Two graphic novels were in Britain’s Yoto Carnegie Medal longlists 2023, announced todayZiggy Hanaor and Benjamin Phillips’ Jewish identity tale Alte Zachen: Old Things (Circada Books) and Trang Nguyen and Jeet Zdung’s young conservationism story Saving Sorya: Chang and the Sun Bear (Kingfisher); both for illustration.

Both Alte Zachen and Saving Sorya have drawn critical attention in Best of 2022 lists or – in Saving Sorya‘s case – an Eisner nomination.

The Yoto Carnegie’s said:

“The Yoto Carnegies, the UK’s longest running and best-loved book awards for children and young people, today announced the longlists for 2023. Dominated by independent publishers, the stories range from intimate examinations of family life to sensitive introductions to societal issues impacting the world today, with many reflecting on past histories or looking to the future of our planet.”

The Yoto Carnegie Awards, according to their website, aim to “recognis[e] outstanding reading experiences created through writing and illustration in books for children and young people.” Books are selected and awards bestowed by librarians in the UK across two categories – for Writing and for Illustration. The Carnegie Medal for Illustration was originally established as the Kate Greenaway Medal in 1955. Always considered a companion to the Carnegie Medal (which promotes writing in children’s literature), it appears that, as of this year, the Kate Greenaway has been rebranded as the Carnegie Medal for Illustration.

The Yoto Carnegie for Writing 2023 had no comics longlisted. The Illustration category, on the other hand, had two books clearly marketed as graphic novels in their synopses. As well as those specific titles many of the picture books which make up the eighteen-strong longlist implement elements of sequential narrative. Examples include Mariajo Illustrajo’s Flooded (Frances Lincoln); Joe Todd-Stanton’s The Comet (Nobrow’s children’s imprint Flying Eye Books); and Paula White’s The Baker by the Sea (Templar Books).

Winners of the Carnegies receive a golden medal, £500 (~$600) of books to donate to their chosen library, plus a £5000 cash Colin Mears Award. The Yoto Carnegies are organised by CILIP, the library and information association. This year’s sponsors of the awards include screen-free audio platform Yoto, Scholastic, and the Authors’ Licensing and Collecting Society (ALCS).

The shortlists for the 2023 Yoto Carnegie’s will be declared March 17, with the winners at a ceremony taking place June 21.