Girl Scout’s Anti-censorship Commendation Censored by Board of Supervisors

Inspired by the Hanover County School Board’s decision to ban 19 books from the libraries in the schools they oversee; on June 2023 Kate Lindley started Free to Read, her project for the Girl Scout Gold Award.

She created a Free to Read app with information on each book, including why it was banned and how to access copies of the books. After the board banned a further 75 books in November of 2023 Kate went a step further and set up book nooks in two local businesses.

Screenshots of the Free to Read app

I think that everyone who has observed the national mania for book-banning that has been emerging over the past few years agrees that it is positively Orwellian; but this is where things start taking a turn for the Kafkaesque. On April 10, the Hanover County supervisors met to approve language honoring the Girl Scouts that had completed their Gold Award projects. During the meeting the supervisor for the Cold Harbor District Michael Herzberg pulled Lindley’s proclamation and submitted a motion for amending it, removing language that identified locations where the books were available as well as any mentions of censorship or banned books.

The Board of Supervisors has bestowed upon me the greatest honor anyone fighting censorship and banning could receive by censoring me and my project ~ Kate Lindley

When the young adults of our society act with more maturity and decorum than the actual adults that are running things, I get a hankering for generational change in leadership. Then I feel guilty for wanting to dump the problems created by my generation and the ones that have come before us onto the next generation that are still growing and learning.

We need to address these issues and let our kids be kids. Looking at them, and the work they are already shouldering to make the world they are on the cusp of inheriting a better place I know that they are going to be alright!

Links for more information

Hanover girl scout creates ‘banned book nook’ after new policy takes 19 books off school shelves: https://www.wric.com/news/local-news/hanover-county/hanover-girl-scout-creates-banned-book-nook-after-new-policy/

Hanover Girl Scout fights censorship with ‘Banned Book Nooks’ https://www.wvtf.org/news/2023-10-12/hanover-girl-scout-fights-censorship-with-banned-book-nooks  

Hanover County students fight the book ban https://www.vpm.org/2024-02-22/hanover-county-students-fight-the-book-ban

Hanover County supervisors censor commendation for Girl Scout who fought censorship https://www.wvtf.org/news/2024-04-11/hanover-county-supervisors-censor-commendation-for-girl-scout-who-fought-censorship

Free to Read app: https://studio.code.org/projects/applab/GTpC1hoILFC2YN0ej-pIhcq3vV-8WlJ8hef1d1sRV-o

Free to Read Instagram page: https://www.instagram.com/free_to_read/

Original draft of the proclamation celebrating Kate Lindley: https://hanovercova.portal.civicclerk.com/event/1134/files/attachment/4131

Amended proclamation: https://hanovercova.portal.civicclerk.com/event/1130/files/attachment/4310

Girl Scouts of the USA Gold Award: https://www.girlscouts.org/en/members/for-girl-scouts/badges-journeys-awards/highest-awards/gold-award.html

Free to Read Amazon wish list: https://www.amazon.com/hz/wishlist/ls/N2DGIA2OFUGH?ref_=wl_share

Mina and the Cult

Mina’s having a hell of a family reunion. After the death and chaos of Halloween, Mina and the gang are looking forward to their road trip to Roswell, New Mexico, where they are hoping to be thrilled by the alien stories and have some R & R with Mina’s parents. However, their trip ends abruptly and before they know it, they are back in New Orleans. Instead of enjoying the fall celebrations and renovating the mansion, they find themselves investigating a serial killer who claims to be a real vampire in disturbing letters to the press.
As the city is gripped by fear, a group of believers is planning to disrupt the fragile balance between the humans and the supernatural creatures hiding in the shadows. This threatens the peace that Mina and her friends have been working so hard at maintaining.
Caught between investigating the killer and trying to stop the group’s destructive plans, Mina’s third mystery might be her last…

UCLan Publishing

I horrified Antonia, the publicist that organised this guest post for us by telling her that, in a school library, a book set in the 90s is a historical novel 😁 The Mina series are <historical> horror mystery for teens and YA and should be in all your libraries! The author, Amy McCaw, wrote a piece for us about how she establised the setting.

