The Bunker Diary wins Carnegie Medal!

The Bunker DiaryCongratulation to Kevin Brooks who has just this minute been announced as the winner of the 2014 CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medals, the awards that authors and illustrators say that they ‘most want to win’, for The Bunker Diary.

He triumphed over some illustrious nominees to win the coveted golden medal. Having built his reputation on tackling controversial subjects such as drugs, child abuse and violence, Kevin’s previously been shortlisted three times and was this year up against award-winning authors Katherine Rundell, Rebecca Stead and Anne Fine.

The CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medals are the oldest and most prestigious children’s book awards in the UK. Unique in that they are judged solely by the nation’s librarians. Kevin Brooks now finds himself on the roll-call alongside Arthur Ransome, C.S. Lewis, Terry Pratchett and Philip Pullman. Pretty, impressive. Here’s what he had to say . . .

They want to be immersed in all aspects of life, not just the easy stuff.

“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 patronizing, condescending towards the reader is, to me, the worst thing a Young Adult fiction author can do.” Kevin Brooks

So, what is The Bunker Diary all about? Well, we’ve  it described as  Room meets Lord of the Flies. A pulse-pounding exploration of what happens when your worst nightmare comes true  that makes you think – how will I survive. The blurbs enough to make your stomach-clench . . .

I can’t believe I fell for it.

 It was still dark when I woke up this morning.

As soon as my eyes opened I knew where I was.

 A low-ceilinged rectangular building made entirely of whitewashed concrete.

There are six little rooms along the main corridor.

 There are no windows. No doors. The lift is the only way in or out.

What’s he going to do to me?

What am I going to do?

If I’m right, the lift will come down in five minutes.

It did. Only this time it wasn’t empty . . .

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