Ruta Sepetys wins the Carnegie Medal for Salt to the Sea.


The 2016 Carnegie Medal awarded their top honor to Ruta Sepetys for her novel Salt to the Sea.

Salt to the Sea follows four teenagers, each born of a different homeland; each haunted by tragedy. In 1945, as thousands of desperate refugees flock to the coast in the midst of a Soviet advance, their paths converge as they vie for passage aboard the Wilhelm Gustloff, a ship that promises safety and freedom. Yet not all promises can be kept.

Sepetys, who was previously shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal in 2012, has a family connection to the maritime disaster upon which Salt to the Sea is based, and spent three years researching the novel.

“As a writer, I am drawn to underrepresented stories and history in hiding. I spend a lot of time pondering the question – why do some parts of history penetrate our collective consciousness while others remain hidden? When I began work on the novel years ago, I had no way of knowing that when it was published, we would be amidst a refugee crisis. Then and now, my thoughts return to the children,” said Sepetys.

The Carnegie Medal is a British award judged by children’s librarians and presented annually to the author of an outstanding book for children. Salt to the Sea is available now.

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About Author

Lucy Nisbet

Lucy is an English teacher-in-training and a self-confessed book nerd. She often buys more books than she can reasonably afford or possibly have time to read. Her Hogwarts letter is now several years too late, but she’s sure it’s just gotten lost in the post.

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