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Last Updated: Thursday, 21 June 2007, 18:48 GMT 19:48 UK
Pullman wins 'great book' title
Northern Lights book jacket
The His Dark Materials trilogy has been translated into 37 languages
Philip Pullman's Northern Lights has been named the best children's book of the past 70 years.

A public vote selected the book from a list of past winners of the Carnegie Medal for Children's Literature.

"This accolade is an enormous pleasure to receive," said the British author. "It is without any question the most important honour I have ever received."

The fantasy adventure is being turned into a film starring Nicole Kidman, under its US title The Golden Compass.

A panel of judges whittled down the 70 winners of the Carnegie Medal to deliver a shortlist of 10 books.

Among them was Mary Norton's The Borrowers, Robert Westall's The Machine Gunners and Junk by Melvin Burgess.

But Pullman's book, which received the medal in 1995, pulled in more than 40% of votes in the global poll.

"I am humbled and honoured that Northern Lights has been chosen from among so many wonderful books," said the author.


Philip Pullman
Pullman the award would be the one he will "treasure the most"
The His Dark Materials trilogy revolves around the story of a young girl, Lyra, who travels to the far north to save her best friend.

Along the way, she encounters shape-shifting creatures, witches and a variety of other-worldly characters in parallel universes.

"These books have redefined children's literature and changed the way we think and talk about children's books," said Carnegie judge Jonathan Douglas. "They are classics."

As Pullman picked up his prize, American-born, London-based author Meg Rosoff was named the 2007 Carnegie Medal winner.

The prize, awarded by the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals, went to her second novel, Just in Case.

A tale of sex, death and depression in the life of a 15-year-old boy, the story confronts the darker side of teen years.

The Carnegie judges described it as "an imaginative story of exceptional depth which also has the power to help teenagers make sense of their lives".

Rosoff said: "Just in Case is the sort of book that people either love or hate.

"For a panel of librarians to agree that it deserves this historic medal is just amazing. I'm thrilled, honoured and astonished."

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