Shortlists for Yoto Carnegie Greenaway Awards celebrate the power of friendship

The UK’s longest running and best-loved book awards for children and young people, the Yoto Carnegie Greenaway Awards, today announced the shortlists for 2022.

The ALCS-sponsored awards celebrate outstanding achievement in children’s writing and illustration respectively and are unique in being judged by children’s and youth librarians, with the Shadowers’ Choice Award voted for by children and young people.

16 books have been selected in total – eight for the Yoto Carnegie Medal and eight for the Yoto Kate Greenaway Medal – from a longlist of 33 titles. They were chosen by an expert team of volunteer judges, featuring 14 librarians from CILIP’s Youth Libraries Group based across the UK.

  • Acclaimed authors Katya Balen, Phil Earle and Alex Wheatle progress from Yoto Carnegie longlist to shortlist for the first time; and four debuts are recognised – Sue Divin for the Carnegie and George Butler, Danica Novgorodoff and Peter Van den Ende on the Yoto Kate Greenaway list.
  • Second novels from 2021 Carnegie Shadowers’ Choice winner Manjeet Mann and 2017 Carnegie shortlisted author Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock secure a place on the shortlist; while double Kate Greenaway Medal winners Sydney Smith (2018 & 2021) and Emily Gravett (2005 & 2008) have a shot at a third Medal.
  • Six of the eight Yoto Carnegie shortlisted books are based on real-world events – from Tacky’s War to WWII; the legacy of the Troubles to the refugee crisis; the 2011 Japanese tsunami to the Central Park Exonerated Five case – with many demonstrating the power of friendship to help young people overcome challenges and celebrate difference.

Jennifer Horan, Chair of Judges for the Yoto Carnegie Greenaway Awards 2022, comments:

“My fellow judges and I are proud of our sixteen-strong shortlist of books for the Yoto Carnegie Greenaway Awards, which we hope will excite, move and empower the young readers who pick them up, including the thousands shadowing this year’s Awards. On a personal level, having a research interest in the link between children’s literature and empathy, I’m thrilled that our Yoto Carnegie shortlist showcases how friendship can help young people find the strength to navigate a path through challenging times. We’re also delighted to celebrate the power of pictures, not only on the Yoto Kate Greenaway list but in a couple of Carnegie titles too. Many of our shortlisted books remind us that art can help us to communicate and connect with young people when words sometimes fail us. The Shadowing Groups and our young readers now share the judges’ difficult task of picking two winners from this rich pool of talent.”

Winner announcement

The winners will be announced and celebrated on Thursday 16 June at a lunchtime ceremony at The British Library, hosted by award-winning poet and novelist Dean Atta, who won the Carnegie Shadowers’ Choice for The Black Flamingo in 2020.

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.

Now in its fourth year, the Shadowers’ Choice Award – voted for and awarded by the children and young people who shadow the Medals – will also be announced at the ceremony. To kick off the 2022 Shadowing process, shadowing groups enjoyed a special virtual event featuring last year’s Carnegie winner Jason Reynolds interviewed by 2022 judge and librarian Kelly Fuller. #CKG22