Why the fascination with 90s nostalgia?

Books, music, fashion and movies from the 90s seem to be more popular than ever. I’m still as obsessed with my 90s favourites as I ever was, and I have a few theories about why the fascination with the 90s persists.


When I started writing Mina and the Undead, I wasn’t sure what year I would set it in. During the very early stages of writing, I realised that the Interview with the Vampire movie came out in 1994, and 1995 was also the deadliest year in New Orleans history, with over 400 people being murdered that year alone. Those two things came together in my imagination to produce a murder mystery where vampires might be responsible for the high crime rates.


Once I’d settled on the 90s, I realised how fun it would be to lean into 90s pop culture in the plot, music, movie references and clothing. The book ended up having the feel of things I loved in the 90s, including Scream, Buffy and Charmed. I was a teenager later in the 90s, and I think enjoying those things so much in my formative years left a lasting impression on me. When I watch my 90s favourites, they’re still great on their own merits, but they also take me right back to that time.


There are a lot of reasons why the 90s might have continued to have such a lasting impact. The music has a distinctive feel, with that grunge and indie sound never really being replicated since. Slashers and paranormal books and TV shows had a real moment, and horror series like Point Horror and Fear Street were at the peak of their popularity. Like me, some people circle back to their old interests, but this can’t be true of younger readers who weren’t born in the 90s. In my experience, teenagers enjoy dipping their toes into a time period that feels relatively recent and yet so different from current pop culture, with an instantly recognisable flavour.


If you’re a fan of 90s pop culture, I highly recommend visiting the original influences I’ve already mentioned. Buffy the Vampire Slayer is still my all-time favourite form of any pop culture, and Scream reinvented the slasher genre, making it self-referential and delighting in outlandish, gory kills.


There are also plenty of YA books set in the 90s or that have that 90s feel that I always crave. Reading anything by Kathryn Foxfield, Cynthia Murphy or Kat Ellis will fill that Point-Horror shaped gap in your life. I also recommend Kendare Blake’s Buffyverse books if you’re looking for something that reads exactly like the Buffy TV show. I recently read The Babysitter’s Coven by Kate Williams, and that’s packed with 90s references and has a feel somewhere between Buffy, Charmed and The Babysitters Club.


I love delving into different time periods in my reading and writing, and I’m delighted that readers seem to agree with me.

Amy McCaw is a YA author and YouTuber. She’s the author of the Mina and the Undead series, YA murder mysteries set in 1995 New Orleans. She also co-curated the A Taste of Darkness horror anthology with Maria Kuzniar. Her main interests are books, movies and the macabre, and her novels have elements of all of these. Unsurprisingly, she’s a huge Buffy the Vampire Slayer fan and has gone to conventions to meet James Marsters more times than she cares to admit.


If you want to talk with Amy about books or 90s movies, you can find her on Twitter, Instagram, Tiktok and YouTube.

Mina and the Cult, the last in the trilogy, is published in the UK by UCLan Publishing on 4th April 2024

Yoto Carnegies Shortlist Announced

16 books have been shortlisted in total, with eight in each category for the Carnegie Medal for Writing and Carnegie Medal for Illustration; whittled down from the 36 longlisted titles by the expert judging panel which includes 12 librarians from CILIP: the library and information association’s Youth Libraries Group. Click here to read more about the fantastic books that have been chosen.

 

  • Picture books prevail on the Yoto Carnegie Medal for Illustration shortlist, which includes previous winner Catherine Rayner and three-time shortlisted illustrator Poonam Mistry.
  • Poetry dominates the shortlist for the Yoto Carnegie Medal for Writing with three novels written in verse – two by former shortlistees, Waterstones Children’s Laureate Joseph Coelho, and New York Times bestselling author Kwame Alexander, and one debut, Tia Fisher – alongside a poetry collection by prolific children’s writer Nicola Davies.
  • The shortlists include a further two debuts; Nathanael Lessore for the Medal for Writing, and Chloe Savage for the Medal for Illustration.
  • Independent Welsh publisher and British Book Award Small Press of the Year finalist Graffeg have a shortlisted title in each category.
  • Journeys, literal and metaphorical, are a common theme across both lists, with books encouraging empathy and hope and promoting an understanding of historical and contemporary global issues, including the environment. 

