That The Eagle of the Ninth author Rosemary Sutcliff won The Carnegie Medal just over 50 years ago (for her historical novel The Lantern Bearers) came to mind when I stumbled upon the long list of nominations for 2010 (STOP PRESS and now shortlist). Rosemary Sutcliff fan Philip Reeve is nominated for Fever Crumb (STOP PRESS now shortlisted, and an interview with Philip Reeve here). It is amazing to think that such classics of children’s literature as The Eagle of the Ninth (now being filmed), The Lantern Bearers, and Warrior Scarlet are indeed 50 and more years old. No wonder that Philip Reeve fears such classics become forgotten.
First awarded in 1936 to Arthur Ransome for Swallows and Amazons book Pigeon Post, The Carnegie Medal is awarded annually in the UK for an outstanding children’s book. The prize is in memory of the Scottish-born philanthropist Andrew Carnegie (1835-1919). He set up more than 2800 libraries across the English speaking world and by the time of his death over half the local authorities in Great Britain had ‘Carnegie’ libraries.
Other book awards won by Rosemary Sutcliff for her children’s books and historical novels included:
- The Dutch Zilveren Griffel (Silver Pencil) Award in 1971
- For Tristan and Iseult, the Boston-Globe Horn Book Award in 1972
- The Other Award for Song for a Dark Queen, The Other Award in 1978
- For The Mark of the Horse Lord, The Phoenix Children’s Book Award in 1985; and als
- For The Shining Company, The Phoenix Children’s Book Award in 2010
She was highly commended by the Hans Christian Andersen Award in 1974, and nominated also in 1968.