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Gillian Cross is the winner of this year’s Little Rebels Children’s Book Award for her book, After Tomorrow (OUP). Now in its 2nd year, the Little Rebels Children’s Book Award is given by the Alliance of Radical Booksellers and administered by specialist children’s booksellers, Letterbox Library. The award recognises children’s fiction for readers aged 0-12 which promote social justice.

Fen Coles, Co-Director of Letterbox Library who administer the award, said ‘Cross’ imaginatively executed tale was praised by the judges for unsettling our expectations and for encouraging young minds to tackle big ideas – in this story, starvation, civil conflict and the need for asylum are firmly located in the heart of Britain’.

The full shortlist for the award follows. Moon Bear by Gill Lewis (OUP) After Tomorrow by Gillian Cross (OUP) Real Lives: Harriet Tubman by Deborah Chancellor (A&C Black) Stay Where You Are and Then Leave by John Boyne (Doubleday) The Middle of Nowhere by Geraldine McCaughrean (Usborne)

Rosie Revere, Engineer by Andrea Beaty, illustrated by David Roberts (Abrams) The Promise by Nicola Davies, illustrated by Laura Carlin (Walker).

Further information on the award can be found at


Katherine Rundell has been awarded the 2014 Waterstones Childrens Book Prize for her second novel, Rooftoppers.

The Waterstones Children’s Book Prize champions new and emerging talent in children’s writing and is voted for by its booksellers.

The Prize consists of three categories: Best Picture Book; Best Fiction for 5-12s; and Best Book for Teens. Nicola O’Byrne was awarded the prize for Best Picture Book for Open Very Carefully. Holly Smale won the Best Book for Teens award with Geek Girl, the bestselling young adult and children’s debut title of 2013. Rooftoppers was winner in the 5 – 12 category as well as winning the overall prize.

As category winners, Smale, Rundell and O’Byrne each received a cheque for £2,000 with Rundell, as the overall winner, picking up an additional £3,000, making this one of the most valuable prizes for children’s writing in the UK.


The Centre for Literacy in Primary Education (CLPE) has announced the shortlist for the 2014 Children’s Poetry Award. The five shortlisted books are:

Poems to Perform, Julia Donaldson (editor), illustrated by Clare Melinsky, Macmillan.

The Dragon with a Big Nose, by Kathy Henderson, Frances Lincoln.

Bookside Down, Joanne Limburg, Salt Publishing.

Wayland, The Tale of the Smith from the Far North, Tony Mitton, illustrated by John Lawrence, David Fickling Books.

Cosmic Disco, Grace Nichols, illustrated by Alice Wright, Frances Lincoln.

20 Books for Keeps No.206 May 2014

briefing AWARDS

The judging panel is chaired by Roger McGough and the panel also includes George Szirtes, Poet and 2013 Award Winner.

The CLPE Poetry Award is the only award in the UK for published children’s poetry. Roger McGough said, ‘It was thrilling to be part of this children’s poetry award and we were excited by the range and variety of the poetry we read. At the same time it was saddening that there weren’t more submissions. It is essential that organisations such as CLPE continue to highlight the importance of published children’s poetry and give it the status it deserves in the world of children’s literature.’

For free poetry resources including films of poets performing visit


The shortlist has been announced for this year’s Branford Boase Award, given annually to the author of an outstanding debut novel for children. Created in memory of the award winning author Henrietta Branford, and her editor Wendy Boase, who both died in 1999, the Branford Boase Award also highlights the importance of the editor in nurturing new talent.

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

Alex the Dog and the Unopenable Door by Ross Montgomery, 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)

Julia Eccleshare, who runs the award with Anne Marley describes the shortlist as ‘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 Royal Society has announced the six science books that make up this year’s Young People’s Books Prize shortlist. The Prize celebrates the books that best communicate science to young people aged up to 14.

The six books shortlisted by the judges are: What makes you YOU, by Gill Arbuthnott, A&C Black How Animals Live, by Christiane Dorion, Templar Publishing

Eye Benders: the science of seeing and believing, by Clive Gifford & Anil Seth, Ivy Kids We’ve Got Your Number, by Mukul Patel, Kingfisher

The Usborne Big Book of Stars and Planets, by Emily Bone, Usborne

Usborne Lift-the-Flap Questions and Answers about Your Body, by Katie Daynes, Usborne

The winning book will be selected by groups of young people from over 100 schools and youth groups across the UK. These groups will judge all the shortlisted books and choose the final winner.

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