CILIP Carnegie Medal 2020 Shortlisted Books

CILIP Carnegie Medal 2020 shortlist – recommended for children aged 9-16+

Reading the CILIP Carnegie Medal 2020 shortlist of books is great for exploring new children’s and YA literature, expanding reading at home and helping develop a school library. It’s a diverse and interesting list this year.

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The Black Flamingo by Dean Atta

A groundbreaking young adult novel about confidence, self-expression and identity. Written in verse, the story follows Michael from primary school through secondary school to university as he realises, navigates and then owns his personality as a young gay man –  and the Black Flamingo of the Drag Society. A book that deserves to be in every secondary school library.

The Black Flamingo by Dean Atta

Nowhere on Earth by Nick Lake

Men are searching for two sibling survivors of a plane crash, but they don’t intend to rescue them. A gripping and surprising mystery delivered at often breakneck pace. A surefire hit with KS3 and KS4.



Lark by Anthony McGowan

When Nick and Kenny get out for a walk on the moors away from family life, they find themselves caught in a freak and life-changing snow storm. A short and accessible novel with bite, this is an ideal counterpoint to GCSE texts for pupils in years 10 and 11, either as a standalone novel, or studied as the final book in the ‘Truth of Things’ series.



Patron Saints of Nothing by Randy Ribay

The reasons given for Jun’s death don’t ring true for his cousin Jay – who is determined to find out what really happened and isn’t scared by what he might uncover. An emotionally charged and hard hitting quest suitable for teens in years 8-11.



Lampie written by Annet Schaap, translated by Laura Watkinson

Pirates, mermaids and a mysterious monster feature in this atmospheric seafarer adventure set in the world of Lampie, a lighthouse keeper’s daughter. A modern fairytale with a fight for freedom, self and truth. Recommended for year 6-8.



Voyages in the Underworld of Orpheus Black by Marcus Sedgwick and Julian Sedgwick, illustrated by Alexis Deacon

An illustrated war time adventure told in pieces and layers – using time shifts, poetry, prose, accounts, pictures and atmosphere. When Harry thinks his brother Ellis might have been killed by a V2 bomb, he set out on a dangerous quest to find him. Ideal for book clubs in KS3.



On the Come Up by Angie Thomas

When Bri’s dreams of being a rap star come true and her first song goes viral, the media focus takes a sharp turn and her life pivots on the edge of a nightmare. Suddenly the success she craved becomes a necessity to save her life. A moving and intimate portrait.



Girl. Boy. Sea. by Chris Vick

Teenage Bill’s life is turned upside down when he is left adrift in the sea after his competition sailing yacht is lost in a storm. Aya is a Berber girl, fighting to stay hold of floating barrel after falling from a migrant boat escaping to Europe. When Bill and Aya meet in the middle of the ocean an unlikely and captivating friendship forms. This book would make an excellent class reader for year 9 or 10.


2020 shortlist for the Kate Greenaway Medal – pictures books recommended for children aged 3-12


You're Snug with Me by Poonam Mistry and Chitra SoundarYou’re Snug with Me by Poonam Mistry and Chitra Soundar
The Iron Man by Chris Mould and Ted HughesThe Iron Man by Chris Mould and Ted Hughes
The Undefeated by Kadir Nelson and Kwame AlexanderThe Undefeated by Kadir Nelson and Kwame Alexander

he Suitcase by Chris Naylor-BallesterosThe Suitcase by Chris Naylor Ballesteros
The Dam by Levi Pinfold and David Almond The Dam by Levi Pinfold and David Almond
Mary and Frankenstein by Júlia Sardà and Linda Bailey Mary and Frankenstein by Júlia Sardà and Linda Bailey
<Tales from the Inner City by Shaun TanTales from the Inner City by Shaun Tan

Child of St Kilda by Beth WatersChild of St Kilda by Beth Waters


Order all the books in this list
To order all the books in the Carnegie Medal 2020 and Kate Greenaway 2020 shortlists, or to bulk order class sets of books, click the button above.


Why not have a look at our suggested reading lists for children aged 3-16?

Books for EYFS & ReceptionBooks for Year 1Books for Year 2Books for Year 3Books for Year 4Books for Year 5Books for Year 6Books for Year 7Books for Year 8Books for Year 9Books for Year 10Books for Year 11




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