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The Independent Culture
The Carnegie Medal, the premier children's book award, has been won by Philip Pullman for his Northern Lights (Scholastic pounds 12.99) - a bold choice for the judges, since it is a 399-page book inspired by Paradise Lost. However, they "predict it will become a cult book for both adults and children, as it already has in America. It is often long and demanding, but it will set young adult minds on fire".

The Kate Greenaway Medal goes to P J Lynch for his quiet, painterly illustrations to The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey (Walker Books pounds 9.99), which evoke the candlelit interiors of 19th-century New England, and were praised by the judges for "depth of emotion".

Above: from Colin McNaughton's Here Come the Aliens, one of the contenders for the prizes