Saturday, July 2, 2011

Patrick Ness wins the Carnegie!

Patrick Ness won this year's Carnegie Medal for Monsters of Men!  Am I wrong to think it's the best book of the stupidly-named "Chaos Walking" trilogy?  I read them far enough apart that I might not be remembering right.  Mainly, I just remember the jaw-dropping ending to the first one that left me staring at the book I had just finished in disbelief.  And Manchee, of course, but I can't even talk about that without bursting into tears...  In any event, the previous two books, The Knife of Never Letting Go and The Ask and the Answer were also shortlisted for the prize in 2009 and 2010, making it the first time that all the books in a series were nominated.

And speaking of Patrick Ness, I just read his latest A Monster Calls
which isn't out yet in the US, but can be purchased from amazon UK if you're not lucky enough to get an advance reader copy.  An entirely different sort of book for Ness, and one that started as fellow Carnegie-medalist Siobhan Dowd's idea for a story she didn't have time to write before she died.  I was expecting just a regular book to show up in the mail, but it is really, really beautiful.  Slightly oversized, thick pages, lavish illustrations.  Don't get an e-book of this one!  (I accidentally made that mistake with Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, not realizing it was so full of photographs. After I read it I had to go to the bookstore and sit in the aisle with the real thing, flipping through all the pictures to see them properly.)  So, it's a story a story of a boy so lonely and bullied and so self-loathing that, as his mother is being unsuccessfully treated for cancer, he conjures up a monster.  But not the monster he was expecting.  Seriously lovely and heartbreaking and redemptive.

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