Sunday, May 12, 2013

POWERFUL REFUGEE STORY WINS NEW AWARD FOR RADICAL CHILDREN’S FICTION The Alliance of Radical Booksellers (ARB) is delighted to announce that the winner of the inaugural Little Rebels Children’s Book Award is Sarah Garland for her book, Azzi In Between (Frances Lincoln). Commenting on today’s announcement, guest judge and children’s author Elizabeth Laird said, “Azzi tells a simple and powerful story, one with which we should all be tragically familiar, with a text and pictures that are rich, appealing and satisfyingly detailed”. Booktrust founder and guest judge Wendy Cooling added, “The graphic novel style gives it freshness and immediacy. The text and illustration work together brilliantly as they invite children to enjoy the story and to think about the lives of other children”. In a marked departure for the author, best known for her warm narratives of family life, Azzi In Between is in a graphic format and tells the powerful story of a family forced to flee their homeland and settle in a strange and unfamiliar country. The book is based on the author’s own experience of working among refugee families and is endorsed by Amnesty International. Kate Kellaway of The Observer described Azzi In Between as “a masterpiece”. Fen Coles, director of Letterbox Library who administered the award, said, “At a time when there are so many damaging myths circulating about refugees and asylum seekers, it is heartening to see a book which tells the truth- and in a way which children can relate to”. The Little Rebels Children’s Book Award winner was announced today at the first London Radical Bookfair, convened by the ARB and held in Conway Hall, Red Lion Square, London. Wendy Cooling, Booktrust founder and guest judge, presented Sarah Garland with a cheque and a framed picture created by Guardian cartoonist, Ros Asquith. Earlier in the day, Wendy Cooling chaired a discussion on ‘progressive children’s writing’ with two of the shortlisted authors, Sarah Garland and Jeanne Willis. Elizabeth Laird described Willis’ shortlisted book, Wild Child (Walker) as “a truly radical work, celebrating freedom and originality on every page”. The two other shortlisted titles were John Boyne’s The Terrible Thing that Happened to Barnaby Brocket (Corgi Children/Random House UK) and Yokococo’s Hans and Matilda (Templar Publishing). The Little Rebels Children’s Book Award ( is a new award given by the Alliance of Radical Booksellers and administered by specialist children’s booksellers, Letterbox Library. The award recognises children’s fiction for readers aged 0-12 which promote social justice and is the brainchild of Nik Gorecki, Housmans Bookshop; speaking about the award, Nik said, “The Alliance of Radical Booksellers is working hard to promote radical publishing and children’s books are an important element of that. There’s still lots of plans in the pipeline for the future and next year we hope to introduce a category for teen readers”. The Little Rebels Children’s Book Award is run parallel to the ARB’s award for radical non-fiction for adults; guest judges for the adult award include Nina Power and former London Mayor, Ken Livingstone.

Monday, May 06, 2013

Branford Boase Award: Shortlist 2013

BRANFORD BOASE AWARD: SHORTLIST 2013 ‘Seven outstanding debuts, eight really interesting authors, doing really interesting things’ The shortlist for the Branford Boase Award 2013 is announced today. The Branford Boase Award is given annually to the author of an outstanding debut novel for children. Uniquely, it also honours the editor of the winning title and highlights the importance of the editor in nurturing new talent. For the second year running, over 60 books were submitted for the award, an indication of the wealth of talent amongst new authors for children, and of UK publishers’ enthusiasm to nurture and promote them. The shortlist is particularly varied and includes outstanding novels for young readers, historical romances, a ghost story, a challenging dystopian thriller and a time-travel adventure set in 16th century London, the last by a writing duo. The seven shortlisted books are: After the Snow by S D Crockett, edited by Emma Young (Macmillan) The Things We Did for Love by Natasha Farrant, edited by Julia Heydon-Wells (Faber) Daylight Saving by Edward Hogan, edited by Mara Bergman (Walker) A Hen in the Wardrobe by Wendy Meddour, edited by Janetta Otter-Barry (Frances Lincoln) Black Arts by Andrew Prentice & Jonathan Weil, edited by Simon Mason (David Fickling) A Boy and a Bear in a Boat by Dave Shelton, edited by David Fickling (David Fickling) A World Between Us by Lydia Syson, edited by Sarah Odedina (Hot Key) This year the judges are Joy Court, Learning Resources Manager for Coventry City Council; Prue Goodwin, consultant and lecturer in children’s literature; Julie Randles, former Managing Director of Scholastic Book Clubs; and Annabel Pitcher, author of My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece, winner of last year’s Branford Boase Award. The panel is chaired by Julia Eccleshare, children’s books editor of The Guardian. Julia Eccleshare says: ‘This year’s longlist was exceptionally strong and the shortlisted books are extremely accomplished. Here are eight really interesting authors, doing really interesting things in their writing.’ The Branford Boase Award judging panel has a very successful record in picking future best-selling and critically acclaimed authors. Previous shortlisted and winning writers include Marcus Sedgwick, Meg Rosoff, Philip Reeve, Cathy Cassidy, Kevin Brooks, William Nicholson, Frank Cottrell Boyce, Mal Peet and Bali Rai. Last year’s winner Annabel Pitcher was recently awarded the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize for her second novel, Ketchup Clouds while her Branford Boase winning debut My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece was shortlisted for the CILIP Carnegie Medal, the Red House Children’s Book Award and the Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize. The winner of the 2013 Branford Boase Award will be announced on Thursday 11th July at a ceremony in London. The winning author receives a cheque for £1,000 and both author and editor receive a unique, hand-crafted silver-inlaid box in the shape of a book.