More Children’s Books Awards: Carnegie and Greenaway Shortlists

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The United Kingdom’s book award duo, Carnegie and Greenaway, have 16 shortlisted titles between them.

Kids at the 2012 Leipzig Book Fair, a show that had to cancel this year amid COVID-19 concerns. Image – Getty iStockphoto: Philartphace

By Porter Anderson, Editor-in-Chief | @Porter_Anderson

See also: Opening Today: Bologna’s Physical and ‘Fast’ Book Fair

‘A Path Through Challenging Times’
Just when you thought that Bologna Children’s Book Fair—opening today (March 21)—surely has the lock on children’s books awards and prizes, the Carnegie Greenaway Awards in February announced their 2022 shortlists, as what these United Kingdom-based prize regimes say are that market’s longest-running book awards for children and young people.

The plethora of awards and prizes this year is so deep that we’ve held these shortlists until today, knowing that many of our readers interested in children’s books will want the news of these awards for younger readers’ content.

The program calls the Carnegie and Greenaway the UK’s “best-loved book awards for children and young people,” but that, of course, seems less a matter of actual data or fact than an example of the inter-contest hyperbole battles for press coverage we’ve been pointing out here at Publishing Perspectives in a context of so many book and publishing awards.

The Greenaway and Carnegies now have “Yoto” attached to their names, in the tradition of sponsors branding their corporate-responsibility sponsorships, not unlike the way corporations emblazon—and sometimes de-emblazon—various sports venues with their monikers. Not for nothing has Los Angeles’ former Staples (office suppy) Center become the Crypto.com Arena.

The Yoto Carnegie Greenaway Awards program is managed by the charity referred to as CILIP, which stands for “Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals,” as chartered by the crown in 1898. The organization was rebranded “CILIP: The Library and Information Association” in 2017.

These awards are juried by children’s librarians. We published the program’s longlists on February 18 in case you’d like to review them. They were chosen from 148 nominations by a 14-librarian panel from the CILIP Youth Libraries Group. There were 33 books in those longlists, 18 for the Carnegie and 15 for the Greenaway.

The shortlists have eight nominees each.

The 2022 Yoto Carnegie Medal Shortlist

Image: Yoto Carnegie Greenaway

The Carnegie Medal, which is awarded annually, was established in 1936, in memory of the Scottish-born philanthropist Andrew Carnegie (1835−1919). In response to the importance of libraries in his childhood, Carnegie set up more than 2,800 libraries across the English-language world. By the time of his death, more than half the library-operation agencies in Great Britain are said to have had Carnegie libraries. In 2021, the Carnegie Medal was won by Jason Reynolds for Look Both Ways.

  • October, October by Katya Balen, illustrated by Angela Harding (Bloomsbury)
  • Guard Your Heart by Sue Divin (Macmillan Children’s Books)
  • When the Sky Falls by Phil Earle (Andersen Press)
  • Everyone Dies Famous in a Small Town by Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock (Faber)
  • The Crossing by Manjeet Mann (Penguin Children’s Books)
  • Tsunami Girl by Julian Sedgwick, illustrated by Chie Kutsuwada (Guppy Books)
  • Cane Warriors by Alex Wheatle (Andersen Press)
  • Punching the Air by Ibi Zoboi and Yusef Salaam (HarperCollins Children’s Books)
The 2022 Yoto Greenaway Medal Shortlist

Image: Yoto Carnegie Greenaway

The Kate Greenaway Medal was created in 1955 to recognize distinguished illustration in a book for children. Named after a 19th-century artist of children’s illustrations and designs, the CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal is awarded annually for an outstanding book in terms of illustration for children and young people. In 2021, the Kate Greenaway Medal was won by Sydney Smith for Small in the City.

  • Drawn Across Borders illustrated and written by George Butler (Walker Books)
  • The Midnight Fair illustrated by Mariachiara Di Giorgio, written by Gideon Sterer (Walker Books)
  • Too Much Stuff illustrated and written by Emily Gravett (Two Hoots)
  • Long Way Down illustrated by Danica Novgorodoff, written by Jason Reynolds (Faber)
  • Milo Imagines the World illustrated by Christian Robinson, written by Matt de la Pena (Macmillan Children’s Books)
  • Shu Lin’s Grandpa illustrated by Yu Rong, written by Matt Goodfellow (Otter-Barry Books)
  • I Talk Like a River illustrated by Sydney Smith, written by Jordan Scott (Walker Books)
  • The Wanderer illustrated and written by Peter Van den Ende (Pushkin Children’s Books)

In a prepared statement, Jennifer Horan, chair of the awards’ jurors, is quoted in speaking about “our 16-strong shortlist of books for the Yoto Carnegie Greenaway Awards, which we hope will excite, move, and empower the young readers who pick them up, including the thousands shadowing this year’s awards.

Jennifer Horan

“On a personal level, having a research interest in the link between children’s literature and empathy, I’m thrilled that our Yoto Carnegie shortlist showcases how friendship can help young people find the strength to navigate a path through challenging times.

“We’re also delighted to celebrate the power of pictures, not only on the Yoto Kate Greenaway list but in a couple of Carnegie titles too.

“Many of our shortlisted books remind us that art can help us to communicate and connect with young people when words sometimes fail us.

“The shadowing groups and our young readers now share the judges’ difficult task of picking two winners from this rich pool of talent.”

This is Publishing Perspectives’ 55th awards report published in the 56 days since our 2022 operations began on January 3.


More from Publishing Perspectives on children’s books is here, more from us on publishing and book awards programs is here, and more on the UK market is here.

More on the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on international book publishing is here.

About the Author

Porter Anderson

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Porter Anderson is a non-resident fellow of Trends Research & Advisory, and he has been named International Trade Press Journalist of the Year in London Book Fair's International Excellence Awards. He is Editor-in-Chief of Publishing Perspectives. He formerly was Associate Editor for The FutureBook at London's The Bookseller. Anderson was for more than a decade a senior producer and anchor with CNN.com, CNN International, and CNN USA. As an arts critic (National Critics Institute), he was with The Village Voice, the Dallas Times Herald, and the Tampa Tribune, now the Tampa Bay Times. He co-founded The Hot Sheet, a newsletter for authors, which now is owned and operated by Jane Friedman.

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