Entertainment & Arts

Roddy Doyle up for Carnegie Medal

Roddy Doyle (photo: Mark Nixon)
Image caption Roddy Doyle is nominated for A Greyhound of a Girl

Irish author Roddy Doyle is among this year's contenders for the prestigious Carnegie Medal for children's fiction.

Doyle is nominated for A Greyhound of a Girl - an Irish family saga spanning four generations.

This year's eight-strong shortlist includes Sally Gardner, whose Maggot Moon won the Costa children's award.

The winner will be announced on 19 June, along with the winner of the separate Kate Greenaway Medal for children's book illustration.

A Carnegie win for Doyle, who won Booker Prize in 1993 for Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha, would make him one of only two authors to have claimed both prizes. The other is Penelope Lively.

Three debut authors on the shortlist are RJ Palacio with Wonder, her story about facial disfigurement; Sarah Crossan, whose The Weight of Water gives a voice to an Eastern European girl struggling to come to terms with life in Britain; and Dave Shelton, with his adventure story, A Boy and a Bear in a Boat.

Completing the nominees are Nick Lake's In Darkness, set in the aftermath of the Haiti earthquake; Midwinterblood, a love story stretching across centuries, from award-winning author Marcus Sedgwick and World War II thriller Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein.

Gardner's Maggot Moon is the story of a 15-year-old dyslexic boy living in a dystopian 1950s society whose rulers are intent on winning the space race. Her first novel I, Coriander won the Nestle Children's Book Prize Gold Award in 2005.

"Masterful storytelling is in evidence in the Carnegie list, with powerful narratives leaping out and pulling the reader in," said Karen Robinson, chair of the judging panel for 2013. "Big themes such as family death, disfigurement, genocide, and the devastating aftermath of the Haiti earthquake are handled with honesty, style and beauty."

Contenders for the Kate Greenaway Medal for children's book illustration includes previous double winners - Helen Oxenbury and Emily Gravett.

Oxenbury won her first Kate Greenaway Medal 44 years ago, and joins this year's shortlist with King Jack and the Dragon. Gravett, who first took the prize in 2005, is this year nominated for Again!

The remaining seven nominees on the shortlist are Jon Klassen for I Want My Hat Back; Chris Mould for Pirates 'n' Pistols; Levi Pinfold for Black Dog; Chris Haughton for Oh No, George!; Rebecca Cobb for Lunchtime and Salvatore Rubbino for Just Ducks.

Both the Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medals are awarded annually to a book for young people by Cilip: the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals.

Last year, Patrick Ness's novel A Monster Calls, illustrated by Jim Kay, won both the Carnegie and Kate Greenway Medals for the first time in the awards' history.

The Carnegie prize was founded in 1937 in memory of Scottish-born philanthropist Andrew Carnegie and was first awarded to Swallows And Amazons author Arthur Ransome for Pigeon Post.

Other previous winners include Philip Pullman, Anne Fine, Terry Pratchett and CS Lewis.

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