In a ceremony on Thursday, Patrick Ness was presented with the 2011 CILIP Carnegie Medal for Monsters of Men (Walker Books), the final volume of his Chaos Walking trilogy.
His first two novels, The Knife of Never Letting Go and The Ask and the Answer, were runners-up for the award in 2009 and 2010 – the first time three novels in a trilogy have been shortlisted for the same award.
Excitement over Ness’s writing began with the publication of The Knife of Never Letting Go, his first children’s book. The story of Todd, 13 and fleeing towards adulthood through a desolate dystopia, won both the Guardian Children’s Book Award and the Book Trust Teenage Award.
Ferelith Hordon, chair of the 2011 judging panel for the Carnegie Medal, praised Ness for creating a “complex other world, giving himself and the reader great scope to consider big questions about life, love and how we communicate, as well as the horrors of war, and the good and evil that mankind is capable of.”
Ness, an American who has lived in the U.K. since 1999, has published two adult novels, and teaches creative writing at the University of Oxford. In his acceptance speech, Ness delivered a "scorching attack" on the British government's current policy on libraries.
At the same ceremony, the 2011 Kate Greenaway Medal was presented to Grahame Baker-Smith for FArTHER (Templar).
Baker-Smith has been illustrating books and album covers for the past 30 years. Recently, he changed his style and evolved a new way of illustrating, which resulted in him being a runner-up for the Greenaway Medal last year, for Leon and the Place Between.