This is the 20th anniversary year of this prestigious first (children’s) novel award, the presentation of which is always a highlight of the calendar. To mark the anniversary Henrietta Branford’s novel Fire, Bed and Bone is being reissued.
The shortlist for the 2019 Branford Boase Award (given annually to the author of an outstanding debut novel for children, and also honouring the editor of the book) was announced on Wednesday 1st May 2019.
It is twenty years since the Branford Boase Award was founded to commemorate author Henrietta Branford and influential Walker Books editor Wendy Boase and it is now recognised as one of the most important awards in children’s books with an impressive record in identifying outstanding authors at the start of their careers. Over its 20 year existence, winners and shortlisted authors include Siobhan Dowd, Meg Rosoff, Mal Peet, Philip Reeve, Frank Cottrell Boyce, Frances Hardinge, Patrick Ness and Marcus Sedgwick.
The complete shortlist list is as follows:
The House with Chicken Legs by Sophie Anderson, edited by Rebecca Hill and Becky Walker (Usborne)
The Train to Impossible Places by P.G. Bell, edited by Rebecca Hill and Becky Walker (Usborne)
Rosie Loves Jack by Mel Darbon, edited by Sarah Stewart (Usborne)
The Goose Road by Rowena House, edited by Mara Bergman (Walker Books)
I Am Thunder by Muhammad Khan, edited by Lucy Pearse (Macmillan)
Orphan Monster Spy by Matt Killeen, edited by Sarah Stewart and Kendra Levin (Usborne)
The Boy at the Back of the Class by Onjali Q Raúf, edited by Lena McCauley (Orion Children’s Books)
This year’s judges are
- Sanchita Basu De Sarkar of the Children’s Bookshop, Muswell Hill
- Ellen Krajewski, librarian at Hemel Hempstead School, Hertfordshire
- Louise Johns-Shepherd, chief executive of CLPE
- Mitch Johnson, author of Kick, winner of the 2018 Branford Boase Award.
The panel is chaired by Julia Eccleshare, children’s director of the Hay Festival
The winner of the 2019 Branford Boase Award will be announced on Thursday 27th June 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.
The Branford Boase Award is sponsored by Walker Books who have pledged new funding to ensure its future.