Tuesday 13 February 2024: The Yoto Carnegies, the UK’s longest running and best loved book awards for children and young people, today 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.
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.
The lists include:
One title longlisted in both Medal categories – Tyger by SF Said, illustrated by Dave McKean, 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.
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.
Former Carnegie Medal for Writing winner Anthony McGowan for Dogs of the Deadlands, a tale of survival inspired by the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster.
Previous Shadowers’ Choice Medal for Illustration winner, Sharon King-Chai for Colours, Colours Everywhere, a tactile picture book teaching children about different colours, written by Julia Donaldson.
Waterstones Children’s Laureate and previous shortlistee Joseph Coelho 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.
Eight-time shortlisted author Marcus Sedgwick, who has been longlisted posthumously for Ravencave, the follow up to Wrath, longlisted in 2023.
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.
18 British or dual-British heritage authors in the Writing category.
Seven titles from Walker Books for the Illustration medal.
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.
The 2024 Yoto Carnegie Medal for Writing longlist is (alphabetical by author surname):
The Door of No Return by Kwame Alexander (Andersen Press)
The Song Walker by Zillah Bethell (Usborne)
Away with Words by Sophie Cameron (Little Tiger)
The Little Match Girl Strikes Back by Emma Carroll, illustrated by Lauren Child (Simon & Schuster)
The Boy Lost in the Maze by Joseph Coelho, illustrated by Kate Milner (Otter-Barry Books)
Choose Love by Nicola Davies, illustrated by Petr Horáček (Graffeg)
Electric Life by Rachel Delahaye (Troika Books)
Until the Road Ends by Phil Earle (Andersen Press)
Digging for Victory by Cathy Faulkner (Firefly Press)
Crossing the Line by Tia Fisher (Bonnier Books UK)
Wild Song by Candy Gourlay (David Fickling Books)
Boy Like Me by Simon James Green (Scholastic)
Safiyyah’s War by Hiba Noor Khan (Andersen Press)
Steady for This by Nathanael Lessore (Bonnier Books UK)
The Swifts by Beth Lincoln, illustrated by Claire Powell (Puffin)
Dogs of the Deadlands by Anthony McGowan, illustrated by Keith Robinson (Oneworld Publications)
Tyger by SF Said, illustrated by Dave McKean (David Fickling Books)
Ravencave by Marcus Sedgwick (Barrington Stoke)
Greenwild: The World Behind the Door by Pari Thomson, illustrated by Elisa Paganelli (Macmillan Children’s Books)
The 2024 Yoto Carnegie Medal for Illustration longlist is (alphabetical by illustrator surname):
The Tree and the River by Aaron Becker (Walker Books)
Wolves in Helicopters by Paddy Donnelly, written by Sarah Tagholm (Andersen Press)
April’s Garden by Catalina Echeverri, written by Isla McGuckin (Graffeg)
The Concrete Garden by Bob Graham (Walker Books)
Deep by Stephen Hogtun (Bloomsbury Children’s Books)
Lost by Mariajo Ilustrajo (Quarto)
Colours, Colours Everywhere by Sharon King-Chai, written by Julia Donaldson (Macmillan Children’s Books)
The Skull by Jon Klassen (Walker Books)
The Wilderness by Steve McCarthy (Walker Books)
Tyger by Dave McKean, written by SF Said (David Fickling Books)
To the Other Side by Erika Meza (Hachette Children’s Group)
The Midnight Panther by Poonam Mistry (Bonnier Books UK)
The Bowerbird by Catherine Rayner, written by Julia Donaldson (Macmillan Children’s Books)
Global by Giovanni Rigano, written by Eoin Colfer and Andrew Donkin (Hachette Children’s Group)
The Search for the Giant Arctic Jellyfish by Chloe Savage (Walker Books)
My Baba’s Garden by Sydney Smith, written by Jordan Scott (Walker Books)
The Boy Who Lost His Spark by Daniela Jaglenka Terrazzini, written by Maggie O’Farrell (Walker Books)
What Feelings Do When No One’s Looking by Aleksandra Zając, written by Tina Oziewicz (Pushkin Press)
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.”
Five debut authors feature on the longlist for the Medal for Writing, including Cathy Faulkner for a World War II free verse novel about everyday heroism, Digging for Victory, PRH WriteNow alum Beth Lincoln for her quirky mystery adventure The Swifts and Pari Thomson for Greenwild: The World Behind the Door, a richly imagined, fantasy ecological adventure. Offering the perspective of teenage boys, Nathanael Lessore is longlisted for Steady for This, a hilarious and heartwarming story about a wannabe rapper, and Tia Fisher for Crossing the Line, a powerful verse novel based on a true story about teenagers being swept up into county lines.