 

The 2024 Yoto Carnegie Medal for Writing shortlist is (alphabetical by author surname):

 

  • The Door of No Return by Kwame Alexander (Andersen Press)
  • The Song Walker by Zillah Bethell (Usborne)
  • Away with Words by Sophie Cameron (Little Tiger)
  • The Boy Lost in the Maze by Joseph Coelho, illustrated by Kate Milner
    (Otter-Barry Books)
  • Choose Love by Nicola Davies, illustrated by Petr Horáček (Graffeg)
  • Crossing the Line by Tia Fisher (Bonnier Books UK)
  • Safiyyah’s War by Hiba Noor Khan (Andersen Press)
  • Steady for This by Nathanael Lessore (Bonnier Books UK)

 

The 2024 Yoto Carnegie Medal for Illustration shortlist is (alphabetical by illustrator surname):

 

  • The Tree and the River by Aaron Becker (Walker Books)
  • April’s Garden by Catalina Echeverri, written by Isla McGuckin (Graffeg)
  • Lost by Mariajo Ilustrajo (Quarto)
  • The Wilderness by Steve McCarthy (Walker Books)
  • To the Other Side by Erika Meza (Hachette Children’s Group)
  • The Midnight Panther by Poonam Mistry (Bonnier Books UK)
  • The Bowerbird by Catherine Rayner, written by Julia Donaldson (Macmillan Children’s Books)
  • The Search for the Giant Arctic Jellyfishby Chloe Savage (Walker Books)

 

Maura Farrelly, Chair of Judges for The Yoto Carnegies 2024, said:

“The judges have worked incredibly hard to select 16 outstanding books; books that celebrate the very best of writing and illustration for children and young people. These are books to empower young readers, and for some will provide validation and refuge; stories of courage, of characters striving to find themselves and their place in the world, often in difficult or dangerous situations. The books shortlisted for the writing medal exemplify immersive and compelling writing with the power to inspire and move readers across a range of forms. The illustration shortlist is entirely comprised of picture books, with a strong theme of the environment, underlining the way picture books can speak to all ages, and showing how nature and illustrated books can heal and empower. We are excited to share these lists with shadowing groups and young readers, and very much look forward to reading their reviews and discovering their winners, alongside our own, at the announcement in June.”

Craig Before the Creek

Before he was Craig of the Creek, he was just Craig – a new kid in a new town. All Craig wants is to go back to his old friends at his old home. But when he learns that the nearby creek is hiding a lost treasure that could make his wish come true, Craig sets off on a journey to find it – navigating the perilous suburban wilderness, forging new friendships, all while being pursued by a fearsome band of pirates who are bent on destroying the Creek itself.

Craig of the Creek is one of my family’s favorite animated series, my eight-year old and I always watch it when we find it while flipping through the channels in our TV downtime. The show is a paean to friendship, adventure and the thrill of a childhood spent outdoors that we wish would never end.

Having watched the series from end to end several times I was delighted to hear that Craig Before the Creek is finally being released in a physical medium on March 26, 2024. Suitable for the whole family it is a wonderful beginning to a story that is loved by millions (including my little gingersnap and me). I highly recommend it – buy your own copy, stream it on HBO or request it from your local library – they are sure to have multiple copies and if not you can request that they do!

Trigger

An unflinching verse novel about a teenage boy who is sexually assaulted in an attack he struggles to remember.

Jay wakes in a park, beaten and bruised. He can’t remember what happened the night before. But he has suspicions.

Jay realises he has been raped — and that his ex-boyfriend may have been involved.

Counselling sessions cause Jay to question everything. His new friend Rain encourages his pursuit of justice. Jay wants answers, but his search will lead him down a perilous path.

Warning: sexual assault 

Little Island

TRIGGER is not an easy read by any means, definitely YA+, I read it in one sitting with my heart in my mouth. It is definitely one to spark conversations but also definitely one that requires talking about because it could bring up a lot of feelings for some readers. It ends with hope but isn’t unrealistic about how such a traumatic event affects a victim’s life in an ongoing way. If you’re feeling up to an emotional rollercoaster in verse, it is a gripping read!

