Kevin Brooks’ young adult contemporary thriller The Bunker Diary was awarded the 2014 CILIP Carnegie Medal. The CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal was awarded to Jon Klasser for his children’s picturebook This Is Not My Hat.
The Carnegie Medal is one of the most prestigious U.K. awards for children’s and young adult literature. Established in 1936 in memory of Andrew Carnegie, the award is presented annually to the writer of the previous year’s most outstanding book for children.
The Bunker Diary tells the story of a teenage boy’s struggle to survive after being kidnapped by a mysterious assailant and held captive in an underground bunker. Brooks’ refusal to tone down the novel’s dark themes resulted in a decade-long search for a publisher willing to take a chance on The Bunker Diary.
“There is a school of thought that no matter how dark or difficult a novel is, it should contain at least an element of hope. As readers, children – and teens in particular – don’t need to be cossetted with artificial hope that there will always be a happy ending. They want to be immersed in all aspects of life, not just the easy stuff. They’re not babies, they don’t need to be told not to worry, that everything will be all right in the end, because they’re perfectly aware that in real life things aren’t always all right in the end. To be patronising, condescending towards the reader is, to me, the worst thing a Young Adult fiction author can do,” said Brooks in his acceptance speech.
For more, visit the Carnegie Medal website.