In an historic announcement this month, the prestigious CILIP Carnegie Medal for 2012 was awarded on 14 June to Patrick Ness for his novel, A Monster Calls (Walker Books), with the same book also winning the CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal for its illustrations.
This is Ness's second consecutive Carnegie Medal (a feat only achieved once before, by Peter Dickinson in 1979 & 1980). And it is the first time that the winner of the Carnegie has also won the CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal - sister award to the Carnegie Medal - with Jim Kay taking the prize for his haunting illustrations.
In A Monster Calls, Patrick Ness has created a tale using the final idea of the late children's writer, Siobhan Dowd, who died in 2007. Dowd was herself a CILIP Carnegie Medal winner in 2009; posthumously for "Bog Child".
A Monster Calls is the story of 13 year old Conor who is running from the knowledge that his mother is dying from cancer; and of his encounter with the monster of his nightmares. A share of the royalties from every copy of "A Monster Calls" sold goes to the Siobhan Dowd Trust which aims to bring books and reading to disadvantaged children in the UK.
Patrick Ness is an American who has lived in the UK since 1999. He always knew he wanted to be a writer and had his first short story published in a magazine in 1997. The Knife of Never Letting Go - the first book in Ness's Chaos Walking trilogy was his first novel for young people and was written while he was teaching creative writing at Kellogg College, Oxford. It won both the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize and the Booktrust Teenage Prize. His second book, The Ask and the Answer won the Costa Book Award, and the third, Monsters of Men the 2011 CILIP Carnegie Medal. A Monster Calls has already won the National Book Tokens Children's Book of the Year Award at the Galaxy National Book Awards and the Red House Children's Book Award 2012.