Carnegie Medal

On 15 July 1998 James Naughtie announced that River Boy was the winner of the coveted Carnegie Medal. ‘This book is an antidote to the Cool Britannia culture of slick, superficial emotions,’ said Tricia Kings, Chair of The Library Association’s Youth Libraries Group panel of 13 children’s librarians, who selected the winner. ‘In describing Jess’s struggle to come to terms with the fact that her grandfather is dying, River Boy deals with one of life’s profoundest challenges – coping with the loss of someone you love. Thank God the next generation can draw on imaginative literature of this calibre in helping make sense of life – and death’.

The judges chose River Boy over two acclaimed prize-winning books on the shortlist of seven titles. ‘This extremely fine novel was a clear winner,’ Tricia Kings concluded. ‘It was not at all a compromise choice. River Boy has all the hallmarks of a classic – it deepens with re-reading, and takes the reader on a journey. You are not the same person at the end of this book’.