Annal: 2013 Carnegie Medal

Results of the Carnegie Medal in the year 2013.

Book:Maggot Moon

Maggot Moon

Sally Gardner, Julian Crouch

In Sally Gardner’s stunning novel, set in a ruthless regime, an unlikely teenager risks all to expose the truth about a heralded moon landing.

What if the football hadn’t gone over the wall. On the other side of the wall there is a dark secret. And the devil. And the Moon Man. And the Motherland doesn’t want anyone to know. But Standish Treadwell—who has different-colored eyes, who can’t read, can’t write, Standish Treadwell isn’t bright—sees things differently than the rest of the “train-track thinkers.” So when Standish and his only friend and neighbor, Hector, make their way to the other side of the wall, they see what the Motherland has been hiding. And it’s big…

One hundred very short chapters, told in an utterly original first-person voice, propel readers through a narrative that is by turns gripping and darkly humorous, bleak and chilling, tender and transporting.

Book:A Boy and a Bear in a Boat

A Boy and a Bear in a Boat

Dave Shelton

A boy and a bear go to sea, equipped with a suitcase, a comic book, and a ukulele. The bear assures the boy that they are traveling a short distance and it really shouldn’t take very long. But then they encounter “unforeseeable anomalies”: turbulent stormy seas! a terrifying sea monster! and the rank remains of The Very Last Sandwich. The odds are pitted against the boy and the bear and their boat.

Will the Harriet, their trusted vessel, withstand the violent lashings of the salty waves? And will anyone ever answer their message in a bottle?

Book:Code Name Verity

Code Name Verity

Elizabeth Wein

Oct. 11th, 1943—A British spy plane crashes in Nazi-occupied France. Its pilot and passenger are best friends. One of the girls has a chance at survival. The other has lost the game before it’s barely begun.

When “Verity” is arrested by the Gestapo, she’s sure she doesn’t stand a chance. As a secret agent captured in enemy territory, she’s living a spy’s worst nightmare. Her Nazi interrogators give her a simple choice: reveal her mission or face a grisly execution.

As she intricately weaves her confession, Verity uncovers her past, how she became friends with the pilot Maddie, and why she left Maddie in the wrecked fuselage of their plane. On each new scrap of paper, Verity battles for her life, confronting her views on courage and failure and her desperate hope to make it home. But will trading her secrets be enough to save her from the…[more]

Book:A Greyhound of a Girl

A Greyhound of a Girl

Roddy Doyle

Mary O’Hara is a sharp and cheeky 12-year-old Dublin schoolgirl who is bravely facing the fact that her beloved Granny is dying. But Granny can’t let go of life, and when a mysterious young woman turns up in Mary’s street with a message for her Granny, Mary gets pulled into an unlikely adventure. The woman is the ghost of Granny’s own mother, who has come to help her daughter say good-bye to her loved ones and guide her safely out of this world. She needs the help of Mary and her mother, Scarlett, who embark on a road trip to the past. Four generations of women travel on a midnight car journey. One of them is dead, one of them is dying, one of them is driving, and one of them is just starting out.

Book:In Darkness (Nick Lake)

In Darkness

Nick Lake

In darkness I count my blessings like Manman taught me. One. I am alive. Two. There is no two.

Haiti 2010: in the aftermath of the earthquake a boy lies trapped beneath the rubble: terrified, thirsty and alone. Shorty is a child of the slums, a teenager who has seen enough violence to last a lifetime and who has been inexorably drawn into the world of the gangsters who rule his broken city: men who dole out money with one hand and death with the other.But Shorty has a secret: a flame of revenge that burns inside him, fuelling his determination to find his beloved twin sister, stolen from him five years ago. In the darkness the lines between the present and the past begin to blur and, as Shorty fights for life, his struggle becomes part of a two-hundred-year-old story—a story of courage and betrayal, of freedom and of hope. Shorty may not be quite as alone as he believes…

Book:Midwinterblood

Midwinterblood

Marcus Sedgwick

What would you sacrifice for someone you’ve loved forever—told in seven parts and spanning ten centuries, this is a cleverly constructed, beautifully crafted love story with elements of thriller and the supernatural.

Have you ever had the feeling that you’ve lived another life? Been somewhere that has felt totally familiar even when you’ve never been there before, or felt that you’ve known someone even though you are meeting them for the first time? In a novel comprising seven short stories each of them influenced by a moon—flower moon, harvest moon, hunter’s moon, blood moon—and travelling from 2073 back in time to the dark of the moon and the days of Viking saga, this is the story of Eric and Merle who have loved and lost one another and who have been searching for each other ever since. In the different stories the two appear as lovers, mother and son, brother and sister, artist and child as they come close to finding each other before facing the ultimate…[more]

Book:The Weight of Water (Sarah Crossan)

The Weight of Water

Sarah Crossan

Carrying just a suitcase and an old laundry bag filled with clothes, Kasienka and her mother are immigrating to England from Poland. Kasienka isn’t the happiest girl in the world. At home, her mother is suffering from a broken heart as she searches for Kasienka’s father. And at school, Kasienka is having trouble being the new girl and making friends. The only time she feels comforted is when she’s swimming at the pool. But she can’t quite shake the feeling that she’s sinking. Until a new boy swims into her life, and she learns that there might be more than one way to stay afloat.

The Weight of Water is a coming-of-age story that deftly handles issues of immigration, alienation, and first love. Moving and poetically rendered, this novel-in-verse is the story of a young girl whose determination to find out who she is prevails.

Book:Wonder (R.J. Palacio)

Wonder

R.J. Palacio

‘My name is August. I won’t describe what I look like. Whatever you’re thinking, it’s probably worse.’

Auggie wants to be an ordinary ten-year-old. He does ordinary things—eating ice cream, playing on his Xbox. He feels ordinary—inside. But ordinary kids don’t make other ordinary kids run away screaming in playgrounds. Ordinary kids aren’t stared at wherever they go.

Born with a terrible facial abnormality, Auggie has been home-schooled by his parents his whole life. Now, for the first time, he’s being sent to a real school—and he’s dreading it. All he wants is to be accepted—but can he convince his new classmates that he’s just like them, underneath it all?

Wonder is a funny, frank, astonishingly moving debut to read in one sitting, pass on to others, and remember long after the final page.

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