Today sees the release of the Carnegie shortlist for 2016. Awards are always cause for discussion: everyone has their favourite that “has to win”, and Carnegie is no stranger to a bit of online debate. 2014’s winner, Bunker Diary, which led a reviewer from The Telegraph to ask “Why wish this book on a child?”, caused the biggest debate since Melvin Burgess won in 1996 with his novel Junk.
In any instance, you’d be hard pressed to find a winner that ticks the box for everyone. So we thought that to celebrate the Carnegie shortlist announcement, we’d look back at the last 10 years of shortlists and highlight the ones that we wanted to win. As if to prove my point, we only managed to have a unanimous decision for half of the awards… half isn’t bad though!
2006: Our first agreed vote, David Almond was robbed for not winning with Clay.
2007: Split vote, Anne Fine with Road of Bones and Marcus Sedgwick with My Swordhand is Singing.
2008: Elizabeth Laird with Crusade.
2009: Split vote, Patrick Ness with Knife of Never Letting Go and Keith Gray with Ostrich Boys.
2010: Split vote, Marcus Sedgwick with Revolver and Julie Hearn with Rowan the Strange.
2011: Meg Rosoff with The Bride’s Farewell.
2012: Split vote, Annabel Pitcher with My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece and Ruta Sepetys with Between Shades of Grey.
2013: RJ Palacio with Wonder.
2014: Split vote, Julie Berry with All the Truth That’s in Me and Katherine Rundell with Rooftoppers.
2015: Patrick Ness with More Than This.
So those are our personal favourites… feel free to disagree and tell us your own!
As a whole the Carnegie shortlist gets a lot of attention, and it’s interesting to see how those books go down with schools in the UK. Several Carnegie shortlisted titles go on to become class texts at KS3, and a play version of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time is on the GCSE English curriculum. Below are the 10 most-purchased (between 2015 & 16) Carnegie-shortlisted titles, and it’s clear that some have become firm favourites.
- Private Peaceful by Michael Morpurgo
- Heroes by Robert Cormier
- Wonder by RJ Palacio
- Stone Cold by Robert Swindells
- The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time by Mark Haddon
- Skellig by David Almond
- Harry Potter & the Philosopher’s Stone by JK Rowling
- Martyn Pig by Kevin Brooks
- Trash by Andy Mulligan
- The Edge by Alan Gibbons