Graphic novel “Illegal” nominated for Carnegie Medal and the Kate Greenaway Medal

A panel from "Illegal" the graphic novel by writers Eoin Colfer and Andrew Donkin, and artist Giovanni Rigano

A panel from “Illegal” the graphic novel by writers Eoin Colfer and Andrew Donkin, and artist Giovanni Rigano

Nominations have just been published for the country’s oldest children’s book awards, the Carnegie Medal and the Kate Greenaway Medal – and both lists include nominations for Illegal, the graphic novel written by former Irish Children’s Laureate Eoin Colfer and children’s author and graphic novelist Andrew Donkin, illustrated by Italian artist, Giovanni Rigano.

The nominations in both lists – a very unusual  honour for a graphic novel – follow hot on the heels of the graphic novel’s nomination in the Red Dot awards, which we reported last week.

A panel from "Illegal" the graphic novel by writers Eoin Colfer and Andrew Donkin, and artist Giovanni Rigano

Creators such as Cressida Cowell, Sarah McIntyre and David McKee are also on the nomination lists that recognise outstanding writing and illustration in books for children and young people.

Illegal is the powerful, beautifully-realised  story of Ebo and Kwame and their tortuous journey from North Africa to seek a new life in Europe, telling the story of a desperate journey for asylum. It’s a powerful, thought-provoking look at the whole issue of immigration and refugees.

The CILIP Carnegie Medal is awarded annually by CILIP for an outstanding book written in English for children and young people; and the CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal is awarded for distinguished illustration.

This year, 254 books have been nominated for the 2019 Medals; 137 books are in the running for the CILIP Carnegie Medal and 117 for the Kate Greenaway Medal. Books have been put forward by a record number of nominators which, alongside CILIP members, includes several external bodies − BookTrust, CLPE, Commonword, IBBY, Inclusive Minds, National Literacy Trust and RNIB − invited to nominate as part of CILIP’s diversity and inclusion action plan for the Awards.

Each nominated book will now be read by every member of the judging panel − 14 children’s and youth librarians representing all regions of CILIP’s Youth Libraries Group − who volunteer their time as judges. From these nominations, the judging panel will decide the long and shortlists and finally, the 2019 Medal winners, based on the official Medals criteria.

The long and shortlists identify a range of outstanding books for children and young people, recognising excellent literature and illustration from new and established authors and illustrators.

The awards shadowing scheme engages thousands of children and young people in schools and libraries in the UK and overseas through reading groups that ‘shadow’ the judges as they read and engage with the shortlists. Shadowers critically and creatively explore the shortlisted books, through group participation and online engagement: posting reviews, blogs, artworks, videos, exploring human rights and participating in visual literacy based creative activities.

The winners’ ceremony in June next year will see one book from each shortlist awarded the first children’s choice prize, voted for and presented by shadowers, alongside the winners of the Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medals.

• CILIP Carnegie Medal Nominated Titles 2019

• CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal Nominated Titles 2019

• Website:
• Twitter: @CILIPCKG #CKG19 
• Facebook:

Illegal is on sale now from all good bookshops

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• Eoin Colfer is online at | Find Eoin on Facebook | Follow Eoin on Twitter @eoincolfer

• Andrew Donkin is online at | Follow him on Twitter @AndrewDonkin

• Giovanni Rigano is online at

• For more information on Hodder Children’s Books visit

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1 reply

  1. This is in my list to read now, thank you

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