I was given the opportunity to ask the author, C.G. Moore, a few questions:

Your very first novel was prose and then your second was verse, as is TRIGGER. What prompted you to try verse? How different is the process?

Both TRIGGER and GUT FEELINGS are deeply personal novels. When I was having a relaxing weekend in the Lake District, everything clicked into place and I started to write GUT FEELINGS it in verse. It was all very natural. Initially, I tried to write TRIGGER in prose but as someone who was a victim of sexual assault, I often felt like I couldn’t talk about it and there was shame attached to my experience (like I had brought it upon myself which is obviously not the case). I couldn’t find my voice in the moment so when approaching TRIGGER, it became clear that it needed to be in verse with each word carefully weighted. Writing in free verse is a massive challenge and it has its limitations but it makes you hyperaware of the words on the page and how they contribute to the plot, characterisation and narrative of the story.

Do you think you’ll only write in verse now or does it depend on what you’re writing about?

I have no plans to write in verse going forward although I am sure I’ll return to it at some point. With that said, I have a lot of ideas that play with form so we’ll see. For now though, I’m focused on prose.

TRIGGER is, unsurprisingly given the title, about a very emotive subject. How did you balance writing an impactful story with the potential for sensationalising or downplaying the ongoing impact of rape on the victim?

There are also different ways to approach subjects like this but I think that inferring the rape was more important than showing it and making it somewhat gratuitous. I wanted consent to be one of the key focuses of the story, and for the book to facilitate discussion and engagement around this. The main character’s – Jay’s – experiences are not my experiences. It was definitely a challenge tapping into the emotions of my past without letting those memories and experiences seep into my writing. One of the key messages I wanted readers to take away was to think about what consent means and how it might apply to them in their own lives. I was also conscious of the audience I was writing for and ensuring the reading experience allowed them to explore some issues that are often considered taboo, but doing so in a way that was sensitive and considered.

In your author’s note you mention that you had similar experiences yourself. Do you think that made it harder or easier to write this?

I think it was easier to write than GUT FEELINGS in some ways. I’d already written a verse novel and although I won the KPMG Children’s Books Ireland Book of the Year Award, I didn’t feel any pressure or concern in being compared to GUT FEELINGS. I had a clear idea of Jay’s experience, what happened and how the story would turn out which made it easier to write.

Was the ending different when you first wrote it or did you know what you wanted to happen (if you can answer that without spoilers)?

The ending was always the same but I wrote Jay as having a gun but agents found it a bit sensationalist and unrealistic, and I agreed.

Who, do you think, is the target audience of TRIGGER?

I would say readers aged 13+ but although it’s considered Young Adult, it shouldn’t stop adults picking it up. I wrote in a way that could bridge that gap and appeal to both audiences without patronising teenage readers.

What are you working on at the moment?

I can’t say too much about it but it will definitely be told in prose. It’s a YA “coming out” story with a massive twist.

C.G. Moore

C. G. (or Chris) Moore is the published author of three books. His second book – Gut Feelings – explored his own experiences living with chronic illness and was nominated for the Yoto Carnegie Medal and won the KPMG Children’s Books Ireland Book of the Year Award 2022. His new book – Trigger – is inspired by his own experiences of sexual assault and looks at consent. Chris has also contributed a poem to Our Rights – an anthology endorsed by Amnesty International. He previously taught on the BA and MA in Publishing programmes at the University of Central Lancashire. When Chris isn’t writing, he can be found walking his Jack Tzu, Lola, baking or caffeinating at his local coffee shop.

National library organisation sounds alarm over ‘fire sale’ of library buildings

The Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP), a national charity which exists to raise standards in library provision has sounded the alarm over a potential ‘fire sale’ of library buildings following the Government announcement of ‘exceptional financial support’ to 19 Councils[1].

The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities has announced that 19 councils in England will benefit from an ‘Exceptional Financial Support (EFS)’ framework for the fiscal year 2024-25, totalling around £1.5 billion.

