Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Awards

Winners of the oldest and most prestigious children's book awards announced

On June 18th , at the British Library, the winners of the oldest and most prestigious children’s book awards were announced and Geraldine McCaughrean scooped her second CILIP Carnegie Medal, 30 years after her first win, with Where the World Ends, a true survival story of Scottish boys marooned at sea, and in her speech chose to speak out against the dumbing down of children’s literature, encouraging writers and publishers to challenge young readers and provide them with a vocabulary that allows them to think for themselves. Canadian illustrator Sydney Smith wins his first Kate Greenaway Medal for Town Is by the Sea. The picture book, which depicts a day in the life of a boy growing up in a coal mining town in the 1950s, contrasts a child’s life of play with that of the adult world of work, with the bright world above ground juxtaposed with the perilous subterranean world of a mining pit.

Themes of empowering children to stand up for their beliefs and encouraging them to shape the world around them are celebrated in both the Amnesty CILIP Honour commendations which were also presented at the British Library ceremony. From the CILIP Carnegie Medal shortlist, the Honour went to American debut author Angie Thomas for The Hate U Give. Inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, it tells the story of 16-year-old Starr following the fatal shooting of a best friend by a white police officer. The Amnesty CILIP Honour from the Kate Greenaway Medal shortlist went to British artist Levi Pinfold for his black and white illustrations in The Song from Somewhere Else (by A.F. Harrold). One of his first commissions to illustrate a novel, the book explores friendship, betrayal, acceptance and doing the right thing.

The attached photo is of Geraldine McCaughrean and Sydney Smith with their medals (Photo: CILIP/photographer Katriina Jarvinen)

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