Ruta Sepetys won the 80th anniversary CILIP Carnegie Medal for children's literature for Salt to the Sea; and Lane Smith took the CILIP Kate Greenway Medal for excellence in illustration for There is a Tribe of Kids. For the first time, Americans captured both of the prestigious children's book awards in the same year. The medals are judged by librarians across the U.K. and have been awarded annually since 1936 and 1956, respectively. The winners each receive £500 (about $635) worth of books to donate to their local library, a specially commissioned golden medal and the £5,000 (about $6,375) Colin Mears Award cash prize.
Tricia Adams, chair of this year's judging panel, said: "It is a tremendous privilege to judge the Medals in this double anniversary year. 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 Honor 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."
Recipients in the Amnesty CILIP Honor category, a commendation for the book on each shortlist that "most distinctively illuminates, upholds or celebrates freedoms," went to Zana Fraillon for The Bone Sparrow (Carnegie shortlist) and Francesca Sanna for The Journey (Kate Greenaway shortlist).