The Carnegie Medal is a British literary award that annually recognises one outstanding new English-language book for children or young adults. It is conferred upon the author by the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP). CILIP calls it "the UK's oldest and most prestigious book award for children's writing".
The Medal is named after the Scottish-born American philanthropist Andrew Carnegie (1835-1919), who founded more than 2,800 libraries in the English-speaking world, including at least one in more than half of British library authorities. It was established in 1936 by the British Library Association, to celebrate the centenary of Carnegie's birth and inaugurated in 1937 with the award to Arthur Ransome for Pigeon Post (1936) and the identification of two 'commended' books. The first Medal was dated 1936, but since 2007 the Medal has been dated by its year of presentation, which is now one or two years after publication.
In 1955, the Kate Greenaway Medal was established as a companion to the Carnegie Medal. The Kate Greenaway Medal recognises "distinguished illustration in a book for children". Both awards were established and administered by the Library Association, until it was succeeded by CILIP in 2002.
Nominated books must be written in English and first published in the UK during the preceding school year (September to August). Until 1969, the award was limited to books by British authors first published in England. The first non-British medalist was Australian author Ivan Southall for Josh (1972). The original rules also prohibited winning authors from future consideration. The first author to win a second Carnegie Medal was Peter Dickinson in 1981, who won consecutively for Tulku and City of Gold. There were eight repeat winners to 2018.
The winner is awarded a gold medal and £500 worth of books donated to the winner's chosen library. In addition, since 2016 the winner has received a £5,000 cash prize from the Colin Mears bequest.
There were eight books on the 2021 shortlist, each published between September 2019 and August 2020:
Recommended ages have ranged from 8+ to 14+ for books on the shortlist since 2001.
CILIP members may nominate books each September and October, with the full list of valid nominations published in November. The longlist, chosen by the judges from the nominated books, is published in February. The judging panel comprises 12 children's librarians, all of whom are members of CILIP's Youth Libraries Group (YLG). The shortlist is announced in March and the winner in June.
Titles must be English-language works first published in the UK during the preceding year (1 September to 31 August). According to CILIP, "all categories of books, including poetry, non-fiction and graphic novels, in print or ebook format, for children and young people are eligible". Multiple-author anthologies are excluded; however, co-authored single works are eligible.
CILIP instructs the judging panel to consider plot, characterisation, and style "where appropriate". Furthermore, it states that "the book that wins the Carnegie Medal should be a book of outstanding literary quality. The whole work should provide pleasure, not merely from the surface enjoyment of a good read, but also the deeper subconscious satisfaction of having gone through a vicarious, but at the time of reading, a real experience that is retained afterwards".
A diversity review in 2018 led to changes in the nomination and judging process to promote better representation of ethnic minority authors and books.
[needs update]Up to 2020 there have been 81 Medals awarded over 84 years, spanning the period from 1936 to 2019. No eligible book published in 1943, 1945, or 1966 was considered suitable by the judging panel.
From 2007 onward, the medals are dated by the year of presentation. Prior to this, they were dated by the calendar year of their British publication.
Forty winning books were illustrated in their first editions, including every one during the first three decades. Six from 1936 to 1953 were illustrated or co-illustrated by their authors; none since then.
