Branford Boase Shortlist

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Here is the incredibly strong and varied shortlist for the Branford Boase first novel award:


The Various by Steve Augarde (David Fickling)
editor: David Fickling



Inventing Elliot by Graham Gardner (Orion)
editor: Fiona Kennedy


Follow Me Down by Julie Hearn (Oxford)
editor: Liz Cross



Fish by L. S. Matthews (Hodder)
editor: Rachel >Wade



Keeper by Mal Peet (Walker)
editor: Paul Harrison



Montmorency by Eleanor Updale (Scholastic)
editor: Kirsten Skidmore


Read the full Press Release...

Fantastic new talent emerges from Branford Boase Award list

The six short-listed books for the 2004 Branford Boase Award for a first time novelist and their editor were announced today.
Selected from the record breaking 34 entered for the Award, the six stories range from time-slip and fantasy to school boy bullying, a football story linking past glories with present triumphs and an epic tale of survival in a war torn country.

The submission of over twice as many titles as last year indicates how excited publishers are about discovering new authors who can create great stories for children. This shortlist celebrates the talent and ambition of a new generation of writers for children.

The six titles are:
The Various by Steve Augarde, edited by David Fickling (David Fickling Books); Inventing Elliott by Graham Gardner, edited by Fiona Kennedy (Orion); Follow me down by Julie Hearn, edited by Liz Cross (O.U.P.); Fish by Laura Matthews, edited by Rachel Wade (Hodder); Keeper by Mal Peet, edited by Paul Harrison (Walker Books) and Montmorency by Eleanor Updale, edited by Kirsten Skidmore (Scholastic).

Julia Eccleshare, Guardian children?s book editor and Chair of the Branford Boase Award judges said,
?When this Award was set up only five short years ago, there were few opportunities for new authors. Since then we have not only seen an increase in the number of first novels published but also a fast-growing excitement from both publishers and authors about the scope of writing for children. No longer a poor relation, the quality of these first novels shows that everyone now understands that children deserve the best ? and are getting it.?
(see attached sheet for further information).

The annual Branford Boase Award celebrates the most promising book for seven year-olds and upwards by a first-time novelist, and highlights the importance of the editor in nurturing new authors. The author may have published other books in another genre - for example, poetry or a picture book - but eligibility for the prize requires that this is her or his first children?s novel. In addition to drawing attention to fresh talent in the field of children's books and encouraging publishers to find and promote new writers, the Award sets out to alert readers of all ages to the work of an interesting newcomer. The contribution of the Editor in the writing process is also acknowledged and promoted in this Award.

The Branford Boase Award this year has three major sponsors, notably Walker Books whose generosity since its inception has made the idea a reality. In addition, the specially hand-crafted silver inlaid boxes presented to the winners are kindly donated by Peters? Library Service while further financial support, most gratefully received from Terry Pratchett, the CILIP Carnegie and WH Smith Award winning author, has made a major contribution to this year?s Award.

The Branford Boase Award was set up in memory of the outstanding children?s writer Henrietta Branford and the gifted editor, Wendy Boase, Editorial Director of Walker Books. They worked together on a number of books, a partnership they greatly enjoyed. They both died of cancer in 1999.
The winner of the 2004 Branford Boase Award will be announced on Wednesday 30 June 2004


About the shortlisted books ? comments from the Judges
Steve Augarde ? The Various (David Fickling Books)
Steve Augarde has written a highly accomplished and immensely readable fantasy with a healthy ?green? message in this vigorous story of ?little people?. Only twelve year old Midge can save the tribes whose tangled woodland home is under threat of redevelopment. Augarde?s story is driven by an exciting fight for survival in a mesmerising magical world in which a large and varied cast of Upper tribes and Lower tribes led by a Queen and her Counsel are richly imagined and finely delineated. (10+)

Graham Gardner ? Inventing Elliot (Orion Children?s Books)
A new school gives Elliot a chance to reinvent himself. He?ll no longer be a victim: this time round, he?ll be so cool that he becomes invincible. But nothing goes quite to plan and Elliot suddenly finds himself sucked into a group who are determined that he should become exactly the kind of bully he has just escaped from. Elliot finds he must makes some tough choices in Graham Gardner?s chilling, powerfully written and carefully crafted story which is reminiscent of Robert Cormier?s ?The Chocolate War?. (11+)

Julie Hearn - Follow me down (Oxford University Press)
Tom gets swept from the present into a dark and frightening 18th C world in this powerful time-shift novel. Here he sees just how cruelly society treats those who are different, displaying them as ?Freaks? at the local fairs and using them for ?experiments? by quackish doctors. These people need protecting and Tom is determined to be the one to save them. Through her rich imagery Julie Hearn creates a tangible past and, with Tom as the link, weaves it into an equally compelling contemporary story. (11+)

L.S. Matthews ? Fish (Hodder Children?s Books)
A journey for survival is told in the clear, unsentimental voice of Tiger, the young son of aid workers who must flee the drought afflicted and war torn country in which they have been working and cross the border to safety. L.S. Matthews writes with deceptive simplicity capturing the child-eye view of his own and the adult responses to the catalogue of disasters which befall the party as they traverse the mountainous terrain. It?s a striking narrative with well-drawn characters while in the background the fish of the title is a pleasingly underplayed emblem of survival. (10+)

Mal Peet ? Keeper (Walker Books)
In a newspaper office, El Gato, the world's greatest goalkeeper, tells his remarkable story to a journalist. On the table between them stands the World Cup. In the hours that follow, El Gato tells how it came to be there. Mal Peet writes with great animation and passions in this telling of a remarkable and entirely absorbing story with football at its heart, but superb storytelling in its soul. (11+)

Eleanor Updale ? Montmorency (Scholastic Children?s Books)
Scarper and Montmorency ? two characters but just one person. In Eleanor Updale?s vigorous storytelling their contrasting life styles are wittily and convincingly told. While shadowy Scarper travels through the underground sewers following his life of crime Montmorency, immaculately dressed for every occasion, frequents the best clubs and addresses in London. Seeped in the detail of nineteenth- century London, Montmorency is an exciting historical adventure.(10+).

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This page contains a single entry by achuka published on May 13, 2004 7:03 AM.

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