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England's Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Awards

Not quite as longstanding but equally prestigious are the Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Awards - the English equivalents, respectively, of the Newberys and Caldecotts. Interestingly, the criteria, though similar in most respects to the American awards, lack the stipulation regarding citizenship or residency of the recipient, and thus the Carnegie can be awarded to an American. Sharon Creech thus won the Newbury medal in 1995 and the Carnegie in 2002. The English awards also differ from the American in that they do not name runners-up or honor recipients. The lists are therefore much shorter. Carnegie Awards began in 1936, and the Kate Greenaway Medal has been awarded since 1955. A complete list of winners can be found on the Carnegie website.

There are also links here to Greenaway winners, criteria for both awards, and other useful information. The publisher is indicated for each Carnegie Award book. I was not surprised to see that a disproportionate number of the award winners were published by Oxford University Press, having already identified OUP as a flashpoint for children's books. By the way, a Carnegie award for video is also given, based in New York, which has no connection with the British award.

Click here for a chart showing Carnegie Award Winners from 1936-2002. The list is arranged alphabetically by author.

Click here for a chart showing Kate Greenaway Award Winners chart from 1956-2002. The list is arranged alphabetically by author.

Further online references, see two American Library Association sites:

list of Caldecott award and honor winners and links to related topics

Newbery award and honor winners and links to related topics

Lewis Carroll Shelf Award and Christopher Award

Finally, I would like to introduce two lesser-known awards that indicate books of exceptional quality which could already be, or become, valuable and/or collectible.

The Lewis Carroll Shelf Award was given annually from 1970 to 1979 to books deemed to possess enough of the qualities of Alice in Wonderland to enable them to sit on the same book shelf. The awarding institution was the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and I was fortunate enough to take a course in Children's Literature there in the mid-1970's, gaining a familiarity with the award and its criteria. The books chosen were not necessarily recent publications or even in print. The aim was to assemble a list of great children's books of all time, though in practice this seemed to be restricted to the 20th century. Unfortunately I was unable to locate an official list, so I have depended on literatureplace (see above link) for titles, thus missing out-of-print and more valuable books. Paddle-to-the-Sea, I recall, was an LCSA book, and I am pretty sure that Ho Ming, Girl of China was as well, but neither appear on the list I am using, and I am quite sure there are many other missing titles.

EDITOR'S NOTE: After writing this article, Catherine located a list of LCS winners she'd saved from the 1970's and (with some coaxing on my part) may include it in a second article.

The Christopher Awards are presented each February to books "which affirm the highest values of the human spirit." Click here for a list of Christopher award winners.

The Books for Young People category was added in 1970. Titles range from picture books to young adult non-fiction. Caution: children's nonfiction is not generally as desirable as children's fiction or picture books, though there are exceptions. Illustrations can lift non-fiction into the realm of the desirable, and first-person WW2 or Holocaust narratives are very much sought after. Though I can't pronounce on the value in general, I do know there are a few titles that sell fast at a good price. The listing on the above website is complete through 1997.

I checked prices for one of the more blatantly boring Christophers - the 1972 award-winning The Rights of the People: the Major Decisions of the Warren Court by Walter and Elaine Goodman. Though only 6 copies are listed on Abebooks, half of them are priced under $10. Not a good sign. Do follow your instincts about these books; just a Christopher is not a flashpoint on its own.

Books that appear both on this list and on other major award lists are strong flashpoints. This indicates that there are enduring values in the books that make them memorable, sought-after, and (hopefully) collectible. Christophers in particular should be considered as a secondary flashpoint, enhancing a book which is already desirable for some other reason. And of course it's always a good idea to mention them in your book descriptions.

Click here for a chart showing Christopher Award Winners listed alphabetically by author.

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Questions or comments?
Contact the editor, Craig Stark

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