Verse novels loom large on Carnegie shortlist

Verse novels loom large on Carnegie shortlist

Three out of the eight books shortlisted for this year’s Carnegie Medal are verse novels, while Jon Klassen is in the running to win his second Kate Greenaway Medal.

Verse novels The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo (Electric Monkey), Rebound by Kwame Alexander, illustrated by Dawud Anyabwile (Andersen Press) and Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds are all in the running for the CILIP Carnegie Medal, alongside The House with Chicken Legs by Sophie Anderson, illustrated by Elisa Paganelli (Usborne) and Bone Talk by Candy Gourlay (David Fickling Books).

A Skinful of Shadows by Frances Hardinge (Macmillan Children’s Books), Things a Bright Girl Can Do by Sally Nicholls (Andersen Press) and The Land of Neverendings by Kate Saunders (Faber Children’s) were also on the shortlist.

On the CILIP Kate Greenaway shortlist for illustration Jon Klassen, who won the prize in 2014 for This is Not My Hat (Walker Books) is listed for The Wolf, the Duck and the Mouse, written by Mac Barnett and also published by Walker Books.

The other titles in contention are: The Day War Came by Nicola Davies, illustrated by Rebecca Cobb (Walker Books); Ocean Meets Sky written and illustrated by Eric Fan and Terry Fan (Lincoln Children’s Books); Beyond the Fence written and illustrated by Maria Gulemetova (Child's Play Library); Julian is a Mermaid written and illustrated by Jessica Love (Walker Books); You're Safe With Me by Chitra Soundar, illustrated by Poonam Mistry (Lantana Publishing); The Lost Words by Robert Macfarlane, illustrated by Jackie Morris (Hamish Hamilton) and Suffragette: The Battle for Equality written and illustrated by David Roberts (Two Hoots).

CILIP, which organises the awards, said “recognising a diverse range of voices and perspectives is a core mission of the awards” and that “this year’s shortlists comprise books by authors and illustrators from across the globe”.

Alison Brumwell, chair of the judging panel, said: “Superb debuts take pride of place alongside established, well-known names, representing the very best in writing and illustration for young people. Challenging themes of bereavement, isolation, friendship and identity are treated with humanity and insight and in a range of distinctive written and illustrative styles.”

Seven out of the 16 titles are from independent publishers and the two smallest presses - Child’s Play and Lantana Publishing - are on the Kate Greenaway shortlist for the first time.

The winning titles will be announced on 18th June and the winners will each receive £500 of books to donate to their local library, a golden medal and a £5,000 cash prize. The inaugural Shadowers’ Choice Award, voted for by young people who shadow the medals, will be announced at the same time.