British author Geraldine McCaughrean won her second CILIP Carnegie Medal for children's literature for Where the World Ends, and Canadian illustrator Sydney Smith took the CILIP Kate Greenway Medal for excellence in illustration for Town Is by the Sea. The winners each receive £500 (about $660) worth of books to donate to their local library, a specially commissioned golden medal and the £5,000 (about $6,625) Colin Mears Award. The medals are judged by children's librarians across the U.K.
McCaughrean, whose win comes 30 years after her first Carnegie Medal, for A Pack of Lies in 1988, said: "Fiction can achieve marvelous things, especially inside individual heads, not least when it subtly nudge-nudge-nudges the reader towards minding more, thinking more, asking questions. It's been said often in recent years that 'literary' fiction for young people has had its day. We master words by meeting them, not by avoiding them. The only way to make books--and knowledge--accessible is to give children the necessary words. And how has that always been done? By adult conversation and reading. Since when has one generation ever doubted and pitied the next so much that it decides not to burden them with the full package of the English language but to feed them only a restricted diet of simple worlds? The worst and most wicked outcome of all would be that we deliberately and wantonly create an underclass of citizens with a small but functional vocabulary: easy to manipulate and lacking in the means to reason their way out of subjugation, because you need words to be able to think for yourself. In my opinion, young readers should be bombarded with words like gamma rays, steeped in words like pot plants stood in water, pelted with them like confetti, fed on them like alphabetti spaghetti, given Hamlet's last resort: 'Words. Words. Words.' "
Jake Hope, chair of this year's judging panel, commented: "As librarians, we promote education and knowledge for all, and we heartily endorse Geraldine's call for intellectual freedom through stories with rich language and complex themes which equip all children with the tools to understand--and, in some cases, change--the world around them....
"Sydney Smith's Town Is by the Sea skillfully balances an intimate story of a child's world of play and wonder alongside a bigger story of a whole community and culture built around mining. Its illustrations are impressive and expansive in scope and beautifully evoke both time and place. Both winners are expertly crafted and hold interest and appeal for a range of readers of all tastes and ages."
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 American author Angie Thomas for The Hate U Give (Carnegie shortlist) and British artist and former Medal winner (Black Dog, 2013) Levi Pinfold for The Song from Somewhere Else by A.F. Harrold (Kate Greenaway shortlist).
The shortlist was unveiled for Australia's prestigious A$60,000 (about US$44,655) Miles Franklin Award, given annually to a novel which is judged to be "of the highest literary merit" and presents "Australian life in any of its phases." The winner will be announced August 26. This year's shortlisted titles are:
No More Boats by Felicity Castagna
The Life to Come by Michelle de Kretser
The Last Garden by Eva Hornung
Storyland by Catherine McKinnon
Border Districts by Gerald Murnane
Taboo by Kim Scott