The press release for the Carnegie Awards calls these "seven outstanding ‘rites of passage’ novels." In all seven, the main characters are boys.
COSMIC, , by Frank Cottrell Boyce (Macmillan, age range 8+
BLACK RABBIT SUMMER, by Kevin Brooks (Puffin, age range 14+)
AIRMAN Eoin Colfer (Puffin, age range 9+)
BOG CHILD Siobhan Dowd (David Fickling Books, age range 12+)
OSTRICH BOYS Keith Gray (Definitions, age range 12+)
THE KNIFE OF NEVER LETTING GO Patrick Ness (Walker, age range 14+)
CREATURE OF THE NIGHT Kate Thompson (Bodley Head, age range: 14+)
I am particularly happy to see Airman on the list--this was one that impressed all of us on the Nominating Committee for the Cybils so much that it made our shortlist for that award, and it hasn't yet gotten the attention it deserves.
Here's the blurb that my co-panelist Amanda Feller, who blogs at the Shady Glade, wrote for the Cybils website:
"Conor Broekhart love of flying started when he was born in a falling hot air balloon at the 1878 Paris World Fair. Conor dreams of inventing the world's first airplane, a dream that is interrupted when he is accused and jailed for a crime he didn't commit. But Conor's not about to let the person truly responsible get away with it. A rousing adventure story with a sensible hero, with a dash of Jules Verne and The Count of Monte Cristo, Eoin Colfer's Airman will satisfy readers young and old alike."
Black Rabbit Summer and Ostrich Boys I have never heard of...
Here's the Guardian's take on it.