Ruta Sepetys’ refugee story Salt to the Sea, a fictionalised account of the worst maritime disaster in history, has won the 80th anniversary CILIP Carnegie Medal.
The CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medals are the UK's oldest and most prestigious children's book awards. The CILIP Carnegie Medal is awarded by children's librarians for an outstanding book written in English for children and young people.
Salt to the Sea, published by Puffin, is a New York Times-bestselling novel that explores the events leading up to the sinking of the Wilhelm Gustloff, the worst maritime disaster in history in which over 9,000 people, mainly refugees, perished. The daughter of a Lithuanian refugee, with a family connection to the disaster, Ruta spent three years researching the book, walking the path of some of those refugees who saw the boat as their salvation but who ultimately lost their lives.