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Welsh author nominated for prestigious children’s book award

17 Mar 2023 3 minute read
Manon Steffan Ros and her novel The Blue Book of Nebo (Firefly Press)

A Welsh author has been nominated for a prestigious book award for outstanding achievement in children’s writing.

Manon Steffan Ros is already a four times winner of the Tir na n’Og Wales Children’s Book Awards and has now been shortlisted for the Yoto Carnegie Medal for Writing for the first time for the “poignant”, “perfectly paced” and “completely conceivable”, The Blue Book of Nebo which won the Wales Book of the Year 2019 in the original Welsh-language edition.

Translated by Ros into English – and her first book to be published in the English language – it tells the “heart-wrenching” story of a boy and his mother who are isolated survivors of a nuclear war through interwoven diary extracts.

It also marks the first shortlisting for small independent Welsh publisher, Firefly Press.

The Yoto Carnegies are the UK’s longest running and best-loved children’s book awards, recognising outstanding reading experiences created through writing and illustration in books for children and young people.

The awards celebrate outstanding achievement in children’s writing and illustration and are unique in being judged by children’s and youth librarians with the Shadowers’ Choice Medals voted for by children and young people.

13 books have been shortlisted in total, seven for the Carnegie Medal for Writing and six for the Carnegie Medal for Illustration.

The 31 longlisted titles were whittled down by the expert judging panel, which includes 12 librarians from CILIP: the library and information association’s Youth Libraries Group.

Unique in that nominees are judged solely by librarians, the roll-call of past winners includes: Arthur Ransome, C.S. Lewis, Terry Pratchett, Philip Pullman, Noel Streatfeild and Raymond Briggs.


Janet Noble, Chair of Judges for The Yoto Carnegies 2023, said: “This year’s shortlists clearly demonstrate that authors, illustrators and publishers are continuing to create outstanding books for children and young people that represent a wide range of identities, helping to ensure the diversity of experiences across the UK is reflected.

“Stories of bravery, compassion and community are told authentically and sensitively in a range of distinctive written and illustrative styles, with fantastic debuts taking pride of place alongside well-known names.

“We’re sure shadowing groups across the country will share our excitement in reading and discussing these superb books in the coming months, and we wish them luck in choosing their winners – we know it’s not going to be an easy decision!

“The 2023 judges and I are immensely proud that these 13 books will become part of the distinguished legacy of The Yoto Carnegies.”

The winners will be announced and celebrated on 21 June at a live and streamed lunchtime ceremony at The Barbican, hosted by former Children’s Laureate Lauren Child CBE, who won the Carnegie Medal for Illustration for her first Charlie and Lola book, ‘I Will Not Ever Never Eat A Tomato’.

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