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Branford Boase Award 2016 - short list

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The Branford Boase Award for
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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 2016 award. The books on the shortlist are:

Aubrey and the Terrible Yoot

Stone Rider

The Unlikely Adventures of Mabel Jones

My Brother is a Superhero

Time Travelling with a Hamster

The Art of Being Normal

Now in its sixteenth 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. Meg Rosoff who has just been awarded the world’s biggest children’s book prize, the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award, won in 2005 with How I Live Now, while Frances Hardinge, who this year won the Costa Book of the Year Award with her children’s novel The Lie Tree, was named Branford Boase Award winner exactly ten years ago. From this year’s longlist of 23 books, the judges have selected a shortlist of six outstanding debut novels:

BranfordBoaseShortlist2016

This year the judges are Russell Allen team leader for children’s services across the West Sussex Library Service, recently awarded Public Librarian of the Year; 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, children’s books editor of the Guardian.

Julia Eccleshare says: “UK children’s publishers are more eager than ever to find and nurture talented new authors and this is an extremely exciting shortlist. 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.”

Other previous winners and shortlisted authors include Kevin Brooks, Siobhan Dowd, Mal Peet, Philip Reeve, Frank Cottrell Boyce and Patrick Ness, all of whom went on to win the CILIP Carnegie Medal.

The winner of the 2016 Branford Boase Award will be announced on Thursday 7th 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.

 

Aubrey and the Terrible Yoot
by Horatio Clare, edited by Penny Thomas, illustrations by Jane Matthews
Firefly Press (9+)
 

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photo Caroline Flinders

PennyThomasFirefly

EloiseWilson

Author
Horatio Clare

Editor
Penny Thomas


From his first breath Aubrey is a rambunctious child and his parents are quickly aware of his capacity to cause chaos. Unknown to them however, he has hidden talents - he can talk to animals. When his father, normally so cheerful, is weighed down with a terrible sadness, the wild animals help Aubrey find ways to help, and even advise him on how to tackle the cause itself – the Terrible Yoot

‘I loved it and it stayed with me’; ‘very original – there are children’s books about depression but not like this’; ‘I cried twice’; ‘a very tight set of characters’



Stone Rider

by David Hofmeyr, edited by Ben Horslen and Tig Wallace
Penguin Random House (12+)

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BenHorslen1

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Author
David Hofmeyr

 Editor
Ben Horslen


Editor
Tig Wallace


Adam Stone wants a chance to escape Blackwater, the dust-bowl desert town he grew up in. Most of all, he wants the beautiful Sadie Blood. Alongside Sadie and the dangerous outsider, Kane, Adam will ride the Blackwater Trail in a brutal race that will test them all, body and soul. Only the strongest will survive. The prize is a one-way ticket to Sky-Base and unimaginable luxury.

And for a chance at this new life, Adam will risk everything . . .

‘well sustained and it really made me want to find out what happened’; ‘strong, accomplished writing and the dialogue is very good’; ‘a cracking good story’



The Unlikely Adventures of Mabel Jones

by Will Mabbitt, edited by Ben Horslen, illustrations by Ross Collins

Penguin Random House (9+)

WillMabbitt

BenHorslen2

LucyEarley4

Author
Will Mabbitt

Editor
Ben Horslen

    


Mabel Jones is sleeping soundly when a sudden noise wakes her up. It’s Omynus Hussh, silent loris and pirate, there to press gang her into service to the captain of the Feroshus Maggot, mad wolf (he really is a wolf) Idryss Ebenezer Split. Mabel will have lots of adventures before she can return to the ‘hooman’ world.

‘I loved it!’; ‘bonkers – but a controlled bonkersness’; ‘well paced, well shaped and it comes to a good conclusion’; ‘very accomplished’; ‘written to be read aloud’



My Brother is a Superhero
by David Solomons , edited by Kirsty Stansfield
Nosy Crow (YA)

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DeniseJohnstonBurt

Author
David Solomons

Editor
Kirsty Stansfield


Luke is a comic-mad eleven-year old who shares a treehouse with his geeky older brother, Zack. Luke's only mistake is to go for a wee right at the wrong time. While he's gone, an alien gives his undeserving, never-read-a-comic-in-his-life brother superpowers and tells him to save the universe. Luke is massively annoyed, but when Zack is kidnapped by his arch-nemesis, Luke and his friends have only five days to find him and save the world...

‘a very good comedy’; ‘very accomplished, he almost doesn’t put a foot wrong’; ‘ like all good comedy it’s rooted in the real world’; ‘I really want to read what he writes next’



Time Travelling with a Hamster

by Ross Welford, edited by Nick Lake
HarperCollins Children’s Books (10+)

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NickLake

BarryCunningham

Author
Ross Welford

Editor
Nick Lake


On Al Chaudhury’s twelfth birthday his beloved Grandpa Byron gives him a letter from Al’s late father. In it Al receives a mission: travel back to 1984 in a secret time machine and save his father’s life. Al soon discovers that time travel requires daring and imagination. It also requires lies, theft, setting his school on fire and ignoring philosophical advice from Grandpa Byron.

‘I liked the sense of family’; ‘it made me feel the emotion’; ‘a clever use of time travel that respects all its rules’



The Art of Being Normal

by Lisa Williamson, edited by Bella Pearson
David Fickling Books (13+)

LisaWilliamson

BellaPearson

Author
Lisa Williamson

Editor
 Bella Pearson

      

     


David Piper has always been an outsider. His parents think he's gay. The school bully thinks he's a freak. Only his two best friends know the real truth - David wants to be a girl. On the first day at his new school Leo Denton has one goal - to be invisible. Attracting the attention of the most beautiful girl in year 11 is definitely not part of that plan. When Leo stands up for David in a fight, an unlikely friendship forms.

‘brilliant’; ‘a very thoughtful, sensitive novel’; ‘it really made me think about gender’; ‘a difficult subject but the author pulls it off’; ‘as a reader you lived the character’s dilemma’


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