CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medals 2018 awards

The ALCS-sponsored event is widely recognized as the highest accolade available to children’s writers and illustrators.

The winners of the CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medals, the UK’s oldest children’s book awards, were announced on 18 June at a ceremony at the British Library hosted by presenter and author June Sarpong. Winners of the Amnesty CILIP Honor commendations were also amongst those to receive prizes on the day.

During the awards ceremony, Sarpong took a moment to congratulate Jack Oliver, winner of the ALCS writing competition that is run in conjunction with the CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Shadowing Scheme. Jack travelled to London for the day to join the celebrations as part of his prize for winning our competition.

Geraldine McCaughrean won her second CILIP Carnegie Medal for her novel Where the World Ends (Usborne), 30 years after having won her first. Currently the most shortlisted author in the history of the prize, she spoke about how we need to be encouraging children to read more to help bring authors’ books to life, to think for themselves and increase their vocabulary. On winning the Medal, McCaughrean commented: “When I won the Carnegie 30 years ago, it felt like a licence to go on writing – to call myself an author. I am almost ashamed of how much I wanted to win again – just to prove to myself that it wasn’t a fluke!”

Canadian illustrator Sydney Smith won the CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal for the first time, for his illustrations in Joanne Schwartz’s Town Is by the Sea (Walker Books). His speech paid homage to his home town, and he spoke about how he’d heard stories similar to his own that made him feel connected to people from all parts of the world. Smith said: “Although this story is specific to a place and a time, the context of childhood is universal. There is something so beautiful about the universality of the complicated richness of youth. It is a dream come true to see my work, crafted from my heart, for family and my home to be honoured by the highest of praises. There is no better feeling than to be recognized for something that was created with sincerity and joy. I regard this honour as a challenge to continue to work with such tools”.

Several of the winners addressed the idea of encouraging children to stand up for their beliefs and gave inspirational speeches around this. The Amnesty CILIP Honour Carnegie commendation went to American debut author Angie Thomas for The Hate U Give (Walker Books), who spoke emotionally about her faith in young people’s ability to change the world. Thomas commented on her commendation, saying: “I’m thrilled that Amnesty International have chosen to award The Hate U Give this honour – to be given a prize which recognises the importance of encouraging young people to empathise and broaden their horizons is particularly special to me. I hope that the book helps young people to see themselves and see others from a new perspective, and know that they have a voice that they can use to stand up for themselves, and others”.

The Amnesty CILIP Honour Kate Greenaway commendation went to British artist and former Medal winner (Black Dog, 2013) Levi Pinfold for his illustrations in The Song from Somewhere Else by A.F. Harrold (Bloomsbury). His speech included words of encouragement for children to “keep reading the things [they] like”, in order to cultivate their literary passion. Pinfold added: “While working on the pictures for The Song From Somewhere Else I was routinely struck by how important kindness is for a person who can only see shadows and a world in black and white. Amnesty International’s amazing work encourages us to work hard towards caring for each other, and I feel truly honoured that our book has been recognised by such a vital and life-preserving organisation”.


ALCS and CILIP have been in partnership for over a decade. The hugely successful CKG Shadowing Scheme reaches an estimated 100,000 children each year across the country. Participating children read the books shortlisted for the CKG Awards, discuss with each other which they think is the best, post reviews and vote for their favourite books before the official winners are announced. The CKG Shadowing Scheme is one of the UK’s major ‘reading for pleasure’ initiatives and is almost exclusively run as an extracurricular activity by English teachers and school librarians.

Read the CKG Awards press release here.

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