The winners of the CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Shadowers’ Choice Awards, as voted for by children and young people, were revealed in a virtual ceremony on 9 October. These awards are presented as part of the CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medals, the UK’s oldest book awards for children and young people.

ALCS is delighted to be a sponsor of these awards, which respectively honour outstanding writing and outstanding illustration for children.

The Black Flamingo by Dean Atta, illustrated by Anshika Khullar, (Hodder Children’s Books) was chosen by Shadowing Groups as their favourite book from the Carnegie shortlist, while The Undefeated illustrated by Kadir Nelson and written by Kwame Alexander (Andersen Press) was voted the Shadowers’ Choice from the Kate Greenaway shortlist. The winning books were voted for by over 1,000 shadowing groups taking part in the awards reading scheme across the UK and internationally. Since the shortlist announcement in March, children and young people have been reading, reviewing and discussing the shortlisted books and sharing their views on the CKG awards website.

On being selected as the Carnegie Shadowers’ Choice winner, Dean Atta commented:

‘I’m so delighted the Shadowers have chosen The Black Flamingo for this award! I was really thrilled with the reviews and responses I saw from Shadowers on the awards website. I greatly appreciate the level of engagement the Shadowers have had with this book. A massive THANK YOU to all the schools and libraries who took part and selected The Black Flamingo. It’s such an honour!’

On receiving the news of winning the Kate Greenaway Shadowers’ Choice Award, Kadir Nelson commented:

‘It’s such an honour to be selected for the Kate Greenaway Medal Shadowers’ Choice Award by school children overseas! I’m totally honoured and humbled by the news.’

The 2020 Chair of CKG Judges, Julia Hale, commented:

‘The Shadowers’ Choice Awards gives young readers, the most important people in the CKG awards process, their say on the shortlisted titles. In winning this unique award, The Black Flamingo and The Undefeated exemplify the power of representation in words and pictures for children to see and find themselves and understand each other better. Both books offer differing perspectives on Black experiences in their own voices. Dean Atta’s intimate, dazzling jewel of a verse novel is a uniquely British exploration of coming of age in London with Greek Cypriot and Jamaican heritage, whilst Kadir Nelson’s stunning portraits of African American icons are simultaneously haunting and inspirational. Both books are celebrations of pride, beauty and the search and fight for freedom on both an individual and wider level.

I am so delighted for Dean and Kadir and wish them many congratulations on their achievement as well as a huge thank you to all the shortlisted authors and illustrators and the shadowing groups for engaging so brilliantly with the awards this year.’

The Shadowers’ Choice Award winners are revealed during National Libraries Week in a special broadcast on CILIP’s #NationalShelfService each year. The 2020 Shadowers’ Choice Winners were each presented with a certificate designed by participants of the Shadowing Scheme. The 2020 Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medal winners were announced on 17 June 2020. The judges awarded the Carnegie Medal to Lark by Anthony McGowan (Barrington Stoke), while Tales from the Inner City by Shaun Tan (Walker Books) was awarded the Kate Greenaway Medal.

For further information about the CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Awards visit:

About the Carnegie & Kate Greenaway Awards and Shadowing Scheme

The CILIP Carnegie Medal 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 Kate Greenaway Medal, established in 1955, is named after the popular nineteenth century artist, known for her beautiful children’s illustrations and designs. The Kate Greenaway Medal is awarded annually to a children’s book illustrator whose artwork creates an outstanding reading experience.