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The Branford Boase Award for

Branford Boase Award 2017 - short list

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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 2017 award. The books on the shortlist are:

    Cogheart1

 

 

 

 

 

  


Cogheart


We are Giants


Little Bits of Sky


The Bubble Boy


The Girl of
Ink and Stars


Beetle Boy


Riverkeep

Now in its seventeenth year the Branford Boase Award is recognised as one of the most important awards in children’s books with an 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; last year’s Costa Book Award winner Frances Hardinge won with her debut novel Fly By Night in 2006.

This year the judges are Brenda Gardner, former children’s editor and founder of Piccadilly Press; Joanna Halpin, manager at Waterstones Trafalgar Square; Elizabeth McDonald, winner of the 2016 Public Librarian of the Year Award; and Horatio Clare, author of Aubrey and the Terrible Yoot, winner of the 2016 Branford Boase Award. The panel is chaired by Julia Eccleshare, children’s director of the Hay Festival.

Julia Eccleshare says: “Children’s publishing in the UK is an extremely healthy state and this is a particularly strong, varied and interesting list. There are moving contemporary stories that vividly depict modern family relationships; inventive and brilliantly imagined fantasy stories; stories that will move and inspire readers; and some to make them laugh. Any one of these seven authors would be a worthy winner and we are already excited about what they will write next.”

The winner of the 2017 Branford Boase Award will be announced on Wednesday 5th July at a ceremony in London. Frances Hardinge will present the winner with a cheque for 1,000 and both author and editor will receive a unique, hand-crafted silver-inlaid box.

 

Cogheart
by Peter Bunzl, edited by Rebecca Hill,
Usborne (9+)

Cogheart

PeterBunzlweb

Rebecca

Usborne

Cogheart

Author
Peter Bunzl

Editor
Rebecca Hill

Publisher
Usborne

Opening aboard an airship harpooned in mid-air, Cogheart is a rip-roaring adventure. Lily’s inventor father is missing, presumed dead after the airship crashes. What secrets was he keeping and why are others so determined to find them out? The story proceeds at speed reaching its climax – fittingly in a book much concerned with clockwork – on the face of Big Ben.

‘what he does with the ideas is really good and the world-building is excellent’; ‘children reading this will feel inspired’; ‘imaginative and fun, would make a great film’.

Read our interview with the author and editor


We are Giants
by Amber Lee Dodd, edited by Niamh Mulvey,
Quercus Children's Books (8+)
 

WeAreGiants

AmberLeeDoddcolurrecrop

NiamhMulvey

Quercus

We are Giants

Author
Amber Lee Dodd

Editor
Niamh Mulvey

Publisher
Quercus

Sydney thinks her mum Amy is the best mum in the world - even if she is a bit different. When everyone else kept growing, Amy got to four feet tall and then stopped right there. When the family are forced to move house, things get tricky. Sydney must make new friends, deal with the bullies at school and generally figure out the business of growing up in a strange new town.

‘A huge-hearted book of enormous charm’; ‘unusual and distinctive’; ‘you can really feel the family’s love for one another’.

Read our interview with the author and editor


Little Bits of Sky
by Sue Durrant, edited by Kirsty Stansfield,
Nosy Crow (9+)
 

LittleBitsofSky

SEDurranthires

KirstyStansfieldHeadofFictionNosyCrow

nosycrowlogo1

Little Bits of Sky

Author
Sue Durrant

Editor
Kirsty Stansfield

Publisher
Nosy Crow

It's 1987 and Ira and Zac are living at Skilly House, a home for social care children. Their lives over the next few years are beautifully realised amongst the antipathy of the authorities, the drama of the poll tax riots and the moments of peace and hope Ira finds at Skilly and further afield.

‘well-constructed and full of emotional intelligence’; ‘interesting: a quiet, unconventional story in an ambitious form’; ‘beautifully described relationships and characters you remember’.

Read our interview with the author and editor


The Bubble Boy
by Stewart Foster, edited by Rachel Mann,
Simon and Schuster (10+)
 

TheBubbleBoy

StewartFostercTallulahFoster

RachelMann

Simonandschuster

The Bubble Boy

Author
Stewart Foster

Editor
Rachel Mann

Publisher
Simon and Schuster

Eleven-year-old Joe can't remember a life outside of his hospital room, with its beeping machines and view of London's rooftops. His condition means he's not allowed outside, not even for a moment, and his few visitors risk bringing life-threatening germs inside his 'bubble'. But then someone new enters his world and changes it for ever.

‘deeply moving and completely gripping’; ‘simple, clear writing, effortlessly believable characters’; ‘a true original’.

Our interview with the author and editor available soon


The Girl of Ink and Stars
by Kiran Millwood Hargrave, edited by Rachel Leyshon,
Chicken House (10+)
 

GirlofInkStarsnew

KiranMillwoodHargrave5

RachelLeyson

chickenHouse

The Girl of Ink and Stars

Author
Kiran Millwood Hargrave

Editor
Rachel Leyshon

Publisher
Chicken House

Forbidden to leave her island, Isabella dreams of the faraway lands her cartographer father once mapped. When her friend disappears, she volunteers to guide the search. The world beyond the walls is a monster-filled wasteland - and beneath the dry rivers and smoking mountains, a fire demon is stirring from its sleep. Soon, following her map, her heart and an ancient myth, Isabella discovers the true end of her journey: to save the island itself.

‘Wonderfully readable’; ‘quick without being shallow, some beautiful writing’; ‘fresh and different’.

Our interview with the author and editor available soon


Beetle Boy
by M G Leonard, edited by Barry Cunningham and Rachel Leyshon,
Chicken House (9+)
 

BeetleBoy

MGLeonard1photobyDavidMyerssmaller

BarryCunningham RachelLeyson1

chickenHouse1

Beetle Boy

Author
M G Leonard

Editors
Barry Cunningham and Rachel Leyshon

Publisher
Chicken House

Darkus is miserable. His dad has disappeared, and now he is living next door to the most disgusting neighbours ever. A giant beetle called Baxter comes to his rescue. But can the two solve the mystery of his dad's disappearance, especially when links emerge to cruel Lucretia Cutter and her penchant for beetle jewellery?

‘Max is a genuine original and Darkus a strong central character’; ‘the relationships are really well built’; ‘the beetle device is very good and certainly entertaining’; ‘I learned something from it’.

Our interview with the author and editor available soon


Riverkeep
by Martin Stewart, edited by Shannon Cullen,
Penguin Random House (11+)
 

Riverkeepjacket

MartinStewart2017CreditJamesSkerrittsmall

ShannonCullenphotoSharynNovemberhires

PenquinRandom

Riverkeep

Author
Martin Stewart

Editors
Shannon Cullen and Sharyn November

Publisher
Penguin Random House

Fifteen-year-old Wulliam is dreading taking up his family's mantle of Riverkeep, tending the river and fishing corpses from its treacherous waters. But then everything changes. One night his father is possessed by a dark spirit, and Wull hears that a cure lurks deep within the great sea-beast known as the mormorach. He realizes he must go on an epic journey downriver to find it - or lose Pappa forever.

‘a gripping original, brave and ambitious’; ‘a wonderful use of vocabulary, neologism and dialect, and the sense of a realised world’; ‘there’s so much going on but many really touching moments’.

Read our interview with the author and editor


Picture Credits:

M G Leonard - Photo by David Meyers Photography

Martin Stewart - Photo by James Skerritt

Peter Bunzl - Photo by Thomas Butler

Stewart Foster - Tallulah Foster

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