The Yoto Carnegies, the UK’s longest running book awards for children and young people, have announced their longlists for 2024. Celebrating creative use of language and synergy between text and images, poetry and stories written in verse feature prominently, with British talent dominating the Medal for Writing longlist.
Common themes include hidden worlds and alternate realities, forgotten histories highlighted or reimagined, and environmentalism and the power of nature.
The Yoto Carnegies celebrate outstanding reading experiences in books for children and young people. They are unique in being judged by librarians, with the Shadowers’ Choice Medal voted for by children and young people. The awards aim to spark a lifelong passion for reading by connecting more children with books that will change lives. The longlists were chosen from 129 nominations by the judging panel which includes 12 children’s and youth librarians from CILIP’s Youth Libraries Group.
A total of 36 books have been selected from 20 different publishers:
19 for the Yoto Carnegie Medal for Writing, and 18 for the Yoto Carnegie Medal for Illustration.
One title has been longlisted in both Medal categories, LoveReading4Kids Star Book - Tyger by SF Said, illustrated by Dave McKean, and published by independent publisher David Fickling Books. Said and McKean were previously nominated together for Phoenix in 2013. McKean has also been shortlisted six times previously.
The longlist features four previous winners of the Medal for Illustration; two-time winner Sydney Smith for My Baba’s Garden, Bob Graham for The Concrete Garden, Jon Klassen for The Skull and Catherine Rayner for The Bowerbird.
Previous Shadowers’ Choice Medal for Illustration winner, Sharon King-Chai is longlisted for Colours, Colours Everywhere, a tactile picture book teaching children about different colours, written by Julia Donaldson.
Former Carnegie Medal for Writing winner Anthony McGowan makes the longlist with Dogs of the Deadlands, a tale of survival inspired by the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster.
Waterstones Children’s Laureate and previous shortlistee Joseph Coelho is longlisted for The Boy Lost in the Maze, one of four verse novels recognised for the Medal for Writing. The other three are by New York Times bestselling author Kwame Alexander and debut authors, Cathy Faulkner and Tia Fisher.
The longlist features a further four previous shortlistees; Kwame Alexander (2019), Phil Earle (2022) and Candy Gourlay (2019) for writing and Poonam Mistry, who has been shortlisted three times (2019, 2020 and 2021) for illustration.
The 2024 Yoto Carnegie Medal for Writing Longlist:
The Door of No Return by Kwame Alexander - This illuminating, lyrical trilogy-opener follows a West African boy’s journey from his Asante Kingdom hometown to the brutal crossing of a ferocious sea.
The Song Walker by Zillah Bethell - One lost girl. One girl on a mission. Together they discover friendship, courage and identity in the Australian Outback.
Away with Words by Sophie Cameron - This beautiful, compassionate story sees an uprooted girl and her selectively mute classmate form a life-changing friendship when they harness the magic of communication.
The Little Match Girl Strikes Back by Emma Carroll, illustrated by Lauren Child - Award winning author Emma Carroll and former Children’s Laureate Lauren Child bring a fresh twist and a whoosh of magic to one of Hans Christian Andersen’s best-loved stories.
The Boy Lost in the Maze by Joseph Coelho, illustrated by Kate Milner - A powerful verse novel about manhood and two boys’ journey towards it.
Choose Love by Nicola Davies, illustrated by Petr Horáček - In this moving sequence of poems Nicola Davies’s text combines with the superbly evocative illustrations of Petr Horácek to provide insight into the real-life experiences of refugees forced to leave their homes and previous lives behind to face an unknown future.
Electric Life by Rachel Delahaye - Alara’s incredible gaming skills bring her to the attention of Estrella’s leaders as she is chosen to go on a dangerous mission to London Under. Believable worlds and compelling characters immerse the reader completely.
Until the Road Ends by Phil Earle - Three unlikely travelling companions tell a story about the impact of the London Blitz on a family from an original perspective.
