The six-book shortlist for the prestigious 2016 Branford Boase Award has been announced.
The Branford Boase Award is given annually to the author of an outstanding debut novel for children. It also honours the editor of the winning title. Among the judges this year are Russell Allen team leader for children’s services across the West Sussex Library Service, Simon Key, bookseller from the Big Green Bookshop in Wood Green; Marion Lloyd, former children’s editor; and Rosie Rowell, author of Leopold Blue, winner of the 2015 Branford Boase Award. The panel is chaired by Julia Eccleshare, who is now in charge of the Hay Fever section of the Hay Festival.
The 2016 shortlist
Aubrey and the Terrible Yoot by Horatio Clare, edited by Penny Thomas. Illustrations by Jane Thomas (Firefly Press)
Stone Rider by David Hofmeyr, edited by Ben Horslen (Penguin)
The Unlikely Adventures of Mabel Jones by Will Mabbitt, edited by Ben Horslen. Illustrations by Ross Collins (Penguin)
My Brother is a Superhero by David Solomons, edited by Kirsty Stansfield (Nosy Crow)
Time Travelling with a Hamster by Ross Welford, edited by Nicholas Lake (HarperCollins Children’s Books)
The Art of Being Normal by Lisa Williamson, edited by Bella Pearson (David Fickling Books)
Julia Eccleshare said: “All areas of the children’s book market are flourishing so this list includes books for young readers and for teenagers. It reflects current trends and features some wildly inventive books that play with language and ideas; a time travel story; a book that explores a transgender teenager’s struggle with identity; a book about a parent’s depression. They are all distinguished by the quality of the writing, the author’s ability to control plot and create character, and by an originality of approach.”
The winner of the 2016 Branford Boase Award will be announced on Thursday July 7 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.