Golden Compass named best children's book in 70 years

Philip Pullman's The Golden Compass, called Northern Lights in the British edition, was named the best children's book of the past 70 years after a public vote.

Just in Case wins Carnegie Medal

Philip Pullman's The Golden Compass, called Northern Lights in the British edition, has been named the best children's book of the past 70 years.

A public vote, by readers from North America, Europe, Asia and Australia, selected the book from a list of past winners of the Carnegie Medal for children's literature.

The win was announced Thursday evening in London, along with the winners of this year's Carnegie Medal and its sister award, the Kate Greenaway Medal for book illustration.

Meg Rosoffwon the Carnegie Medal for Just In Case, a story about a 15-year-old boy who leaves home and has to work his way through a labyrinth of depression and choices about sex and survival. It is her second book.

"It is dark, but it's funny, too," said Rosoff, a U.S.-born writer now living in Britain.

"It's not an issue book. I just want teenagers to understand that although it can seem tough, it's okay to feel depressed about things. And you can get through the bad bits, you can survive."

"The quality of the writing in Just in Case is outstanding," saidjury chair Ian Dodds. "An imaginative story of exceptional depth, it also has the power to help teenagers make sense of their lives."

Mini Grey, a British illustrator and former theatre designer, won the Greenaway Medal for her illustrations for The Adventures of the Dish and the Spoon, which tells the story of what happened after the dish ran away with the spoon.

The Carnegie and Greenaway Awards are voted on by a group of librarians from the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals in Britain.

Pullman's book chosen from short list

The Golden Compasswas chosen by a group of readers who voted online based on a short list of 10 past Carnegie winners.

Part of Pullman's HisDark Materials trilogy, it follows the adventures of a young girl, Lyra, who travels to the far north to save her best friend in a universefull ofshape-shifting creatures, witches and other-worldly characters.

About 40 per cent of readers chose the fantasy adventure from a list thatincluded books such as Mary Norton's The Borrowers, Robert Westall's The Machine Gunners and Junk by Melvin Burgess.

The special award for best book was givenas part of a celebration of the 70th anniversary of the Carnegie Medal.

The Golden Compass is being turned into a filmstarring Nicole Kidman.