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Tales of triumph over terror win top children's UK book awards

LONDON (Reuters) - The stories of a dyslexic hero and a little girl who overcomes her family's fear of a stray dog won two of Britain's most coveted children's literature prizes on Wednesday.

"Maggot Moon" by Sally Gardner outshone Booker prize-winner Roddy Doyle to win the Carnegie medal for a book starring dyslexic hero Standish, who takes on a sinister dictatorship while friends and family disappear.

Levi Pinfold won the Kate Greenaway award for his illustrations in "Black Dog" in which a little girl named Small Hope shows her family that there is nothing to be afraid of in the arrival of a seemingly fearsome stray dog.

Both prizes are awarded by the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP), the leading professional body for librarians and information specialists.

Once-branded an "unteachable" student, Gardner said that her own dyslexia was a "gift", but that the current British government's intention to introduce a curriculum focused on traditional learning methods would make school tougher for those with learning difficulties.

"(The government's) new curriculum excludes rather than embraces those like me, and millions of others, with a different way of seeing and thinking," she said.

The CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medals are the oldest and most prestigious children's book awards in Britain, with a roll-call of past winners that includes "Chronicles of Narnia" author C.S. Lewis, fantasy writer Terry Pratchett and Philip Pullman, author of the trilogy "His Dark Materials".

Past Kate Greenaway winners include former Children's Laureates Quentin Blake -- best known for his illustrations in Roald Dahl books -- and Anthony Browne, who has also won the Hans Christian Andersen award.

(Reporting by Simon Falush, editing by Paul Casciato)

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