I am SO excited to share the Branford Boase Book Award Shortlist for 2020! Not least because I am on the judging panel this year and it has been the most brilliant experience but challenging too, because the quality of books on the longlist was outstanding. However, myself and my brilliant fellow judges – Sue Bastone, vice-chair SLA; Layla Hudson of Round Table Books, Brixton; and Muhammad Khan, author of I Am Thunder, winner of the 2019 Branford Boase along with panel chair, Julia Eccleshare, children’s director of the Hay Festival, deliberated and discussed all the wonderful books and we are delighted with the hugely impressive final shortlist:
Little Badman and the Invasion of the Killer Aunties by Humza Arshad and
Henry White, edited by Holly Harris and Sharan Matharu, illus Aleksei Bitskoff (Puffin)
The Space We’re In by Katya Balen, edited by Lucy Mackay-Sim, illus Laura Carlin
A Pocketful of Stars by Aisha Bushby, edited by Liz Bankes and Sarah Levison
Bearmouth by Liz Hyder, edited by Sarah Odedina (Pushkin Press)
A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson, edited by Lindsey Heaven
Frostheart by Jamie Littler, edited by Naomi Colthurst (Puffin)
The Million Pieces of Neena Gill by Emma Smith-Barton, edited by Naomi
Congratulations to all the authors and editors who have created such memorable stories!
Since 2000, the Branford Boase has been awarded 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. The Award is the joint idea of Julia Eccleshare and Anne Marley. Julia is chair of PLR and director of the Hay Festival children’s programme. Anne was a co-director of Authors Aloud UK and was Head of Children’s, Youth & Schools Services for Hampshire Library & Information Service for many years. Founded to commemorate author Henrietta Branford and influential Walker Books editor Wendy Boase, the Branford Boase Award is recognised as one of the most important awards in children’s books with an impressive record in identifying outstanding authors at the start of their careers. Winners and shortlisted authors include Siobhan Dowd, Meg Rosoff, Mal Peet, Philip Reeve, Frank Cottrell Boyce, Frances Hardinge, Patrick Ness and Marcus Sedgwick. Since starting The Book Activist, I have supported the award through my blog and have been absolutely honoured to participate on the judging panel this year!
Julia Eccleshare, one of the founders of award and chair of the judges says: “In
highlighting the most exciting new authors and the most talented editors, the Branford Boase Award also identifies the preoccupations and strengths of current children’s literature and we are pleased to say that this year’s shortlist is particularly rich and diverse. Here are extremely powerful, challenging stories tackling complex issues alongside funny, exciting, original fiction; the range of voices represented is unparalleled in the award’s history. We are excited not only about the books on the shortlist, but about what their authors will write next too.”
You can read the judges comments here. The winner of the Branford Boase Award would normally be announced at a ceremony in London in early July. This year the announcement of the winner has been delayed until 24th September. The winning author receives a cheque for £1,000 and both author and editor receive an inscribed crystal plaque.
For further information about the Award contact Andrea Reece on firstname.lastname@example.org
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