CILIP Carnegie Medal 2021 Shortlisted Books

Carnegie Medal 2021 shortlist – recommended for children aged 9-16+

Carnegie Medal 2021 – reading the CILIP Carnegie Medal 2021 and Kate Greenaway shortlists of books is great for exploring new children’s and YA literature, expanding reading at home and helping develop a school library. It’s an adventurous, escapist and imaginative list this year.

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Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo

A tour-de-force told through two very different and absorbing characters: Yahaira, who lives in New York, and Camino who spends summers in the Dominican Republic with her father. After a tragic plane crash, they not only have to deal with loss but the realization that they shared the same father and that their lives will never be the same. A great novel for summer term book clubs in KS4.

Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo - shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal 2021

The Girl Who Speaks Bear by Sophie Anderson

This enchanting and inspiring tale will take upper KS2 readers on a fantastic journey through mysterious villages and mountains, with dangerous treks and extraordinary friendships. Yanka the Bear’s quest to find out about herself is both memorable and captivating. This is a great class reader for children looking at myths, legends or descriptive writing.

The Girl Who Speaks Bear by Sophie Anderson - shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal 2021


The Girl Who Became A Tree by Joseph Coelho

Teen Daphne’s acute sense of loss after her father’s death pervades this story, told in a distinctive narrative verse style. However, she finds solace in reading, finding out about, and pondering her existence. Based on the Greek myth, this is a seminal young adult lockdown era read.

The Girl Who Became A Tree by Joseph Coelho - shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal 2021


On Midnight Beach by Marie-Louise Fitzpatrick

During the long hot summer of 1976, Emer and her friend Fee fall in love with Carrig Cove in Donegal. But as the dolphin they discover and swim up to becomes more and more well-known, tensions build in the village. A spellbinding and memorable young adult novel. The perfect summer holiday read for teens in KS3 and KS4.

On Midnight Beach by Marie-Louise Fitzpatrick - shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal 2021


Run, Rebel by Manjeet Mann

This series of poignant poems interweave to form a harrowing and compelling account of Amber’s broken, unhappy and dysfunctional home life; and how she fights back. An ideal book to discuss in KS3 and KS4 book clubs.

Run, Rebel by Manjeet Mann - shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal 2021


Look Both Ways by Jason Reynolds

This series of short stories – all about characters from the same school and how they perceive and experience life – will resonate with UKS2 and KS3 readers. Accessible and involving, this is a book with sufficient bite to elicit valuable discussion in PSHE lessons.

Look Both Ways by Jason Reynolds - shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal 2021


The Fountains Of Silence by Ruta Sepetys

This dark love story set in post-war Franco-era Spain follows Daniel, a young photographer, and Ana, a nurse. Caught in love and danger, the lovers discover secrets best kept silent. A cracking historical novel that older teens will relate to and enjoy.

The Fountains Of Silence by Ruta Sepetys - shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal 2021


Echo Mountain by Lauren Wolk

Mystery, fantasy, history and hope combine in this bewitching and atmospheric novel suitable for children aged 9-12. Can Ellie overcome a family tragedy and cope with living in a new and unfamiliar place? Full of rich and evocative language, this would be a great book to study in years 5 or 6.

Echo Mountain by Lauren Wolk - shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal 2021

2021 shortlist for the Kate Greenaway Medal – pictures books recommended for children aged 3-12


Starbird by Sharon King-ChaiStarbird by Sharon King-Chai
The Bird Within Me by Sara LundbergThe Bird Within Me by Sara Lundberg
It’s A No-Money Day by Kate MilnerIt’s A No-Money Day by Kate Milner

How The Stars Came To Be by Poonam MistryHow The Stars Came To Be by Poonam Mistry
Hike by Pete OswaldHike by Pete Oswald
I Go Quiet by David OuimetI Go Quiet by David Ouimet

Arlo The Lion Who Couldn’t Sleep by Catherine RaynerArlo The Lion Who Couldn’t Sleep by Catherine Rayner
Small In The City by Sydney SmithSmall In The City by Sydney Smith

Previous Carnegie and Kate Greenaway shortlists: Carnegie 2020 shortlist, Carnegie 2019 shortlist, Carnegie 2018 shortlist, Carnegie 2017 shortlist, Carnegie 2016 shortlist.

Further details about the Carnegie Medal 2021 shortlist and the Kate Greenaway 2021 award shortlist from the CILIP website.

Read about more Children’s Literature Awards


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About Tom Tolkien

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Tom Tolkien is an experienced teacher and educational consultant who taught for 20 years in primary and secondary schools, including Woodleigh School in North Yorkshire, where he was Head of English and ran a 4000 book prep school library for pupils aged 3-13. He now reviews books for children and teens. Social profiles: Twitter | Linkedin