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Today (Thursday 15th February 2018), the longlists for the prestigious CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medals, the UK’s oldest book awards for children and young people, are revealed. Celebrating the best in children’s writing and illustration respectively, the Medals are unique in being judged by children’s librarians. The 40-strong list of titles for the 2018 Medals (20 on each longlist) were selected from 237 nominations, read by an expert judging panel of 12 volunteer Youth Librarians from across the UK.

In a year that saw an increase in poetry nominations, Joseph Coelho’s Overheard in a Tower Block – a poetic narrative about a city childhood − makes it onto the Carnegie longlist. Should the book be shortlisted, it will be the first poetry collection by a single author to be shortlisted since James Reeves’ Robin Ragged in 1961. Should it win, it would be the second work of poetry to win the Carnegie Medal in its 81-year history, following Sarah Crossan’s 2016 win with One.

The 20-strong longlist for the CILIP Carnegie Medal for writing also includes former teen rapper Angie Thomas’ debut, The Hate U Give. The book, already a bestseller and currently being adapted for film, is the only debut novel in this category competing against longlisted titles by a mixture of multi-Carnegie Medal winners and shortlistees including David Almond, Lissa Evans, Jim Kay, Jon Klassen, Geraldine McCaughrean, Patrick Ness, Levi Pinfold, Katherine Rundell, Philip Reeve, Marcus Sedgwick and Lane Smith.

2017 Kate Greenaway Medal winner Lane Smith is one of 20 illustrators included in the 2018 longlist, with Penguin Problems. He is joined by former Kate Greenaway winner Levi Pinfold, who is longlisted twice this year for two different books: The Secret Horses of Briar Hill and The Song from Somewhere Else. Alongside a raft of well-known illustrators, they are up against Júlia Sardà’s debut picture book, The Liszts, and A Child of Books, a collaboration between first-time children’s writer and illustrator Sam Winston and Oliver Jeffers. 

For the second year in a row, one book is in the running for both Medals. The Song from Somewhere Else, written by A.F. Harrold and illustrated by Levi Pinfold,appears on both the Carnegie and the Kate Greenaway longlists, just as Brian Selznick’s The Marvels did in 2017. Should it win both categories, it would be the second double win in the Medals’ long history, the first being A Monster Calls in 2012, written by Patrick Ness and illustrated by Jim Kay. Ness, who has won the Medal twice (with A Monster Calls in2012 and Monsters of Men in 2011), continues his unbroken record of being longlisted for every one of his seven books for young people.

The inclusion of Joseph Coelho’s Overheard in a Tower Block and Sarah Matthias’ A Berlin Love Song mark the first longlisting for two small independents, Otter-Barry Books and Troika Books. Walker Books takes the largest share of longlisted titles, with 11 out of 40 titles for both Medals.

Jake Hope, Chair, CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medals judging panel, comments:

“After a lifetime living in and loving libraries, chairing the panel of the CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medals has felt a tremendous honour – especially the opportunity to reach the thousands of children and young people involved in the Medals from reading groups to our shadowing groups. It is so important that young people growing up today have access to and are represented in books that fire their imaginations and open worlds of possibilities. Which is why I am so pleased that we will shortly open a public consultation as part of the ongoing diversity review of the Medals which aims to ensure we can be the best champions of equality, participation and inclusion possible.

“Regardless of tastes or interests, this year’s longlists offer something for everyone, from established winners to exciting debuts, from fiction based in the past, to stories of the present and those in possible futures, from real life to fantasy, from factual books about the world around us, to richly imagined representations of the emotions and experiences that are familiar to children and young people in their everyday. This year’s list continues the exhilarating tradition of the Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medals in showcasing the vibrancy and range of form and style in contemporary children’s literature, with mind-blowing writing and eye-popping illustrations.”

The shortlists for both the CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medals 2018 will be announced on Thursday 15th March 2018, with the winners being announced on Monday 18th June 2018 at a special daytime event at The British Library, hosted by June Sarpong. The winners will each receive £500 worth of books to donate to their local library, a specially commissioned golden medal and a £5,000 Colin Mears Award cash prize.

Once the shortlists are selected by the CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medals judges, a separate team of judges will select a title from each shortlist to be the recipient of the Amnesty CILIP Honour: a commendation for books that most distinctively illuminate, uphold or celebrate human rights. The Honour aims to increase awareness of how great children’s books encourage empathy and broaden horizons.