Rather than representing new investment or capital support, the framework allows the Councils involved to use capital receipts from the sale of assets or borrowing to cover their day-to-day costs up to this amount. Additionally, there is further support for capitalisation requests from previous years amounting to £976 million.

Commenting on the announcement, CILIP interim CEO Jo Cornish said,

This ‘exceptional financial support’ announced by Government is in reality nothing of the sort. Instead, central Government is suggesting that cash-strapped Councils should do the equivalent of using their savings (long-term investment budgets) and selling property to cover day-to-day running costs.

This framework creates a material risk that Councils will sell off parts of their property portfolio, including libraries, to address the funding shortfall caused by the withdrawal of central Government grants. We know from our experience supporting library services across the UK, this is a one-way trip – once a library building is sold off, it permanently impairs the life chances and property values of local residents. It’s a one-way deal and very much like using the credit card to pay the mortgage.

We urgently call on central Government to work with Councils to provide long-term sustainable investment to protect local services and halt their decline, including statutory public library provision.

In response to increasing concerns over proposals to reduce or close library services, CILIP has launched the ‘Libraries at Risk Monitor’ – a regularly-updated map of proposed changes to libraries across the UK with an indication of where CILIP and their partner organisation, CILIP in Scotland are intervening to seek better outcomes for local taxpayers (www.cilip.org.uk/libraries-at-risk).


[1] https://www.gov.uk/guidance/exceptional-financial-support-for-local-authorities-for-2024-25

TeenLibrarian Newsletter February 2024

The February issue of the TeenLibrarian Newsletter was released yesterday, you can read it here: https://us20.campaign-archive.com/?u=32ffbca7d353f6dcc0c7c0953&id=91943685ca

Interview with Rhonda Roumani author of Tagging Freedom

Hi Rhonda, welcome to TeenLibrarian and thank you for taking the time to answer some questions about Tagging Freedom!

Can you please introduce yourself to readers of TL?

I am the daughter of Syrian immigrants to the United States. I am a journalist and have written about Islam and the Arab world for many years. I started writing children’s literature in 2017. The war in Syria was raging and I was very frustrated with adults and how little they understood what was happening or what had happened in Syria. I wanted children to hear our stories earlier so that when they grow up, they’ll do a better job making sense of the world around them.

Would you be able to give a short elevator pitch to us to introduce Tagging Freedom?

Tagging Freedom is about two cousins – a Syrian boy named Kareem and his Syrian American cousin named Samira – who, through graffiti and artivism, learn to make sense of the revolution taking place in Syria and discover what they stand for in the process and what their role might be even when they’re far away.

My next question is going to go a bit wide, but it does tie in to the book – do you know how things in Syria are going at the moment? (Most of the news about the war in Syria has been overshadowed by Ukraine and now the Gaza conflict). Are there any trustworthy sources of news you could recommend for anyone wanting to find out more?

In English, I recommend reading the Guardian and Al Jazeera English for news about the Arab world. I also follow Middle East Eye, Al-Monitor. The New Arab, The Public Source, and the BBC. I always check information. I want to know who owns the news source and what their spin might be. No news is completely unbiased. These days, I always check where the journalist is reporting from and I’m always asking who their sources are and checking facts with other sources or reports.

There is still fighting in certain parts of Syria– there was even an uprising a few months ago in Idlib. But much of the country has quieted down. People in Syria are struggling financially. During the summer, the electricity is cut for most of the day. And the cost of food has skyrocketed. The entire region is really struggling right now.

As an immigrant myself I am always interested in finding out more about other communities, is there a large Syrian/Syrian-American community in the US?

I grew up in a Syrian community in Los Angeles. It wasn’t huge, but it was sizeable. We started off surrounded mostly by Syrians, but I think as we grew older and as my parents got used to being in the U.S., we naturally branched out to different groups. We ended up in different Muslim and Arab groups comprised mostly of Syrians, Lebanese, Egyptians, Iraqis and Palestinians. As we started asking more questions about our identity as Syrians and Arabs and Muslims, it was only natural that we branched out. They also came from a generation that centered around Arabism, I think. You do have large groups of Arabs in Los Angeles, as well as in other large U.S. cities like New York City, Boston, and various mid-western cities like Toledo, Dearborn, Patterson and other cities in New Jersey and even in cities like New Orleans. There’s even a large Jewish Syrian population in New York.

