A collection of stories about walks home from school has won one of the world’s most prestigious book prizes.
US poet and author Jason Reynolds won the CILIP Carnegie Medal for Look Both Ways, a series of 10 tales covering issues including bullying, homophobia and bereavement.
The Kate Greenaway Medal went to Canadian author and illustrator Sydney Smith for Small In The City, which depicts urban streets from a child’s viewpoint.
The CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medals celebrate outstanding achievement in children’s writing and illustration respectively.
Chair of Judges Ellen Krajewski described the winning books as “compelling stories told from a child’s viewpoint that deliver a powerful emotional punch”.
The winners were announced at a virtual ceremony hosted by University Challenge star Bobby Seagull.
Reynolds described his book as “an examination of autonomy” and said: “It’s this idea that every child has a different journey and it’s all about the fact that despite those journeys we are all interconnected. One people. One race. Having similar experiences and yet different experience altogether.”
Discussing his book, Smith said: “This book does not have an easy ending, but it does end with a hug as does any journey worth taking. I believe that will be one of the most beautiful rewards at the end of our difficult journey.”
The winners will each receive £500 worth of books to donate to a library of their choice, a specially commissioned golden medal and a £5,000 Colin Mears Award cash prize.