Ruta Sepetys Wins CILIP Carnegie Medal

SCBWI member Ruta Sepetys has won the 2017 CILIP Carnegie Medal for her best-selling YA historical novel Salt to the Sea. The gold medal, which is awarded annually for an outstanding children’s book, was created in 1936 in honor of steel industrialist Andrew Carnegie. The prize also includes £5,000, as well as £500 worth of books for the winner’s library of choice.

Sepetys was honored in a ceremony Monday at the Royal Institute of British Architects in London, where illustrator Lane Smith won the CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal for the picture book There’s a Tribe of Kids. The chair of the CILIP judging panel, Tricia Adams, said in a statement that the winners “poignantly prove the importance of stories is making voices heard—especially those of the dispossessed—encouraging the young reader to look beyond the headlines.” This ceremony marked the first time that a U.S. author and illustrator were awarded together in the same year.

Salt to the Sea also won SCBWI’s 2017 Golden Kite Award for Young Adult Fiction and a Crystal Kite Award for the Mid South division.