Kate Greenaway & CILIP Medals

The winners of these British children’s books awards were announced last week.

The Poet X (older readers) and The Lost Words (younger readers) won this year.

The 2019 CILIP Carnegie & Kate Greenaway Medals shortlists

CILIP Carnegie Medal:

1. The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo (Electric Monkey)

2. Rebound by Kwame Alexander, illustrated by Dawud Anyabwile (Andersen Press)

3. The House with Chicken Legs by Sophie Anderson  (Usborne Books)

4. Bone Talk by Candy Gourlay (David Fickling Books)

5. A Skinful of Shadows by Frances Hardinge (Macmillan Children’s Books)

6. Things A Bright Girl Can Do by Sally Nicholls (Andersen Press)

7. Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds, illustrated by Chris Priestley (Faber & Faber)

8. The Land of Neverendings by Kate Saunders (Faber & Faber)

CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal:

1. The Day War Came by Nicola Davies, illustrated by Rebecca Cobb (Walker Books)

2. Ocean Meets Sky written and illustrated by Eric and Terry Fan (Lincoln Children’s)

3. Beyond the Fence written and illustrated by Maria Gulemetova (Child’s Play Library)

4. The Wolf, the Duck and the Mouse by Mac Barnett, illustrated by Jon Klassen (Walker)

5. Julian is a Mermaid written and illustrated by Jessica Love (Walker Books)

6. You’re Safe With Me by Chitra Soundar, illustrated by Poonam Mistry (Lantana)

7The Lost Words by Robert Macfarlane, illustrated by Jackie Morris (Hamish Hamilton)

8. Suffragette: The Battle for Equality written and illustrated by David Roberts (Two Hoots)

The Book woman of Troublesome Creek

indexThis was a real eye opener for me. It takes place in 1930 Kentucky and relates the efforts of the “Pack Horse ” librarians, as they were called, to deliver the printed word to their patrons. They were almost all female, and rode horses and mules in every weather imaginable and across hundreds of miles at times. Young Cussy Mary becomes one to feed her father and herself, and enjoys the work immensely. She has led a difficult life: she had an abusive husband, was almost raped by his brother, and is at the mercy of the townspeople, since she was a “blue”. A local doctor ran tests on Cussy or Bluet, as he called her and discovered that she had a condition known as methemoglobinemia. Due to a recessive gene, the blood contains less oxygen and is a more brownish color, causing the person’s skin to have a blue color. Blues in that area were regarded as being lower than any other person of color and discriminated against terribly. Kim Michelle Richardson tells a fascinating story about the hardships and joys of living in Appalachia.

The Mother-in-Law

The Mother-in-Law  A family drama set in Australia, “The Mother-in-Law” begins with the death of Diana Goodwin.  Lucy Goodwin married into the family and has never been close to her mother-in-law.  A cold, distant woman, Lucy hasn’t been able to figure out why Diana doesn’t like her.  The police claim her death appears to be a suicide, but Lucy’s husband, Ollie (Diana’s son) can’t find a reason she would make such a decision.  As each chapter unfolds, we learn about Diana’s tough teenage years that carved her tough exterior.  We learn about her troubled daughter, Nettie, who is growing more and more unhappy when she doesn’t get pregnant. We learn about the financial predicament of Ollie when Diana’s will brings more unexpected news.  Lucy is a likable character confused by the events following Diana’s death and struggling to be a mother to her three children as her family is blindsided by Diana’s sudden death.

The Gown: A Novel of the Royal Wedding

bookDid you ever wonder who makes the gowns for England’s royal weddings? Jennifer Robson set out to write a novel about the years following the World War II. She discovered that during that period, everyone was most excited about the wedding of Princess Elizabeth to Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten, and Robson uses this event for the basis of her novel. Her two main characters, Ann Hughes and Miriam Dassin, are embroiders working for Norman Hartnell, the gown designer. I found this story fascinating; the main characters are based on an interview that Ms. Robson had with an woman who actually worked at Hartnell’s on the gown for Princess Elizabeth. As with all historical fiction, the sections of the story based on actual events leave the reader with a bird’s eye view into that time period. Definitely recommended for fans of the British royals.