Tuesday, 12 March 2013

CILIP Carnegie and Greenaway Shortlists announced!

Some surprises for me!

CILIP Carnegie Medal 2013 - Nominees

Sarah Crossan, The Weight of Water
Roddy Doyle, A Greyhound of a Girl
Sally Gardner, Maggot Moon
Nick Lake, In Darkness
R.J. Palacio, Wonder
Marcus Sedgwick, Midwinterblood
Dave Shelton, A Boy and a Bear in a Boat
Elizabeth Wein, Code Name Verity

I nominatd Boy and a Bear in a Boat so it is a nice surprise to see it up there, I thought it might be a little bit too simple.  For the same reason I'm surprised to see A Greyhound of a Girl: although I really enjoyed it it didn't seem quite enough.

The Weight of Water and Midwinterblood were both good reads but I there were other things on the list that I thought far more worthy.

The book I thought might win isn't even on the list!  I'm now torn between Maggot Moon and Code Name Verity.

But my short list was half right!  Which is your favourite?

Saturday, 9 March 2013

My Personal #CKG2013 Short List!

Ah, the announcement you've all been waiting for, which of the nearly 70 books do I think are Carnegie worthy?  It was a difficult choice, there wasn't anything that I actually disliked, although only maybe 20 of them that I thought were great.  Have a look at my previous posts for brief reviews.

Without further ado, my shortlist of 8 (never know whether it will be 6 or 8 on the real one...) is:

VIII by H.M. Castor
Maggot Moon by Sally Gardner
After by Morris Gleitzman
A Face Like Glass by Frances Hardinge
In Darkness by Nick Lake
Wonder by R.J. Palacio
Mister Creecher by Chris Priestley
Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein
Special mention for: Kill All Enemies by Melvin Burgess and Dying To Know You by Aidan Chambers
I can't wait to find out if I match the judges choices although I have a feeling I might be completely out of line with them!  I try to look at the criteria but mainly go with gut instinct as to how 'good' a book is.  I'm not 100% certain of what will win.  Last year I knew it would be A Monster Calls because it was a league above everything else, this year nothing's jumping out at me (not to say they're not as good of course) but I have a feeling it may be...
 Keep your eyes peeled for the official shortlist announcement on Tuesday!

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Carnegie Longlist - final update!

At last, I've finished!  See this post for my previous update.

The official shortlist is announced on Tuesday so I shall be sharing my personal shortlist at some point this weekend...but here are my feelings about the Carnegie books I've read since the end of January.  This year there hasn't been a single story that didn't have something going for it, although I think I might have been less critical this year than last year!  orange means it was alright, red means I love it:

Soldier Dog by Sam Angus - a great tale, I really felt for Stanley, but it reminded me too much of War Horse
The Traitors by Tom Becker - a rough diamond of an idea but not very well polished...
The Terrible Thing That Happened to Barnaby Brocket by John Boyne - cute but irritating - if he'd just held on sometimes instead of relying on people grabbing him then it would make his life much easier!
Scramasax by Kevin Crossley-Holland - I really struggle to enjoy his stories, even though some very excitng things happen his style dulls it down for me.
Call Down Thunder by Daniel Finn - brilliant scene setting, I can see it as a film, but didn't grab me as much as Two Good Thieves
To Be A Cat by Matt Haig - a lovely Dahl-esque tale, with evil characters getting comeuppance, best friends and comedy moments!
Seraphina by Rachel Hartman - well written fantasy, great idea but mostly predictable
The Girl in the Mask by Marie-Louise Jensen - exciting story but too contrived, the plot relied a lot on coincidence or luck.
Skulduggery Pleasant: Death Bringer by Derek Landy - I love the Skulduggery books, the humour is perfect, but I don't think it could end up on the short list.
At Yellow Lake by Jane McLoughlin - the three voices worked well but occasionally I forgot who was 'speaking' as they weren't quite different enough.
The Apothecary by Maile Meloy - exciting adventure but a little too far fetched in places
The Treasure House by Linda Newbery - I couldn't believe the premise of the disappeared Mum (the resolution was very unsatisfying) but it was nicely told.
Gods and Warriors by Michelle Paver - I thought this was great, I was worried that it would just be Wolf Brother but with a dolphin but the story was engaging and there were some moments of real suspense.
Burn Mark by Laura Powell - great idea but nothing unexpected happened and the resolution came too easily
The Flask by Nicky Singer - didn't think I'd enjoy it at all but I was actually gripped by the story, really well told!A Waste of Good Paper by Sean Taylor - pretty good but I was disappointed by the 'happy ending' because up to a point it was a quite realistic story.  Life isn't like that!

This is likely to replace something I'd thought of for my shortlist:
After by Morris Gleitzman
So beautifully written. I thought it might be less emotional than Once and Then (I didn't really like Now much), because it was about fighting back in the Resistance, but it was heart wrenching.
Keep your eyes peeled for my shortlist.  What's on your's?