Young people have always formed an integral part of any uprising/protest against brutal regimes and abuses of power – how true to life were Kareem’s experiences in Syria?

I actually wasn’t in Syria during the uprising in 2011. But I was there in 2002-2006, when the opposition movement was taking shape in Syria, during a time that was dubbed the Damascus Spring. Young people were definitely interested and young people were integral to the revolution in Syria. I based Kareem on different people that I had read about and people that I remembered from my time there. He is a compilation of characters, really. The fact that the revolution was ignited by a small act of resistance, by a group of kids who graffitied on a wall outside their school makes it so much about young people. But the revolution involved people of all ages really. The scene where Kareem is experiencing his first protest is an important one. Most kids would have seen or been a part of pro-government rallies. But to see people of all ages, coming out to protest the government, to demand freedom – on this level – that was new. So that is very much based on reality. Also, I worked for an organization that brought Syrian students to the U.S. and Canada to complete their education, and many of those students became activists or voices for freedom in the U.S. So I definitely based Kareem on some of those students.

When reading fiction works based on fact, I always enjoy an author’s afterword and factual vignettes that tie in to the narrative (when they are included) and your work was no exception. Can you recommend other books or articles for anyone (me) who is interested in learning more about the Arab Spring in general and Syria in particular?

There’s the graphic novel Muhammad Najem: War Reporter. I can’t think of a book that would explain the entire revolution, along with the conflict– for teens. Maybe that needs to be written. Some of the best journalists during the war were women. I especially loved the reporting of Rania Abouzeid, Anne Bernard, and Lina Sinjab. Rania wrote a book called No Turning Back: Life, Loss and Hope in Wartime Syria. She also wrote a Middle Grade/ YA book based on that book called Sisters of War. I would definitely recommend reading anything she wrote! Sisters of War would be a good start.

The themes of speaking up in the face of inequality and social justice are woven throughout Tagging Freedom. Do you have any recommendations for young readers who may wish to do the same but are not sure where or how to start?

History is constantly being rewritten as different groups are able to tell their own stories. Watching what is happening in Palestine right now speaks to that. As Arabs, as Syrians, the story of what happened in Palestine has always been close to our hearts because we know people who have been displaced, people who have lost their homes. We know people from Gaza. They are our best friends. So, I would say that the first thing we need to do is ask questions. Look at stories from different points of views. Even stories that you have grown up with. Then, as you learn more, you will naturally find others who are interested, others who want to know more. And it will build. With time, you will find your people who care about the same issues that you care about. Whether it’s the environment, or what is happening in your city or schools, or anything that you’re interested in. First learn as much as you can about what has happened. The more knowledge you have, the more you can contribute to the narrative that exists about that subject. It will grow organically– finding others who care about the same subject, others who want to take action.

There is a small (but growing) group of Muslim authors writing books for younger readers in the US, are you able to recommend any personal favorites you may have?

I have so many!! I think if you’re talking about picture books, I absolutely love Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow (YOUR NAME IS A SONG and ABDUL’S STORY), Hannah Moushabeck (Homeland: My Father Dreams of Palestine), and Aya Khalil (THE ARABIC QUILT and THE NIGHT BEFORE EID). For Middle Grade, there’s Reem Faruqi’s novels in verse. I absolutely love her work. And for YA, there’s Huda Fahmy, of course! Huda F Cares? and Huda F Are YOU? and Malaka Gharib (graphic novels), Zoulfa Katouh and Reem Shukairy. It’s so hard to mention only a few. The Kidlit space for Muslims is very exciting right now!

Thank you so much for taking the time to answer these questions! I really enjoyed Tagging Freedom and was wondering if you had any plans for a follow up novel or sequel?

I do not have plans for a sequel, but I do have two picture books coming out this year. One is called Insha’Allah, No, Maybe So (Holiday House) and another is called Umm Kulthum, Star of the East (Interlink Publishing.) I’m also working on a new Middle Grade but prefer to keep that a secret for now! Thank you for your questions!

