Though this is rather late news (it happened more than a week ago), I did just want to mention how delighted I am that David Almond has won the 2010 Hans Christian Andersen Award. David is of course the author of many wonderful books, and while to my mind the best of them remain Kit's Wilderness and Skellig, I've never read one I didn't like. He's a favourite of all three UBG editors, and we're particularly proud to have him as the author of the introduction to our Ultimate Teen Book Guide.
Nikki Gamble, who runs the brilliant Write Away site, asked me last week for a few words on why I thought David was a great choice for the HCAA. So for what it's worth, this was my slightly rambly quote...
If you read a lot, you quickly learn that many books are rather like many other books. But this is not always true. David Almond writes books that are unlike anything by anyone else. You can always recognise a David Almond book, and not just the consistent setting, or the familiar way of telling a story, the characters, the prose, but because he seems to see the world quite differently from everyone else. It’s not a fantasy world he lives in, however, it’s not a different world to our own, he merely seems to see things in our own world that the rest of us don’t. And as a result, once you’ve read Kit’s Wilderness, or Skellig, or Clay, you’ll start seeing our world a little differently, too. And really, what more could a reader ask? Almond shows you the things that might be just half-glimpsed out of the corner of your eye, the spirits inside everyday things and places, the shadows lurking behind visible surfaces, the fault-lines between the physical world and the metaphysical, between past and present, life and death. No less than that. His are beautiful books, bold books, they’re books for brave readers who love writing. When we celebrate the pleasure of reading it’s because books allow you to immerse yourself in a world and see it through another’s eyes, and maybe understand something new; when we celebrate the greatness of truly great books it’s because it is these that will deeply change your own perceptions of your own world, and change it, and you, for good. I can think of no one writing for young people today who more deserves celebrating than David Almond.
7 months ago