Shortlists for the 2017 CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medals announced

CILIP CKG  2017 announcement photo by Rolf Marriott
  • Children's Laureate Chris Riddell could win record-breaking fourth Kate Greenaway Medal in 60th anniversary year
  • Dieter Braun's Wild Animals of the North, shortlisted for the Kate Greenaway Medal, is first ever book in translation to feature on either shortlist
  • Mal Peet's final novel Beck, co-authored by Meg Rosoff, could posthumously win the 80th anniversary Carnegie / #CKG17 / #bestchildrensbooks

The shortlists for the 2017 CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medals, the UK's oldest and most prestigious book awards for children and young people, have been revealed.

The Kate Greenaway Medal, which celebrates illustration in children's books, sees award-winning writer and illustrator Chris Riddell, the Children's Laureate, in the running to win an unprecedented fourth Kate Greenaway Medal just a year after his hat-trick in 2016. Riddell is joined by another potential record-breaker in the form of Dieter Braun's Wild Animals of the North. Originally published in German, this is the first ever translated title to make the Kate Greenaway shortlist following the Medals opening up to translated works in English in 2015. They are joined by former Kate Greenaway Medal winners Emily Gravett, William Grill and Jim Kay and first-time Kate Greenaway-shortlisted authors Francesca Sanna, Brian Selznick and Lane Smith.

The Carnegie Medal, which celebrates outstanding writing for children and young people, sees a range of YA and Middle Grade books make the shortlist. Mal Peet's final novel Beck, co-authored by Meg Rosoff, could be the second book to win the Medal posthumously, following Siobhan Dowd's Bog Child in 2009. Peet and Rosoff are joined on the list by fellow former Carnegie Medal winners Frank Cottrell Boyce and Philip Reeve, previously shortlisted author Ruta Sepetys, debut authors Lauren Wolk and Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock and first-time Carnegie-shortlisted authors Zana Fraillon, Glenda Millard and Lauren Wolk.

The 2017 shortlists are:

The CILIP Carnegie Medal 2017 shortlist (alphabetically by author surname):

  • Sputnik's Guide to Life on Earth by Frank Cottrell Boyce (Pan Macmillan)
  • The Bone Sparrow by Zana Fraillon (Orion Children's Books)
  • The Smell of Other People's Houses by Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock (Faber & Faber)
  • The Stars at Oktober Bend by Glenda Millard (Old Barn Books)
  • Railhead by Philip Reeve (Oxford University Press)
  • Beck by Mal Peet with Meg Rosoff (Walker Books)
  • Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys (Puffin)
  • Wolf Hollow by Lauren Wolk (Corgi)

The CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal 2017 shortlist (alphabetically by illustrator surname):

  • Wild Animals of the North illustrated and written by Dieter Braun (Flying Eye Books)
  • TIDY illustrated and written by Emily Gravett (Two Hoots)
  • The Wolves of Currumpaw illustrated and written by William Grill (Flying Eye Books)
  • Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone illustrated by Jim Kay, written by J.K. Rowling (Bloomsbury)
  • A Great Big Cuddle illustrated by Chris Riddell and written by Michael Rosen (Walker Books)
  • The Journey illustrated and written by Francesca Sanna (Flying Eye Books)
  • The Marvels illustrated and written by Brian Selznick (Scholastic)
  • There is a Tribe of Kids illustrated and written by Lane Smith (Two Hoots)

Tricia Adams, Chair of the CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medals judging panel for 2017, said: "Both of these shortlists celebrate the wonderful talent on offer, from established names to debut authors and illustrators making a real impact with their first books. Questions of identity, friendship and responsibility, both to others and to the natural world, are key themes this year. It is also hugely heartening to see our shortlisted writers and illustrators tackling potentially difficult and big ideas whilst introducing them to younger readers in a wide range of page-turning yet different ways."

Kate Arnold, President of CILIP, said: "From stories set in futuristic fantasy worlds to the Second World War, from modern day refugee camps in Australia to Depression-era America, both shortlists celebrate the huge imagination of some of the finest storytellers and artists today. There are journeys to be made, friendships to discover, characters to fall in love with and worlds to truly immerse oneself in."

On Kate Greenaway shortlist, Chris Riddell's creative use of vignettes in A Great Big Cuddle celebrates what it means to be young, while Emily Gravett's Tidy contrasts forest colours with monochrome to highlight the difference between the natural world and an artificial one. Debut illustrator Francesca Sanna's The Journey uses clever repetition of tones and colours to emphasise the book's key themes of travel and migration, whilst Brian Selznick's immersive storytelling in The Marvels is brought to life through detailed illustrations and near-cinematic close-ups, zooms and panning. A highly-stylised geometrical line and varied layouts bring Dieter Braun's encyclopaedia of beasts Wild Animals of the North, to life whilst previous Greenaway Medal winner William Grill uses sweeping pencil strokes to depict the wolves and wildernesses of New Mexico in The Wolves of Currumpaw. Fellow previous Greenaway Medal winner Jim Kay vividly reveals the world of muggles and magic in Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone. Finally, Lane Smith uses scale, size and muted earth tones to create movement in his adventure through the natural world, There is a Tribe of Kids.

