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The Branford Boase Award for

Branford Boase Award 2018 - short list

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BBA 2018

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The Branford Boase Award, given annually to the author and editor of an outstanding debut novel for children, announces its shortlist for the 2018 award. The books on the shortlist are:

    BadoeAJIGSAWOFFIREANDSTARSillusLeoNickolls

 

 

 

 

 

  

A Jigsaw of Fire and Stars

The Starman and Me

Fish Boy

Knighthood for Beginners

Kick

Potter's Boy

The City of Secret Rvers

Now in its nineteenth year the Branford Boase Award is recognised as one of the most important awards in children’s books with a hugely impressive record in identifying authors with special talent at the start of their careers. Previous winners and shortlisted authors include Siobhan Dowd, Meg Rosoff, Mal Peet, Philip Reeve, Frank Cottrell Boyce and Patrick Ness; Costa Book Award winner Frances Hardinge won with her debut novel Fly By Night in 2006.

This year the judges are Urmi Merchant of children’s bookshop Pickled Pepper Books; Helen Swinyard, librarian at Heartlands High School and founder of the Haringey Children’s Book Award; author and reviewer Philip Womack; and M.G. (Maya) Leonard, author of Beetle Boy, winner of the 2017 Branford Boase Award. The panel is chaired by Julia Eccleshare, children’s director of the Hay Festival.

Julia Eccleshare says: “Each year the Branford Boase Award discovers authors with outstanding talent and promise: this year is no exception. The BBA also celebrates the lively state of children’s publishing in the UK and we were excited that no less than 26 different publishers entered books with seven making the shortlist. By concentrating on the most exciting new voices, the Branford Boase consistently highlights trends in contemporary children’s fiction: our 2018 judges were struck by the huge predominance on the longlist of domestic dramas. Children’s adventure it seems has become internal, the setting no longer the outside world but frequently the family, with narrative tension and action arising from issues such as mental health and individual trauma. Nonetheless, our seven shortlisted books have new stories to tell and vibrant new voices to tell them.”

The winner of the 2018 Branford Boase Award will be announced on Wednesday 4th 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.

 

 

A Jigsaw of Fire and Stars
by Yaba Badoe, edited by Fiona Kennedy
Head of Zeus: Zephir (13+)

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YabaBadoephoto

FionaKennedy

Zephir

A Jigsaw of Fire and Stars

Author
Yaba Badoe

Editor
Fiona Kennedy

Publisher
Head of Zeus:
Zephyr

British-Ghanaian writer Yaba Badoe draws on storytelling roots nurtured well beyond Europe to tell an original and powerful story, mixing the horror of people-trafficking with African folklore.‘

‘packed with memorable scenes and an extraordinarily vivid sense of place’; ‘language and story are equally interesting’; ‘things don’t come more original than this’.


The Starman and Me
by Sharon Cohen, edited by Sarah Lambert
Quercus Children's Books (9+)
 

TheStarmanandMeCoverImage1

SharonCohenLumierePhotography50

SarahLambert

Quercus

The Starman and Me

Author
Sharon Cohen

Editor
Sarah Lambert

Publisher
Quercus

Twelve-year old Kofi thinks he’s seeing things when he spots a tiny human being on a roundabout near his home. But Rorty Thrutch is real, and he needs Kofi’s help to get home.

‘weird, but in a good way!’; ‘a great story with real emotions’; ‘children will really enjoy it’; ‘good, clean prose’.


Fish Boy
by Chloe Daykin, edited by Leah Thaxton
Faber (9+)
 

FishBoypaperback1

ChloeDaykin

LeahThaxton

Faber

Fish boy

Author
Chloe Daykin

Editor
Leah Thaxton

Publisher
Faber

Billy loves the sea and uses swimming as a way of escape. But his love of the sea also makes him the butt of his class mates’ bullying and he increasingly creates an alternative world for himself inspired in part by lessons learnt from David Attenborough’s programmes. When Patrick arrives in his class Billy at last finds someone who understands him.

‘the friendship between two outsiders is very touching indeed’; ‘a unique internal voice beautifully described’; ‘interesting and surprising’.


Knighthood for Beginners
by Elys Dolan, edited by Clare Whitston and Elv Moody
Oxford (6+)

KnighthoodforBeginners1

ElysDolan

ClareWhitston
ElvMoody

Oxford

Knighthood for Beginners

Author
Elys Dolan

Editors
Clare Whitston
Elv Moody

Publisher
Oxford

A fairy tale comedy with a very unusual central character. Dave the little dragon won’t eat villages, and finds all dragony things difficult, but he loves reading and when he picks up a second-hand copy of How to be a Knight, he knows he’s found his calling.

‘exuberant, joyful and original’; ‘I loved it’; ‘silly but with an important message’.


Kick
by Mitch Johnson, edited by Rebecca Hill and Becky Walker
Usborne (10+)
 

Kick1

MitchJohnsonKickPhoto

HillRebeccaUsbornePublishing
BeckyWalker2

Usborne

Kick

Author
Mitch Johnson

Editors
Rebecca Hill
Becky Walker

Publisher
Usborne

Budi lives for football, training with his friends whenever he can, following his team with a passion and dreaming about playing at the top level. But Budi lives in Jakarta and also works ten hours a day making the football boots his sporting heroes wear, and earning just pennies for doing it.

‘well-researched and beautifully described’; ‘a very brave first novel’; ‘fresh and different’ ‘I loved the characters’.


Potter’s Boy
by Tony Mitton, edited by Anthony Hinton
David Fickling Books (10+)
 

PottersBoy1

TonyMitton3

AnthonyHinton

Davidfickling

Potter’s Boy

Author
Tony Mitton

Editor
Anthony Hinton

Publisher
David Fickling Books

In a small village, in long-ago Japan, teenager Ryo is expected to follow his father into the family ceramics business. But when an unassuming young man passes through and beats in single combat the troupe of bandits who have been plaguing the villagers, Ryo determines to become a fighter.

‘beautiful storytelling’; ‘a slow read for the modern child but one that will draw them in’; ‘uses a particularly rich vocabulary’; poignant and unusual’; ‘I learned something from it’.


The City of Secret Rivers

by Jacob Sager Weinstein, edited by Gill Evans
Walker Books (9+)
 

TheCityofSecretRivers1

JacobSagerWeinstein

GillEvansPhoto

Walker

The City of Secret Rivers

Author
Jacob Sager Weinstein

Editor
Gill Evans

Publisher
Walker Books

Hyacinth Hayward, newly arrived in the UK from the US, is already struggling with culture shock when her mum is kidnapped by the strangest postmen ever and she herself is plunged (literally) into extraordinary adventure in London’s secret underground river.

‘clever, so funny, so well controlled’; ‘hugely inventive’; ‘I thought “I know where this is going to end” – and I didn’t’; ‘a joyful caper that carries you along’.


Picture Credits:

Sharon Cohen - Alix Marina-Chouhan (Lumière photography)
Tony Mitton - Photo by Keith Heppell
Rebecca Hill - Photo by Dan Gulliver
Chloe Daykin- Photo by Peter Brooks
Fiona Kennedy - Jay Rowden Photography
Sarah Lambert - Jay Rowden Photography

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