New judges joining the panels for the 2018 Amnesty CILIP honours include: Jordan Stephens (writer, performer and one half of hip-hop duo Rizzle Kicks), Jamila Gavin (award-winning children’s author) and Autumn Sharif (singer-songwriter) for the Carnegie honour; Carlos Reyes (Chilean social documentary photographer and poet and an Amnesty prisoner of conscience in Chile during Pinochet’s civic-military dictatorship) and Chris Riddell (former Children’s Laureate & Amnesty Ambassador) for the Kate Greenaway honour.

On the day of the shortlist announcement, Thursday 15th March 2018, Amnesty International UK will also host a drinks reception in London to celebrate the longlist and shortlist author and illustrators for both medals.

The 2018 CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medals are sponsored by ALCS and Peters, and funded by Carnegie UK Trust and Arts Council England.

In 2017, CILIP announced an independent review into how equality, diversity, inclusion and participation can best be championed and embedded into the work of the CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medals. Chaired by Margaret Casely-Hayford, the Diversity and Equality Review is taking place throughout the 2018 Medals cycle and is currently in consultation phase, which involves an online survey and focus groups. The survey − in development with Coventry University – will be launched by March 2018.

2018 CILIP Carnegie Medal longlist (alphabetical by surname):

The Tale of Angelino Brown by David Almond – illustrated by Alex T. Smith (Walker Books)

The Hypnotist by Laurence Anholt (Penguin Random House)

Overheard in a Tower Block Joseph Coelho – illustrated by Kate Milner (Otter-Barry Books)

Wed Wabbit by Lissa Evans (David Fickling Books)

The Island at the End of Everything by Kiran Millwood Hargrave (Chicken House)

The Song from Somewhere Else byA.F. Harrold – illustrated by Levi Pinfold (Bloomsbury)

After the Fire by Will Hill (Usborne)

Welcome to Nowhere by Elizabeth Laird (Macmillan)

Out of Heart by Irfan Master (Bonnier Zaffre)

A Berlin Love Song by Sarah Matthias (Troika Books)

Where the World Ends by Geraldine McCaughrean (Usborne)

Rook by Anthony McGowan (Barrington Stoke)

Release by Patrick Ness (Walker Books)     

The Call by Peadar O’Guilin (David Fickling Books)

Black Light Express by Philip Reeve (Oxford University Press)

The Explorer by Katherine Rundell – illustrated by Hannah Horn (Bloomsbury)

Saint Death by Marcus Sedgwick (Hachette)

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas (Walker Books)

Encounters by Jason Wallace (Andersen Press)

Beyond the Bright Sea by Lauren Wolk (Penguin Random House)

2018 CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal longlist (alphabetical by surname):

Wild Animals of the South written and illustrated by Dieter Braun (Flying Eye Books)

King of the Sky by Nicola Davies – illustrated by Laura Carlin (Walker Books)      

The Pond by Nicola Davies – illustrated by Cathy Fisher(Graffeg)

Night Shift written and illustrated by Debi Gliori (Bonnier Zaffre)

The Bad Bunnies’ Magic Show written and illustrated by Mini Grey (Simon & Schuster)

A First Book of Animals by Nicola Davies – illustrated byPetr Horácek (Walker Books)

A Child of Books written and illustrated by Oliver Jeffers and Sam Winston (co-creators) (Walker Books)

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling – illustrated by Jim Kay (Bloomsbury)

We Found a Hat written and illustrated by Jon Klassen (Walker Books)

The Secret Horses of Briar Hill by Megan Shepherd – illustrated by Levi Pinfold (Walker Books)

The Song from Somewhere Else written by A.F Harrold – illustrated byLevi Pinfold (Bloomsbury)

The Liszts written by Kyo Maclear – illustrated by Júlia Sardà (Andersen Press)

The Pavee and the Buffer Girl written by Siobhan Dowd – illustrated by Emma Shoard (Barrington Stoke)                               

Penguin Problems written by Jory John – illustrated by Lane Smith (Walker Books)

Town is by the Sea by Joanne Schwartz – illustrated by Sydney Smith (Walker Books)

Thornhill written and illustrated by Pam Smy (David Fickling Books)          

Lots: The Diversity of Life on Earth written by Nicola Davies – illustrated byEmily Sutton (Walker Books)                       

Storm Whale written by Sarah Brennan – illustrated by Jane Tanner (Old Barn Books)

Under the Same Sky written and illustrated byBritta Teckentrup (Little Tiger Press)        

The Secret of Black Rock written and illustrated by Joe Todd-Stanton (Flying Eye Books)