Chinese illustrator Qian Shi makes her picturebook debut with The Weaver (Andersen Press, £10.99, 2+), a story about a spider called Stanley and his quest to weave a web he can call home. Shi integrates facts about the natural world with this unusual arachnid adventure to great effect, underscoring the fragility of life and habitats in the natural world. She also has great fun animating the simple spider shapes with hilarious expressions and unusual poses. Sara Keating IRISH TIMES
Jess is allergic to the sun. She lives in a world of shadows and hospitals, peeking at the other children in the playground from behind curtains. Her only friend is a boy in a coma, to whom she tells stories.
[A] delicately constructed debut… Elegant, assured, sad and hilarious
Imagen Russell Williams, Guardian Review
Publishing 5th July this year…
Emily Thomas’s semi-autobiographical debut novel, Mud, acquired by Andersen Press.
The author worked as editor and publisher at Hodder Children’s Books and Bonnier’s Hot Key Books, where she launched Dawn O’Porter’s debut novels, and, as editor, in 2015 won the Branford Boase Award, with the author Rosie Rowell for Leopold Blue.
World rights for Mud have been negotiated by Charlie Sheppard, Andersen Press’s Publishing Director, and Gillie Russell of Aitken Alexander Associates.
Described as Adrian Mole meets I Capture the Castle, according to the Press Release Mud is a funny and touching story based on the author’s own adolescence, with strong themes of loss and grief, friendship and parental breakdown filtered through the lens of a 14-year-old-girl’s diary.
Andersen Press will publish with a cover [see above] created by Helen Musselwhite, the paper artist known for her collaborations with Royal Mail, Audi and Cadbury’s.
Charlie Sheppard, publishing director at Andersen Press, has said of the deal, “We all know that Mud sticks. Well this Mud certainly does. It’s the story of an extraordinary adolescence; a novel which I desperately wanted to publish the moment I read it. It’s bittersweet and unique – and it will stick with you. I’m immensely proud that Emily has chosen Andersen Press to be its publisher.”
Emily’s agent, Gillie Russell, has said, “Reading Mud for the first time, I experienced one of those rare, delightful moments – it quite literally captured my heart. Warm, funny, real and universal in its appeal, the characters come to life on every page through Lydia’s engaging young voice.”
Five début poets from diverse backgrounds, all aged 26 and under, performed work from the new collection Rising Stars, New Voices in Poetry, to a crowded room of booksellers, librarians, poets, festival programmers, critics and friends at Gerry’s Kitchen, Theatre Royal Stratford East, London on 21st November.
The poetry anthology for 10-14 year olds is an exciting collaboration between Otter-Barry Books and Pop Up Projects, supported by Arts Council England’ Grant for the Arts programme. Illustrations in the book are by final year students from Birmingham City University’s illustration course.
Joelle Taylor, founder and Artistic Director of SLAMbassadors UK, mentored all the poets and was consultant for the book. She said: “Rising Stars is a unique addition to the young poetry canon, with an anthology that addresses the vast diversity of people within the UK. Written by some of the brightest emerging poets in the country, the book tackles everyday issues from Afro hair to impending divorce with a delicacy and empathy rarely found. Finally, here is poetry that readers can see their faces in.”
Janetta Otter-Barry, Publisher, Otter-Barry Books said: “ We are immensely proud to publish this ground-breaking poetry collection for young readers.”
Dylan Calder, Director, Pop Up Projects added: “All children need to see themselves in the pages of the books they read. Whatever it is you discover in this eloquent collection, have no doubt that between these pages you’ll encounter some of the brightest lights in poetry today – alongside outstanding first-time illustrators. Truly, these are the stars to watch out for.”
The Unpredictability Of Being Human by Linni Ingemundsen
Billed as “a comic and captivating coming-of-age story that never pretends life is perfect, from a ground-breaking voice in YA”.
The author is Norwegian and currently living in Malta. She has worked as a freelance cartoonist and journalist.
Rebecca Hill, Usborne’s Fiction Editorial Director, says, “The book will break your heart and mend it again – leaving you a tiny crack that resists fixing.”
from The Bookseller
Frances Lincoln Children’s Books is launching a sub-imprint devoted to debuts with a “diverse and global focus”.
