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May 6, 2013
April 5, 2013
June 22, 2012
| By Ed Wood
A Monster Calls (Walker Books) written by Patrick Ness and illustrated by Jim Kay, has become the first book ever to win both the CILIP Carnegie and CILIP Kate Greenaway Medals.
Ness is also only the second author to win the award in consecutive years (the first being Peter Dickinson in 1979 and 1980), having won in 2011 for Monsters of Men.
Ness, whose book explores the feelings of grief and anger of a boy with a terminally ill mother, used his acceptance speech to condemn the prevailing view of today’s teenagers: “The worst thing our current government and, in fact, we as a culture do about teenagers is that we only seem to discuss them in negative terms. What they can’t do, what they aren’t achieving. Why have we allowed that to happen?”
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November 8, 2011
The award that launched JK Rowling to fame and glory is back – and you can join in the voting for this year’s winner.
By Charlotte Jones
The Red House children’s book award – the only one chosen and voted for entirely by children – has announced the shortlists for this year’s award. It includes some of the biggest names in children’s fiction as well as outstanding debut authors.
In the older reader category, Patrick Ness is back after his 2011 Carnegie Medal triumph, with A Monster Calls making the final list, along with Australian author Morris Gleitzman and his book about a girl struggling with the extreme religious beliefs of her family, Grace. It also features the arrival of Annabel Pitcher with My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece, the story of 10-year-old Jamie and his battle to cope with family life and a new school after the death of his sister.
There are also shortlists for younger children, which includes picture books by Mick Inkpen and Chris Wormell, and a younger readers category, featuring a posthumous publication from the much-loved author of Journey to the River Sea, Eva Ibbotson, another debut in Sky Hawk by Gill Lewis, and Liz Pichon’s The Brilliant World of Tom Gates.
The winner is voted for entirely by children. Last year’s overall winner was Shadow by Michael Morpurgo, the story of a boy from Afghanistan who is befriended by a dog as he flees the horror of war. Previous winners of the award include JK Rowling, Andy Stanton, Roald Dahl, Malorie Blackman and Anthony Horowitz.
This year’s winners will be announced at an awards ceremony in London on 18 February.
August 13, 2011
Nicole Krauss’s new novel is a smart and serious meditation on loss and memory. By Patrick Ness
It is difficult to find a profile of Nicole Krauss that doesn’t mention 1) her beauty, 2) her youth or 3) her marriage to Jonathan Safran Foer (even younger, slightly less beautiful). There’s an inevitable air of complaint about these facts, however sympathetically presented, the implication being that her ability to get books published has less to do with talent than with a particularly irritating streak of good luck. ‘Twas ever thus, though the internet has upped the ease of sniping. There are, of course, smart and passionate sites out there by booklovers of all stripes, but there’s also that strangely hostile army of folks who seem to wake up every morning with no other aim than to tell you, as loudly as possible, how much they hate everything you’ve ever loved, especially if it’s written by someone who, to take a random example, is young, beautiful and married to a famous novelist.
I’m reminded of EM Forster’s quote about happiness. Do we find it so often that we “turn it off the box when it happens to sit there”? Are good books likewise so common that we can afford to dismiss them if their writers aren’t at least polite enough to be older than we are? If the book is good, so what? Krauss’s last novel, The History of Love, was very good indeed. Great House, its serious, downbeat follow-up, is even better. And that, really, should be the end of the discussion.
June 24, 2011
By Julia Eccleshare
In a ceremony on Thursday, Patrick Ness was presented with the 2011 CILIP Carnegie Medal for Monsters of Men (Walker Books), the final volume of his Chaos Walking trilogy.
His first two novels, The Knife of Never Letting Go and The Ask and the Answer, were runners-up for the award in 2009 and 2010 – the first time three novels in a trilogy have been shortlisted for the same award.
April 11, 2011
From Stephen King to George Eliot, the author of The Knife of Never Letting Go recommends books that are best read when people tell you you’re too young for them.
Patrick Ness was born and grew up in the US, and moved to London in 1999, where he’s lived ever since. He’s written two books for adults (a novel called The Crash of Hennington and a short story collection called Topics About Which I Know Nothing), and published The Knife of Never Letting Go, his first young adult book, in 2008. It won the Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize and the Booktrust Teenage Prize. The sequel, The Ask and the Answer, won the Costa children’s fiction prize, and the final book in the trilogy, Monsters of Men, came out last year. His new novel, A Monster Calls, will be published next month.
“My childhood reading was blissfully unchaperoned. My parents were just happy I liked to read, and so I – in utter innocence – would wander into the public library and pick up any old thing. I read Harold Robbins’ Celebrity when I was 13, for example. It was VERY educational.
“I survived, though. When I asked on Twitter for other “inappropriate” books people had read way too young, the list included Jilly Cooper, Irvine Welsh, Flowers in the Attic (by practically everyone) and lots and lots of Stephen King. All bookish young readers over-reach occasionally, and if they discover they like it, they keep on doing it. What a great way to establish reading as exciting and maybe even dangerous, eh?
“But there’s more to adult books than adult material. There are a number of books that are actually rather better if read when you’re a teen, some because they’re entertaining contraband, some because it can never be too early to read something so wonderful, and some because, if you wait, you might have missed your chance forever.”