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Going for Gold

Written by Chris Routledge, 23rd April 2007

by Katie Peters

The organisers of the Carnegie gold medal for children’s writing yesterday, librarians’ institute CILIP, last week issued a provisional list of their top ten favourite titles compiled from all the books that have won the medal since 1936. Established by The Library Association in 1936, in memory of the great Scottish-born philanthropist, Andrew Carnegie (1835–1919), the medal is awarded to an outstanding book for children and young adult readers. Carnegie was a self-made industrialist who made his fortune in steel in the USA. His experience of using a library as a child led him to resolve that ‘if ever wealth came to me it should be used to establish free libraries’.

The winner of the award receives a gold medal and £500-worth of books to donate to a public or school library. The provisional list is as follows:

Skellig David Almond (1998)

Junk Melvin Burgess (1996)

Storm Kevin Crossley-Holland (1985)

A Gathering Light Jennifer Donnelly (2003)

The Owl Service Alan Garner (1967)

The Family From One End Street Eve Garnett (1937)

The Borrowers Mary Norton (1952)

Tom’s Midnight Garden Philippa Pearce (1958)

Northern Lights Philip Pullman (1995)

The Machine-Gunners Robert Westall (1981)

If you were to write a personal list of your favourite books from childhood what would it look like? We’d love to hear your thoughts. E-mail us at  and we will publish results next month. To get you started, here are a few of our favourites from The Reader office…

Charlotte’s Web by Elwyn Brooks

Five Go to Mystery Moor by Enid Blyton

Carrie’s War by Nina Bawden

The Railway Children, The Phoenix and the Carpet and The Story of the Amulet by E. Nesbit
Matilda by Roald Dahl

The Turbulent Term of Tyke Tyler by Gene Kemp

The Chalet School series by Elinor M. Brent-Dyer

The Mallory Towers series by Enid Blyton

The Silver Sword by Ian Serraillier

What Katy Did by Susan Coolidge

Charlotte Sometimes by Penelope Farmer

The Jennings books by Anthony Buckeridge

Tom’s Midnight Garden by Philippa Pearce

The Magic Roundabout stories by Eric Thompson

The House at Pooh Corner by A.A. Milne… we could go on for ever.


The short-listed books for this year’s Carnegie award are:
The Road of the Dead, by Kevin Brooks; A Swift Pure Cry, by Siobhan Dowd; The Road of Bones, by Anne Fine; Beast, by Ally Kennen; Just in Case, by Meg Rosoff; and My Swordhand is Singing, by Marcus Sedgewick.

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