Thursday, 1 May 2014

Branford Boase Award 2014 shortlist

Branford Boase Award 2014 shortlist

Jacqueline Wilson at the 2013 Branford Boase & Henrietta Branford Award ceremony
Seven debut novels appear on this year’s 15th Branford Boase Award shortlist. The award is given to both author and editor for outstanding debut children’s novels aimed at readers aged seven and up.
Julia Eccleshare, chair of the judging panel, said: ‘This year’s shortlist is exceptionally diverse, here are seven very different books. But, not only are they all very well written, they all feel exceptionally fresh and original: these are stories we haven’t read before, and that is very exciting.’

The shortlist is colourfully diverse both in content and in ‘genre’, and includes novels for young and old from seven different publishers. Expect to find surprise and invention for younger readers as well as teen romance, dystopian quests, humour and adventure.

The seven shortlisted books are:

Winter Damage by Natasha Carthew, edited by Rebecca McNally (Bloomsbury)

Infinite Sky by C.J. Flood, edited by Venetia Gosling (Simon and Schuster)

Wild Boy by Rob Lloyd Jones edited by Mara Bergman (Walker)

Red Ink by Julie Mayhew, edited by Emily Thomas (Hot Key)

Alex the Dog and the Unopenable Door by Montgomery Ross, edited by Rebecca Lee & Susila Baybars (Faber)

The Poison Boy by Fletcher Moss, edited by Imogen Cooper and Barry Cunningham (Chicken House)

Geek Girl by Holly Smale, edited by Lizzie Clifford (HarperCollins)

As last year, I can’t make any early predictions as I’ve shamefacedly read few from this list (links in the list above take you to reviews of the books we’ve read). From opening pages and chapters, Natasha Carthew's writing is sublime. Accolades and popular support already abound for Geek Girl and Infinite Sky, and I've heard many shaking pompoms for Wild Boy. For comprehensive and refreshing review coverage of the Branford Boase longlist 2014, take a look at And Then I Read a Book.
This year’s judges are Wendy Cooling (children’s books consultant and Bookstart founder), Tamara Macfarlane (author and owner of Tales on Moon Lane bookshop), Alec Williams (former librarian now storyteller and consultant), Dave Shelton, author of A Boy and A Bear in a Boat and winner of last year’s Branford Boase Award, and chaired by Julia Eccleshare (children’s books editor of The Guardian). This year’s judges selected the shortlist from a longlist drawn from over 60 novels.

Previous shortlisted and winning writers include Marcus Sedgwick, Meg Rosoff, Philip Reeve, Cathy Cassidy, Kevin Brooks, William Nicholson, Frank Cottrell Boyce, Mal Peet, Bali Rai, Annabel Pitcher and Dave Shelton.
The winner of the 2014 Branford Boase Award will be announced on Thursday 10th July at a ceremony in London.  The ceremony is also attended by the six winners of the Henrietta Branford Writing Competition, open to writers under 19.

Links to authors in this post take you to We Sat Down reviews and interviews.




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