|2021||Jason Reynolds||Look Both Ways||Knights Of|
|2019||Elizabeth Acevedo||The Poet X||HarperTeen|
illustrated by Jane Milloy
|Where the World Ends||Usborne Publishing|
|2017||Ruta Sepetys||Salt to the Sea||Penguin Books|
|2016||Sarah Crossan||One||Bloomsbury Children's|
|2015||Tanya Landman||Buffalo Soldier||Walker Books|
|2014||Kevin Brooks||The Bunker Diary||Penguin Books|
|2013||Sally Gardner||Maggot Moon||Hot Key Books|
illustrated by Jim Kay
|A Monster Calls||Walker Books|
|2011||Patrick Ness||Monsters of Men||Walker Books|
|The Graveyard Book||Bloomsbury|
|2009||Siobhan Dowd||Bog Child||David Fickling|
|2008||Philip Reeve||Here Lies Arthur||Scholastic|
|2007||Meg Rosoff||Just in Case||Penguin|
|2006 The award date is the year of publication before 2006, the year of presentation after 2006.|
|2005||Mal Peet||Tamar||Walker Books|
|2004||Frank Cottrell Boyce||Millions||Macmillan|
|2003 *||Jennifer Donnelly||A Gathering Light||Bloomsbury|
|2002||Sharon Creech||Ruby Holler||Bloomsbury|
|2001||Terry Pratchett||The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents||Doubleday|
|2000||Beverley Naidoo||The Other Side of Truth||Puffin|
|1999||Aidan Chambers||Postcards from No Man's Land||The Bodley Head|
|1998 *||David Almond
illus. Adam Fisher
|Skellig||Hodder & Stoughton|
|1997||Tim Bowler||River Boy||Oxford University Press|
|1996 *||Melvin Burgess||Junk||Andersen Press|
|1995 *||Philip Pullman||Northern Lights||Scholastic|
|1994||Theresa Breslin||Whispers in the Graveyard||Methuen|
|1993||Robert Swindells||Stone Cold||Hamish Hamilton|
|1992||Anne Fine||Flour Babies||Hamish Hamilton|
|1991||Berlie Doherty||Dear Nobody||Hamish Hamilton|
|1990||Gillian Cross||Wolf||Oxford University Press|
|1989||Anne Fine||Goggle-Eyes||Hamish Hamilton|
|1988||Geraldine McCaughrean||A Pack of Lies||Oxford University Press|
|1987||Susan Price||The Ghost Drum||Faber|
|1986||Berlie Doherty||Granny Was a Buffer Girl||Methuen|
|1985 *||Kevin Crossley-Holland
illus. Alan Marks
|1984||Margaret Mahy||The Changeover||J. M. Dent|
|1982||Margaret Mahy||The Haunting||J.M. Dent|
|1981||Robert Westall||The Scarecrows||Chatto & Windus|
illus. Michael Foreman
|City of Gold and other stories from the Old Testament||Gollancz|
|1978||David Rees||The Exeter Blitz||Hamish Hamilton|
|1977||Gene Kemp||The Turbulent Term of Tyke Tiler||Faber|
|1976||Jan Mark||Thunder and Lightnings||Kestrel|
|1975 *||Robert Westall||The Machine Gunners||Macmillan|
|1974||Mollie Hunter||The Stronghold||Hamish Hamilton|
|1973||Penelope Lively||The Ghost of Thomas Kempe||Heinemann|
|1972||Richard Adams||Watership Down||Rex Collings|
|1971||Ivan Southall||Josh||Angus & Robertson|
|1970||Leon Garfield and Edward Blishen
illustrated by Charles Keeping
|The God Beneath the Sea||Longman|
|1969||K. M. Peyton||The Edge of the Cloud||Oxford University Press|
|1968||Rosemary Harris||The Moon in the Cloud||Faber|
|1967 *||Alan Garner||The Owl Service||Collins|
|1966||-- Prize withheld as no book considered suitable[b]|
|1965||Philip Turner||The Grange at High Force||Oxford University Press|
|1964||Sheena Porter||Nordy Bank||Oxford University Press|
|1963||Hester Burton||Time of Trial||Oxford University Press|
|1962||Pauline Clarke||The Twelve and the Genii||Faber|
|1961||Lucy M. Boston||A Stranger at Green Knowe||Faber|
|1960||Ian Wolfran Cornwall
illus. Marjorie Maitland Howard
|The Making of Man||Phoenix House|
|1959||Rosemary Sutcliff||The Lantern Bearers||Oxford University Press|
|1958 *||Philippa Pearce||Tom's Midnight Garden||Oxford University Press|
|1957||William Mayne||A Grass Rope||Oxford University Press|
|1956||C. S. Lewis||The Last Battle||The Bodley Head|
|1955||Eleanor Farjeon||The Little Bookroom||Oxford University Press|
|1954||Ronald Welch (Felton Ronald Oliver)||Knight Crusader||Oxford University Press|
illus. by the author[c]
|A Valley Grows Up||Oxford University Press|
|1952 *||Mary Norton||The Borrowers||J. M. Dent|
illus. by the author[c]
|1950||Elfrida Vipont||The Lark on the Wing||Oxford University Press|
illus. Agnes and Jack Allen[c]
|The Story of Your Home||Faber|
|1948||Richard Armstrong||Sea Change||J. M. Dent|
|1947||Walter de la Mare||Collected Stories for Children||Faber|
|1946||Elizabeth Goudge||The Little White Horse||University of London|
|1945||-- Prize withheld as no book considered suitable|
|1944||Eric Linklater||The Wind on the Moon||Macmillan|
|1943||-- Prize withheld as no book considered suitable|
|1942||BB (D. J. Watkins-Pitchford)
illus. by the author[c]
|The Little Grey Men||Eyre & Spottiswoode|
|1941||Mary Treadgold||We Couldn't Leave Dinah||Jonathan Cape|
|1940||Kitty Barne||Visitors from London||J. M. Dent|
|1939||Eleanor Doorly||The Radium Woman||Heinemann|
|1938||Noel Streatfeild||The Circus Is Coming||J. M. Dent|
|1937 *||Eve Garnett||The Family from One End Street||Frederick Muller|
|1936||Arthur Ransome||Pigeon Post||Jonathan Cape|
Eight authors have won two Carnegie Medals, which was prohibited for many years.