In a Carnegie Medal shortlist dominated by novels of identity, friendship, love and survival, debut children's author Lauren Wolk's Wolf Hollow - a US-set coming-of-age tale of a young girl's experience of bullying, survival and friendship in a small town in the 1940s - vies with previous Carnegie Medal winner Philip Reeve's intergalactic fantasy thriller Railhead, where hi-tech trains transport passengers between planets and galaxies in a mere moment. Both face tough competition from previous Carnegie winners Mal Peet and Meg Rosoff in Beck, Peet's final novel finished by Rosoff, a sweeping coming-of-age epic about a mixed race boy transported to North America in the 1900s. Journalist-turned-debut-author Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock's The Smell of Other People's Houses - inspired by her own experiences of growing up in Alaska in the Seventies - is joined on the eight strong shortlist by Zana Fraillon's The Bone Sparrow a story of unexpected friendship in the tough world of an internment camp in Australia and Glenda Millard's tale of survival and redemption through friendship, love and the power of poetry, The Stars at Oktober Bend. Previous Medal winner Frank Cottrell Boyce's Sputnik's Guide to Life on Earth about family, fostering, the power of friendship and how a boy called Prez regains his voice, and Ruta Sepetys's Salt to the Sea, a WW2-set story of refugees and survivors inspired by a real life naval disaster, complete the Carnegie shortlist for 2017.

The CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medals are the oldest children's book awards in the UK, with the first winners announced in 1936 and 1956 respectively. The titles on the shortlists are selected from nominations for their literary and artistic merit and are contenders for the highest accolades in children's literature, with previous winners including legendary talents Arthur Ransome, C.S Lewis and Mary Norton for the Carnegie Medal and illustrators Quentin Blake, Shirley Hughes and Raymond Briggs for the Kate Greenaway Medal.

The winners for both the CILIP Carnegie Medal and the CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal will be announced on Monday 19th June at a lunchtime ceremony at RIBA in central London.

The winners will each receive £500 worth of books to donate to their local library, a specially commissioned golden medal and £5,000 each from the Colin Mears Award. At the ceremony in June, one title from each shortlist will also be named the recipient of the Amnesty CILIP Honour, awarded to books that most distinctively illuminate, upholds or celebrate freedoms. The Honour aims to increase awareness of how great children's books encourage empathy and broaden horizons. Today's CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medals shortlists were announced at a celebratory event at Amnesty International in London.


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About the CILIP Carnegie Medal

The Carnegie Medal, awarded annually to the writer of an outstanding book for children, was established in 1936 in memory of the Scottish-born philanthropist, Andrew Carnegie (1835-1919). A self-made industrialist who made his fortune in steel in the USA, Carnegie's experience of using a library as a child led him to resolve that "If ever wealth came to me that it should be used to establish free libraries." He set up more than 2,800 libraries across the English speaking world and by the time of his death over half the library authorities in Great Britain had Carnegie libraries.

The full list of past winners of the CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medals can be found here: http://www.carnegiegreenaway.o...

About the CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal

The Kate Greenaway Medal was established in 1955 for distinguished illustration in a book for children. Named after the popular nineteenth century artist, known for her beautiful 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.

About the Awards Shadowing Scheme

Each year thousands of reading groups in schools and libraries in the UK and overseas get involved in the Awards, with children and young people 'shadowing' the judging process. They read, discuss and review the books on the shortlists and get involved in reading related activity in groups and online. Free shadowing educational resources include visual literacy teaching notes, talking points, human rights teaching notes, activity ideas and video interviews with the shortlisted authors and illustrators. Shadowing groups are encouraged to publish their own creative response to the books including reviews, blogs, and videos.

About the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP)

CILIP is the leading professional body for librarians, information specialists and knowledge managers. CILIP's vision is a fair and economically prosperous society underpinned by literacy, access to information and the transfer of knowledge. CILIP is a registered charity, no. 313014. The Youth Libraries Group (YLG) of CILIP works in a 'pressure group' role to preserve and influence the provision of quality literature and library services for children and young people, both in public libraries and school library services.

The CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medals are awarded annually for outstanding writing and illustration in books for children and young people, based on the published criteria. CILIP recommend that readers be guided as to the age suitability of each book. CILIP announced in March 2017 that it will launch plans for its Equality and Diversity Action Plan in summer 2017, which will include a review of the CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medals during the 2018 cycle. The aim is to ensure diversity, equality and inclusion is embedded into its work. The review will be open, transparent and accountable and will proactively seek views and contributions from the widest possible range of stakeholders.

About Amnesty International and the Amnesty CILIP Honour

Amnesty International is the world's leading human rights organisation with over 7 million supporters worldwide. It was awarded the Nobel peace prize in 1977. The Amnesty CILIP Honour was introduced in 2016, to commend human rights in children's literature. One book is selected from each of the CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medal shortlists, chosen because it most distinctively illuminates, upholds or celebrates freedoms. The inaugural Amnesty CILIP Honours were awarded in 2016 to Robin Talley for Lies We Tell Ourselves (CILIP Carnegie Medal shortlist) and Ross Collins for There's a Bear on My Chair (CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal shortlist). The judges for the 2017 Amnesty CILIP honour are: Amy Leon, Ross Collins, Sita Brahmachari, Bali Rai, Jack Mapanje, Manya Benenson, Louise Johns-Shepherd, Nicky Parker, Dan Jones and Rowena Seabrook.


Photo by Rolf Marriott (original cropped) shows the CILIP CKG Working Party and members of the judging panel with some of the 2017 shortlisted authors and illustrators.