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Carnegie Medal | Kate Greenaway Medal

Carnegie Medal | Kate Greenaway Medal

The shortlist for the CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medals for 2021 have been announced. Read on for more about the shortlisted books, the authors and illustrators and these prestigous awards. And we have also included a few of our favourite past winners.

CILIP Kate Greenaway 2021 titles

CILIP Carnegie 2021 shortist

Some of our favourite past winners

The shortlist for the prestigious CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medals has been announced. The Medals celebrate outstanding achievement in children’s writing and illustration respectively and are unique in being judged by librarians, with the Shadowers’ Choice Award voted for by children and young people. 16 titles have been shortlisted for the 2021 Medals (8 on each shortlist) selected from a total of 40 longlisted titles, read by an expert volunteer team of 15 librarians from across the UK. 

Explorations of nature and the great outdoors are key recurring features across this year’s shortlists with themes of self-discovery and personal freedoms offering a sense of hope after a year of lockdown.

CILIP Carnegie Medal shortlist

Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo (Hot Key Books)

The Girl Who Speaks Bear by Sophie Anderson, illustrated by Kathrin Honesta (Usborne)

The Girl Who Became A Tree by Joseph Coelho, illustrated by Kate Milner (Otter-Barry Books)

On Midnight Beach by Marie-Louise Fitzpatrick (Faber)

Run, Rebel by Manjeet Mann (Penguin Random House Children's)

Look Both Ways by Jason Reynolds (Knights Of)

The Fountains Of Silence by Ruta Sepetys (Penguin Random House Children's)

Echo Mountain by Lauren Wolk (Penguin Random House Children's)

CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal shortlist 

Starbird illustrated and written by Sharon King-Chai (Two Hoots)

The Bird Within Me illustrated by Sara Lundberg and translated by B. J. Epstein (Book Island)

It's A No-Money Day illustrated and written by Kate Milner (Barrington Stoke)

How The Stars Came To Be illustrated and written by Poonam Mistry (Tate Publishing)

Hike illustrated and written by Pete Oswald (Walker Books)

I Go Quiet illustrated and written by David Ouimet (Canongate)

Arlo The Lion Who Couldn’t Sleep illustrated and written by Catherine Rayner (Macmillan Children's Books)

Small In The City illustrated and written by Sydney Smith (Walker Books)

Last years Carnegie winner was Lark from Anthony McGowan, the fourth and final story of brothers Nicky and Kenny, a tale modern poverty, the highs and lows of adolescence, and life with learning difficulties told across a sequence of short novellas. Anthony McGowan said: “Every writer for young people dreams of winning the Carnegie Medal. Its incredible history, the rollcall of the great writers who have won it and the rigour of the selection process, makes this the greatest book prize in the world. It is also a magnificent way of connecting with readers. The hundreds of shadowing groups in schools and libraries around the country provide that one thing that writers cannot do without: a living, arguing, debating, biscuit-munching population of brilliant readers!"

Australian author and illustrator Tan, who is of Australian, Chinese and Malay heritage, was the first illustrator of colour to win the Kate Greenaway Medal with Tales from the Inner City in 2020. Shaun Tan said:  “I am surprised, delighted and then deeply honoured – what a wonderful thing to be! I am especially thrilled to receive the Kate Greenaway Medal in the fine company of so many brilliant artists and authors, many of whom inspired my own love of illustrated stories as a young West Australian scribbler. Tales from the Inner City is a strange book for strange times, suggesting that human frailty might well find expression in dreams of tigers, bears, frogs and lungfish reclaiming our cities. To know that I am not alone in enjoying such speculation – maybe even a bit too much – is no small thing. It is profoundly consoling, to feel part of a larger conversation about our relationship to this planet, particularly with younger readers, in whose imagination the future is already taking shape.”

The CILIP Carnegie Medal is awarded by children's librarians for an outstanding book for children and young people. The CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal is awarded by children's librarians for an outstanding book in terms of illustration for children and young people.

The CILIP Carnegie & Kate Greenaway Children's Book Awards are arguably the world’s most prestigious literary prizes for children's books and the titles on the shortlists are contenders for the highest accolades in children’s literature, with previous winners including legendary talents such as Arthur Ransome, C.S Lewis and Mary Norton for the CILIP Carnegie Medal and illustrators Quentin Blake, Shirley Hughes and Raymond Briggs for the CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal.

Read a personal reflection of 80 Years of the CILIP Carnegie Medal by Julia Eccleshare, Editorial Expert at Lovereading4kids.

The CILIP Carnegie Medal:

andrew carnegieIt was established by The Library Association in 1936, in memory of the great Scottish-born philanthropist, Andrew Carnegie (1835-1919). Carnegie was a self-made industrialist who made his fortune in steel in the USA. His 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."

 It was first awarded to Arthur Ransome for Pigeon Post. The medal is now awarded by CILIP: the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals. The winner receives a golden medal and £500 worth of books to donate to a library of their choice.

The CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal:

kate greenawayThe CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal was established by The Library Association in 1955 and it is named after the popular nineteenth century artist known for her fine children's illustrations and designs.

It was first awarded to Edward Ardizzone for Tim All Alone. The winner receives a golden medal and £500 worth of books to donate to a library of their choice.

The winners for both the CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medals 2020 were revealed with a media announcement on Front Row, Radio 4, on Wednesday 17th June 2020, in changes due to Covid-19 and the closure of schools. The winners received £500 worth of books to donate to their local library, a specially commissioned golden medal and a £5,000 Colin Mears Award cash prize.

Now in its second year, the Shadowers’ Choice Award – voted for and awarded by the children and young people who shadow the Medals – will be extended until October 2020 with the Shadowers' Choice Awards to be announced during Libraries Week 2020. This award has evolved out of CILIP’s Diversity Review which identified opportunities to empower and celebrate the young people involved in the Medals through the shadowing scheme.

You can register for the 2021 Carnegie & Kate Greenaway Shadowing Scheme here.

To find out more visit 

And keep up with news about the Carnegie Greenaway Medals   @CILIPCKG