Congratulations Patrick Ness and Jim Kay!

I was unbelievably happy to wake up to the news this morning that A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness and illustrated by Jim Kay has won both the Carnegie Medal and the Kate Greenaway Medal.  To celebrate I thought I’d re-post my review of A Monster Calls (you’ll probably gather that I think it is a very deserving winner) and I’m giving away 2 hardback copies of this amazing book.  Keep reading to find out why I LOVE A Monster Calls.

It’s no secret that I think Patrick Ness is a brilliant author (I’ve written many blog posts about it).  His Chaos Walking Trilogy is one of those stories that really struck a chord with me and and the characters and their world will stay with me for a long time.  The books in the trilogy have won various awards in the world of children’s literature, including the BookTrust Teenage Prize, the Guardian Award, the Costa Book Award, most recently the final book, Monsters of Men won the prestigious Carnegie Medal.  When the Chaos Walking Trilogy came to an end last year, I was looking forward to reading whatever Patrick Nesswrote next and thankfully I didn’t have to wait very long.

Patrick’s next project was to write a story based on the ideas of another brilliant author, Siobhan Dowd, who had passed away from breast cancer in 2007.  Siobhan had the characters, premise and beginning and it was up to Patrick to turn it into a story.   Being both a fan of Patrick’s and Siobhan’s writing I eagerly anticipated their story, called A Monster Calls.  And boy, what a story it is!  Night after night, Connor is woken by the same nightmare, “the one with the darkness and the wind and the screaming.  The one with the hands slipping from his grasp, no matter who hard he tried to hold on.”  It is one night, after waking from this nightmare, that the monster arrives, twisting to life from the yew tree in the graveyard.  The monster comes to offer Connor a deal; it will tell Connor three stories, but then he must tell the monster a fourth story, and it must be the truth.  However, Connor’s mum is very sick and the truth is the thing that he fears the worst.

I really can’t explain how amazing A Monster Calls is.  Before you even start reading the book, you just need a few minutes to marvel at how beautiful it is.  Walker Books have put so much love into the design, from the dust-jacket and the cover,  to the stunning illustrations spread throughout the book by the very talented Jim Kay.  The story itself is breathtaking and you’ll go on a roller-coaster of emotion as the monster guides Connor towards the truth.  I especially liked the three stories that the monster tells and I hope that Patrick Ness writes more short stories like these.  Grab a copy of A Monster Calls from the library now.  Trust me, you won’t regret it.

Win the award-winning A Monster Calls

The very deserving winner of both the 2012 Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medal is A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness and illustrated by Jim Kay.  Patrick Ness is one of my all-time favourite authors and I absolutely LOVED A Monster Calls.  It’s a beautiful, heart-breaking story and was probably my favourite book of 2011.

If you haven’t already read A Monster Calls or you loved it and want to own a copy you can win one of 2 copies that I’m giving away.  All you have to do is leave a comment below telling me your favourite childrens or young adults book.  Competition closes Friday 22 June (International).

Who are your picks for the 2012 Carnegie and Kate Greenaway medal?

The winners of the 2012 Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medal are announced this Friday (NZ time).  Who do you want to win?  It’s so hard to pick but mine are My Name is Mina by David Almond (Carnegie) and A Monster Calls illustrated by Jim Kay (Kate Greenaway).

Carnegie Medal




Kate Greenaway Medal




2012 Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medal Shortlist

The shortlist for the 2012 Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medal have just been announced and they both include some amazing books.  I’d both love and hate to be a judge of these awards because I love the books they choose and would find it really hard to pick just one.

The Carnegie Medal is awarded annually to the writer of an outstanding book for children. This year’s shortlist includes:

The Kate Greenaway Medal is awarded annualy for distinguished illustration in a book for children.  This year’s shortlist includes:

  • Wolf Won’t Bite by Emily Gravett
  • Peter Puffin by Peter Horacek
  • A Monster Calls illustrated by Jim Kay
  • Slog’s Dad illustrated by Dave McKean
  • Soloman Crocodile by Catherine Rayner
  • The Gift illustrated by Rob Ryan
  • There Are NO Cats In This Book by Viviane Schwarz
  • Can We Save the Tiger illustrated by Vicky White

SO many great books!  I’ve read (and LOVE!) quite a few of them and will try and read the others before the winners are announced. 

Which ones are your favourites?