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>> Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medal winners announced

Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medal winners announced
19/06/2017

Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medal winners announced


Both the Carnegie and Kate Greenaway medals have been won by US writers, with Ruta Sepetys' refugee story Salt to the Sea (Puffin) taking the 80th anniversary Carnegie Medal, and illustrator Lane Smith winning the Kate Greenaway Medal category for his picture book, There is a Tribe of Kids (Two Hoots).

The winners were announced today, 19th June, at a ceremony in London, together with the winners of the Amnesty Honour commendations - Zana Fraillon for The Bone Sparrow (Orion Children's Books) and Francesca Sanna for her debut, The Journey (Flying Eye Books).

49-year-old music manager turned novelist Ruta Sepetys won the CILIP Carnegie Medal for the first time for Salt to the Sea, a bestselling novel that explores the events leading up to the sinking of the Wilhelm Gustloff, the worst maritime disaster in history in which over 9,000 people, mainly refugees, perished.

The daughter of a Lithuanian refugee, with a family connection to the disaster, Ruta spent three years researching the book, walking the path of some of those refugees who saw the boat as their salvation but who ultimately lost their lives.

57-year-old Lane Smith, acclaimed US artist and author, has won the CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal for his illustrations in There is a Tribe of Kids, a picture book exploring the power of collective nouns and the importance of play and exploration.

In his speech, Smith credited leading British illustrators, including Brian Wildsmith, Quentin Blake and Helen Oxenbury - with their stylised and quirky techniques - as his inspiration as a young illustrator starting out.

Ruta Sepetys, who was previously shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal in 2012 for Between Shades of Grey, said while accepting the medal, "As a writer, I am drawn to underrepresented stories and history in hiding. I spend a lot of time pondering the question - why do some parts of history penetrate our collective consciousness while others remain hidden?

"When I began work on the novel years ago, I had no way of knowing that when it was published, we would be amidst a refugee crisis. Then and now, my thoughts return to the children."

She added, "History allows us to examine decisions. Yes, history can be full of sadness and pain but it also shines light on hope, freedom, courage and the miraculous nature of the human spirit. History divided us, but through reading we are united in study and remembrance. That is the power of books."

Lane Smith said on accepting his medal, "Years ago, when graduating from art school, I was told that my work was too stylised-looking for the kids' book market in the States and I would probably have to move to London where they took a more enlightened view of quirky artworks.

"I told my instructor that he was wrong, and that there were many wonderful books being published in the States, and showed him my books by Wildsmith, Blake, Browne, Steadman, Cousins, Oxenbury, Foreman and Burningham. And my instructor politely informed me that those were all British artists. To be acknowledged from the land of many of my favourite illustrators is an enormous honour."

Tricia Adams, Chair of the 2017 CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medals judging panel, said: "The books that have triumphed demonstrate the vitally important role literature and illustration play in helping children and young people to understand the world around them, be that through a historical lens or through the natural world around them.

"These, and the Amnesty Honour commendations selected from the Carnegie and Kate Greenaway shortlists, poignantly prove the importance of stories in making voices heard - especially those of the dispossessed - encouraging the young reader to look beyond the headlines.”

Sepetys and Smith each receive "500 worth of books to donate to their local library, a specially commissioned golden medal, and a £5,000 cash prize from the Colin Mears Award.

Themes of refugees and displaced children carry on into the Amnesty CILIP Honour category, coincidentally announced at the beginning of Refugee Week.

From the CILIP Carnegie Medal shortlist, the Honour went to Zana Fraillon for The Bone Sparrow (Orion Children's Books), the story of a boy living in an immigration detention centre in Australia. The Amnesty CILIP Honour from the Kate Greenaway Medal shortlist went to Francesca Sanna for her debut, The Journey, a picture book depicting a family fleeing their war-torn country in search of refuge.

Nicky Parker, Chair of judges for the Amnesty CILIP Honour, said, "Stories are some of the very best ways to open children's eyes to the world around them and to stimulate empathy and solidarity. The Amnesty CILIP Honour judges - who are all passionate advocates for children's rights and books - hotly debated the 16 titles on the Medals shortlists. Ultimately, we decided we could not ignore the two books that bravely, skilfully and sensitively address the global refugee crisis."

The annually awarded Medals are judged solely by librarians. Previous Carnegie winners have included C.S. Lewis, Terry Pratchett, Philip Pullman, Noel Streatfield, Meg Rosoff and Penelope Lively, while the Kate Greenaway Medal has been awareded to illustrators including Raymond Briggs, Shirley Hughes, Janet Ahlberg, Quentin Blake, Helen Oxenbury and John Burningham.



 
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