“Deacon King Kong” and “Fathoms” Win 2021 Carnegie Medals

By on

Looking for great books to add to your to-read list? Each year, librarians and booksellers come together to award the Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction—and the newly-announced 2021 honorees are not to be missed.

Deacon King Kong by James McBride has won the 2021 medal for fiction. Set in 1960s Brooklyn, the novel features unlikely heroes, gripping plot twists, moments of humor, and powerful social commentary.

The 2021 award for nonfiction goes to Fathoms: The World in the Whale by Rebecca Giggs. With lyrical prose and meticulous research, Giggs explores humanity’s enduring fascination with whales, which are now acutely threatened by climate change and pollution.

The Carnegie Medals are administered by the Reference and User Services Association and Booklist, both part of the American Library Association. “It has been my great honor to work with this committee of such passionate and discerning readers,” Bill Kelly, chair of the selection committee for the Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence, shared in a press release.

“As we collectively read and discussed scores of incredible books this last year, a year of extraordinary challenges, we discovered a renewed appreciation for the power of literature,” he continued. “More than ever we need books that nourish the mind and heart alike. Our two winners are exemplars of this power and it is our privilege to award them this honor.”

For even more great book recommendations, check out this year’s Carnegie Medals longlist.