Digging for Victory by Cathy Faulkner - Exciting Home Front war story with a memorable young protagonist.
Crossing the Line by Tia Fisher - An immersive and powerful verse novel about terrifying county lines child exploitation.
Wild Song by Candy Gourlay - A deep dive into another culture, a shameful episode of history and one girl’s fight for self determination.
Boy Like Me by Simon James Green - A loud and proud novel about censorship and growing up gay in a hostile world. With endearing characters and masses of optimism, this is a book that will break and the rebuild your heart.
Safiyyah’s War by Hiba Noor Khan - A wonderful story of compassion and courage that illuminates how children’s lives can be changed by the big events of history.
Steady for This by Nathanael Lessore - Laugh-out loud funny, warm, with emotional depth – this tremendous debut novel is not to be missed.
The Swifts by Beth Lincoln, illustrated by Claire Powell - Clever, original and hugely enjoyable, this murder mystery is a don’t miss.
Dogs of the Deadlands by Anthony McGowan, illustrated by Keith Robinson - In the aftermath of Chernobyl, a stunning tale of human and animal courage, resilience, and hope.
Tyger by SF Said, illustrated by Dave McKean - Award winning team create a modern masterpiece.
Ravencave by Marcus Sedgwick - This startling, gripping ghost story rings with the troubles of a fractured family, social inequity, and ancestral voices.
Greenwild: The World Behind the Door by Pari Thomson, illustrated by Elisa Paganelli - Open the door to a spellbinding world where the wilderness is alive and a deep magic rises from the earth itself in this unforgettable adventure through the Greenwild.
The 2024 Yoto Carnegie Medal for Illustration Longlist:
The Tree and the River by Aaron Becker
Wolves in Helicopters by Paddy Donnelly, written by Sarah Tagholm
April's Garden by Catalina Echeverri, written by Isla McGuckin
The Concrete Garden by Bob Graham
Deep by Stephen Hogtun
Lost by Mariajo Ilustrajo
Colours, Colours Everywhere by Sharon King-Chai, written by Julia Donaldson
The Skull by Jon Klassen
The Wilderness by Steve McCarthy
Tyger by Dave McKean, written by SF Said
To the Other Side by Erika Meza
The Midnight Panther by Poonam Mistry
The Bowerbird by Catherine Rayner, written by Julia Donaldson
Global by Giovanni Rigano, written by Eoin Colfer and Andrew Donkin
The Search for the Giant Arctic Jellyfish by Chloe Savage
My Baba's Garden by Sydney Smith, written by Jordan Scott
The Boy Who Lost His Spark by Daniela Jaglenka Terrazzini, written by Maggie O'Farrell
What Feelings Do When No One’s Looking by Aleksandra Zając, written by Tina Oziewicz
Maura Farrelly, Chair of Judges for The Yoto Carnegies 2024, said:
“Huge congratulations to all of our longlisted authors and illustrators in what has been a fantastic year for books for children and young people. It has been a joy and a privilege to chair an enthusiastic and dedicated panel of judges as we read, debated and considered the nominated titles before arriving at two exciting longlists. These are books that play with language and show how powerful words and illustrations can inspire imaginations and encourage empathy as well as helping young readers make sense of an increasingly confusing world and give them hope for a brighter future.”
The shortlists for the 2024 Yoto Carnegies will be announced at a panel event at London Book Fair beginning at 9.15am on Wednesday 13th March. The winners’ ceremony will be hosted live and streamed on Thursday 20th June. The winners will each receive a specially commissioned golden medal and a £5,000 Colin Mears Award cash prize.
The winners of the Shadowers’ Choice Medals – voted for and awarded by the children and young people – will also be presented at the ceremony. They will also receive a golden medal and £500 worth of books to donate to a library of their choice.
For further information on The Yoto Carnegies 2024 please visit: www.yotocarnegies.co.uk