The Carnegie medal is an annual award given to the writer of an outstanding book for children. The award was established in 1939 in memory of Scottish philanthropist Andrew Carnegie, and is awarded by libraians who nominate titles for the shortlist.
This year’s winner is Patrick Ness for Monsters of Men. Monsters is the third installment in Ness’s Chaos Walking series. The previous two books – The Knife of Never Letting Go and The Ask and the Answer – were shortlisted for the Carnegie in 2009 and 2010 – this is the first time in the prize’s history that all the books in a series have been contenders.
The trilogy has been highly awarded; from the Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize to the Booktrust Teenage Prize while Monsters of Men was shortlisted earlier this year for the Arthus C Clarke Award, making it only the second young adult work to have been considered for the celebrated science fiction prize.
Ferelith Hordon, chair of the Carnegie 2011 judging panel, called Monsters of Men an “extraordinary achievement”.
“Within its pages, Patrick Ness creates a complex other world, giving himself and the reader great scope to consider big questions about life, love and how we communicate, as well as the horrors of war, and the good and evil that mankind is capable of,” she said. “It’s an enthralling read that is well nigh impossible to put down.”
Past winners include some of the best-loved names in children’s literature, from Arthur Ransome, who took the inaugural prize in 1936, to CS Lewis, Philip Pullman, Terry Pratchett and Anne Fine.
A huge congratulations to you Patrick Ness.