Patrick Ness, Chris Riddell and Frances Hardinge on CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway shortlists

Going for the treble: Chris Riddell and Patrick Ness are nominated for their third medals
Going for the treble: Chris Riddell and Patrick Ness are nominated for their third medals

Established names dominate the shortlists for the UK's most prestigious children's books awards, the CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medals, announced today.

Patrick Ness is shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal for The Rest of Us Just Live Here, a subversive fantasy about a group of “indie kids” who are trying to save the world. If he wins, he will be the first author to win the Carnegie Medal three times, having received the award in 2011 for Monsters of Men and again in 2012 for A Monster Calls, which also received the Kate Greenaway Medal for Jim Kay's illustrations. Joining Ness on the shortlist is Frances Hardinge, whose The Lie Tree won the Costa Book of the Year Award in January, but Terry Pratchett's final Discworld novel, The Shepherd's Crown, has not progressed from longlist stage.

Costa Book Award winner Frances Hardinge is shortlisted for The Lie Tree

The shortlist focuses on books for teenagers, with recurring themes of secrecy, lies and fitting in. Sarah Crossan's One is about conjoined twins entering secondary school, while Nick Lake's thriller There Will Be Lies sees a deaf teenager head on a road trip with her over-protective mother. Robin Talley's Lies We Tell Ourselves follows a black student through high school in 1959, at the height of the civil rights movement, and Jenny Valentine's Fire Colour One traverses themes of divorce, terminal illness and kleptomania, in the story of teenage Iris rebuilding a relationship with her dying father. 

Shortlisted for the Kate Greenaway Medal, awarded for the best illustrations in a children's book, are a current and former Children's Laureate: Chris Riddell, nominated for his illustrations for Neil Gaiman's The Sleeper and the Spindle, and Anthony Browne, for the new instalment in his Willy the Chimp series, Willy's Stories. They and Helen Oxenbury, shortlisted for Captain Jack and the Pirates, written by Peter Bently, already have two Kate Greenaway medals apiece. Oxenbury first won in 1969 for both The Quangle Wangle's Hat and The Dragon of an Ordinary Family, and again in 1999 for her version of Alice in Wonderland. Browne won with Gorilla in 1983 and Zoo in 1992, and Riddell with Pirate Diary in 2001 and Jonathan Swift's Gulliver in 2004. 

Anthony Browne, author of the popular Willy the Chimp books

Chair of the judging panel Sioned Jacques said: “These exceptionally strong shortlists reflect the huge range of writing and illustrating talent in children’s publishing at the moment. Questions of secrecy, lies, who we really are and how we identify ourselves are all explored in different, surprising and innovative ways. Our shortlisted writers and illustrators don’t shy away from difficult or big ideas but skilfully introduce them to young readers in ways that are gripping, moving, entertaining but always, without exception, page-turning.”

Each winner will receive a medal and £500 of books to donate to their local library. This year, for the first time, both winners will also receive £5,000 from the Colin Mears Award, a prize instituted in 2000 but previously awarded to the winner of the Kate Greenaway Medal alone. Another innovation this year is that one title from each shortlist will be awarded the Amnesty CILIP Honour, conferred on the book that "most distinctively illuminates, upholds or celebrates freedoms".  The winners will be announced on Monday June 20 at the British Library.

Illustrator Helen Oxenbury is nominated for Captain Jack and the Pirates

The CILIP Carnegie Medal 2016 shortlist

One by Sarah Crossan (Bloomsbury)

The Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge (Macmillan)

There Will Be Lies by Nick Lake (Bloomsbury)

The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness (Walker Books)

Five Children on the Western Front by Kate Saunders (Faber)

The Ghosts of Heaven by Marcus Sedgwick (Indigo)

Lies We Tell Ourselves by Robin Talley (MiraInk)

Fire Colour One by Jenny Valentine (HarperCollins)


The CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal 2016 shortlist

Willy’s Stories illustrated and written by Anthony Browne (Walker Books)

There’s a Bear on My Chair illustrated and written by Ross Collins (Nosy Crow)

Once Upon an Alphabet illustrated and written by Oliver Jeffers (HarperCollins)

Sam & Dave Dig a Hole illustrated by Jon Klassen, written by Mac Barnett (Walker Books)

Something About a Bear illustrated and written by Jackie Morris (Frances Lincoln)

Captain Jack and the Pirates illustrated by Helen Oxenbury, written by Peter Bently (Puffin)

The Sleeper and the Spindle illustrated by Chris Riddell, written by Neil Gaiman (Bloomsbury)

Footpath Flowers illustrated by Sydney Smith, written by JonArno Lawson (Walker Books)