Tagging Freedom is published by Union Square Kids, it is available now in the US and is published in the UK on Thursday February 22nd.

You can find out more about Rhonda and her work on her website: https://www.rhondaroumani.com/

The Yoto Carnegies 2024 Longlist Announcement

A total of 36 books have been recognised, with 19 books selected for the Yoto Carnegie Medal for Writing longlist, and 18 for the Yoto Carnegie Medal for Illustration – common themes include hidden worlds and alternate realities, forgotten histories highlighted or reimagined, and environmentalism and the power of nature. Click here to read more about the fantastic books that have been chosen.

The lists include:

  • One title longlisted in both Medal categories – Tyger by SF Said, illustrated by Dave McKean, published by independent publisher David Fickling Books. Said and McKean were previously nominated together for Phoenix in 2013. McKean has also been shortlisted six times previously.
  • Four previous winners of the Medal for Illustration; two-time winner Sydney Smith for My Baba’s Garden, Bob Graham for The Concrete Garden, Jon Klassen for The Skull and Catherine Rayner for The Bowerbird.
  • Former Carnegie Medal for Writing winner Anthony McGowen for Dogs of the Deadland, a tale of survival inspired by the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster.
  • Previous Shadowers’ Choice Medal for Illustration winner, Sharon King-Chai for Colours, Colours Everywhere, a tactile picture book teaching children about different colours, written by Julia Donaldson.
  • Waterstones Children’s Laureate and previous shortlistee Joseph Coelho for The Boy Lost in the Maze, one of four verse novels recognised for the Medal for Writing. The other three are by New York Times bestselling author Kwame Alexander and debut authors, Cathy Faulkner and Tia Fisher.
  • Eight-time shortlisted author Marcus Sedgwick, who has been longlisted posthumously for Ravencave, the follow up to Wrath, longlisted in 2023.
  • A further four previous shortlistees; Kwame Alexander (2019), Phil Earle (2022) and Candy Gourlay (2019) for writing and Poonam Mistry,who has been shortlisted three times (2019, 2020 and 2021) for illustration.
  • 18 British or dual-British heritage authors in the Writing category. 
  • Seven titles from Walker Books for the Illustration medal. 

Maura Farrelly, Chair of Judges for The Yoto Carnegies 2024, said:

Huge congratulations to all of our longlisted authors and illustrators in what has been a fantastic year for books for children and young people. It has been a joy and a privilege to chair an enthusiastic and dedicated panel of judges as we read, debated and considered the nominated titles before arriving at two exciting longlists. These are books that play with language and show how powerful words and illustrations can inspire imaginations and encourage empathy as well as helping young readers make sense of an increasingly confusing world and give them hope for a brighter future.

The 2024 Yoto Carnegie Medal for Writing longlist is (alphabetical by author surname):

  • The Door of No Return by Kwame Alexander (Andersen Press)
  • The Song Walker by Zillah Bethell (Usborne)
  • Away with Words by Sophie Cameron (Little Tiger)
  • The Little Match Girl Strikes Back by Emma Carroll, illustrated by Lauren Child (Simon & Schuster)
  • The Boy Lost in the Maze by Joseph Coelho, illustrated by Kate Milner (Otter-Barry Books)
  • Choose Love by Nicola Davies, illustrated by Petr Horáček (Graffeg)
  • Electric Life by Rachel Delahaye (Troika Books)
  • Until the Road Ends by Phil Earle (Andersen Press)
  • Digging for Victory by Cathy Faulkner (Firefly Press)
  • Crossing the Line by Tia Fisher (Bonnier Books UK)
  • Wild Song by Candy Gourlay (David Fickling Books)
  • Boy Like Me by Simon James Green (Scholastic)
  • Safiyyah’s War by Hiba Noor Khan (Andersen Press)
  • Steady for This by Nathanael Lessore (Bonnier Books UK)
  • The Swifts by Beth Lincoln, illustrated by Claire Powell (Penguin)
  • Dogs of the Deadland by Anthony McGowan, illustrated by Keith Robinson (Oneworld Publications)
  • Tyger by SF Said, illustrated by Dave McKean (David Fickling Books)
  • Ravencave by Marcus Sedgwick (Barrington Stoke)
  • Greenwild: The World Behind the Door by Pari Thomson, illustrated by Elisa Paganelli (Macmillan Children’s Books)

