Monday, 22 June 2015

Congratulations to Tanya Landman, winner of the 2015 Carnegie Medal!

The Carnegie Medal is the big one for writers of children's books - the one we'd all like to win. (Well, we'd like to win any prize - but this one would be the cherry on anyone's cake!) The titles are chosen by librarians, and it's judged by a panel of librarians - but it's also 'shadowed' by lots of school children, who read the shortlisted books and discuss them, and can post their reviews on a special site. So there's a lot of buzz around it, a lot of excitement.

Well, this year it's been won by Tanya Landman for Buffalo Soldier, a book about a former slave girl who, in the chaotic aftermath of the American Civil War, decides her safest course of action is to pass as a boy and join the Yankee Army. It's remarkable, with a unique and consistent voice which absolutely draws you into the story and the head of its heroine.

Tanya Landman earlier today at the Carnegie presentation

The award ceremony was today, and Tanya, who is lovely and is a friend, used the occasion to make a speech in which she expressed her dismay at the effect that continuous testing and a highly prescriptive curriculum is having on children's creativity - and also her concern over the pressures on libraries, which are losing staff and funding to the point where many have closed and more are threatened with closure. It was a very good speech, and I expect it will be widely reported.

But to return to the book - I reviewed it not long after it first came out, and you can see that review here.


  1. You're far too modest to mention it, Sue, but I'm not! Emily's Surprising Voyage by Sue Purkiss was also nominated for said prestigious Carnegie Medal. Just saying.

  2. Thank you, Joan! Not this year, though.