The 2023 shortlists for the UK’s longest running and most prestigious book awards for children and young people were announced on Friday 17th March.
The Yoto Carnegie Medal for Writing and the Yoto Carnegie Medal for Illustration (formerly known as the Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medals) celebrate outstanding achievement in children’s writing and illustration respectively. Judged by a panel of children’s and youth librarians from across the UK, this year’s longlist of 31 titles has been whittled down to 13 – seven shortlisted titles for the Yoto Carnegie Medal for Writing and six for the Yoto Carnegie Medal for Illustration.
This year, the Yoto Carnegie Medal for Writing features an all-female shortlist that includes titles by past winners Katya Balen (2022) and Ruta Sepetys (2017), as well as first time shortlistings for critically acclaimed authors Jessie Burton, Patrice Lawrence, Sita Brahmachari and Manon Stefan Ros. Louise Finch’s debut novel The Eternal Return of Clara Hart completes the shortlist.
The shortlist for the Yoto Carnegie Medal for Illustration features a range of genres and illustrative styles, from a manga-inspired graphic novel to debut information book Rescuing Titanic, which was also shortlisted for last year’s Klaus Flugge Prize. Both shortlists celebrate stories with strong narrative voices and themes of overcoming adversity and finding strength in community and personal relationships.
Janet Noble, Chair of Judges, said, ‘This year’s shortlists clearly demonstrate that authors, illustrators and publishers are continuing to create outstanding books for children and young people that represent a wide range of identities, helping to ensure the diversity of experiences across the UK is reflected. Stories of bravery, compassion and community are told authentically and sensitively in a range of distinctive written and illustrative styles, with fantastic debuts taking pride of place alongside well-known names. We’re sure shadowing groups across the country will share our excitement in reading and discussing these superb books in the coming months, and we wish them luck in choosing their winners – we know it’s not going to be an easy decision! The 2023 judges and I are immensely proud that these 13 books will become part of the distinguished legacy of The Yoto Carnegies.’
Congratulations to all the shortlisted authors and illustrators!
Yoto Carnegie Medal for Writing
The Light in Everything by Katya Balen (Bloomsbury Children’s Books)
When Shadows Fall by Sita Brahmachari, illustrated by Natalie Sirett (Little Tiger)
Medusa: The Girls Behind the Myth by Jessie Burton, illustrated by Olivia Lomenech Gill (Bloomsbury Children’s Books)
The Eternal Return of Clara Hart by Louise Finch (Little Island)
Needle by Patrice Lawrence (Barrington Stoke)
I Must Betray You by Ruta Sepetys (Hodder Children’s Books)
The Blue Book of Nebo by Manon Steffan Ros (Firefly Press)
Yoto Carnegie Medal for Illustration
Rescuing Titanic illustrated and written by Flora Delargy (Wide Eyed Editions)
Alte Zachen: Old Things illustrated by Benjamin Phillips, written by Ziggy Hanaor (Cicada Books)
The Worlds We Leave Behind illustrated by Levi Pinfold, written by A. F. Harrold (Bloomsbury Children’s Books)
The Visible Sounds illustrated by Yu Rong, written by Yin Jianling (UCLan Publishing)
The Comet illustrated and written by Joe Todd-Stanton (Flying Eye Books)
Saving Sorya: Chang and the Sun Bear illustrated by Jeet Zdung, written by Trang Nguyen (Kingfisher)
Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Shadowing Scheme
The announcement of the shortlists also signals the start of this year’s Shadowing Scheme. Across the country, groups of young people will ‘shadow’ the judging process: reading, discussing and reviewing the shortlisted titles before choosing their winners for the Shadowers’ Choice Awards. The Shadowing Scheme is supported by a range of online resources, including a week-long programme of free author events starting on Monday 27th March. For more information on the Shadowing Scheme and how your school can get involved, click here.
The winners of the Yoto Carnegies and the Shadowers’ Choice Awards will be announced at a live ceremony on Wednesday 21st June at The Barbican. Keep an eye out for our winner announcement.