The 2024 Yoto Carnegie Medal for Illustration longlist is (alphabetical by illustrator surname):

  • The Tree and the River by Aaron Becker (Walker Books)
  • Wolves in Helicopters by Paddy Donnelly, written by Sarah Tagholm (Andersen Press)
  • April’s Garden by Catalina Echeverri, written by Isla McGuckin (Graffeg)
  • The Concrete Garden by Bob Graham (Walker Books)
  • Deep by Stephen Hogtun (Bloomsbury Children’s Books)
  • Lost by Mariajo Ilustrajo (Quarto)
  • Colours, Colours Everywhere by Sharon King-Chai, written by Julia Donaldson (Macmillan Children’s Books)
  • The Skull by Jon Klassen (Walker Books)
  • The Wilderness by Steve McCarthy (Walker Books)
  • Tyger by Dave McKean, written by SF Said (David Fickling Books)
  • To the Other Side by Erika Meza (Hachette Children’s Group)
  • The Midnight Panther by Poonam Mistry (Bonnier Books UK)
  • The Bowerbird by Catherine Rayner, written by Julia Donaldson (Macmillan Children’s Books)
  • Global by Giovanni Rigano, written by Eoin Colfer and Andrew Donkin (Hachette Children’s Group)
  • The Search for the Giant Arctic Jellyfish by Chloe Savage (Walker Books)
  • My Baba’s Garden by Sydney Smith, written by Jordan Scott (Walker Books)
  • The Boy Who Lost His Spark by Daniela Jaglenka Terrazzini, written by Maggie O’Farrell (Walker Books)
  • What Feelings Do When No One’s Looking by Aleksandra Zając, written by Tina Oziewicz (Pushkin Press)

Bookshop.org launches new charitable initiative ‘Read It Forward’ with BookTrust

London, Thursday 1 February 2024. Bookshop.org is today launching the charitable initiative Read It Forward, in partnership with BookTrust, where 10% of every sale of a children’s book made in February will be donated to the charity, while also supporting independent bookshops as per the platform’s ongoing mission.

Launching on the first day of the month, just in time for half-term, and lasting until the end of February, Read It Forward encourages all parents, teachers, guardians and educators to consider purchasing books from Bookshop.org, with a portion of the profit of each kids’ book donated to the UK’s largest children’s reading charity.

The aim of the initiative is to inspire a love of reading in the next generation, with the money raised by the Bookshop.org drive going towards BookTrust’s work of getting children reading – especially those from low-income families or vulnerable backgrounds.

Each year BookTrust reaches millions of children with books, resources and support for families to get every child reading regularly and by choice. A research-led charity, their specially designed programmes and products help children from all backgrounds experience the many benefits of shared reading. In addition, every sale on Bookshop.org supports independent bookshops across the UK, giving them an additional stream of income and keeping them thriving.

Lizzie Catford, Director of Children’s Books at BookTrust, said: “We’re thrilled to partner with Bookshop.org on the Read it Forward initiative, a wonderful opportunity for readers to make a meaningful impact. This collaboration not only supports independent bookshops, vital pillars of our literary community, but also contributes directly to our mission of fostering a love of reading among children, particularly those facing challenges. At BookTrust, we believe in the transformative power of shared reading, and the funds raised through this initiative will support our vital work across England, Wales and Northern Ireland. This wonderful partnership emphasisesthe collective strength of readers, booksellers, and charities in building a brighter reading future for all children.”

Nicole VanderbiltManaging Director of Bookshop.org UK, said: “This February, you can feel even better about buying books online. We are incredibly excited to launch a charitable book drive with BookTrust, marking our first collaboration with them. This month, we are giving parents and educators one more reason to buy books from Bookshop.org. In addition to supporting independent booksellers across the UK, this month we will be donating 10% of each children’s book sale to BookTrust, contributing to their mission to develop a love of reading.”

Find out more about Read It Forward’ here.