CILIP Carnegie Medal 2022 Shortlisted Books

Carnegie Medal 2022 shortlist – recommended for children aged 9-16+

Carnegie Medal 2022 – reading the CILIP Carnegie Medal 2022 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 a diverse, inspiring and accessible list this year.

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October, October by Katya Balen

11-year-old October’s idyllic world changes suddenly when she has to go and live with her mum in the city. More than anything she yearns for a return to living in the wild woodland in harmony with nature, and most importantly to her, with her father. With beautifully written and atmospheric prose, this memorable book will appeal to KS2 English teachers as a text to use for modelling creative writing and discussing as a class text.

October, October by Katya Balen - shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal 2022

Guard Your Heart by Sue Divin

A hotbed of simmering religious tension, barely buried secrets and a maelstrom of dangerous teenage romance erupts from this page-turner set in modern Northern Ireland. When Protestant Iona films a sectarian attack using Catholic Aiden’s phone, a spiral of events threatens to destroy their relationship. Can love transcend historical hate? Told through the eyes of both characters, this gripping novel will appeal to pupils in KS4 and KS5.

Guard Your Heart by Sue Divin - shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal 2022


When the Sky Falls by Phil Earle

When an unwanted child is evacuated to live with a woman who doesn’t want children, an unlikely bond forms through their mutual desire to protect Adonis – a magnificent silverback gorilla. With vibrant characters and an emotionally moving plot, this is an ideal class novel for hot-seating, discussing empathy, and reading with upper KS2 classes learning about WW2.

When the Sky Falls by Phil Earle - shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal 2022


Everyone Dies Famous in a Small Town by Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock

In this thought-provoking ensemble of Carver-esque vignettes about teens in modern rural America, intertwined themes are juxtaposed to create a poignant sense of 2020s truth, hurt and insidious isolation. Never extreme or explicit, there’s a darkness and an emotional intensity in the characters that lingers beyond a first reading. An ideal book for KS4 and KS5 book clubs, this series of modern short stories is certainly a text worth considering for Y11 classes. Featured in our best books for spring 2021, and reviewed in full here.

Everyone Dies Famous in a Small Town by Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock - shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal 2022


The Crossing by Manjeet Mann

This stunning collection of narrative poems gives voice to two very different teenage refugees as they prepare to cross the sea for a new and better life. Exploring many motivations for migration: fleeing persecution, overcoming danger and devastating loss, and balancing disappointment with hope and dreams, ‘The Crossing’ is an accessible and powerful text that will appeal to children aged 12+.

The Crossing by Manjeet Mann - shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal 2022


Tsunami Girl by Julian Sedgwick

This potent cocktail of coming of age drama, disaster story and graphic novel tells the story of Yuki a 15-year-old girl who survives the 2011 Japan earthquake and learns to cope with the trauma and devastation of the disaster with the help of Half-Wave – a manga superhero. Highly recommended for book club discussion in years 8-11.

Tsunami Girl by Julian Sedgwick - shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal 2022


Cane Warriors by Alex Wheatle

14-year-old Moa toils in the Jamaican sugar fields, seemingly trapped in a world of abuse subjugation. But when he hears of a planned uprising, he finds new inspiration and courage. Can the slaves defeat their overseer Misser Donalson and join the revolt? Based on the true events of Tacky’s Rebellion in 1760, this is a thrilling and tense historical novel suitable for students in KS3 and KS4.

Cane Warriors by Alex Wheatle - shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal 2022


Punching the Air by Ibi Zoboi and Yusef Salaam

Yusef Salaam’s personal account of being convicted and incarcerated for a crime he did not commit is both compelling and disturbing. Written with powerful prose and compelling emotion, this is a great book to discuss in KS4 book clubs. A searing story of injustice and determination, Punching The Air will appeal to teens aged 13+.

Punching the Air by Ibi Zoboi and Yusef Salaam - shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal 2022

2022 shortlist for the Kate Greenaway Medal – pictures books recommended for children aged 3-12


Drawn Across Borders by George ButlerDrawn Across Borders by George Butler
The Midnight Fair by Gideon Sterer and Mariachiara Di GiorgioTThe Midnight Fair by Gideon Sterer and Mariachiara Di Giorgio
Too Much Stuff by Emily GravettToo Much Stuff by Emily Gravett

Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds and Danica NovgorodoffLong Way Down by Jason Reynolds and Danica Novgorodoff
Milo Imagines the World by Matt de la Pena and by Christian RobinsonMilo Imagines the World by Matt de la Pena and by Christian Robinson
Shu Lin’s Grandpa by Matt Goodfellow and Yu RongShu Lin’s Grandpa by Matt Goodfellow and Yu Rong

I Talk Like a River by Jordan Scott and Sydney SmithI Talk Like a River by Jordan Scott and Sydney Smith
The Wanderer by Peter Van den EndeThe Wanderer by Peter Van den Ende

Previous Carnegie and Kate Greenaway shortlists: Carnegie 2021 shortlist, Carnegie 2020 shortlist, Carnegie 2019 shortlist, Carnegie 2018 shortlist, Carnegie 2017 shortlist, Carnegie 2016 shortlist.

Further details about the Carnegie Medal 2022 shortlist and the Kate Greenaway 2022 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