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26 May 2022

Book about Troubles in Northern Ireland longlisted for top children's prize

Book about Troubles in Northern Ireland longlisted for top children's prize

Book about Troubles in Northern Ireland longlisted for top children's prize

A book exploring the legacy of the Troubles in Northern Ireland is among those longlisted for a top children’s book prize. 

The Yoto Carnegie Greenaway Award celebrates writing and illustration and is judged by librarians, with this year’s longlist of 33 books exploring themes of community and connection, shared humanity and friendship.

Among the titles, 18 have been longlisted for the Yoto Carnegie Medal which recognises authors, while 15 have been selected for the Yoto Kate Greenaway Medal which credits illustrators.

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.

Featured among those in the author category is Northern Irish writer Sue Divin who has used her day job in community relations and peace building in Derry to inform her first young adult novel, Guard Your Heart, which is about the legacy of the Troubles in Northern Ireland.

Two previous winners have also made the longlist, including Manjeet Mann for her second novel The Crossing, which explores the refugee crisis in verse.

Angie Thomas, who previously won a Carnegie Amnesty Honour in 2018, has made the list again with her book Concrete Rose about Black boyhood and manhood, and the responsibility of becoming a young father.

It is the prequel to her debut novel The Hate U Give, which was adapted into a film in 2018.

Debut children’s books have also made their mark this year with seven making the list, including two novels from teachers.

The young adult novel Grow by secondary school teacher Luke Palmer and the historical middle-grade mystery The Valley Of Lost Secrets by primary school teacher Lesley Parr are among those selected.

The Kate Greenaway longlist also features illustrators who live in nine different countries around the world including Italy, Belgium, USA, Canada, Peru, Germany, Northern Ireland, Scotland and England.

Three of those longlisted – Debi Gliori, Christian Robinson and Britta Teckentrup – are also making a repeat appearance having previously been recognised by the book prize.

Jennifer Horan, chair of judges for the Yoto Carnegie and Greenaway Awards 2022, said: “It is a real privilege to be chairing the judging panel during what has been an exceptional year for children’s publishing.

“We were transported and moved by evocative and lyrical prose; taken on fantastical journeys and invited into new worlds through powerful illustration; and given real hope by the messages of humanity, connection and community that so many of this year’s longlisted books share.

“I congratulate all the authors and illustrators on their outstanding work, which will bring young readers so much pleasure and reassurance in these times of worry.”

The books shortlisted for the Yoto Carnegie Greenaway Awards 2022 will be announced on March 16 and the winners will be celebrated on June 16 at a ceremony at The British Library.

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