The Lincoln First Editions team, which forms part of the Quarto group, will “travel the world to discover the best children’s picture books” from new authors and illustrators, “using its publishing expertise to turn them into global brands”.
Commissioning editor Katie Cotton (pictured left) will oversee and curate the new list and described it as a a “wonderful opportunity”.
The sub-imprint will publish up to six books a year for which either the author or illustrator will have only published up to two books previously. It will also have “a diverse and global focus looking for the best new talent, irrespective of background or nationality”.
The Spring 2018 First Editions launch titles are Erik and the Lone Wolf by Sarah Finan, which will be published in February, Baby Bird by Andrew Gibbs and Zosienka, in March, Cannonball Coralie by Grace Easton, in May. If All the World Were by Joe Coehlo and Allison Colpoys, publishing in June.
A powerful, haunting, contemporary debut that steps seamlessly from the horrors of people-trafficking to the magic of African folklore, by an award-winning Ghanaian-British filmmaker.
The Branford Boase Award [set up in memory of the outstanding and prize-winning author Henrietta Branford and Wendy Boase, editorial director and one of the founders of Walker Books] is given annually to the author of an outstanding debut novel for children. Uniquely, it also honours the editor of the winning title and highlights the importance of the editor in nurturing new talent.
Now in its seventeenth year the Branford Boase Award is recognised as one of the most important awards in children’s books with an impressive record in identifying authors with special talent at the start of their careers. Previous winners and shortlisted authors include Siobhan Dowd, Meg Rosoff, Mal Peet, Philip Reeve, Frank Cottrell Boyce and Patrick Ness; last year’s Costa Book Award winner Frances Hardinge won with her debut novel Fly By Night in 2006. The shortlist for the 2017 award is as follows:
Cogheart by Peter Bunzl, edited by Rebecca Hill (Usborne)
We Are Giants by Amber Lee Dodd, edited by Niamh Mulvey (Quercus)
Little Bits of Sky by S.E. Durrant, edited by Kirsty Stansfield (Nosy Crow)
The Bubble Boy by Stewart Foster, edited by Rachel Mann (Simon and Schuster)
The Girl of Ink and Stars by Kiran Millwood Hargrave, edited by Rachel Leyson (Chicken House)
Beetle Boy by M G Leonard, edited by Barry Cunningham and Rachel Leyson (Chicken House)
Riverkeep by Martin Stewart edited by Shannon Cullen and Sharyn November (Penguin Random House)
More than 70 books [a record number] were submitted for the 2017 award, by 25 different publishers. The rules for the Branford Boase Award state that the award is for the most promising book for children aged seven and up by a first novelist. The author may have published books in another genre but eligibility requires that this be their first novel for children. Two books longlisted for the 2017 award, Eden Summer by Liz Flanagan and Orangeboy by Patrice Lawrence, were discovered to be ineligible and were withdrawn as the authors have previously written short novels for children.
This year the judges are Brenda Gardner, former children’s editor and founder of Piccadilly Press; Joanna Halpin, manager at Waterstones Trafalgar Square; Elizabeth McDonald, winner of the 2016 Public Librarian of the Year Award; and Horatio Clare, author of Aubrey and the Terrible Yoot, winner of the 2016 Branford Boase Award. The panel is chaired by Julia Eccleshare, children’s director of the Hay Festival.
The winner of the 2017 Branford Boase Award will be announced on Wednesday 5th July at a ceremony in London. Frances Hardinge will present the winner with a cheque for £1,000 and both author and editor will receive a unique, hand-crafted silver-inlaid box.
Bloomsbury Children’s Books has bought world rights to a debut YA novel by Mary Watson and one other title ahead of Bologna Children’s Book Fair.
The Wren Hunt tells the story of two ancient powers fighting for survival and one girl, born of both, who will decide their fate.
The deal was brokered by editorial director Ellen Holgate and Claire Wilson at Rogers, Coleridge & White.
Holgate said she was “reluctant” to pigeon-hole the genre because it was “so different from anything else out there”.
“The setting is contemporary, but with a deep, ancient magic thinly veiled from view – it sizzles with romance, betrayal, deceit, lies and magic,” she said. “The tension at the heart of The Wren Hunt makes it read like a thriller, but the high concept is backed up by exceptional writing.”