Winners from the Yoto Carnegies 2023

ALCS is proud to sponsor the Yoto Carnegies, the UK’s longest-running book awards for children and young people. Winners were announced today in a live-streamed ceremony at The Barbican.


For the first time in the award’s almost 90-year history, the Yoto Carnegie Medal for Writing has been awarded to a book in translation – The Blue Book of Nebo (Firefly Press), written and translated by Manon Steffan Ros. Told through the dual narrative of a mother and son in post-apocalyptic Nebo, this “compelling, conceivable” story explores Welsh identity and culture, and offers a beautiful appreciation of language. The original Welsh publication, Llyfr Glas Nebo, won multiple awards, including the 2019 Wales Book of the Year.

Jeet Zdung has won the Yoto Carnegie Medal for Illustration for Saving Sorya: Chang and the Sun Bear, (Kingfisher, an imprint of Macmillan Children’s Books). This is the second consecutive year that a graphic novel has clinched the prize. Written and inspired by the real life of Vietnamese wildlife conservationist Dr Trang Nguyen, the “beautiful” manga-inspired illustrations – including scenic watercolours and detailed, pencil sketched journal entries – work together to offer “something new to discover on each re-reading” and inspire and educate young wildlife activists.

The Yoto Carnegies celebrate outstanding achievement in children’s writing and illustration and are unique in being judged by an expert panel of children’s librarians, including 12 librarians from CILIP, the library and information association’s Youth Libraries Group.

The winners were revealed at an in-person ceremony held at The Barbican, which was live-streamed and watched by shadowing groups around the country. The awards were hosted by former Children’s Laureate Lauren Child CBE, who won the Carnegie Medal for Illustration – then known as the Kate Greenaway Medal – in 2000 for her first Charlie and Lola book, I Will Not Ever Never Eat a Tomato.

Selected from shortlists of seven and six titles respectively, both winners were praised by the judges for providing an “immersive” reading experience, addressing questions about how we live now and how this might affect the future – from the domestic, day-to-day perspective in The Blue Book of Nebo, to environmental and animal protection in Saving Sorya: Chang and the Sun Bear.

Each year thousands of reading groups in schools and libraries in the UK and around the world get involved in the Awards, with children and young people ‘shadowing’ the judging process, debating and choosing their own winners. They have voted for their favourites from this year’s shortlist and have chosen 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.