Past and present rewards

Mal Peet has won the UK’s prestigious Carnegie Medal for Tamar, a “fictionalised exploration of history and its impact on the present which focuses on the untold story of the resistance movement in Holland towards the end of World War Two.”
In his acceptance statement, Mr Peet said:

Tamar was a story I particularly wanted to tell. I believe it’s so important for young people to grasp the connections between their own lives and the past. Our understanding of history is in danger of becoming hopelessly partial and fragmented; the sense of continuity, cause and effect, is in danger of getting lost. If young people don’t make those connections, what hope is there for us to learn from our mistakes rather than repeat them!”

The judges reckon he nailed it:

Tamar is a powerful and moving story that cleverly connects the present with the past. Peet’s is a broad canvas; his writing is beautifully controlled as he unravels the complex historical and personal aspects of the story of sixty years ago and today. He has an assured lightness of touch and his book is rich with imagery, simile and strong characterisation, all of which are the hallmarks of quality in writing for children and young people. Dark and moving, it is a compelling read that ultimately offers a sense of optimism.”

And again we cry, hoorah!
And it’s only his second book, too. He was so sure he wouldn’t win, he didn’t attend the awards. I don’t suppose you would, either. He was on the shortlist with David Almond, Frank Cottrell Boyce (last year’s winner), Jan Mark (twice a winner), and Geraldine McCaughrean.
Emily Gravett took out the Kate Greenaway Medal, the UK’s oldest and most prestigious award for children’s book illustration, for her first book, Wolves.

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