Child murder novel shortlisted for prize

A novel inspired by the murder of toddler James Bulger has been shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal for children’s literature.

‘Looking for JJ’, by Anne Cassidy tells the story of a ten-year-old girl who is jailed after murdering another child. The story focuses on her release from prison, when she is given a new identity and begins to try and live a normal life.

Ms Cassidy said that the book was based partly on the murder of James Bulger by Robert Thompson and Jon Venables, as well as the crimes of child-murderer Mary Bell.

Robert Thompson and Jon Venables, both aged 10, abducted two-year-old James Bulger from a shopping centre near Liverpool and beat the toddler to death shortly afterwards. They were released from prison in 2001, after serving eight years.

Eleven-year-old Mary Bell, from Scotswood, Newcastle, was found guilty of the murder of two boys – four-year-old Martin Brown and three-year-old Brian Howe – in 1968. She was released from prison in 1980.

Looking for JJ has already won the Booktrust Teenage Prize and has also been shortlisted for the Whitbread Children’s Prize.

Frank Cottrell Boyce’s ‘Millions’, which tells the story of two brothers who have to spend ‘millions’ before the euro is introduced, has also been shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal. The bestselling novel has recently been turned into a film, directed by ‘Trainspotting’ director Danny Boyle and starring Alex Etel, Lewis McGibbon, James Nesbitt and Daisy Donovan.

Phillip Pullman, who is best known for the ‘His Dark Materials’ novels, is also nominated for his book ‘The Scarecrow and his Servant’.

The other nominees include: Gennifer Choldenko’s ‘Al Capone Does My Shirts’, Sharon Creech’s ‘Heartbeat’ and Eva Ibbotson’s ‘The Star of Kazan’.

The winner of the Carnegie Medal, as well as its sister prize, the Kate Greenaway Medal’, which is awarded for outstanding illustration in a children’s book, will be announced at a ceremony in central London on July 8.


Related UK National News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

27 November 2013
Man Spared Jailed Over Venables Picture Tweet
A 27-year-old man has been given a suspended sentence for tweeting an image purporting to be an adult Jon Venables, one of the men jailed for the murder of James Bulger. The High Court in London gave James Baines, from Liverpool, to a 14-month suspended sentence, after he admitted contempt of court.
29 March 2012
Teen Given Two Life Sentences For Murder Of British Tourists In Florida
An American teenager has been given a life sentence for the murder of two British tourists while in Florida. 25-year-old James Cooper and 24-year-old James Kouzaris, friends from university in Sheffield, were shot and killed in Sarasota, Florida, after drunkenly wandering into the Newtown area in the early hours of 16 April 2011.
28 July 2005
Scottish Parliament in line for top architecture prize
The Scottish Parliament building at Holyrood and the F1 McLaren Technology Complex in Surrey are among the contenders for one of the UK's top architecture awards.
02 June 2005
Traditional painter gets Turner Prize nomination
A traditional painter, specialising in landscapes, still life and portraits, has been short-listed for the controversial Turner Prize. Gillian Carnegie is one of four artists short-listed for this year’s Turner Prize, which in previous years as been awarded to such controversial artists as Damien Hirst.
11 October 2005
Banville wins the 2005 Booker Prize
Irish-born author John Banville has won the Man Booker Prize 2005 for his novel, ‘The Sea’. Banville’s novel, about a man confronting a distant trauma in a town he once spent a childhood holiday in, was selected from a short-list of six authors to win the £50,000 prize at London’s Guildhall on Monday night.