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2018 Carnegie and Greenaway Medal winners announced!

The 2018 winners of the Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medals — the UK’s Newbery and Caldecott equivalents — were announced today. The awards are presented annually by the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP).

Geraldine McCaughrean was awarded the Carnegie Medal, which recognizes “the writer of an outstanding book for children,” for her novel Where the World Ends (Usborne). This is Ms. McCaughrean’s second Carnegie; her previous win was in 1988 for A Pack of Lies.

Sydney Smith and his illustrations for Town Is by the Sea (written by Joanne Schwartz; published in the US and Canada by Groundwood and in the UK by Walker) were awarded the Greenaway Medal “for distinguished illustration in a book for children.”

Jake Hope, Chair of the 2018 CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medals judging panel, wrote of the winning titles in a press release,

2018 has been an exceptional year for the CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway medals. A record number of nominations were received leading to incredibly strong shortlists. This has presented a real challenge for the judges as any of the books would have guaranteed a solid winner.

As librarians, we promote education and knowledge for all, and we heartily endorse Geraldine’s call for intellectual freedom through stories with rich language and complex themes which equip all children with the tools to understand — and, in some cases, change — the world around them. Her book, Where the World Ends, is outstanding and a hugely deserving winner of the Carnegie Medal. Each of the characters caught on Warrior’s Stac has their own tale and the tension built through the predicament they find themselves ensnared in — quite literally caught on a precipice — is palpable. Like a diamond, this is a story with an impressive array of sides and surfaces, each reflecting and refracting experience and understanding in ways that judges feel will stay with readers for a lifetime.

Sydney Smith’s Town Is by the Sea skillfully balances an intimate story of a child’s world of play and wonder alongside a bigger story of a whole community and culture built around mining. Its illustrations are impressive and expansive in scope and beautifully evoke both time and place. Both winners are expertly crafted and hold interest and appeal for a range of readers of all tastes and ages.

Each winner will receive £500 worth of books to donate to a library, a golden medal, and the Colin Mears Award £5,000 cash prize.

 
Additionally, Amnesty CILIP Honours went to author Angie Thomas for The Hate U Give (published in the US by Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins and in the UK by Walker) and illustrator Levi Pinfold for The Song from Somewhere Else (written by A. F. Harrold; Bloomsbury). Amnesty U.K. Director Kate Allen said of the commendations,

Amnesty has chosen two very timely stories about marginalised young people deciding how to stand up to bullies and oppressors. The idea of putting yourself in the firing line and the personal cost that entails is hugely relevant to life today given the sort of backlash people in movements like #MeToo and Black Lives Matter experience. It’s a reminder that brave people are also vulnerable and that true friends make you stronger. The costs and the unexpected gains of standing up to hatred shape the young protagonists in these books in ways that we hope will inspire young readers.

 
We are especially pleased to see CILIP recognize two of our own favorites, 2017 BGHB Fiction Award winner The Hate U Give and Picture Book Honor book Town Is by the Sea. Congratulations to Geraldine McCaughrean, Sydney Smith, Angie Thomas, Levi Pinfold, and their publishers!

Katie Bircher About Katie Bircher

Katie Bircher, associate editor at The Horn Book, Inc., is a former bookseller and holds an MA in children's literature from Simmons College. She served as chair of the 2018 Boston Globe-Horn Book Award committee. Follow Katie on Twitter @lyraelle.

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