What Feelings Do When No One’s Looking is one of two debuts longlisted for the Medal for Illustration, by acclaimed Polish illustrator Aleksandra Zając. Written and translated by bestselling Polish author Tina Oziewicz, it is her first book to be published in English and gives younger children an introduction to understanding emotions and empathy. Chloe Savage‘s debut, The Search for the Giant Arctic Jellyfish, is a beautifully detailed adventure into the unknown.
Nature and the environment are also central to The Wilderness by Steve McCarthy, an adventure book celebrating learning opportunities in the great outdoors, wordless picture book The Tree and the River by Aaron Becker which looks at the human impact on the natural world, and Global by Eoin Colfer and Andrew Donkin, illustrated by Giovanni Rigano, a compelling graphic novel about the real effects of climate change. Depicting stunning artistic seascapes, Stephen Hogtun‘s second picture book Deep follows a whale calf and his mother through the oceans. For the Medal for Writing, Electric Life by Rachel Delahaye takes an alternate approach, imagining a ‘perfect’ future society which is entirely digital with no natural world.
Historical fiction features heavily in the Medal for Writing longlist, with another two WWII-set stories – Until the Road Ends by Phil Earle is inspired by the Blitz’s most decorated bomb-dog, and Safiyyah’s War by Hiba Noor Khan highlights the forgotten heroes of the Grand Mosque of Paris who helped hide and protect Jews. The Little Match Girl Strikes Back by Emma Carroll, illustrated by Lauren Child,is a feminist reworking of the Hans Christian Andersen classic, based on a real Match Factory Strike in 1888 East London. Set in 1900s Philippines, Wild Song by Candy Gourlay is a culturally rich and authentic exploration of identity revealing a hidden history and a journey to America – similarly to Kwame Alexander’s The Door of No Return, which in lyrical verse portrays a young West African boy and his capture into slavery.
Choose Love by Nicola Davies, illustrated by Petr Horáček, uses poetry to poignantly highlight the real-life experiences of refugees, complementing To the Other Side by Erika Meza,which strikingly portrays a journey of two young refugee children. Journeys and finding your place in the world are also explored in Lost by breakout talent Mariajo Ilustrajo, The Midnight Panther by Poonam Mistry, and The Song Walker by Zillah Bethell.
Similar themes of self-discovery and identity are explored in Boy Like Me by Simon James Green, a 90s teen romance in the midst of Section 28 where gay relationships can’t be mentioned in schools, and Away with Words by Sophie Cameron – a highly original celebration of language and feelings.
A common thread through the Illustration longlist, a number of books used different styles of illustration to promote emotional literacy, creativity and tools to cope, with colour used to indicate mood or atmosphere – from the nostalgic, classic watercolours in The Boy Who Lost His Spark by Daniela Jaglenka Terrazzini, written by Maggie O’Farrell,to the bright colours representing hope introduced through seedlings growing in Catalina Echeverri’s illustrations in April’s Garden by Isla McGuckin, to the drama and darkness of the nightmarish wolves by Paddy Donnelly for Sarah Tagholm’s Wolves in Helicopters.
The shortlists for the 2024 Yoto Carnegies will be announced at a panel event at London Book Fair beginning at 9.15am on Wednesday 13 March. The winners’ ceremony will be hosted live and streamed on Thursday 20 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.
Yoto, the innovative, screen-free audio platform for children, is the headline sponsor of the Awards. The Yoto Carnegies are also sponsored by ALCS. Scholastic are the official book supplier and First News are the official media partner.
– ENDS –
For further information on The Yoto Carnegies 2024 please visit: www.yotocarnegies.co.uk #YotoCarnegies24 | @CarnegieMedals
Author and illustrator biographies and images, book synopses and jackets are available to download here.
NOTES TO EDITORS:
Wednesday 13 March 2024: Shortlist announced and Shadowing begins
Thursday 20 June 2024: Winners announced at a live-streamed ceremony
About The Yoto Carnegies
The Yoto Carnegies celebrate outstanding achievement in children’s writing and illustration respectively and are unique in being judged solely by librarians.
The Yoto Carnegie Medal for Writing is awarded annually to a children’s book author whose writing creates an outstanding reading experience. It was established in 1936 in memory of the Scottish-born philanthropist, Andrew Carnegie (1835-1919).
The Yoto Carnegie Medal for Illustration (previously known as the Kate Greenaway Medal), established in 1955, is awarded annually to a children’s book illustrator whose artwork creates an outstanding reading experience.
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, get involved in reading related activities in groups, and vote for their favourite books to win the Yoto Carnegie Shadowers’ Choice Medals for Writing and Illustration.
