CKG 2012: Ness and Kay's historic double win
History was made today when the winners of the Kate Greenaway and CILIP Carnegie Medal were announced which saw illustrator Jim Kay and writer Patrick Ness win each respectively for their book A Monster Calls.
It’s the first time that the same book has ever won both medals, and Ness himself who won last year is only the second writer in 75 years of Carnegie medal history ever to win the award two years in a row.
Asked what winning his second consecutive CILIP Carnegie Medal meant to him, Patrick Ness said:
"It's extremely humbling - and a little unnerving - to win the CILIP Carnegie Medal two years in a row. I also can't tell you how happy I am that not only has the extraordinary work of Jim Kay been recognised with the CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal (truly couldn't happen to a nicer guy), but that this will all help keep people reading and talking about the wonderful, wonderful Siobhan Dowd, which was the best outcome I wanted when I set out to write the book".
A Monster Calls was written from the final idea of the late Siobhan Dowd, who won the Carnegie Medal posthumously in 2009 for Bog child. Patrick Ness paid tribute to her in his acceptance speech saying that he believed Siobhan to also be a double Carnegie medal winner, as her idea for A Monster Calls was so vivid that he immediately had ideas germinating in his mind before sitting down to work on the book. He also said that he was thrilled that this book winning the award keeps Siobhan in people’s minds, and keeps The Siobhan Dowd Trust talked about. For every copy of the book sold, a share of royalties goes to the Siobhan Dowd Trust, a charity that takes books and reading to disadvantaged children and young adults.
In his speech Jim Kay gave a special mention to CILIP and libraries overall saying “I owe everything to libraries” before going on to demonstrate how libraries had personally shaped his life, knowledge and career – even marrying his partner, a librarian.
He said afterwards: “I'm chuffed to bits! I've followed the Kate Greenaway for over 20 years, and so it felt a little unreal to be on the shortlist. I still can't quite get my head around winning, it's strange even seeing the book in shops and libraries. And to read the responses of the young shadowers has been amazing. I can't thank CILIP enough!”
Rachel Levy, Children's Library Services Manager for Sutton Libraries and chair of the 2012 CILIP Carnegie judging panel said:
"A Monster Calls" is an exquisite piece of writing. It is a beautifully economical, structurally brilliant and lyrically descriptive account of a challenging episode in one child's life. One of our judges - bereaved at a young age - said she wished that she'd had "A Monster Calls" to read then, because while it describes the nature of grief with an extraordinary clarity it also fills the reader with a spirit of hopefulness and a love for life that is profound and lasting . We'd go so far as to say that this is one of the defining books of its generation".
Of Jim Kay’s work on the book she said:
"Jim Kay's illustrations for "A Monster Calls" are absolutely stunning, and so much part of the experience of reading this extraordinary book. Using only shades of black, white, and grey, Kay conjures immense symbolism, atmosphere and emotion to beautifully complement Patrick Ness' haunting text; and the quality of the whole production makes this a very special book to hold and devour. Quite simply, one of the defining books of its generation."
See more about the Siobhan Dowd Trust here.
ALCS runs an annual competition through the CILIP Carnegie and Greenaway Shadowing scheme. To see this year’s winners click here.
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