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20 August 2019

Rook on CILIP Carnegie Medal shortlist

15 March 2018

Rook by Anthony McGowan, published by Edinburgh-based Barrington Stoke, has been shortlisted for the CILIP Carnegie Medal 2018. Rook is the third standalone novel featuring brothers Nicky and Kenny, following McGowan's earlier novels Brock and Pike. When the boys rescue a rook from a sparrow hawk attack, learning-disabled Kenny immediately becomes attached to the injured young bird. Nicky doubts the scruffy bird will make it, but then Nicky has plenty else to worry about - a school bully, his first love, and the fact that everything is about to go very, very wrong.

The judges said: 'The power of this short novel lies in Nicky's authentic voice and the author's ability to represent the inner life of all his characters. Nicky's cynicism, his protective love for his brother and his wry sense of humour are expressed with language that is both simple and poetic. Every word used is apposite. The novel deals thoughtfully with themes of bullying, first love, faith and what it means to be part of a family. Both the urban and natural settings are equally vividly portrayed as are the effects of poverty. It is undeniably gritty, unflinching and authentic and yet manages to demonstrate a life-affirming warmth too'.

The CILIP Carnegie Medal is awarded annually to the writer of an outstanding book written in English for children and young people. Medal holders include Arthur Ransome, C.S. Lewis, Neil Gaiman, Terry Pratchett, Phillip Pullman and Sally Gardner.

The winner will be announced on 18 June 2018.

For more about the award, see the Carnegie Greenaway website.