For many years, some runners-up books were designated Highly Commended, at least 29 in 24 years from 1979 to 2002 and three previously. Among the authors who won two Medals, Anne Fine was highly commended runner-up three times (1989, 1996, 2002) and Robert Westall twice (1990, 1992). The others were highly commended once each, except for Ness who postdates the distinction,
Six books have won both the Carnegie Medal and the annual Guardian Children's Fiction Prize, which was inaugurated 1967. (Dates are years of U.K. publication, and Carnegie award dates before 2006.)
Only A Monster Calls, written by Patrick Ness and illustrated by Jim Kay, has won both the Carnegie and Greenaway Medals (2012).
Four writers have won both the Carnegie and the US Michael L. Printz Award. The Printz Award is an American Library Association literary award that annually recognises the "best book written for teens, based entirely on its literary merit". The four writers are David Almond, Aidan Chambers, Geraldine McCaughrean, and Meg Rosoff. Chambers alone has won both for the same book, the 1999 Carnegie and 2003 Printz for the novel Postcards from No Man's Land.
In its scope, books for children or young adults, the British Carnegie corresponds to the American Newbery and Printz awards.
To commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Carnegie Medal in 2007, CILIP created a 'Living Archive' on the Carnegie Medal website with information about each of the winning books and conducted a poll to identify the nation's favourite Carnegie Medal winner, to be named the "Carnegie of Carnegies". The winner, announced on 21 June 2007 at the British Library, was Northern Lights by Philip Pullman (1995). It was the expected winner, garnering 40% of the votes in the UK, and 36% worldwide.
70th Anniversary Top Ten
Northern Lights, with 40% of the public vote, was followed by 16% for Tom's Midnight Garden by Philippa Pearce and 8% for Skellig by David Almond. As those three books had won the 70-year-old Medal in its year 60, year 23, and year 63, some commentary observed that Tom's Midnight Garden had passed a test of time that the others had not yet faced.
Date is year of publication before 2006. Selections were announced and medals presented early in the next year.
From 1936 to 1993, there were 55 Medals awarded in 58 years. CCSU library listings for that period include one Special Commendation, 23 Highly Commended books (from 1966, mainly from 1979), and about 130 Commended books. Except for the inaugural year 1936, only the 24 Special and Highly Commended books are listed here.
CCSU listings for 1954 include six commendations, the first since 1936. Beginning 1966 there were some "high commendations" and those were approximately annual by 1979. Only the high commendations are listed here (through 1993).
The special commendation to Harold Jones in 1955 for his 1954 illustration of Lavender's Blue was "a major reason" for the Library Association to establish the Kate Greenaway Medal that year. No 1955 work was judged worthy in 1956, so that Medal was actually inaugurated one year later.
Through 2002 some runners-up were Commended, including some Highly Commended.[d] Where the entire shortlist is given here (back to 1994), boldface and asterisk (*) marks the winner, plus (+) marks the highly commended books, and dash (-) marks the commended books.
Runners-up within the shortlist are not distinguished since 2002.
Date is year of presentation after 2006. The publication year is approximately the preceding school year; for 2012 example, September 2010 to August 2011.
The award to Brooks roused some controversy because of the bleak nature of the novel.
The Bone Sparrow received an Amnesty CILIP Honour commendation.
The Hate U Give received an Amnesty CILIP Honour commendation.