Sam, and Fred find themselves trapped inside their summer reading list, involved in a battle between good and evil characters from well-known children's books. (90 pages)

The Twits, by Roald Dahl
Mr. and Mrs. Twit are the smelliest, ugliest people in the world. They hate everything except playing mean jokes on each other, putting innocent birds in pies, and making their caged monkeys, the Muggle-Wumps, stand on their heads. Now the Muggle-Wumps want revenge! (76 pages)