In 2023 the Yoto Carnegie Medal for Writing was awarded to a book in translation for the first time in the awards almost 90-year history, The Blue Book of Nebo (Firefly Press), written and translated by Manon Steffan Ros. Jeet Zdung won the Yoto Carnegie Medal for Illustration for Saving Sorya: Chang and the Sun Bear, (Kingfisher, an imprint of Macmillan Children’s Books). This was the second consecutive year that a graphic novel has clinched the prize.
The 2023 Yoto Carnegie Shadowers’ Choice Medals voted for by children and young people were awarded to I Must Betray You by Ruta Sepetys for the Yoto Carnegie Shadowers’ Choice Medal for Writing, and The Comet by Joe Todd-Stanton for the Yoto Carnegie Shadowers’ Choice Medal for Illustration.
Yoto is an interactive audio platform for kids. Yoto offer a catalogue of over 1,200 stories, songs, activities and more to inspire creative play and learning without a screen. The carefully connected audio players, Yoto Player (3rd Generation) and Yoto Mini, put kids safely in control. No cameras. No microphones. No ads.
Inspired by Montessori principles, Ben Drury and Filip Denker founded Yoto in 2017. Yoto Player was designed with renowned design agency, Pentagram, and launched in early 2020. Yoto Mini, the portable audio player, launched in late 2021. The new and improved third generation Yoto Player arrived in summer 2023.
Now available worldwide, Yoto has won awards and accolades from critics, parents and children alike. TIME Magazine even named it one of the Best Inventions of 2020 and Yoto Mini won a prestigious D&AD Pencil in 2022. Yoto has just been named one of Bloomberg’s Top Start Ups to watch. Yoto were named the second fastest growing tech company by Deloitte in 2023.
Yoto’s platform features both award-winning original content and audio that has been licensed or co-created with partners. These partners include PRH, Macmillan, Universal Music Group, Sony, Warner Music, Mattel, Disney, LEGO, Roald Dahl Story Company, HarperCollins, Hachette, Bonnier and Scholastic.
About CILIP, the library and information association
The Yoto Carnegies are managed by CILIP, the library and information association. The Medals are awarded annually by CILIP and the Youth Libraries Group (YLG) with longlists announced in February, shortlists in March and the winners announced at a ceremony in June.
CILIP is the leading voice for the information, knowledge management and library profession. Our goal is to put information and library skills and professional values at the heart of a democratic, equal and prosperous society.
CILIP is a registered charity, no. 313014. The YLG is a special interest group of CILIP who work 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.
YLG has 12 regional committees covering all of the UK, and each committee advertises and democratically recruits a judge to represent them on the panel of judges. Each judge serves a two-year term and each year the panel is a unique mix of new and experienced judges led by the Chair of Judges. Following the independent diversity review of the Awards, CILIP introduced a co-opting procedure so that if this recruitment process does not result in a sufficiently diverse and representative judging panel, up to two judges will be co-opted to join the panel.
In 2024, the judging panel includes 12 volunteer judges from CILIP’s Youth Libraries Group and Chair of Judges Maura Farrelly. Find out more about this year’s judges here.
For 100 years, Scholastic Corporation has been encouraging the personal and intellectual growth of all children, beginning with literacy. Having earned a reputation as a trusted partner to educators and families, Scholastic is the world’s largest publisher and distributor of children’s books, a leading provider of literacy curriculum, professional services, and classroom magazines, and a producer of educational and entertaining children’s media. The Company creates and distributes bestselling books and e-books, print and technology-based learning programs for pre-K to grade 12, and other products and services that support children’s learning and literacy, both in school and at home. With 15 international operations and exports to 165 countries, Scholastic makes quality, affordable books available to all children around the world through school-based book clubs and book fairs, classroom libraries, school and public libraries, retail, and online.
The Authors’ Licensing and Collecting Society (ALCS) is a not-for-profit organisation started by writers for the benefit of all types of writers. Owned by its members, ALCS collects money due for secondary uses of writers’ work. It is designed to support authors and their creativity; ensure they receive fair payment and see their rights are respected. It promotes and teaches the principles of copyright and campaigns for a fair deal. It represents over 120,000 members, and since 1977 has paid over £650million to writers.
First News is the official media partner for the Yoto Carnegies 2024.
First News provides children and young people with a reliable and age-appropriate news source through their award-winning newspaper, app and learning resources.
First News was founded by Nicky Cox MBE and Sarah Thomson in 2006 with a mission that remains true today: to offer trustworthy, age-appropriate news to children, enhance critical thinking skills, promote reading for pleasure, and nurture global citizenship.
First News is the number one national newspaper for children reaching over 2.6 million children every week at home and at school.
Expertly written by award-winning journalists, First News takes the fear our of sensationalised world events that children hear by providing a balanced and truthful view of the world, carefully, and sensitively written to explain the background to stories in the news.